The Articles Of Confederation And The Constitution Of The United States

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Ratified in March of 1781, the Articles of Confederation provided the United States of America with its first form of government. The Articles called for a loose confederation where each state continued to have its independence along with individual rights and powers. The Articles were less powerful than the state constitutions and were designed to be reactive, causing the national government to be significantly less powerful. After seeing the severe flaws the Articles contained, delegates gathered in a meeting known as the Philadelphia Convention, later named the Constitutional Convention where, unbeknownst to them, the Constitution would be created. Although the Constitution provided the United States with its first effective form of a democratic …show more content…
A majority of the delegates agreed that the national government needed to become stronger while still respecting both state and individual rights. In order to achieve that, they agreed to a three branch government that included an executive, judicial, and legislative branch. This ensured a strong federal government but at the same time limited the power of any one branch. Along with the three branches the delegates also implemented Madison’s system of checks and balances which made each branch dependent on the others to exercise their powers. While determining the powers of the executive branch, there was much debate on the nature of the American Presidency. At one end, nationalists like James Wilson and Governor Morris feared a powerful, independent executive. They pushed for the presidency to have an absolute veto over congressional legislation. On the other end, Roger Sherman declared that the executive was “nothing more than an institution for carrying the will of the Legislature into effect” (Beeman 2). Finally, they agreed that the executive branch had the power to enforce and implement all laws and the presidency was just a larger agent of the executive branch. There were three main functions of the judicial branch, the branch Alexander Hamilton referred to as “the least dangerous” (Wert 1). The first being the ability to interpret law which included national and state legislation as well as any constitutional provisions. The second function being the ability to hear national cases consistently while using methods of legal reasoning. The final and most important function was not determined by the delegates however, instead it was born as a result of the Marbury vs. Madison case. The Marbury vs. Madison case questioned the Judiciary Act of 1789, which was put in place to establish the judicial courts of the United States, thus creating the Supreme

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