Why did the Americans select the constitutional order they did in 1787-1789, and why did they reject a more democratic and confederal form not more than a decade old? In 1787, twenty-nine delegates convened in Philadelphia to tweak the Articles of Confederation. Some delegates, however, arrived with the intention of creating a completely new constitution. James Madison proposed the Virginia Plan, a plan which advocated a balanced, three-branch method of government with a bicameral, or two-house, Congress. In contrast, William Paterson submitted the New Jersey Plan which merely amended the Articles by giving the federal government more power.
By throwing off the British monarchy it left the states without a central government. The states needed a new government and fast, which paved way for the first constitution, the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation was started on November 15th 1777, and was in force on March 1, 1781. It was written to bring a union between the 13 states: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The article was written in the early part of the American Revolution by the committee of the second continental congress, because of the wars with Great Britain and the experience they have had with them.
They were now going to take on an even greater task then fighting the British: establishing a system of government that would be fair and that would be accepted throughout all of America. One thing the founding fathers knew they had to do was establish a document that would unite the states under one system of laws, so they would be a single country. The Articles of Confederation were too weak and could not meet the demands the country as whole needed, so they drafted a new constitution. This new constitution was a brilliant document that expressed how there is no true sovereign power because the power ultimately lies in the people. This document, created in the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, was to become the foundation for our country and is still the chief document that the America of today follows.
Under the Articles of Confederation the British colonies were to unite, become individual self-sovereign states, and distinguish themselves as the United States of America. It would allow them to abandon the statutes of the British monarchy and plan an organized government... ... middle of paper ... ...overnment was absolutely necessary to regulate national laws and avoid disarray. However, the Anti-Federalists were content with the states possessing more power than the government and worried about the elimination of slavery in the South. Somehow, these two groups had to come to an accord to allow for the passing of the Constitution. On June 21, 1788 the U.S. Constitution became effective after it was ratified by the required nine states.
After winning their independence in the American Revolution, America's leaders were hesitant to create a strong centralized government in fear that it would only replace King George III's tyranny. As a result, the first constitution, the Articles of Confederation, gave the national government hardly any power over the states, and created chaos within the nation. Because of the Articles' inefficiency, a new document called the Constitution was drafted. The Constitution created a more centralized government with the separation of powers among executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The ratification of this new constitution created a debate among the federalists and the anti-federalists.
This reform came in the form of the Constitution of 1789. Commensurate representation was the first issue faced by the Confederation Congress. The Articles mandated a continuation of the structure used during the Revolutionary War, whereby each state had one vote in Congress, but some of the states disagreed. “If distance made unreasonable the notion that the thirteen colonies could be well governed from London, distance made almost equally far-fetched the notion that the thirteen states could be well governed by a single national government” (McDonald). Thus, the large states advocated a form of repres... ... middle of paper ... ...ver be passed and creating an inflexible government.
As a federalist Alexander Hamilton wanted to establish a stronger federal government under a new Constitution. He met in Philadelphia with other delegates to discuss how to fix the Articles of Confederation that created a weak central government. During the meeting, Hamilton expressed his view that a dependable current source of revenue would be crucial to develop a more powerful and resilient central government. Although Hamilton played a diminutive part in the writing of the Constitution itself, he did heavily influence its ratification. In cooperation with James Madison and John Jay, Hamilton wrote fifty one of eighty five essays under the joint title The Federalist “The Federalist Paper.” In the essays, he cunningly explained and defended the newly drafted Constitution prior to its approval.
If the government “derviv[ed] their just powers” from the people, not from divine authority, as it was with Britain and other monarchies, then it followed that the government would only be able to exercise powers in the areas allocated by the people and, therefore, would be limited to their purview alone (Cummings 2015, 64). This was an important point because it ensured the America would never be under the illegitimate rule of a tyrant again. This idea directly connected to the final important principle of government the Declaration laid out; the right to revolution. If a government had become “destructive of these ends”, such as failing to protect the people’s rights or abusing the
Small states wanted equal representation which would give them the majority of votes in the national legislature. A disagreement arose among the states. Each side made their own government plan that would fix the problems of the Articles of Confederation. Before the convention began, the “Father of the Constitution” James Madison had written up a plan for a United States national government. He named it “The Virginia Plan.” This plan proposed a strong national government.
This later became a huge issue for the government. (Celebrate the Constitution) At the end of the Constitutional Convention a delegate from Virginia, George Mason, discussed the addition of a bill of rights, but the other delegates opposed this. (Munson) The Anti-Federalists debated that the powers of the new national government would endanger the powers of the solo states and the liberties of the people. (Celebrate the Constitution)However, the Federalists said that adding a bill of rights to the Constitution would be unneeded. A Federalist, Alexander Hamilton, said the federal government would only use the certain assigned and limited powers, and that it would not threaten the basic liberties of the people.