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Constitutional Law: Federalist Paper Analysis

635 words - 3 pages

In “Federalist No. 39”, James Madison sets to outline and discuss how the planned Constitution conforms to the American view of Republican principles. In doing so he establishes that the decided form of government, post-Revolution, will be Republican in nature and that “If the plan of the convention, therefore, be found to depart from the republican character, its advocates must abandon it as no longer defensible”. Madison asks what distinctively makes a government Republican in nature. A few different governments are described, noting that, while they may be described as Republican, they are Republican in name only. The way power is dispersed is important because even though all offices derive some power from the people, there exists room for appointment and selection by our elected officials. I am particularly intrigued with Madison’s distinction between the National and the Federal. The given description of the constitution, with ...view middle of the document...

S. government would entirely national, vesting the power solely in the people. This massive control of power was not what the Founders intended and was entirely antithetical to many of their beliefs regarding human nature. In order to give power to the people of the newly formed Union of States, the founders created this body of the legislature, but given the fears about the potential power the legislature could yield, our Founding Fathers created a second body of the legislative branch, one that was more critically attuned to the Republican principles on which this nation was founded. In doing so, our legislative branch balanced our Founders fears with the needs for a citizen legislature, one that was more based on and wholly representative of American society at large. Regardless of the intent of the founders, the United States has become increasingly Democratic in nature, for better or for worse. One of the arguments for the ratification behind the 17th Amendment at the time was that State governments could be corrupted by gilded age monopolies. It seems that now the influence of money and power in politics is being used to corrupt voters on an individual level as outside money floods into states in an attempt to capture voters through the mass media and the medium of the message. This amendment was passed as one of the Progressive Era amendments, designed to reduce corruption and influence of big party bosses in politics. A counterargument and concern regarding the 17th amendment is that it removes the right of the States (which ratified our Constitution) and created our Union. While state Governors have the power, under the 17th amendment, to fill Senate vacancies, a special election must follow the appointment. While there is a movement against the 17th amendment most states have ratified it and the push for such action is notably fringe, despite the voice and sway it may hold in modern politics. Ultimately the 17th amendment and direction election of all members of the legislature is the system in which modern politics operates and all political parties have to operate under in in order to succeed and govern in today’s political landscape.

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