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The Seventeenth Amendment: Cultural Changes Surrounding its Ratification The election of senators through popular vote was initiated around a hundred years ago after the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, which allowed public voting both for the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate (Rossum 2)…
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Download file to see previous pages During the nation’s early years, this electoral process was effective under a Federalist government, however the need to revise the electoral process with regards to the instatement of the members of the Senate was borne out of the need to further expand democracy, eliminate corruption tied to the election of Senators, and to remove external control over the creation of state legislatures (Neale 3). Also, relying mostly on the votes of the state legislatures caused election deadlocks which prevented the appointment of Senators and subsequently, unfilled senate vacancies for considerable periods at a time (4). This created additional problems with regards to the creation of new laws since the Senate members have longer terms of service than the members of the House of Representatives. Thus, after 124 years of relying on state legislatives on electing Senate members or waiting for the governors to appointment a replacement should a senator leave office, the Seventeenth Amendment was finally ratified on April 8, 1913 which allowed the election of Senators through popular voting (6). ...
James Madison is one of the strong proponents on the upkeep of the constitution as well as in preventing most of its amendments, especially since he believes that there is great difficulty in the process of men governing over other men (70). There must be an overall control to all members of the government in order to prevent the human inclination of following actions or decisions that came about due to vested interests, as well as to prevent the over-reliance on religion and virtue which are both subjective in nature. Also, Madison believes that a continuous process of amending the constitution would not only create problems such as the inability of most people to follow laws and regulations properly due to the inaccuracies that can be encountered after several changes were made in the original laws, thus rendering the laws much more ineffective (71). In addition, it is expected that the constitution was already a functional one since it was created by a wide variety of people, in such a way that there is a less probability that a majority of the people would be making motives that undermine the rights of the common people (73). Thus, if the constitution was made out of the various ideas and input by different individuals, it essentially governs all members of the nation, using the principles of justice and of the common good as applicable to all walks of life. In addition to the need to retain the constitution as close to the original as possible, the Founding Fathers aimed to prevent the rise of aristocracy through the ruling of only a few people and the establishment of true democracy by allowing more people to participate in the process of governance. This may ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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