A Balancing Act

Jeffrey F. Meyer

in Myths in Stone

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2001 | ISBN: 9780520214811
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520921344 | DOI:
A Balancing Act

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This chapter describes the division of power in the new republic. It then explores how the new order was incorporated in the planning of Washington. Washington presents an axial structure far different from that in traditional China and Adolf Hitler's imagined Berlin, based on its careful dispersal. The power relationships in Washington are more complicated and required more delicate articulation. For the American system, there were two primary balancing acts: among the three branches of government, and between the sovereign states and the national government. Furthermore, the chapter evaluates how the urban structure of Washington mirrors the political structure set forth in the Constitution. Pennsylvania Avenue has become the ceremonial axis of Washington and the nation, America's “Main Street.” A famous, perhaps apocryphal, story brings out the major function of Pennsylvania Avenue—to separate the powers and at the same time to connect them.

Keywords: Pennsylvania Avenue; Washington; Constitution; power; China; Adolf Hitler; Berlin; sovereign states; national government

Chapter.  10532 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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