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Explain, with examples, why it is difficult to amend the US constitution. (20)

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Introduction

Explain, with examples, why it is difficult to amend the US constitution. (20) The American constitution was introduced by the Founding Fathers in 1787. It was intended by its founders to be a difficult process in amending it in order to protect the people from amendments passed by politicians to enhance their own power. Therefore proposals for constitutional amendments is based on a two stage process; the stage of proposals, backed by a majority and later ratification also backed by a majority. Proposals for constitutional amendments introduced by congress require a ? majority in both houses and at the ratification stage require a 3/4 majority of the state legislature. However, there is also an alternative method where amendments can also be introduced by a National Constitutional Convention. ...read more.

Middle

17 constitutional amendments were proposed. As they required a ? majority to be successful, the House of Representatives agreed to the Balanced Budget Amendment (1995) and the Flag Desecration Amendment (1995, 97, 99) but the senate didn't agree. The Balanced Budget Amendment was short of one vote to complete the ? majority and the Flag Desecration Amendment only 4votes. Therefore the procedure is strictly controlled and is somewhat difficult to amend the constitution, even in the stages of proposition let alone gaining a majority for ratification. If the amendment is successfully proposed it is sent to the states for ratification which is achieved with a 3/4 majority of the state legislature or by a Constitutional Convention in 3/4 of the states. ...read more.

Conclusion

The 19th amendment(right for women to vote) was introduced in congress 118 times before it eventually passed and the 27th amendment was not passed until over 200 years after it was originally introduced, which happened to have been found by a student (its focus was on financial corruption of congressman.) It seems from the successes and failures of constitutional amendments that the successful are those amendments which intend to 'tidy up' the political process, or extend the rights previously denied, whilst unsuccessful amendments attempt to impose a set of views or values on the entire country. Therefore, the intentions of the founding fathers were met by the two stage process they set up, as it does serve its purpose of making it difficult impose changes to the constitution and therefore does ultimately protect the people of America. ...read more.

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