In his speech, The Making of the U.S. Constitution, Gordon Wood discusses the history of how the U.S. Constitution came to be. He explains what factors contributed to its making and what the general consensus was about it during the time. He explains that the reason the constitution was created was because the government needed more power. Why did the government need more power? In short, to unify the 13 states and make life, in general, easier for its citizens, officers, artisans, and even to help with commercial interests (Wood, 2012).
Gordon Wood explains that the reason that the new Federal Constitution was considered a “radical experiment” was because it was giving the government power. Very few people wanted to have a government with power, seeing as they had just escaped from under Britain’s rule (Wood, 2012). Additionally, when the Articles of Confederation were first written, the first goal was to limit the powers of the central government” (Ginsberg et. al., 2013 pg. 42). However, these framers sought a government that seemed to defy this ideal of a limited government, they wanted a strong government and they wanted to “prevent what they saw as a threat posed by the ‘excessive democracy’ of the state and national government under the Articles of Confederation” (Ginsberg et. al., 2013 pg. 49). This ideal that the framers had in mind is unsurprisingly “radical” relative to the ideals of the time.
What are his main arguments and evidence?
Gordon Wood’s speech seems more informative than argumentative. However, I can say that he was arguing that there w...
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...eemed more a hindrance to a solution than a recipe for effective governance” and there still appears to be some debt over the role of government in regards to what it “should do and how far it should do to reduce the inequalities within our society and political system” (Ginsberg et. al., 2013 pg. 37, 23). While this particular debate is over fixing inequalities, I believe that it still demonstrates how we, as a country, still struggle to decide what the role of government should be. Lastly, we read in the textbook that “in 2012, 57 percent of people disagreed with the idea that the ‘government is really run for the benefit of all the people’”, and 62 percent of people felt that elected officials did not care about what they think. (Ginsberg et. al., 2013 pg. 8). This survey really goes to show exactly how much Americans believe in the framer’s “radical experiment”.
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