Chapter

Introduction

Louis Henkin

in Foreign Affairs and the United States Constitution

Second edition

Published in print November 1996 | ISBN: 9780198260981
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682193 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198260981.003.0026
Introduction

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Constitutional government has come to suggest limited government, and the constitution of the United States is commonly thought of as an edict of limitations on the government of the United States to protect individual liberty. In fact, in the largest part, the constitution is not a charter of liberties but a blueprint for a federal system of government and for dividing authority among branches of the national government. Limitations are implied, of course, in these allocations, divisions, and distributions, and in the principles of federalism and the ‘separation of powers’ they reflect. The constitutional blueprint, of course, shapes the activities of government, not least the conduct of the nation's foreign relations, and constitutional prohibitions and limitations inhibit foreign affairs as they do other governmental action.

Keywords: constitutional government; constitution; United States; liberty; federalism; separation of powers; foreign relations

Chapter.  3733 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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