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Constitution Bicentennial Series Issue

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25-cent United States Senate single

The Founding Fathers created one of the Constitution's most brilliant provisions in its system of checks and balances. The system relies on three separate and equal branches of government, each intended to provide a check on and simultaneous balance with the other two branches. Though the Founding Fathers did not elaborate on how this system of checks and balances was to operate, its guiding premise has remained the bedrock of the political and governing structures in American life since the Constitution's ratification.

The Constitution Bicentennial Series Issue is comprised of four stamps even though there are but three branches of government. The executive branch and judicial branch each has its own stamp. Two stamps honor the legislative branch: one honors the Senate and the other the House of Representatives. Their separation was a central compromise that made the ratification of the Constitution by all the states possible. On the governing side, the two congressional houses play important roles in the checks and balances process with the executive and judicial branches and between each other.

The four stamps of this series were the final commemorative stamps issued to celebrate the bicentennial of the United States Constitution.

Alexander T. Haimann, National Postal Museum

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