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Understanding the Congress of the Confederation

Understanding the Congress of the Confederation

Article I, Section I of the United States Constitution allows for the creation of the Legislative Branch. The Constitution states that this branch shall be comprised of a bicameral legislature, to be named the Congress.

Each body, or House, provides for a system of representation for the States at the Federal level. Congress is to be divided into the Senate and the House of Representatives. The implementation of a bicameral system would be a deviation of prior precedence established by the Articles of Confederation, which employed a unicameral system for State representation.

The articles of Confederation would become the law of the land and would be implemented in 1781. Under this body of laws, the United States implemented a unicameral legislature known as the Congress of the Confederation. The main purpose behind the adoption of the system was that the framers of the Articles of Confederation had a legitimate concern of creating a body of government with centralized power. They believed that if too much authority could be given to a centralized body of government, the possibility for despotism and a tyrannical government would be too great. Therefore, the Congress of the Confederation would be the only branch of government in place, with no executive and judicial branches instituted. Congress was given minimal power, with most of the authority being diverted to the States.

The unicameral Congress gave representation to all the states on an equal level, while also allowing the states to have the power to veto most decisions determined by the Congress of Confederation. The only powers the Congress of Confederation had were to regulate foreign and military affairs. Furthermore, Congress at the time had no real power over the States, for they were considered sovereign entities. This meant that Congressional decisions could ultimately be ignored by the States. Eventually, the ineffectiveness of this type of Federal Government would become more than obvious, for economic disputes between the states would erupt due to the lack of uniformity and cohesive legislation.

This would eventually lead to the Congress of the Confederation to meet on theConvention of 1787, which was called for the purpose of revising and amending the Articles of Confederation. It would be James Madison that would first propose the concept of a bicameral Congress. His plan called for a Lower House to be elected directly by the people, while the Upper House would be elected by the Lower House. However, representatives of smaller states would argue in favor of maintaining a unilateral legislature for it provided for equal representation among the states.

Eventually, the two proposed types of the legislature would be combined in a compromise. The House of Representatives, or the Lower House, would provide State representation in proportion to the population of a given State. The Senate would maintain an equal representation of the states. Senators would be elected by State legislatures and the Representatives would be directly elected by the people.

The Convention of 1787 would eventually result in the drafting of the United States Constitution, in which the new bicameral legislature would be implemented. Under the new Constitution, Congress would not have more powers so as to provide for a stronger Federal Government. It would dissolve some of the problems under the Articles of Confederation and it would still maintain the sovereignty of the states by delegating specific powers to other issues. Furthermore, a bicameral Congress would provide an internal system of checks in balances in the newly implemented Legislative Branch by delegating certain duties and responsibilities to each House so as to not centralize all the power into one holistic faction.

Unitary System

Unitary System

The concept of a bicameral legislature has its foundations as early as Ancient Greece and Rome. Though a more modern application of bicameral legislature is most evident in medieval Europe, when two houses composed of the aristocrats and the commoners were developed for the representation of the estates within a realm.

The essential purpose of a bicameral legislature was to provide for representation of both the people or citizens of a nation and the collective states or provinces in the government system. The representation of both factions in one body of legislature is to provide for a method of passing legislation or laws by requiring a majority for approval. This concurrent majority provides for the ability to pass or approving legislature that is not one-sided or favoring a particular faction in a
distinct fashion.

The United States bicameral legislature, or Congress, is often cited as a prime example of bicameralism. However, there are different types of bicameral legislature employed by different governments throughout the world. The Federal bicameral system is the one that is most commonly associated with the integral concept of bicameral legislation. The United States, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Germany, and the European Union all employ a bicameral system. However, the method or structure in which it is put into effect varies from country to country.

A version of a bicameral legislature that is considered as the classical structure is one that
consists of having two Houses in which the democratic process and the federalism principle are combined in the sense of representation. The Lower House is comprised of members based upon population numbers of each State or province, which are elected by the citizens of each State. The Upper House is comprised of an equal number of representatives from each State and is chosen by State legislatures.

The United States Congress, as well as Mexico and Australia, employ this particular
bicameral system. However, the United States proves to be a unique example for it was in 1913 that the17th Amendment was approved in which Senators would now be elected by popular vote rather than State legislature appointments. Another form of a bicameral legislature is the Aristocratic system. This system is usually derived from governmental
precedence existing in previous provisions. The most notable example is the British House of Lords.

The House of Lords is represented by a number of individuals who assume their position due to inheritance of nobility titles. The House of Commons, the second faction in the bicameral system, is one that is subject to an election to fill the positions. However, the positions held through inheritance have been limited to 92 from 700 due to recently enacted legislation.

The Unitary system of bicameral legislature has no ties to either a federal government or to aristocratic positions. A unitary state is one that is governed through sovereignty, in which the federal or central government can only exercise certain powers over them. A bicameral system in unitary states, such as Japan, Italy, France, the Czech Republic, and
the Netherlands, have different functions than those created under a federal bicameral legislature. One example could include where the Upper House only has the power or authority or litigating and vetoing decisions rendered by the Lower House.

Regarding the various types of bicameral the legislature, the United States Congress proves to be one of a kind, in which the strict dichotomy is enforced between a democratic ideal and the Federal institution of government. Even though the Senate is now elected by a popular vote, Congress still maintains a balance between both factions.

The Vesting Powers in the Constitution

The Vesting Powers in the Constitution

The United States Constitution grants all legislative powers to Congress in Article I, Section I, commonly referred to as the “Vesting Clause.” The “Vesting Clause” exists also in Articles II and III, in which it also delegates the specific powers that are to be granted to other branches of government–the executive branch and judicial branch.

The “Vesting Clause” in the Constitution found in Article I, Section I states: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” The language of the text essentially grants all of the legislative authority of the Federal Government to the United States Congress.

The importance of the “Vesting Clause” being employed in the United States Constitution is that it provides for a separation of powers by giving each branch of government-specific powers and authority restricted to that particular branch. That is to say, that the legislative powers given to Congress cannot be exercised or employed by the President because he is part of the executive branch. However, the “Vesting Clause” dictates that the powers granted under Article I of the Constitution are exclusive to Congress.

The vesting clauses found in the other two Articles do not include the words “herein granted,” which enumerates the powers and authoritative provisions in Article I. The other branches of government are not explicitly restricted by the text and are open to exercise certain “implied” powers that may fall under their jurisdiction.

However, Congress has employed a power that was not strictly enumerated in the Constitution: investigations. The Supreme Court has long ago validated and affirmed these powers as a contingency of Congress’ legislative powers. It is important to note that such investigations are limited to the realm of legislative functions. Congress cannot simply undertake an investigation or compel cooperation in an investigation simply for the purpose of uncovering information at random.

Investigations by Congress are to be bound within their legislative powers and authority. This prevents Congress from overstepping its boundaries and journeying out of its imposed jurisdiction because it would violate the doctrine of separation of powers. On the other hand, the courts have provided for quite a broad interpretation of Congress’ powers for investigation. The question of whether Congress is involved in an investigation for ulterior motives would not be a question for the courts. The only concern of the courts would be to determine if such an investigation is within the realm of Congress’ authority of power and regulation.

All those required to cooperate with a Congress investigation are liable to be punished by law if the refusal is given. Under the Constitution, Congress has the authority to levy a punishment of contempt to those who refuse cooperation with a Congressional investigation. All those participating in such investigations are protected by the Constitution and are guaranteed the rights set forth in the Bill of Rights.

What You Should Know About the Enumerated Powers

What You Should Know About the Enumerated Powers

The United States Constitution allows for certain powers to be explicitly listed that delegate the extent to which the United States Congress has authority. Congress can be said to have two sets of powers granted to the government body under the Constitution.

Article 1 Section 8 includes the listed powers that are vested to Congress, which are referred to as the Enumerated Powers. However, Congress also has implied powers that are set forth and implemented through the Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution, which is also found in Article 1 Section 8. Furthermore, Congress’ authority has also been expanded due to the several Amendments committed to the Constitution.

The Enumerated Powers granted to the United States Congress are various and extensive. There are those who believe that the powers and authority of Congress should remain within the limits of the actual provisions as scripted in the Constitution. That is to say, the Constitution should be interpreted in terms of the actual text and that only those powers written into the law of the Constitution should be the actual extent of Congress’ powers.

However, there also others that believe that in order for Congress to effectually carry out its duties within the realm of its granted jurisdiction, abiding solely by the actual text is unwise. These people support the use of the Necessary and Proper Clause to grant Congress a wider breadth in terms of its jurisdictional authority in order to make sure that the Legislative Branch of government is working effectively and up to its intended purpose.

As mentioned, there are various powers included as part of Congress’ Enumerated Powers which are included in the Constitution’s provisions. The following comprises some of the powers that are found in Article 1 Section 8:

● Congress has the power to impose and collect taxes which are to provide for the debts of the United States, as well as for the common defense and welfare of the country. All such taxes are to be implemented equally throughout the nation.

● The power to borrow money on behalf of the United States.

● The regulation of commerce, both on the international and interstate levels. This also includes Indian Tribes as well.

● Congress has the power to establish currency and coin money.

● The power to establish post offices.

● To provide for and maintain a navy.

● Organizing, training, and arming a militia.

● Exclusive powers to legislative matters of the country.

Other powers that have been granted after the original drafting of the Constitution have come in the form of Constitutional Amendments. Three particular Amendments gave specific powers and authority to Congress that were not included under the Enumerated Powers of Article 1 Section 8: theThirteenth, Fourteenth, and the fifteenth amendments to the United States Constitution. These Amendments gave the power to Congress to allow for legislation regarding the rights of African Americans, such as voting rights, due process, and equal protection under the provisions of the law of the United States.

Things to Know About the The Constitution

Things to Know About the The Constitution

The United States Constitution is the fundamental framework for
the United States of America. The United States Constitution plays a crucial
role in ensuring the security and integrity of the United States, and more
specifically, the citizens of the country.

The Constitution acts as the highest law of the land and documents the individual rights which distinguish American society from other countries. Every law in the United States, in some way, was developed in accordance with the Constitution.

● The United States Constitution provides a single legal basis for the fundamental rights of American citizens through the documentation known as the Bill of Rights.

● The Constitution defines the basic civil liberties, the fundamental rights of American citizens, and the responsibilities of the Federal and state governments.

● The Constitution acts as a framework to ensure peace and order in the United States.

● The Constitution organized the balance of powers between individual citizens, state governments, and the broader Federal Government of the United States.

● The document serves as a foundation for any legal entity formed in the country and offers the Government a sense of the direction in regards to organization and function–the Constitution defines the responsibilities of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.

Constitution has more information regarding the United States Constitution’s importance.

The History Behind the Constitutional Convention

The History Behind the Constitutional Convention

Historical Significance of U.S. Constitutional Convention The Constitutional Convention was held in
Philadelphia in 1787, from May 25 of that year to September 17, and had the
the ultimate effect of leading to the drafting of the U.S.

Constitution, the the foundational document for the nation’s current governmental and legal infrastructure. As such, the U.S. Constitutional Convention is universally considered one of the landmark points in the history of the United States.

The 55 people who took part in the U.S. Constitutional Convention are accordingly considered “Founding Fathers” of the country, in the terms of the category maintained for men who played a crucial role in the early formation of the The United States.

Background for the U.S. Constitutional Convention

The Constitutional Convention was called into being due to concern on the part of several of the Founding Fathers, including Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, that the then-applicable documents providing for the structure of the U.S. government, as consisting of the The articles of Confederation were not sufficiently cohesive.

The Constitutional Convention, under the direction of George Washington, drafted a document, following a period of concerted debate, for the provision or withholding of ratification on the part of the U.S. state legislatures. After ratification had been approved by the states, the Constitution as drawn up by the Constitutional Convention went into effect on March 4, 1789, in the form of bringing the U.S. government into existence.

Connecticut Compromise

The debate involved in the U.S. Constitutional Convention was settled by the Connecticut Compromise, between the New Jersey and Virginia Plans.

The Significance of Our Founding Fathers

The Significance of Our Founding Fathers

Significance of Founding Fathers for Constitutional Law In the context of American Constitutional law, the Founding Fathers can be noted as comprising of delegates to the Constitutional Convention, the meeting held in Philadelphia in 1787 with the effect of drawing up the U.S. Constitution.

In the larger context of U.S. history, the Founding Fathers might be noted as the specific individuals who took part in this and in other essential points for the creation of the nation, including both its liberation from the control of the British Empire and the further consolidation of the 13 colonies into a nation unified under the Federal Government.

Other Historical Settings for Founding Fathers

Along with the list of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention, the other main listing of Founding Fathers maintained as to specific and historically significant individuals can be noted as comprising of the 56 signers of the U.S. Constitution.

Larger Context for Founding Fathers in U.S. History The “Founding Fathers” terminology might further be applied to the large group of men who contributed to the early history of the United States, without necessarily holding high office at the time or finding individual fame in the long term. Moreover, a category similar to that of the Founding Fathers might also be proposed using gender-neutral language in order to account for the role played by women in the nation’s early history.

Historians believe that U.S. President Warren G. Harding first introduced the “Founding Father” terminology, prior to his assuming the Presidency, as the keynote speaker to the 1916 Republican National Convention.