Constitutional Law

Legislative Branch

How did the U.S. Constitution structure the legislative branch?

The Constitution provides for a bicameral (two chamber) legislature—the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. The Founding Fathers found their inspiration for this bicameral model from the English Parliament, which had a House of Lords and a House of Commons. However, not all members of the Philadelphia Convention supported a two-house Congress. Some members—particularly those from less populous states—favored a one-house Congress so that they would have the same power as the larger states.

The Capitol Building houses the U.S. Congress and Senate. The United States has a bicameral system of representatives and senators inspired by the British model of government (iStock).

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