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Constitution Four

Despite their beliefs, the framers had no desire to do what? Remove the divisions in society by converting private property to common ownership
What did framers believe about the majority? They would tyrannize the wealthy minority if given political power.
What dilemma did the framers have to resolve and what does this mean? Reconciling economic inequality with political freedom.
Who was the principal architect of the Constitution? James Madison
How did he believe the minority faction could be "handled?" The majority could outvote them
What were the framers afraid would happen if the majority united? They could oppress the minority, violating the latter's basic rights.
What three things did Madison propose to prevent tyranny of the majority? Place as much of the government as possible beyond the direct control of the majority, separate the powers of different institutions, and construct a system of checks and balances.
What one element of the federal government was under majority control? The House of Representatives
In what way did the majority control one element of the federal government? The majority had direct control through the votes of the majority.
Under the original Constitution, how were US senators elected? State legislatures were to elect senators
How was the president elected? Special electors were to choose the president (a small miniority)
How were federal judges chosen? Nominated by the president
What do each of the above (how senators, pres. and fed. judges chosen) show? Separation of powers
How did the Constitution further insulate the Senate and federal judges from public opinion? Judges had life-time tenure and senators served a term of six years, with only one-third elected every two years, compared with the two-year election intervals of all members of the House.
How do the term limits provided make the House the closest to the people? - two things They could vote directly, and the most frequently of any institution.
How did the Seventeenth Amendment change federal elections? Established direct election of senators by popular majorities.
How has the electoral college been democratized as well over time? It votes the way the popular majority in each states votes.
What is meant by separation of powers? A feature of the Constitution that requires each of the three branched of government to be relatively independent of the others so that one cannot control the others. Power is shared among the branches.
How could this control the majority? Even if the majority seized control of the House, they still could not enact policies without the agreement of the Senate and the president.
Define checks and balances. Features of the Constitution that limit government's power by requiring each branch to obtain the consent of the others for its actions, limiting and balancing power among the branches.
How was this meant to limit factions? If a faction seized on institution, it still could not damage the whole system.
Provide five specific examples of checks and balances. Pres. can veto congressional legislature, Senate confirms the pres. nominations (can impeach judges and remove from office), The court can declare laws unconst., and declare pres. acts unconst., and pres. nominates judges and enforces judicial opinions.
How else does the Constitution divide power? Through a federal system that divided power between a national government and the individual states.
Created by: Matti