How the Constitution

Guards Against Tyranny, by Noah French

Federalism and Big States vs Small States

The Constitution promises to separate the powers of the federal government from the powers of state governments. The Constitution gives states more pover over local issues. For example, states have the power to set up schools and local governments. According to document A, the federal government has the power over foreign issues like declaring war or regulating trade.

The Legislative branch of the national government is made up of two bodies. They are the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate is made up of two representatives (Senators) from each state. The number of representatives (Senators) per state does not depend on the size or population of the state. For example, Rhode Island a state with a small population gets the same number of representitives as Virginia, a state with a large population. This prevented the small states from being dominated by the big states. The House of Representatives is made up of representitives with proportial representation based on each state's population. The Constitution states that there should be one representitive for every 30,000 people. This allowed the big states to have a bigger say in our government.

Separation of Power and Checks and Balances

Acording to document b, the constitution protects against tyranny by separating powers so no branch of government gets too powerful. There are three branches of government: the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. Each one holds one third of the power needed to have a government.

The Constitution guards agaist tyranny again by a series of checks and balances. This means that no branch can swallow up the others. The legislative branch makes laws. The president can veto these laws, but if two third of Congress votes yes on a law, they send it off to the judicial branch where it is decided if the law is unconstitutional. If it is, it is not a law. Congess has the power to impeach the president if they don't like the way he or she is doing their job. There are many more checks and balances, but these are the main ones.