History of public administration Paper


History of public administration

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The US Constitution has a rich history that spans over two centuries and over that time, several amendments have been made to improve the quality of life of Americans. Since independence in 1776, the colonies came together and formed a union and later admitted more through economic truncations – such as the Louisiana Purchase. Various laws have been developed and refined over time; the paper will discuss the federalist papers, the Bill of Rights, Proclamation Emancipation, and the Immigration Acts in how they have contributed to the contemporary public administration in the US.

The federalist papers played a significant role in promoting the constitution of the United States. These papers were written as a series of essays to New York as a way of convincing them to ratify the US constitution. The 85 essays were written between 1787 and 1788 and were authored by John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. Two of the most significant papers are Paper 10 and 51. Federalist paper 10 aims at protecting the interests of individuals and government through representative democracy (Hamilton et al., 2009). This meant that the interests of some factions were tamed for the good of everyone. Similarly, federalist paper 51 introduced the concept of checks and balances (Ketcham, 1957). This is the most powerful element in the US constitution since it enables the establishment of three branches of government which are independent but also have to be, in some way, have powers checked by the others (Hawley, 2016). There is no perfect human being so the system of checks and balances protects the US citizens from errors from individuals that may seek to express self-interest at the expense of the country. Therefore, among others, the federalist papers became very essential in the development of the current system of US public administration.

The ratification of 10 amendments created laws that protected states and individual states. These were later known as the Bill of Rights and they developed the structure which protected the citizens from the government. The federal government was very powerful and the bodies that were to be created would have unlimited power over the citizens. Thus, it was essential for the US constitution to create laws and policies to protect the citizens as they go around doing their daily activities. Among the most critical laws in the Bill of Rights that have had a significant impact on the contemporary way of life in the US is the right to due process and protection against warrantless arrest and seizure. The police, who enforce law and order, are not allowed to arrest or seize any person or property unless they have a warranty or reasonable doubt (Stevens, 1992). Even then, that individual has to go through the court where they will have the right to a fair trial. Therefore, the current legislations that protect the interests of citizens are based on the amendments that were ratified by Congress.

The end of slavery and the development of legislation to protect minorities in the US have led to the current state of equality. Equality is an essential factor in making the country progressive since there are diverse ideas that are developed; in the US, the inclusion of the minority in the society began following the Emancipation Proclamation. (Jones, 2013) This gave way for legislation such as the Civil Rights Act to better the rights for all Americans despite their status. These laws provided punishments for people that continued to hold slaves or discriminate against others based on color, gender, or ethnic group. Therefore, the subsequent laws on bettering human rights and improving equality in the US became very critical in ensuring that minority people were assimilated into the society.

Immigration and nationality laws created structures under which people would become citizens of the US. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1924 and others that followed refine the legislation aimed at regulating immigrants (Ngai, 1999). Additionally, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 diversified the number of people that can take part in elections. Through controlling the flow and rights of immigrants in the US, these legations provide the framework that helps in promoting social justice.

Separation of power in the government is an important aspect as it ensures independence and the three arms of government relations with each other independently in enhancing the rule of law. The legislature is a body in government whose work is to enact laws. Given this mandate, it does not mean that the laws made may only favor them, the laws are expected to be constitutional. When laws are made, they are passed on to the executive who ensures that the laws have been enforced. The President who is in the Executive branch is the one responsible for signing and vetoing the laws. After they have been signed, the federal agency bureaucrats such as law enforcement officers and others are responsible for making sure that citizens abide by the enacted laws (Gageler, 2017). The executive, including the president, does not have the power of being personal, they have to ensure that the laws have been made in a constitutional manner (Mashaw & Berke, 2018). the judiciary is a branch of government also independent whose work is to ensure that the executive they made laws conforms to the rules as per the constitution. Therefore, all the bodies of government are independent but related in a way. one branch of government is capable of influencing the other, and the check of balances are set to ensure that no branch controls the other.

One of the elements of separation of power I think works better is the judiciary. In the executive, the people involved include the president who is politically elected in the office. with this in mind, the President may use his power in making various decisions based on his ambitions and for the benefit of the party was involved in his election. This is also the case with the legislature, the members of parliament as well as the senate. Being the key body that enacts the laws, changes may occur based on their political affiliation. There are also members of parliament who would be willing to be influence others in making laws that would benefit their constituents more than others. given these conflicts in the executive and the legislature, this leaves the judiciary as the only separation of power which may be better. This is because the involved parties have no political interest they do not support any political party and with no interference from the other elements, this branch is capable of performing better in the evaluation of laws and ensuring that American citizens are in no way exploited by politicians.

In conclusion, the history of public administration in the US is rooted in the foundations of justice and diversity. Over the two centuries, the constitution has become flexible to allow adjustments that aim at increasing equality, justice, and fairness. The contemporary laws and policies on public administration have more efficient due to the good foundations set by the Founding Fathers in the initial development of the union.




Gageler, S. (2017). Controlling Administrative Power: An Historical Comparison.

Hamilton A., Madison J., Jay J. (2009). Federalist No. 12. In: The Federalist Papers. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

Hawley, E. M. (2016). Exploring the Administrative State.Mo. L. Rev.,81, 933.

Jones, M. S. (2013). History and Commemoration: The Emancipation Proclamation at 150.The Journal of the Civil War Era,3(4), 452-457.

Ketcham, R. (1957). Notes on James Madison’s Sources for the Tenth Federalist Paper.Midwest Journal of Political Science,1(1), 20-25. doi:10.2307/2109009

Mashaw, J. L., & Berke, D. (2018). Presidential Administration in a Regime of Separated Powers: An Analysis of Recent American Experience.Yale J. on Reg.,35, 549.

Ngai, M. M. (1999). The architecture of race in American immigration law: A reexamination of the Immigration Act of 1924.The Journal of American History,86(1), 67-92.

Stevens, J. P. (1992). The Bill of Rights: A Century of Progress.The University of Chicago Law Review,59(1), 13-38.


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