First Governments Essay

1444 words - 6 pages

In the history of the United States of America, our government has been defined by two very essential documents. Reflecting on all governments of the past, they laid forth an extraordinary jumble of ideas that would lead the way to where we are today. These two documents are the Article of Confederation and the U.S Constitution. These two documents of precedent are both similar and unique, each with its own pros and cons, and neither being perfect. Both these documents addressed the prominent vital in national vs. state sovereignty, legislative selection process, and executive authority.
After winning its independence from England, the U.S, now situated over a vast portion of the eastern seaboard. They needed to fashion some form of governmental system, and on 1776 the Article of Confederation was made, it represented the first constitutional agreement made between the thirteen American states. How the Article of Confederation addressed state sovereignty is that each state will maintain dominance, which means that the state maintains the power to run its own affairs. Any rights or privileges and powers that are not specifically given to the congress by the Article of Confederation are maintained by the state. On 1781, radicals, people who favored states rights, wanted the balance of power be shifted to favor the states over the national government because they were afraid of a strong central government. Radicals argued that the purpose of the Revolution was to form more democratic governments and a strong centralized government exerting its power over many thousands of people would simple cease to be democratic. Eventually the conservatives, people who favored a strong central government, agreed to let the states govern their own affairs, and the liberties of the people are most likely be protected.
The Article of Confederation created a government that is known as a confederation drafted during the year 1776. The Article provided no separation of branches. There was no independent executive, nor was there a federal judicial branch. The Legislature was the only branch of government. Under the Article of Confederation, states were the fundamental unit of political organization and power. They had been viewed as equal to each other, regardless of their population, and each state was accorded one vote in Congress. James Madison establishing the Virginia Plan, the degree of authority each state surrendered to the national government. It was in direct proportion to its population and other supporters, predominantly delegates from the larger states argued that it was unjust for a smaller state to have the same representatives as a larger state. The delegates from the small states; however, argued that by basing representation in both house on the population of each states, the interests of the smaller states would be trampled upon by a large state. In response to the scheme of representation outlined in the Virginia Plan, the smaller states proposed...

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