Introduction to Congress 4

The following is an extract from Lesson 2 of An Introduction to the U.S. Congress. You can get the whole thing here:

The framers faced a fundamental challenge. How could they set up a new form of national government strong enough to defend the nation and enforce its laws while also avoiding the tyranny made possible by centralized power and majority factions?

The framers set up a system where elected officials do not need to like or trust each other to solve problems together provided they are willing to compete and sometimes trade, compromise, or collaborate.

They did this by creating a system that reduced fears that the powers of the new national government could be used to tyrannize the people.

Their new system of national government involved three key elements:

  1. Representation of, and accountability to, the people;
  2. Dilution of power through the separation and sharing of powers; and
  3. A Bill of Rights (which grew over time).

We will explore these elements more deeply in the weeks to come.

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