We leave the magic of the Tidal Basin in cherry blossom time and head for the Capitol. The significance of the three “greats” we have just visited in our walk, Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson, will be even greater as we see the home of the Legislative Branch of our government. This branch was created to make certain that we remained “We the People.” I thought about the arguments that were present as our Founders struggled and argued passionately about creating a government that would ensure a legacy of freedom. What was needed to insure the continuation of this great experiment in self-government?
They had no pattern; this was not a cookie-cutter government. They had no former path to follow. They knew that power had to always rest with the people; they knew that they had to have checks and balances. They also had to have a branch that adjudicated when differences could be settle no other way. They created our republic. They created this “shining city on a hill.”
They fought; they struggled; they died to create a new birth of freedom under God with justice for all, with the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. They declared their independence from tyranny and abused power. They created this government where the Executive Branch, the president, is one leg, but only one leg of three. The Capitol building we see ahead houses another one of the legs. The arguments about this branch were vigorous and passionate. Some wanted a strong central government and others wanted the power to be decentralized.
The Founders finally decided on having two groups: to create equality between the small and large states, each state would have two senators; the second group would be based on the population of the state, the representatives.
Our next part of the walk is to explore the art in the Capitol that depicts our Christian heritage.