US Constitution Article I & Article II

One of the main objectives of the US constitution is to divide the powers of the federal government so no branch dominates the other. Hence the name of the United States; is united only because of the division. The country is divided into many states, the federal government is divided into three branches, and even in the legislature there exists the division of the House and the Senate.

Article I states that the legislature represents the people. Only the House of Representatives represents the people directly because it is” composed of Members chosen every Year by the People of several states…” (Article I, Section 2). But due to the ratio of population per representative, the House often serves the popular, therefore majority opinion.

To adjust this, Article I immediately follows up with the Senate, which prevents the override of popular opinion. “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.” (Article I, Section 3) By having two votes regardless of the number of population ensures the power of minorities in Congress.

The combination of the more “democratic” House and the more “conservative” Senate together represent the people. The President, however, is guaranteed his individuality from Congress. As a result, he has limited influence over congress.

For example, the Constitution states that “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by the Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.” (Article I, section 8) The legislature controls the federal money, and the President can’t borrow from it unless Congress approves it. However, he is free to suggest what to use it for and when to use it. 

Furthermore, the President doesn’t need to rely on Congress since Congress needs to pay him the same salary regardless. “The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected…” (Article II, Section 1) 

The constant push and pull between the legislature and the executive branch show how democracy is being contained and utilized. In some aspects, it may appear undemocratic, for example, the number of representatives per population greatly affects a party’s power in the House. But it is a smartly designed system that has flaws here and there but overall, successfully abolishes the aristocratic system of Britain.

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