2 -- Part 8: AMERICAN CITIZENS AND POLITICAL CULTURE
The solution was adopted under the Articles of Confederation.
The new Constitution was moving in favor of Delegate A's position because of the profiles of the delegates in attendance.
The agreement of those who followed Delegate B would be important in getting approval for the final Constitution, so their concerns could not be ignored.
The compromise was chosen by the founding fathers.
Unlike a confederation, in which the states retain the ultimate power over the whole, federalism gives the central government its own source of power.
In Chapter 4, we discuss federalism, which gives independent power to the states.
The advocates of states' rights were better off under the new Constitution than they were under the old one.
The power of the states could have been taken away.
The people like Delegate A were clear winners under the new rules.
This was one of the main issues during the debates.
The people who supported the federalism alternative came to be known as the Federalists.
The people like Delegate B were called Anti-Federalists because they continued to hold onto the strong state-weak central government option.
The delegates had to decide how power would be divided among the states after they agreed that federalism would provide the framework of the new government.
The politics of the country could be affected by the rules chosen here.
If small states and large states had equal amounts of power in national government, residents of large states like Virginia, Massachusetts, and New York would have less say in the government than would residents of small states like New Jersey and Rhode Island.
The importance of the small states would be reduced if power was allocated on the basis of size.
Two plans were offered to resolve the issue.
James Madison created and presented the at the convention.
The large, more populous states preferred the Virginia Plan.
The country would have a strong national government with a bicameral legislature.
One house would be directly elected by the people and the other indirectly by a combination of the state legislature and the national house.
The number of representatives would be determined by the taxes paid by the residents of the state, which would reflect the free population in the state.
Large states would have more representatives in both houses of the legislature, and national law and policy would be in their favor.
Three large states, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, would be able to form a majority and carry national legislation their way.
The Virginia Plan called for a single executive to see that the laws were carried out, and a national judiciary, both appointed by the legislature, and it gave the national government power to overrule state laws.
The plan presented by William Paterson of New Jersey was not a replacement for the Articles of Confederation.
The Congress was similar to the one that existed under the Articles.
Each state got one vote in a unicameral legislature.
State legislatures would choose the delegates.
The national government was still dependent on the states for funding even though the powers of Congress were stronger.
Even though the larger states had more people and contributed more revenue, they disliked the plan because small states could block what the larger states wanted.
A new government could have foundered on this issue.
The heat of the closed Convention Hall made compromise difficult and shortened the tempers of weary delegates.
It was too much for each side to give in to the other's plan.
The compromise narrative shows the triumph of the solution which was politics at its best.
A strong federal structure was headed by a central government with enough power to tax its citizens, regulate commerce, conduct foreign affairs, organize the military, and exercise other central powers.
A single executive and a national judicial system is what it called for.
The smaller states were allowed to live with it because of the composition of the legislature.
The Virginia Plan provided for two houses.
The House of Representatives would be based on the state's population, but each state had two votes in the Senate.
The smaller states had more power in the Senate than in the House.
Members of the Senate would be elected by the state legislature.
The government would be binding on the people and the states.
The key to the compromise was that most legislation would need the approval of both houses, so that large states and small states wouldn't hold the entire government hostage to their wishes.
Most of the smaller states voted to approve or reject the Constitution quickly and easily because they were happy with the plan.