Limited Government


In political philosophy, limited government is where the government is empowered by law from a starting point of having no power, or where governmental power is restricted by law, usually in a written constitution.

Political philosophy, or political theory, is the study of topics such as politics, liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it should take and why, what the law is, and what duties citizens owe to a legitimate government, if any, and when it may be legitimately overthrown, if ever.

A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed.

Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior.

Limited Government | Principles of the Constitution by FreedomProject Media


It is a key concept in the history of liberalism.

Liberalism, the belief in freedom and human rights, is historically associated with thinkers such as John Locke and Montesquieu.

Is Limited Government an Oxymoron? | Thomas E. Woods, Jr. by misesmedia


The United States Constitution presents an example of the federal government not possessing any power except what is delegated to it by the Constitution - with the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution specifically stating that powers not specifically delegated to the federal government is reserved for the people and the states.

A federation is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions under a central government.

The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791.


The Magna Carta and the United States Constitution also represents important milestones in the limiting of governmental power.

Magna Carta Libertatum, commonly called Magna Carta, is a charter agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, on 15 June 1215.


The earliest use of the term limited government dates back to King James VI and I in the late 16th century.

James VI and I was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on 24 March 1603 until his death in 1625.


Limited government put into practice often involves the protection of individual liberty from government intrusion.

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