A grand experiment: the constitution at 200 : essays from - download pdf or read online

By Douglass Adair, John Allphin Moore, John Edwin Murphy

ISBN-10: 0842022899

ISBN-13: 9780842022897

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Additional info for A grand experiment: the constitution at 200 : essays from the Douglass Adair Symposia, Volume 1986

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The Committee of the Whole of Congress adopted the Dickinson draft with few changes. " Collectively, they were "the United States of America"; otherwise, they were styled "colonies'' or ''colony," terms not compatible with state sovereignty, to which no reference was made. " That crucial provision made even "internal policy" subordinate to congressional powers and highlighted the nationalist character of the proposed confederation. The Dickinson draft of the Articles reported by the Committee of the Whole provoked dissension in Congress.

On the third day of business the Committee of the Whole made other crucial decisions, with little or no debate. One, reflecting the nationalist bias of the Convention, established a bicameral system whose larger house was to be elected directly by the people rather than by the state legislatures. Mason, no less, explained: "Under the existing confederacy, Congress represents the States, not the people of the States: their acts operate on the States, not on the individuals. The case will be changed in the new plan of Government.

When only three states directly elected their chief executive officer, the Constitution provided for the election of the president by an Electoral College that originated in the people and is still operative. The Constitution's system of separation of powers and elaborate checks and balances was not intended to refine out popular influence on government but to protect liberty; the Framers divided, distributed, and limited powers to prevent any branch, faction, interest, or section from becoming too powerful.

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A grand experiment: the constitution at 200 : essays from the Douglass Adair Symposia, Volume 1986 by Douglass Adair, John Allphin Moore, John Edwin Murphy


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