Date of Award

5-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Peter McNamara

Abstract

When one considers the abundant number of nations, laws, and forms of government that have emerged throughout the history of civilization, it becomes apparent that although mankind shares common traits and attributes, societies often implement different principles as they strive to protect their interests and achieve their goals. As the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau remarked, “besides the principles that are common to all, every nation has in itself something that gives them a particular application, and makes its legislation peculiarly its own.”1 Because every society faces a unique set of challenges, every society must solve its particular dilemmas in a unique fashion. In his celebrated work, The Spirit of Laws, Montesquieu observed that “the government most conformable to nature is that which best agrees with the humor and disposition of the people in whose favor it is established.”2 This treatise seeks to illustrate that the law of a society must be founded upon principles that not only promote its welfare and goals, but also are compatible with its culture. If a society is to be successful, its government must also be capable of recognizing threats to stability and managing them in a fashion that preserves its ideals and foundational principles. This treatise is divided into three parts. Part I consists of an abstract philosophical discussion on the nature of government and role of law within society. In Part II, the role of law within the American system of government is portrayed. Part III begins with a consideration of the role fulfilled by the Supreme Court within the American legal system and concludes with a discussion concerning the potential usefulness of the Court in preserving the fundamental principles of American society.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on September 16, 2011.