The government plays an important role in safeguarding and protecting the rights of the citizens of a country as well as in managing the activities and affairs within its society. The United States government also has the same responsibilities with the American citizens. The U. S. government addresses the various issues and concerns of its citizens through the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government. The legislative branch is mainly responsible in the process of policy making in the United States.
This branch has the duty of creating laws and establishing policies that will be observed and implemented to the American citizens. Being the case, people should give due importance and consideration in understanding the way by which the legislative branch of the government functions especially since its decisions and actions have a huge effect in the lives of many people. The framers of the Constitution were able to make various innovations in the system of the American government.
The first improvement that they introduced was the concept of federalism also known as the system of government on several levels. In terms of the national level, there is a central government that is responsible in managing the foreign affairs of the nation. On the other hand, the thirteen state governments would still be in charge of managing local matters just like since the establishment of each original colonies (Cushman, 2006). The framers of the United States Constitution decided to spread the power at the national level across three branches.
They believe that in doing so, they could be able to establish balance in the authority of the national level. More than that, having the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government will also help in the concept of check and balance wherein each branch would be able to limit the power of the others. The three branches of the government work hand in hand with each other because their responsibilities are interrelated. This could be proven in the process of law making.
The legislative branch has the capability to debate and pass laws but these could not take effect unless the president or the chief executive signed them. The judicial branch also has its role to play because these laws must pass constitutional muster that are governed by the courts. In this sense, the framers of the United States Constitution did not simply crafted a government that possesses separation of powers but rather they established a system of separated institutions that are sharing powers to control the government (Cushman, 2006).
The creation of these three branches of the government paved the way for the establishment of the United States Congress as part of the legislative branch. The framers of the Constitution emphasized that the legislative branch is key in the United States government. This is due to the reason that the legislative branch is composed of the elected voice of the people. The Congress is the most likely branch in the government to amass too much power. As such, the legislative branch predominates in the government, which could pose a threat to the other branches of the government.
In order to solve this predicament, the best solution is to also divide the legislature into different branches with various modes of election and principles of action (Cushman, 2006). During the Constitutional Convention, the “Great Compromise” took place, which largely influence the nature of Congress. The Great Compromise functions with a double duty wherein it addresses the political needs of the moment by enabling the large and small states to ratify a new constitution together. At the same time, it also deal with the philosophical need to make the system of government complicated enough to prevent tyranny.
In relation to these, the Great Compromise also identifies the operational and leadership structures of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives is responsible in serving the needs of the large states. This duty is rooted from the fact that their election into office is based on population and the concept of majority rule. This chamber is built in order to focused on representative role wherein the officials that are elected in the House of Representative would make sure that the voice of the people would be heard on the national government.
The principle that is observed in governing the structure and operation of the House is the majority rule. As such, the seats in the House are designated among the states based on their population. In line with this, the states with more citizens have a louder voice in Congress as compared with smaller states (Cushman, 2006). On the other hand, the Senate is established in order to protect the interest of small states. The senate could accomplish this function because senators have the ability to give each state an equal voice in the national government.
The framers of the Constitution established the Senate in order to reflect the principle of equality. The Senate is structured in such a way that each state have two senators that will allow alls states to have an equal voice in the affairs of the Senate. Furthermore, the framers also wanted that the Senate would react differently from the House of Representatives when it comes to political problems. Contrary to the House, senators have longer terms in office and only one-third of its members would have to undergo the election process at a time.
Due to these, the Senate has more time to reflect about issues that would help them to give importance to national interest of the country when it comes to making laws (Cushman, 2006). The population of each state largely affects the representativeness of the Congress. As such, the larger states have more advantage in making their voices heard and pursuing their interests in Congress. In this sense, it is quite observable that smaller states are place in a disadvantageous position especially if they do not agree with the stand of the larger states.
The laws that smaller states want to pass will not easily be acknowledged without the support of larger states because the principle of majority rule is observed. This goes to show that unequal opportunity exists especially for those citizens that live in small states. However, despite this predicament, the framers of the Constitution was still able to address this issue by creating the Senate that will maintain fairness in making the voices of citizens in every state be heard. Reference Cushman, C. B. (2006). An Introduction to the U. S. Congress. New York: M. E. Sha