Consent of the Governed and the Separation of Powers


The Framers understood that the “latent causes of faction . . . are sown in the nature of man.” Consequently, the Constitution establishes a number of institutional mechanisms such as representation and separation of powers to control the effects of faction. In so doing, the Constitution improved upon previous models of republican government.


Audio Version

Download Audio

Video Discussion Questions

Can citizens today consent to a government ratified over two hundred years ago?

Why wasn’t the Bill of Rights included in the original Constitution?

Recommended Readings

Please note: in order to view the readings for this week, you must log in to your account.

Don't have an online courses account yet? Register for a free account now.


Ronald J. Pestritto is the Charles and Lucia Shipley Professor in the American Constitution at Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University.