What is constitutionalism?

What Does constitutionalism Mean

It called constitutionalism to the political system based on the rule of the Constitution : the highest law of a State , which establishes limits, freedoms, rights and obligations to citizens and rulers. The notion of constitutionalism is also used to refer to the ideology that drives this type of political and social organization.

According to constitutionalism, the authority of a government comes from the Constitution . On the other hand, all the laws that regulate coexistence in society must be based on said Constitution, which is in charge of articulating the set of norms.

It can be said that constitutionalism believes in freedom and in the sovereignty of citizens. For people to be able to enjoy their autonomy and live together in harmony, a government is needed that fulfills its functions within the framework of the law . In this context, the supreme law is the Constitution , a document that cannot be contradicted by any regulation and whose principles must be respected.
Constitutionalism is also constituted as a way of organizing the State . The foundations of public life are found in the text of the Constitution, which regulates the conduct of individuals as provided by law.
As a philosophy or political movement, constitutionalism aims to set limits to the power of rulers. The premise is that the individual will and the particular interests of a person in charge of the government are not imposed on the rules that society agrees and accepts for the administration of the State.
All this represents the ideal of every society, focused mainly on respecting the freedom of each and every one of its inhabitants. Another aspect to take into account is the rationality on which this ideology is based, which differentiates it in a contrasting way from the religious ones, which abounded in the past and were characterized by following the mandates of a divinity regardless of their consequences, instead to make decisions consciously and face them responsibly.
Let's take the case of Mexico to explain the concept of constitutionalization in a contextual way. For a long time, his people experienced an imbalance in terms of the recognition of their rights, especially the collective ones . This can be seen when observing the accelerated pace at which industrialization grew, sustained by large groups of workers who did not enjoy the protection that today we consider essential.

Finally, in 1917 the Political Constitution of Mexico was established, with antecedents such as the Mexican Revolution of 1910. In this way, it managed to reverse the aforementioned lack of protection. Through constitutionalism, the State implemented the necessary policies to ensure its people the well-being that corresponded to them in all aspects, from health to education. Among its most important changes, it gave special importance to collective rights , in addition to individual ones, promoting shorter working hours, fairer wages, social benefits, social security, the right to unemployment and employment contracts.
It is important to note that individual rights were not compromised to give rise to the recognition of global rights, but rather these had to be subordinated in favor of the common good. Other cases worth mentioning in this context are: Argentina, in Mendoza, in 1916; Germany, the Republic of Weimar in 1919; Spain, in 1931.
In some sources we find this concept as social constitutionalism , although with the same meaning as in those where the term social is omitted. It goes without saying that their presence helps to reinforce the character of the sanction of a text like the Constitution, which seeks to guarantee the rights of all the people instead of being limited to individuals.

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