Limited government as defined, a type of government in which its functions and powers are prescribed, limited, and restricted by law. The U.S. Constitution provides the means of limited government whereby the people shall not be infringed upon by the government. That the government is given enumerated powers by the people. The role of the federal government is limited by the Delegated Powers set forth in Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution and by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. The people and the states are the final authority in most matters. Limited government is libertarian, conservative in concept and is the basis of Republicanism. The power of the people, as opposed to federal power, enables the government to be kept in-check from authoritarian or totalitarian influences and defends the people's interests from judicial activism and other undemocratic encroachments (see: Self-governance). Additional federal limitations can be found in the Bill of Rights. The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Articles of the Bill of Rights specify procedures designed to keep the government from acting arbitrarily or capriciously or unfairly.
The roots of limited government can be found in the Declaration of Independence, the self-evident or "unalienable rights" clause. Liberty is a blessing we have received from God himself and limited government is an extension of that right.
|“||First, that all men are created equal; second, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; and, third, that it is precisely in order to secure these rights that governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.||”|
Also as a basis of limited government, the English prescribed the Magna Carta in the eleventh century. This proclaims, "No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or dispossessed or outlawed or banished, or in any way destroyed ... except by the legal judgment of his peers or by the law of the land."
- United States Constitution and Bill of Rights
- States' rights
- Tenth Amendment