James Madison - often called the Father of the Constitution
- described as "neither wholly national, nor wholly federal".
By this, Madison meant that the Constitution established both
a strong central power and protected state's rights. But to
say that something is of two parts is not to say that the parts
of state sovereignty believed the Constitution created an executive
power that was so strong it might as well have been a monarchy.
But advocates of national government felt that a strong executive
was essential to steer America through crisis. Between these
two positions, the living body of the Constitution was sculpted.
and over, the delegates to the
Philadelphia Convention clashed and compromised.
Slavery, a bill
of rights, legislative representation - all the
battles over these issues are enshrined in the language of the
Constitution. To fully appreciate the Constitution, it is necessary
to understand the questions it sought to resolve.