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Senate Essay

1331 words - 5 pages

The Confederation Congress was plagued with problems, as the former colonies struggled to form a national identity. The lack of permanent physical location and united national government, led to problems of inaction, following the Revolutionary war. “Congress’s lack of power and frequent inability to act (often due to a lack of quorum or the need for a supermajority for certain decisions) demanded reform” (Wirls, p. 58). The founders agreed on the need for reform, opposing groups argued about the nature. Federalists argued for a strong national government, with few representatives, removed the day to day local political affairs. They desired a group of political elites, free to make decisions based on national interests. In order to promote an independent nature within the senate, Federalists advocated long terms, some advocating lifetime appointments. The anti-Federalists rejected the idea of permanent elite, instead promoting large numbers of representatives, with small groups of political constituents. Rather than the crème de la crème of society, anti-Federalists envisioned a kaleidoscope; representatives would personally reflect the interests of constituents. During the final constitutional plan for the U.S. Senate, a compromise was reached; anti-Federalist views were incorporated through the equal apportionment and appointment by states, Federalists insured independence in the senate by instituting staggered six year terms.
Compromise between the Federalist and anti-Federalist was reached through a series of decisions, in no small part assisted by the fact that those against strengthening the Federal government were not present, “the formidable talents who were opposed to the project of fortifying the national government decided to boycott the meeting” (Wirls, p. 60). In addition to the need of fortifying the national government both sides agreed on a two chamber legislature, “the delegates shared similar conclusions based on their republican beliefs and experiences in their state governments. One such conclusion was a widely shared belief in the desirability of a two-chamber legislature, with an upper house to check the more popular lower house” (Wirls, p. 60). Members present were unified by desire for bicameral legislature however ideological differences emerged between Federalist and anti-Federalists. Both groups agreed on the importance of protecting against corruption within government but disagreed on the means of achieving this goal. The main arguments were due to differences between views of the nature of representation and the importance of a psychologically distant Senate.
Federalist supported the idea of a senate removed from state politics; they did not desire to take away state rights, only to form a strong independent government with national ideology and goals. “The federal constitution forms a happy combination in this respect; the great and aggregate interests being referred to the...

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