History Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

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

Expert Answers info

Alec Cranford eNotes educator| Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write5,871 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

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As for local self-government, some of the Framers were determined to develop a powerful central government that superseded the powers of the state governments.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,...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 916 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write681 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

check Approved by eNotes Editorial