Who Else Want To Enjoy The Outsiders Read School Essay

1877 words - 8 pages

How Did the Constitution Guard Against Tyranny?
Overview: In the summer of 1787, fifty-five delegates from twelve of the thirteen states met in Philadelphia to fix the national government. The problem was that the extreme government, under the Articles of Confederation, just wasn’t doing the job. It was too weak. The challenge was to create a strong central government without letting any one person, or group of people, get too much power.
The Documents:
Document A: Federalism
Document B: Separation of Powers
Document C: Checks and Balances
Document D: Big States vs. Small States
Hook Exercise: Constitution
Directions: When we use the word “tyranny” (teer-a-nee) we usually mean a government with an absolute ruler like a king, or a dictator. The writers of the Constitution were determined not to let such a person get control of the new American government. However, there are other kinds of tyranny that caused concern, where one group might have too much power over another. With a partner, give an example how each kind of tyranny listed below could be harmful to the people of the United States.
Questions:
1. Tyranny of individual states over the central government: What if states had the power to ignore a federal tax law they did not like?
This could be a problem because:
2. Tyranny of the Chief Executive: What if there was no legislative branch and the President had the power to both make laws and enforce laws?
This could be a problem because:
3. Tyranny of the President over the Judicial branch: What if the President could fire justices of the Supreme Court if he didn’t like a ruling they made?
This could be a problem because:
4. Tyranny of big states over little states: What if New York had a lot more members than Rhode Island in both the Senate and the House of Representatives?
This could be a problem because:
Background Essay
How Did the Constitution Guard Against Tyranny?
Constitution Mini-Q
2
In May of 1787 they began to drift into Philadelphia, 55 individuals all responding to the call for a Constitutional Convention. Most were wealthy, all were white, all were male. They came from eleven of the rather disunited states stretched along the eastern seaboard. New Hampshire delegates would not show up until July. Rhode Island would not show up at all.
The problem facing this remarkable group of men was that the existing Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, just wasn’t working. Under the Articles there was no chief executive, there was no court system, there was not even a way for the central government to force a state to pay taxes. A new constitution, creating a stronger central government, was necessary if the new nation was to hold together.
The decision to go forward with a new constitution presented a special challenge. Was it possible to frame a government that was strong enough to serve the needs of the new nation and yet which did not create any kind of tyranny? Just four years earlier, the thirteen states had concluded a...

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