Robert Frost is the most well known American poet who draws on nature as a subject for his poems. Nearly all of his poetry can be related to the outdoors and a free feeling that Frost seems to cherish. This also was reflected in his life as he lived around nature for the majority of his life. It is not hard to see through his poems how deeply moved he is by the Earth and the miracle of life. He did suffer through an array of hardships during his life, but still kept an appreciation for what he still had.
Robert Lee Frost was born in San Francisco on March 26, 1874. His father, William was a Harvard educated journalist who worked for the Daily Evening Post and was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1880. Isabelle, his mother moved to America at the age of 12 as the daughter of a Scottish sea captain. His mother was his primary source of education and home schooled him for much of his early life. His father passed away in 1884 from tuberculosis and his mother moved him and his sister to Lawrence, Massachusetts. This is the first time that Robert is really close to nature and he begins his love for the outdoors here.
The basis of our government was realized by Lord Acton, a British historian when he wrote, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” He knew that if any one person or group ran a country, they would soon become power crazed and lose the respect and support of its citizens.
This is the reason why our forefathers came up with a system of checks and balances to ensure that no one group could control the entire government. Lord Acton was not the first to believe in a separated government. Philosophers dating back to Aristotle favored a government that contained the elements of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy. John Locke later wrote that the best way to eliminate corruption in government was to separate the powers of the legislative and executive branches. Montesquieu added the powers of the judiciary branch to complete what we now call “separation of powers”. Our forefathers only had to refine the philosopher’s ideas to come up with our present system of government. Basically they wrote that the executive branch enforces the laws, the legislative branch passes the laws, and the judiciary branch interprets the laws.
The president runs the executive branch. The president has many powers including the right to veto a bill. If Congress passes a bill, the president can veto it and unless each house has a two-thirds vote to override the veto, the bill never becomes a law. Over the history of our government, presidents have vetoed over 2,500 acts of Congress and been overridden over 100 times. The president can also call Congress into a special session if they do not act upon proposed legislation by the president. Since the president is head of a political party he can easily influence Congress into legislation. The president can appeal directly to the public in order to influence Congress. Presidents also have a unique power to pardon people who have been convicted of federal crimes.
Another task of our president is to begin the process of appointing all federal judges and other officers of the government, such as his cabinet, ambassadors, ministers, and consuls. Before these positions can be appointed Congress also has to approve each of the officers who were elected by the president. All Supreme Court Judges have been elected by the president then approved by Congress before being appointed. The relationships of the United States and other foreign countries are mostly determined by the president He has the power to decide whether to recognize new nations and governments, and in turn to negotiate treaties with them. He cannot however do this alone. He is dependent on the Senate to approve the treaties with a two-thirds vote. The Senate does not always need to approve the negotiations with foreign nations. The president can negotiate “executive agreements” without having to be approved by the Senate.
The Congress, which runs the legislative branch is made up of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate contains two officials elected from each of the fifty states and population determines the number of officials in the House. This means that the more densely populated states have a higher number of representatives. Congress is where amendments and bills are first voted on. In the case of the president vetoing their proposed bill, the Congress can vote again and with a two-third majority still pass the bill. It then passes through to the Supreme Court, which is the last stop for a proposed bill. It is there that the judges determine whether the new bill is Unconstitutional and if so the bill is not passed. In all 155 congressional acts have been deemed by the Supreme Court to be Unconstitutional.
The federal budget has to be approved by the Congress. All revenue bills must originate in the House then be approved by the Senate. This is to ensure that the States with larger populations cannot control the money situation. In fact any bill that is passed by one house can be voted against in the other. With a majority, that bill will not be passed through for the president’s approval. The Senate also has a few powers that are reserved strictly for them. Only the Senate has to approve the president’s choice for government officials and ambassadors. Only nine cabinet nominees have ever been denied by the Senate. They are the only house needed to ratify treaties that are proposed by the president. In the matter of impeachment both houses have powers that they can call their own. The House has to bring charges of misconduct and then the Senate tries the cases and determines whether they are guilty or innocent.
Both houses of Congress have shared responsibility for economic decisions including taxes, borrowing money, regulating commerce between states and with foreign countries, making money and stating its value, punishing counterfeiters, and determining bankruptcy laws. In addition the houses determine the rules and regulations for the naturalization of foreign citizens, set the standard for weights and measures, provide for post offices and public roads, issue patents and copyrights, punish piracy, and establish federal courts. They also provide for an army and a navy and can declare war. They can use these military forces in order to uphold our laws.
The final branch of our government is called the judiciary branch. It is made up of both the federal and state court systems. There were state courts long before the Constitutional Convention, which brought up a debate on whether we should even have a federal court system. They soon decided that we should keep the state courts and add a federal court system with limited power. The first Congress then divided the country into districts and created a federal court for each one. The federal court system now consists of the Supreme Court, 91 district courts, 11 appeals courts, and three courts of special jurisdiction. In order to become a federal justice one has to be nominated by the president then approved by the Congress. Judges are not elected for a certain number of years; instead they hold their positions “during good behavior”. This simply means that until they die, retire or resign they remain in office. If a judge ever commits an offense they can be impeached by Congress and lose their job. Congress carries even more power over the federal court system. Congress can create or abolish any federal court besides the Supreme Court. It also determines how many judges are used in the judiciary system and what their pay scale is.
Judicial power is used in many different sorts of cases. A court is used to settle disputes in any case which arises under the Constitution, the laws and treaties of the United States, and any which affect ambassadors of foreign countries in America. They attend to any maritime cases and pretty much any controversy which includes the government. They are also responsible for any controversy between states and a foreign nation. That includes American citizens that have disagreements with a citizen of another country. However, they cannot hear cases with a citizen against a state government as well as any cases concerning individual state laws. Aside from trying cases the Supreme Court is also the final step