John Locke - Seperation of Powers

Topics: Separation of powers, Judiciary, United States Pages: 2 (746 words) Published: June 28, 2008
"Separation of Powers"
Separation of powers is the act of separating of responsibilities of the three branches of the government. The idea of this separation is not a new one either. John Locke originally talked about it. He stated that the legislative power should be divided between the King and Parliament in England. Another man also spoke about this separation, the French writer Montesquieu, who wrote about it in 1748 in his book De l'esprit des lois. His point was that liberty is most effective if it is safeguarded by the separation of powers. He highly promoted liberty. As in the Encyclopedia Britannica, it stated that Montesquieu felt that liberty is most highly promoted when there are three branches of government acting independently of each other. Although his model for the three-branch government was for England, it became more important to the United States. His work was most notably shown in America when the Constitution was being created. Finally, Alexander Hamilton raised his point on separation of powers in the series of essays called The Federalist. The Encyclopedia Encarta said that he wrote this with James Madison and John Jay and that there were 85 essays all together. They were written about how they wanted the new government to run. It was their view as to how each major department in the new central government should run. More specifically, they stated how the three branches of government should run and expounded the idea of judicial review.

The way that the power is separated in the United States was that the legislative branch makes the laws, the executive branch executes the laws and the judicial branch interprets the laws. However, as our book and the Encyclopedia Britannica both state, the executive branch in the United States has gained a lot more power. They both claim this because of numerous changes in social and economic life.

The idea of checks and balances is closely related to the idea of separation of powers....
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