Congress and the Constitution
Legacy of Republicanism
Delegates at the Constitutional Convention debated the nature of representative government and how best to organize legislative bodies into a stable and responsive branch of government. Other questions included whether enslaved persons would be counted towards a state’s population count, how representatives ought to be elected, and whether the legislature should be a unicameral or bicameral organization. After the Convention concluded, Americans continued to debate whether the proposed House of Representatives and Senate could adequately safeguard liberty.
A set of actions and habits necessary for the safe, effective, and mutually beneficial participation in a society.
Reasoned and respectful sharing of ideas between individuals is the primary way people influence change in society/government, and is essential to maintain self-government.
Consent of the Governed
The government's power is only justified when its power comes from the will or approval of the people.
Inalienable / Natural Rights
Freedoms which belong to us by nature and can only be justly taken away through due process.
Majority Rule / Minority Rights
Laws may be made with the consent of the majority but only to the point where they do not infringe on the inalienable rights of the minority.
Representative / Republican Government
Form of government in which the people are sovereign (the ultimate source of power) and authorize representatives to make and carry out laws.
Separation of Powers
A system of distinct powers built into the Constitution to prevent an accumulation of power in one branch.