Note: Notice the use of the word "between" instead of among in reference to the U.S. Constitition being a contract between each individual American citizen with each other. In other words, each American citizen, upon accepting citizenship, individually enters into a contract with every other individual American citizen and agrees to live according to the contract known as the U.S. Constitution. It is essentially a private contract between all Americans and one of the most extraordinary aspects of the American system of government.
Americanism is a term used to describe the unique ideology and system of government of the United States of America. The definition of Americanism is outlined in detail by the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution; and is illuminated further through the speeches and writing of the Founding Fathers and their contemporaries.
"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.’ To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition."
The Declaration of Independence explains: the reasons for the development of the United States, the American belief in the inalienable natural rights of all people, the American belief that government derives its power from the consent of the governed, and that it is the right and duty of the People to establish and maintain a principled government designed for their safety and happiness.
"It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it."
Federalist 48, 1787
The U.S. Constitution is a legal contract between the American People. It provides permanent and supreme foundational rights and laws to serve as the basis for all subsequent rights and laws, and outlines the American system of government in detail. The significance and supremacy of the Constitution are critical because the Constitution is the mechanism that describes, establishes, and codifies Americanism as the system of government in the U.S. and ensures the Rule of Law. As Constitutional law takes precedence any other law passed, a judicial decision made, or an executive order written which contradictions the Constitution would be illegal.
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite."
Federalist 45, 1788
The United States is a Republic (not to be confused with the Republican Party) or representative government. Citizen representatives are selected and elected by their fellow citizens to make decisions on their behalf, as the government, for a period of time. This is known as self-governance.
"government of the people, by the people, for the people"
The American government is designed to operate under an extremely limited governing authority; and what limited governing authority that the People allow the government to have is to be decentralized, monitored, and restrained through a system of Checks and Balances. These Checks and Balances are intended to protect the individual rights of Americans, to prevent the government from obtaining too much power, to severely limit federal governing authority and leave the majority of governing authority with the states, and to enable Americans to make decisions for the country based on what the majority believe should be done (see Democracy) without taking away the rights of the minority.
"I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master."
Letter to David Hartley, 1787
Note: The capitalization of the "People" in the U.S. Constitution to indicate that the People hold sovereign power as opposed to a monarch or ruling class.
"The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy."
Emblematical Representations, 1774