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The constitution is variously referred to as a living document. This reference to the constitution perhaps comes from the various interpretations the constitution has been through. Hence in a way, it is not static as it changes over time. In this text, I discuss the various changes the constitution has gone through over time and the factored that may have informed such changes. I also discuss the pros and cons of having such a flexible form of government.

The major changes to the constitution over time

According to Vile (2003) there have been a number of changes to the constitution over time and Article V of the original text is the provision that governs the procedure of changing the constitution. The first major change to the constitution was enacted on December 15th in 1791. This amendment saw the protection of a number of things including but not in any way limited to freedom of the press, speech as well as religion. It is important to note that this amendment came about at a time when there were widespread allegations of rights abuse including the right to assemble. Another notable amendment to the constitution was o the same date as the previous amendment discussed above and it basically protected the right of some individuals to keep as well as bear arms.  This was based on the need for self protection among the populace.

While the above two amendments above are set in the past, there have been other changes to the constitution that have been witnessed in the recent past. This includes the February 10th 1967 amendment that came up with the Tyler Precedent modification. This was informed by the need to have a well defined presidential succession. There was also the July 1st 1971 amendment that set the voting age at 18 years of age and the May 5th 1992 change to the constitution that came up with a provision that prevented laws that could result in a change n the congressional salaries. This provision was effective all the way to congress next season.

Pros and cons of having a flexible system of government

When it comes to the flexibility of government, there are various pros and cons associated with the same. When it comes to the advantages, Dickens et al. (2009) is of the opinion that a flexible system of government is critical when it comes to adjusting top the fast changing world. This premise is based on the fact that the world is increasingly changing in-form of diversity and technology and hence a flexible system of government helps the country to keep pace with the changes. Secondly, a flexible system of government ensures that necessary reforms are made so as to guarantee people innovative changes that can better their lives.

However, a flexible system of government can pave the way for tyrannical arrangements hat can end up impacting negatively on the people. In addition to that, too much flexibility within the system of government can bring about confusion in various quarters as the probability of effecting change at short notice is quite high.


In conclusion, it is important to note that the various changes that have taken place with regard to the constitution have gone a long way to conform to the prevailing standards in addition to bettering the lives o people in terms of additional freedoms. As a living thing, it is highly probable that the constitution will keep on changing so as to conform to the expectations of the masses.


Vile., J.R. (2003). Encyclopedia of constitutional amendments, proposed amendments,

and amending issues, 1789-2002, ABC-CLIO

Dickens, M.O., Flanagan, T., & O’Neill, B. (2009). An Introduction to Government and

Politics: A Conceptual Approach. Cengage Learning


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