National Collective Action

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National Collective Action The framers of the U.S. Constitution were men who wanted to solve the problems of collective action and agency loss. The Articles of Confederation contained many weaknesses, and to amend this, the framers sought to create a strong central government that could delegate authority and cut down transaction costs. Many compromises were necessary in order to solve these conflicts. The framers adopted certain changes that helped to balance the need for effective national collective action against the dangers inherent in the delegation of any authority. This balance represented the political theory that was the basis for the Constitution, and it created the background for the incredibly arduous equality struggle endured by African Americans. The first task that needed to be accomplished at the Constitutional Convention was disposing of the Articles of Confederation. Under this document, there was no strong central government and legislature could not impose taxes. Instead, they had to rely on the states to voluntarily contribute tax money, which created a huge free rider problem and would not let the US pay off the debts incurred during the war. There was also no central currency under the Articles of Confederation, which led to an unstable economy and high transaction costs during trade. The framers knew that in order to solve these problems, they needed to create a strong central government that could delegate authority and cut down transaction costs. The conflicts and compromises that ensued because of this decision would frame the United States government. In settling these conflicts, the framers of the Constitution attempted to protect against the dangers inherent in the delegation of author... ... middle of paper ... ... engage in costly behavior without some expected return. When factions do not possess the capacity to defend themselves, tyranny cannot be avoided. The politics of self-interest in a fragmented constitutional system explains why it took so long to eradicate slavery and other forms of discrimination endured by African Americans. The framers of the Constitution were concerned with the weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation, and sought to correct them with an entirely new document. While effective national collective action was decidedly key, the framers were careful in protecting against the dangers inherent in the delegation of authority to government officials required to produce it. The balance achieved was one based on politics, and it would affect the success of every movement in the United States, including the African American struggle for civil rights.

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