First Article of the Constitution

First Article of the Constitution

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First Article of the Constitution

The
Constitution of the United States of America is where the United States Federal
Government derives its power. The Constitution is considered to be the supreme
law of the United States. The first three Articles of the Constitution define
what was to become the three branches of government in the United States, with
each addressing each branch. The First Article of the Constitution provides for
the structure of the Legislative Branch. It also delineates the powers and
responsibilities that the Legislative Branch is to have.

The First Article is divided into ten sections,
each addressing aspects of the Legislative Branch in terms of composition,
member eligibility, and duties. First Article establishes The Congress, which
is to become the ruling body of the Legislative Branch. Congress is a bicameral
legislature, consisting of two Houses known as the Senate and the House of
Representatives. The legislative process requires that both Houses act
together, for any procedure requires approval of both.

Congress as
it is constructed in the First Article is a deviation from the Congress of
Confederation that was set up by the Articles of Confederation in 1781. The Congress
of Confederation was a unicameral legislative body that had minimal authority
when compared to the power granted to the states. The reason that this
structure was implemented was out of the fear and prevention to allow a central
body of Government to maintain all the power and authority, thus creating for
the possibility of a tyrannical government.

After the
American Revolution, an oppressive and all-controlling government is exactly
what the United States wanted to avoid. However, a unicameral legislative
branch prove to be ineffective. The Constitution’s First Article would call for
a bicameral legislature, in which each House would have specific and unique
powers and authority in order to maintain a balance.

The House of Representatives, also referred to as
the lower House of Congress, was created to provide for representation in the
Federal Government that would be proportional to each State’s population. For
example, California currently has the highest population in the United States,
and therefore, has the most representatives in House, with 53 representatives.

The House of
Representatives is to be comprised of no more than 435 members, with each State
having at least one representative. The presiding officer of the House of
Representatives is Speaker, who is elected by the other members. The
Constitution allows for the specific powers to initiate revenue bills, the
authority to impeach officials, and elect the President of the United States in
case there is a discrepancy or stalemate in the Electoral College. However, the
most important power granted to the House by the First Article of the
Constitution is the ability to pass legislation at the Federal level, which
will have effects on the nation as a whole. However, bills must also be
approved by the Senate and the President before being enacted into law.

The United States Senate, which is also known as
the upper House of Congress, is also implemented with the idea of allowing for
State representation at the Federal level. Unlike the House of Representatives,
however, representation is not contingent upon population numbers of each State.
In the Senate, each State is represented by two senators. The leader of the
Senate is called the President of the Senate, but is actually also the Vice
President of the United States. However, the Vice President does not have the
authority to vote on matters, unless there is a tie in the polling process.

The First Article
of the Constitution grants certain powers to the Senate, which are not given to
the House. Generally speaking, it is considered for the State to be more
prestigious because of the fact that there are less members and offers more
deliberative decisions. The Senate has the power to approve treaties as a
condition for ratification, as well as the approval of Federal officials, such
as Cabinet secretaries, Federal judges, military officers, and other Federal
uniformed officers. The Senate also has the power to try Federal officials that
are impeached by the House of Representatives.

Another important factor of the First Article of
the Constitution, besides creating and enumerating powers for Congress, is that
it also implements limits of power of the states. The states are explicitly
prohibited from making their own money, taxing goods from other states, and
entering into treaties, alliances, or confederations. The states are also not
allowed to create their own navies nor enter into war. It is also addressed in
the First Article of the Constitution that any limits placed on Congress, such
as suspension of habeas corpus, titles of nobility, and ex post facto laws, are
also prohibited to the states.

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