Today the U.S. government’s legislative branch, Congress, is divided into two independent chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The system is called a bicameral system, which means it is divided into two chambers. The Framers of the Constitution created the system because was it successful in Britain, the two separate chambers could ensure that each side would not abuse their power, and the system created a compromise between the New Jersey and Virginia Plan. Although both chambers can initiate laws, they were created independent of each other and different in authority. In the House, “committees consider bills and issues and oversee agencies, programs, and activities within their jurisdictions” (House of Representatives). The Senate is in charge of giving guidance and approval of treaties or presidential appointments and holding impeachment trials (American Politics).
The Framers chose a bicameral system for the legislative branch of government. When still deciding what kind of system to input, the Framers looked to other countries. They observed that Great Britain had a bicameral parliament, and the system seemed to be very successful. They also weighed common sense. They knew that if they had two different chambers, each chamber would be able to “check up” on the other, preventing any abuse of power from taking place. The bicameral Congress was also a result of the Connecticut Compromise, a compromise between The New Jersey and Virginia Plans. The disagreement on those plans had led to many issues within The Articles or Confederation, a document that had been written before the Constitution. Once the compromise was established, the Constitution was much closer to being written. The Framers chose a bicameral...
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...in Britain, so they had confidence it could work for the United States. They knew that they would be safe from an abuse of power, since both sides could check up on one another. And, seeing as a bicameral system would work as a compromise between the Connecticut and Virginia Plans, it was clear the system was the best choice. The House of Representatives would work to create laws, supervise over bills, activities, and plans. The Senate would work to hold trials of impeachment and guiding the approval of treaties. In the end the Framers had created a very effective system, a system that continues to function today.
"American Politics |." American Politics |. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.
The United States House of Representatives · House.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2013.
"U.S. Senate." U.S. Senate. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2013.
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At the time, larger states like Virginia were creating an unfair amount of power for themselves that the small states didn’t have. In the new government, Congress was created to make laws, and was made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives would give states a number of Representatives they could have based on their population. This would give fair power deserved to the larger states. The Senate however would be two and only two Senators for each state, no matter how large or small, bringing some equality to Congress.
This task was easier said than done. The fear of creating a government with too much power was a fear that was very much alive throughout the states. Tyranny was a common factor in developing governments, the delegates were seeking to avoid this error. Two ground rules were put into place for the Convention. The first was that any and all deliberations were to remain secretive. The second was that no topic or decisions would be considered closed and could therefore be up for debate and revision at any time. Once these rules were agreed upon, business started. The two contenders were the Virginia Plan, which had the larger states rooting, and the New Jersey Plan, claiming the votes of the smaller states. Under the Virginia Plan, legislature would be two houses and would be represented based on population. Under the New Jersey Plan, legislature would be one house and each state would have equal representation regardless of population. An agreement could not be reached between these two plans, instead a compromise was made. The Great Compromise met each side with an upper and lower house. The upper house was the Senate and would provide equal representation that was elected by the lower house. The lower house was the House of Representatives and would be dispersed based on population of the states. This compromise satisfied the small and large states, giving a
In 1787, the United States of America Constitution was ratified by two-thirds of the states. The Constitution created a new government in the United States of America that was constructed around the idea of separation of power by the three branches of government with a system of checks and balances. These branches include the executive branch, the bicameral legislative branch and judicial branch. In order to ensure that no branch were to overpower the other two branches, the forefathers of the United States of America created a system of checks and balances. In the new government of the United States of America, the president had a Cabinet with a Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of War, Attorney General and Postmaster General. George Washington, the first president of the United States of America, asked Thomas Jefferson to be the Secretary of State and asked Alexander Hamilton to be the Secretary of the Treasury. Because of the polarity of their political beliefs, Thomas Jefferson, a Republican who believed in strong states rights, and Alexander Hamilton, a Federalist who believed in a strong federal government, had differing opinions on all matters in the government. While Jefferson written that all men are created equal in the Declaration of Independence, Hamilton had helped created the constitution that founded a strong federal government. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton laid the groundwork for America’s first two-party system. It is partly because of Thomas Jefferson was the Secretary of State, the Cabinet's expert on foreign affairs, and Alexander Hamilton was the Secretary of the Treasury, the Cabinet’s expert on economic affairs, and partly because they were obliged to work together and prese...
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The United States Congress was the result of two historical moments in United States, the First and Second Continental Congress. Long before he was a president, James Madison wrote the Virginia Plan for the governor of Virginia, Edmund Randolph, to propose at the convention. It basically stated that the Congress should be separated into two houses so it would not become tyrannical (Davidson 152). One of the houses eventually became the House of Representatives and one became the Senate. With the creation of a bicameral legislative branch, the framers had to separate the jobs each House would have to do and set the checks and balance so one body would not have more power than the other. Each House was presented with different responsibilities that are ...
Constitution on the bright side established a bicameral legislature with an upper house and a
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The United States Congress was created by the framers of the Constitution as the most important part of the legislative branch of the national government. The Congress was set up with a bicameral structure composed by the House of Representatives or Lower Chamber and the Senate or Upper Chamber. According to “Origins and Development” and “History of the House”, two descriptions of the history of the Congress, both chambers assembled for the very first time in New York in 1789 and then moved to Philadelphia in 1790 where they stayed for 10 years. In 1800 the Congress moved to Washington, DC; however, it was not until 1857 and 1859 that the House of Representatives and the Senate respectively moved to their current meeting locations in the Capitol after its restoration due to the British invasion of 1814 that burned the building. With more than two centuries legislating, the Congress has acquired great expertise in governing the country and meeting the Constitution’s mandates. Yet, in order to accomplish all its tasks the Congress has a very well-defined structure and very specific ways to proceed. Indeed, in order to undertake the most important of its mandates, “to enact law”, the Congress has a rigorous procedure that is combined with some of the different structural elements of Congress which indicate the direction that bills must follow once introduced. One of the most important of such elements is the congressional committee structure.
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