The US Constitution

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The US Constitution.

Size and diversity.

When looking at the constitution we must bare in mind the size and diversity of the USA. This is important because with size brings it's need for decentralization. With diversity comes the need for laws that differ from state to state about varying matters, such as, crime, elections, punishment etc. Within the country there is also varying ideological view points. E.g. there is the liberal Northeast, the conservative south (the bible belt).

Philadelphia Convention.

There were originally 13 British colonies that were strung along the east seaboard of America. All had there own written documents setting out their form of government and rights, which included little democracy. In these times women and black people were excluded from voting. There was growing resentment towards Britain as the American colonies were paying tax to Britain but received no representation in Parliament. This led to the War of Independence in 1775. On 4th July 1776 there was a declaration of Independence issued, this declared free and independent states. The articles of Confederation were ratified by the 13 states in March 1781, this set up a loose collection of independent states rather than national government. The most important fact about the government created by the Articles of Confederation, was that it was weak. The colonies had successfully achieved independence but had failed to create a nation.

The Philadelphia Convention.

It was made up of 55 delegates representing 12 of 13 states (not Rhode Island). The convention was held in Philadelphia from 25th May to 18th September 1787, presided over by George Washington, which framed the constitution. It's original purpose was merely to revise the Articles of Confederation, but the delegates decided to draft an entirely new document. This was in order to create a new form of government that had a strong center whilst preserving states' rights. The answer was a bill of rights and an intricate set of checks and balances between different levels and branches of government. The convention initially considered 2 plans: the New Jersey plan and the Virginia plan. The New Jersey plan was favored by states with small populations and was designed merely to strengthen the Articles of Confederation. The Virginia plan was favored by larger populations which was much more radical. The Convention was deadlock and so came about the Connecticut Compromise. The plan recommended that new national legislature will be made up of 2 chambers, a lower chamber (HOR) that would be representative to states population and an upper house (Senate) that would be represented equally. On September 1787 the US now has a codified constitution. (a constitution that consists of a full and authoritative set of rules written down in a single text)

Articles of the Constitution

Article I - established Congress as the national legislature, defining it's membership, the qualifications and method of election of its members as well as its powers.

Article II - decided on a singular rather than plural executive by vesting all executive power in…


Ahmed Gokal


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