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Bicameral Legislature Background Overview

Bicameral Legislature Background

The concept of a bicameral legislature has its foundations as early as Ancient Greece and Rome. Though a more modern application of bicameral legislature is most evident in medieval Europe, when two houses composed of the aristocrats and the commoners was developed for representation of the estates within a realm.

The essential purpose of a bicameral legislature was to provide for representation of both the people or citizens of a nation and the collective states or provinces in the government system. The representation of both factions in one body of legislature is to provide for a method of passing legislation or laws by requiring a majority for approval. This concurrent majority provides for the ability of passing or approving legislature that is not one-sided, or favoring a particular faction in a distinct fashion.

The United States bicameral legislature, or Congress, is often cited as a prime example for bicameralism. However, there are different types of bicameral legislatures employed by different governments throughout the world.

The Federal bicameral system is the one that is most commonly associated with the integral concept of bicameral legislation. The United States, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Germany, and the European Union all employ a bicameral system. However, the method or structure in which it is put into effect varies from country to country.

A version of bicameral legislature that is considered as the classical structure is one that consists of having two Houses in which the democratic process and the federalism principle are combined in the sense of representation. The lower House is comprised of members based upon population numbers of each state or province, which are elected by the citizens of each state. The upper House is comprised of an equal number of representatives from each state and are chosen by state legislatures. The United States Congress, as well as Mexico and Australia, employ this particular bicameral system.

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