With our nation in the throes of a venomous race for the presidency, I’ve been drawn to a closer look at our Constitution and some of the issues that set the tone for the first 100 years of this country’s history. Continue reading . . .
With our nation in the throes of a venomous race for the presidency, I’ve been drawn to a closer look at our Constitution and some of the issues that set the tone for the first 100 years of this country’s history. I’ve especially enjoyed reading The Constitution: An Introduction, by Michael Stokes Paulsen and his son, Luke Paulsen (New York: Basic Books, 2015).
We should, of course, applaud our founding fathers who sought freedom from oppressive foreign intervention. Men such as Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and especially James Madison, brilliantly crafted for us the document that still serves as the legal foundation for our republic: the Constitution. But not everything in the Constitution is worthy of praise. Some elements were positively reprehensible. Let me explain.
As you know, our Constitution called for a division of legislative powers between two “houses”: the Senate and the House of Representatives. This is known as bicameralism. It didn’t come easily. Those from states with larger populations sought representation based on the total number of its citizens, while those from less populated states favored equal representation for each state, regardless of size. A compromise was reached.
The House of Representatives would be directly elected by the people every two years. The number of representatives would be based on a state’s population. The Senate would be comprised of two elected officials from each state who would serve six year terms. By the way, just in case you did