The proposed Constitution
“The proposed Constitution...is, in strictness, neither a national or federal constitution; but a constitution of both.” (James Madison) The Constitution was signed on September 17 of 1787, in what is now Independence Hall. This meeting was organized to rearrange The Articles of Confederation, then turned into creating a new Constitution. The Articles of Confederation was created to establish government and fundamental laws, which ended up failing because the government became too weak to enforce any of these laws. The Constitution guarded against tyranny in three different ways, which were small states vs big states, separation of powers, and checks and balances.
The first guard against tyranny was big states vs. small states which means that they each had an equal amount of representation. In document D, it describes that the number of representatives in the House were selected by the population of each state. The larger states were happy with this because they had more representatives in the house, leading to having their ideas through to the government. The smaller states were happy with the compromise of having two houses. For the second house, the Senate, they had electors chose who would be the best representatives for each state. This meant that each state had the same amount of power to make decisions. Big states vs. small states protects against tyranny because they have the two house, making not one specific state to be overpowering.
A second guard against tyranny was separation of powers, which means that no one person or group overpowers others. Document B explains the three branches of powers. The three branches are the legislative powers, executive power, and judicial power. The legislative powers consist of a Senate and House of Representatives, executive powers consist of the President, and the judicial powers consist of the Supreme Court. The next branch is the executive power. They are invested with the president. The separation of powers helped guard against tyranny, because everyone in a spot with power was split.
The third guard against tyranny was checks and balances. Each of the three branches (legislative powers, executive power, and judicial power) helped check on one another, which insures no one branch gains more power. The legislative branch can help with the President, the executive branch (president) can nominate judges, just as some examples. Checks and balances helped safeguard against tyranny.
Big states vs. small states, separation of powers, and checks and balances are just some of the many ways to guard against tyranny. The main question, how did the Constitution guard against tyranny, is important because if we didn’t have this constitution, we could be ruled by kings and dictators.