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  • - [Instructor] In the United States today,

  • we know our system of government so well

  • that it hardly bears thinking about.

  • We know that there's a president

  • who's the head of the Executive Branch,

  • there's Congress, which is made up

  • of the House of Representatives and the Senate,

  • and there's the judicial branch, which has the Supreme Court

  • as its head of a whole court system

  • that stretches throughout the United States.

  • But how did the United States end up with this system?

  • We frequently forget that the Constitutional Convention

  • which created this system we know today happened in 1787.

  • That was more than a decade

  • after the Declaration of Independence.

  • So there was this 11-year plus period

  • before the United States had its modern day constitution

  • and during that time, fought the Revolutionary War,

  • won in 1783,

  • and tried out a completely different system of government

  • called the Articles of Confederation,

  • which we talked a little bit more about in another video.

  • Now the Articles of Confederation

  • had a very strong sense of limited government.

  • In fact, you could think of the Articles of Confederation

  • as being a little bit more

  • like a loose confederation of states,

  • where each state had one vote in the legislative branch,

  • the branch that makes laws,

  • and they had to really agree on most things,

  • nine out of 13 for most legislation

  • and unanimous agreement

  • for any kind of amendments to this system.

  • And I think it's clear why the founders

  • first went with this system of limited government

  • because they had just revolted against a monarchy.

  • They thought of the states as being

  • in what they call just kind of a league of friendship,

  • can almost see it as being similar

  • to the European Union today,

  • independent nations who do some things together

  • for foreign policy reasons and economic reasons.

  • Now by the late 1780s, it was becoming clear

  • that the Articles of Confederation were not working.

  • With such a weak central government,

  • it was really hard to get things done.

  • They couldn't raise taxes.

  • They couldn't raise a military.

  • Some states were even putting taxes

  • on the goods of other states.

  • So in 1787, delegates from 12 of the 13 states,

  • Rhode Island did not participate because Rhode Island

  • was not a big fan of central government,

  • came together in Philadelphia,

  • in the same place where they had signed

  • the Declaration of Independence,

  • to think about how to revise the Articles of Confederation.

  • And some very notable figures were there.

  • George Washington is one of them.

  • See Ben Franklin over here,

  • and James Madison.

  • Although some people that you might have expected

  • to be at the Constitutional Convention were not,

  • namely, Thomas Jefferson

  • and John Adams

  • who were out of the country being diplomats at the time.

  • So the delegates at the Constitutional Convention

  • have a pretty difficult problem to solve.

  • They want to have a stronger central government,

  • one that can get things done,

  • make sure the states play well together,

  • raise armies, raise taxes,

  • but they don't want a central government that is too strong

  • because they just escaped from monarchy.

  • They don't wanna recreate monarchy in the United States.

  • So they're looking for a very delicate balance

  • of a government strong enough to get things done

  • but not so strong as to promote tyranny.

  • Now even though the delegates were supposed to be revising

  • the Articles of Confederation,

  • some people had, in secret,

  • been considering completely throwing out

  • the Articles of Confederation and starting anew.

  • But one of the biggest hurdles they had to solve

  • was what would a new sort of legislature look like.

  • So the Virginia delegates

  • suggested a plan for the legislature,

  • it's the law-making body,

  • that would be bicameral,

  • means two room or two house

  • from bi, meaning two,

  • and camera, Latin for room.

  • And their idea was that there would be a lower house,

  • similar to the House of Commons in English Parliament,

  • that would be directly elected

  • as individuals would vote for the representatives

  • but the number of representatives that each state would get

  • would be decided by their population.

  • Now Virginia was the largest state by population by far

  • and so, this plan would have worked out

  • pretty well for them because they would have gotten

  • the largest proportion of representatives.

  • Small states like Delaware, and Georgia, Rhode Island,

  • would have very few representatives indeed, comparatively.

  • They also wanted to have an upper house,

  • similar to the House of Lords in the British Parliament,

  • which would be appointed

  • by state legislatures.

  • But just like the lower house,

  • the number representatives

  • would also be determined by population.

  • Now as you can imagine, the small sates

  • were not big fans of having representation

  • based just on population,

  • so they came back with a different plan.

  • This was called the New Jersey Plan.

  • So the little states said, "All right, the Virginia Plan

  • "gives way too much power to the big states.

  • "We want an equal voice in legislation."

  • So the New Jersey Plan,

  • much like the Articles of Confederation,

  • gave one vote

  • to each of the states

  • so that the small states

  • would have the same representation in Congress

  • as the large states

  • and their plan was for a single chamber

  • or unicameral legislature.

  • So this really wasn't much different

  • from the Articles of Confederation at all.

  • So how did the delegates resolve this issue

  • of how to balance the voices of large states

  • with large populations

  • with small states that had small populations?

  • Because in a situation where all states

  • have an equal number of votes,

  • like in the New Jersey Plan,

  • the 60,000 residents of Delaware

  • could have as much say

  • as the almost 700,000 residents of Virginia.

  • Meaning that the people who live in Delaware

  • were in fact more powerful.

  • But at the same time, you wouldn't want it

  • so that people living in the larger states

  • could get their way all the time.

  • What if the people in Delaware

  • had a very legitimate concern

  • that those in Virginia didn't share?

  • It would be impossible

  • to get all of these states to agree, to amend,

  • or replace the Articles of Confederation

  • if some of them felt like their interests

  • aren't being taken into account at all.

  • So to solve this issue of how to weight

  • the representation of the states,

  • the delegates came up

  • with what's called the Great Compromise

  • or sometimes the Connecticut Compromise.

  • And in a way, what they did was combine these two plans.

  • They made a legislative branch

  • that was bicameral, two house,

  • with a lower and an upper house

  • and this lower house become the House of Representatives,

  • where each state would have representatives

  • in proportion to their population.

  • So states that have large populations

  • have more representatives.

  • States with small populations have fewer representatives.

  • And those representatives

  • would be directly elected by the people.

  • Now, and this time,

  • the people was a fairly small proportion

  • to vote in 1790s.

  • You had to be a white man

  • with fairly significant property,

  • so it wasn't full suffrage.

  • It wasn't event full suffrage for white men,

  • but these folks were elected by vote.

  • And then this upper house would be the Senate.

  • And in the Senate, each state would have two senators,

  • regardless of their size,

  • so that as legislation moved through Congress,

  • first from the lower house, where it would be approved

  • and if approved, sent to the upper house,

  • there, all states would have an equal voice

  • in whether legislation was passed.

  • And in this upper house,

  • the senators would not be directly elected

  • but rather appointed

  • by state legislatures.

  • And in fact, senators were appointed into the 20th century.

  • Now the Great Compromise wasn't the only compromise made

  • at the Constitutional Convention.

  • They made a number more

  • and we'll talk more about those

  • and about the other two branches of the government

  • in the next video.

- [Instructor] In the United States today,

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B1 中級

憲法条約 (The Constitutional Convention)

  • 15 3
    Amy.Lin に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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