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The US constitution was written in 1787 after 13 former British colonies had declared independence and modeled themselves into a confederation of states 1776 Individual states held almost all the power in this system and the confederation was very loosely grouped together By 1787 this confederation was restructured again into a planned system of joint central and state government under the first written constitution This constitution of the United States was constructed by a powerful and wealthy group of men calling themselves the Founding Fathers and led by George Washington Other notable contributors were Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson The Founding Fathers were a group of liberals with powerful economic interests united by the great sense of American nationalism which emerged from the revolution and the belief that America needed to be united to enable it to exercise power in world affairs They set about writing the first ever constitution for the governing of a nation It was based largely upon the belief that everyone had wide ranging civil rights deriving from their fundamental right to own property The new constitution strengthened significantly central power but installed a system of checks and balances to limit the power of each branch of government There was great suspicion of monarchs and also the mass action of the proletariat To protect against these threats protective systems were built into the constitution These protective measures included indirect presidential election through electoral college and the election of the various governing elements for different periods of time Senators for 6yrs and Representatives for 2yrs These checks have led to the fragmented nature of US government and the stark division of government between central Federal government and state government This is different to the UK where government is almost completely centralized with very minimal regional powers The new Scottish and Welsh parliaments are a move towards a more US style system The original US constitution has remained relatively unchanged since its
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