The American founding fathers were classically educated members of the landed gentry. Their concepts of liberty agreed with those of the ancient Greeks and Romans who saw liberty as being the collective sovereignty of the free men of the country in determining the matters of the state.
The founding fathers concept of liberty was affronted by the various pieces of legislation passed in the British parliament regarding the regarding the colonies despite the fact that the colonies had no representation in the British Parliament. The ‘Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress’ state that: “That the foundation of English liberty, and of all free government, is a right in the people to participate in their legislative council.”
The right of representation is reflected in the constitution in the Article 1 section 1 which states that: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives”.
The British Parliament passed the Massachusetts Government act, in retaliation for the Boston Tea party, which removed all traces of self-governance from the colony of Massachusetts by having all the top administrative posts in the government filled by appointment of the King or the Governor (Murrin, 2007).
The Article 1 of the constitution sets out the structure of the legislature of the federation with members of the lower house being elected by the people. The Article 2 section 2 bind the President to make appointments to public office only with the ‘advice and consent’ of the legislature: “…and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for.”
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