OK, I realize I misread kb's post on that one; the establishment of the Senate was quite literally, as you said, for the purpose of appeasing the smaller states (minority power). I had it in my head that he was arguing that the Senate was established to oppress minority states. Anyway thanks for the reminder that I need to brush up on my constitutional history.
Edit: I guess what I want to highlight is that there's an enduring myth that these institutions had some brilliant political theory behind them, that the Founding Fathers had genius and vision, and not that they were the result of shitty people acting like shit heads because they saw that they could get a better deal for themselves. Same as it ever was.
Well, maybe that's kind of what makes it brilliant. It wasn't a product of some monarch's self-proclaimed genius, or divine intervention, or academic experts who, given the time period, believed most ailments could be solved by slapping some cocaine on it. Instead, it was a series of power-brokering, leveraging for selfish ends, truly politics as we know it until a compromise was reached. I'd argue that's what makes it a reliable, integral document: its means and motives are no mystery at all, they're unabashedly human. e- then again this whole experiment was designed with great exclusivity by a very small group of people who absolutely loved themselves, so its a flimsy point to make on my part.