Essay on The Seventeenth Amendment

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Written in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, and later ratified by the thirteen original states in 1788, the Constitution establishes the relationship between the federal (national) government and state governments. It establishes our republican form of government with an elected Executive (President), a bicameral congress (consisting of two legislative branches, a House of Representatives and a Senate), and a judicial system headed by a Supreme Court. The Framers' of the Constitution were influenced in their work by the ancient Athenians, the thinkers of the Enlightenment; Locke and Montesquieu. As well as important political documents such as the Mayflower Compact, England's Magna Carta and Bill of Rights, to name …show more content…
The Framers recognized the need to incorporate an element of flexibility into the national constitution and they provided for an amendment process through the legislature or through special conventions. The first ten amendments to the constitution are known as the Bill of Rights. Of the twenty seven amendments to the Constitution that have been proposed and ratified by congress this paper will focus on that of the seventeenth amendment. The Seventeenth Amendment was ratified in 1913, and was first put into effect for the election of 1914. It amends Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution and provides for the direct election of Senators by the people of a state rather than election or appointment by a state legislature. It also allows for the governor of a state to appoint a senator in the event of an opening, until an election occurs. The Framers of the Constitution understood that federalism would be protected mainly by the way senators were elected, with the powers of the federal government limited to the enumerated powers within the constitution and all other powers being retained by the states or the people. The people were represented in the House of Representatives. Sovereign states were represented in the Senate. The adoption and ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment, providing for direct election of the Senate, changed everything. At the

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