How did the framers of the Constitution balance the competing claims of local self-government, sectional interests, and national authority?

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Reconciling each of these concerns presented a number of challenges for the Philadelphia convention, and the solutions they developed were a combination of ad hoc compromises and carefully developed political institutions. Let us look at each, acknowledging throughout that they were not isolated from each other. 

As for local self-government, some of the Framers were determined to develop a powerful central government that superseded the powers of the state governments. This was largely because they were concerned about some of the laws being passed by state legislatures, especially those related to currency and debt. James Madison, for example, proposed that the national government should be able to veto state laws. However, others argued that the states needed to remain essentially sovereign, even if the national government should be afforded a few powers. The solution they developed has been known as "federalism." It entailed the delegation of some important powers (making treaties,...

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