Constitutional politics is the continuing search for equilibrium between the grants of power and the limits placed on that power. The Essentials of the American Constitution examines the five closely integrated components which make up the fundamental law: the Compact, separation of powers, federalism, representation, and the Bill of Rights. It is the interaction between these components that gives the Constitution its dynamism. Landmark decisions handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court involve two or more of these components. This book’s unique approach shows how the components more often than not work together, one assisting another, one explaining another, or one reinforcing another. It gives a firm foundation for students wishing to take advanced courses in constitutional law or civil liberties and provides an overall view of the fundamental principle of the American Constitution.