Name: Katherine T.

School: Sheridan High School

Age: 12th

October 15th, 2021

What does the US Constitution mean to me?

Without the freedom of speech, I would not be writing this essay. Without the right to
suffrage, our country and government would be radically different from how it is. Not only does the Constitution and its Amendments provide the basis for our government, but it also makes sure that we are protected and provided for in our basic daily rights, as well as in other important issues, such as voting. There are several amendments that people think of first when they think of the importance of the Constitution. However, even the articles and amendments that we don’t think of immediately are there for a reason. Without the First Amendment, we would not have our rights to expression, but without the Twenty-second Amendment, presidents would be allowed to serve an indefinite amount of terms (as they were elected). That amendment is there for a reason, and was implemented after President Roosevelt served for thirteen years as president. This meant that one party controlled the White House for thirteen years, which wasn’t necessarily fair to the other party and the citizens belonging to it.

Comparing the Constitution to our country’s previous government, the Articles of Confederation, it is important that the framework of the government is strong in order for the government to actually accomplish anything. Without the Constitution, we would not have the framework for our government, let alone a strong framework. The Constitution is important to me because it guarantees my basic daily rights, as well as providing the structure for a government for the people, by the people.

Perhaps to some people, this document does not seem important. They might not care
about it or see it as necessary for them to know about. Before I learned more about history and the reason for the document, I know it never seemed especially important to me. In fact, most of history is like that. We don’t recognize the reason that we have to learn about it, we don’t think we’ll ever use it, depending on what we want to do with our lives. I never cared about government and politics before my history classes started showing me exactly why I should care. It seemed important, but it seemed important to other people, not to me. It was information that other people needed to know because they would use it, but I wouldn’t use it, so I didn’t need to know it. It wasn’t personal. This also applies to the Constitution.

But the Constitution is important to everyone, even if they don’t recognize it. Both
history and the Constitution affect every single person. We do use that knowledge. We all live under the Constitution and are therefore affected by it because it’s our government. Every single article, every single amendment affects our lives. The document guarantees and protects our rights, and is also there to provide a strong government. This being said, the Constitution is also built so that it would not be a government that would take over and turn into a dictatorship. Weak governments, such as the government formed by the Articles of Confederation, do not provide a good structure for a country that will survive. However, coming out of the Monarchy of King George III, our founding fathers were initially afraid that our government would be too strong. They feared that we would go straight back into the dictatorial rule that we had just escaped. However, the weak government that we then formed was too weak to actually do anything.

When they wrote the Constitution it was in order to make a limited, but still strong, government. Each and every one of us lives under this government and is affected by it. Personally, I am happy that the Constitution was written with these things in mind, because I do not wish to live under a dictatorship. Especially during the times that we currently live in, I am increasingly grateful for the rights guaranteed to me in the Constitution and its amendments. The Constitution and especially its Bill of Rights are becoming more important to me every day. It ensures that I will be able to continue to live my life in safety and liberty.

Without the Constitution, our lives would be radically different. My life would be
radically different. My right to vote, my right to have a voice in this country is guaranteed by this document and its amendments. My right to live peacefully in safety under a government which has the purpose of following the will of the people instead of dictating is protected by this document. Whether that protection will last or not, we will see in the future. Without the rights and issues outlined in the Constitution and its Amendments, our government would be completely different, and naturally following that, our lives would change to be unrecognizable compared to how they currently are.