What are laws, and why do we need them? Laws are a basic standard of moral code. A list of things people should and should not do in order to be a part of and live in a society. Laws are necessary to set and maintain a system of social order, and to introduce and enforce punishments appropriate to the violation of these standards. Laws are what govern the people. With a code of rules in place, people were better able to work towards evolving themselves. As people evolved, so did the laws.
In the earliest days, laws were made by kings, queens, and other heads of state. These laws were to keep the townspeople in check, and to reinforce the ruler’s position. There were also laws governing the taxes that had to be paid. Taxes were used to import goods, fund wars, and pay for construction. It did not matter what the ruler’s whim was, peoples tax money paid for it. This included commissioned art pieces, plays, and construction of new castles for the king or queen. This practice was not altogether fair, but there was no real way for to protest or express their opinions that would not have been considered treasonous.
One of the first steps to changing how laws were made was the English parliament. Laws that the king wanted to make had to go through Parliament before they were passed. The problem was, in its infancy, Parliament was a puppet for the king. If he wanted a bill to pass, it would pass. If Parliament did not follow the desires of the king, he would just dissolve it, only to recreate it when it would suit his needs. This continued until Queen Victoria took the throne. She gave most of the lawmaking ability solely to Parliament. This meant that the English monarchy no longer had absolute power. It also meant that the English people gained more of a voice than they had ever been given.
The United States formed itself on the idea that no one should have absolute power, and that all of the people, rich or poor, should have a voice in the lawmaking process. Laws were set as to how presidents were chosen and how long of a term they could serve. Later a term limit was set, making a two term limit for all presidents. Branches of government were also developed to help create laws, and a strict process was laid out for how laws were passed.
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