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Essay/Term paper: Another constitution

Essay, term paper, research paper:  American History

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"Thank God it

was ratified!" With the Constitution the elite society

protected rights for every American that would secure and

ensure our nation's existence for hundreds of years. Under

the Articles of Confederation, the United States' government

was in a state of chaos. To end the existing chaos and build

a stronger democratic society for the future, the government

would need to be more powerful and centralized. Thus, the

elite class established the rules and boundaries that would

protect the rights of all citizens from a suppressive

government. The Articles created a weak, almost

nonexistent national government that was in complete control

by the states. The newly formed government had neither an

executive or judicial branch, which meant that it lacked

enforcement powers. There were three problems that

existed under the Articles of Confederation that would

spawn an act of change. First, under the Articles of

Confederation the government could not protect property

and other rights of the citizens. Second, the society created

under the Articles of Confederation lacked a means of

advancing commerce and interstate trade. Third, government

lacked the money and power to provide an adequate

national defense. Traders and commercial men found their

plans for commerce on a national scale impeded by local

interference with interstate commerce. The currency of the

states and the nation were hopelessly muddled. Creditors

everywhere were angry about the depreciated paper money

which the agrarians had made and were attempting to force

upon those from whom they had borrowed specie. Poor,

small landowning farmers could not sell or trade goods that

they produced on their land to other states. The "muddled

currency" in 1786, led to the loss of land in Massachusetts.

During this time Continental army veterans were unable to

pay their debts with the paper money that they were

supplied with by the Continental Congress. This bankruptcy

led to the loss of land and a great rebellion led by Daniel

Shays. The Shay's rebellion was ended easily enough but it

was the lack of national government that frightened people.

Had Daniel Shays gathered a larger number of people and

had more fire power the small amount of farmers and

townspeople might not have been able to squash this

rebellion. Anarchy in the States could not be tolerated.

However it was James Madison that stated that the way to

abolish the rule by faction is to abolish liberty but that liberty

is essential to a faction as air is to fire. Madison continues to

state that, "The inference to which we are brought is, that the

causes of faction cannot be removed; and that relief is only

to be sought in the means of controlling its effects." Madison

understood that to take away liberty was to stop a faction

and therefore if a hindrance or boundary on liberty was

established it would control the rule by faction. Madison was

opposed to complete abolishment of liberty and therefore

the most reasonable decision was to place boundaries on it.

Madison and the elite class noticed how the Articles of

Confederation disrupted the majority of the American

people and created a system of government where liberty

was so free that it hindered society. The decision to create a

new system of government was in the best interest of all the

people in America. In creating the Constitution there were

many conflicting views of how the newly created government

should function. Alexander Hamilton, wanted a strong

central government in which a Senate and executive power

were chosen for life by indirect election; therefore creating

an aristocracy. George Mason, an antifederalist, objected to

the final document because of the possibility that this new

government would create an aristocracy. Mason also

proposed that, "there is no declaration of Rights" and the

"Legislature [cannot prohibit] the further Importation of

Slaves," which he felt was destructive of the country's moral

fiber. On the Bill of Rights issue, the government did not

need regulations that stated what it cannot do because a

government cannot act unless it is stated within the law. If

there was not a law that stated that they could censor the

press then it is illegal for them to do so. Mason and many

other antifederalists were opposed to the Constitution

because it allowed the importation of slaves for at least

another twenty years. Without this clause in the Constitution

it never would have been ratified because the South would

not have voted for ratification denying the Constitution the

three fourths vote that it needed. Although the importation of

slaves in the Constitution was not ideal there was not a way

to ratify the Constitution without the South's vote on this

issue. Charles A. Beard criticizes the creators of the

Constitution deeming that, "the direct, impelling motive was

the economic advantages which the beneficiaries expected

would accrue to themselves first, from their action." Beard

continues his evaluation on the framers by citing that, "Not

one member represented in his immediate personal

economic interests the small farming or mechanic classes."

Beard cites more of his facts in that, "The overwhelming

majority of members, at least five-sixths, were immediately,

directly, and personally interested in the outcome of their

labors at Philadelphia." In his report Beard seems to cite

numerous facts which prove that his statement is correct in

that the framers had personal concerns that outweighed the

democratic sincerety of the new government. Beard's

examples are so precise as to say that, "five-sixths were

personally interested in the outcome of their labors," that it is

unbelievable that such a fact could be true. Was a poll taken

during this time on whether the framers had personal intents

in the creation and ratification of the Constitution? Beard's

thesis seems so ridiculous that it needs to be taken with a

grain of salt and as Robert Brown stated that Beard's thesis

if accepted is done so on 'an act of faith' and not an analysis

of historical method. There were a few problems within the

Constitution of the United States of America, but the effects

that it produced in society were far more positive than that of

the Articles of Confederation. The chaos that was

constructed under the Articles were legally banned under the

Constitution. The slave trade and acts of slavery would last

many more years but finally it was ended very bloodily.

Although the history of the United States has not always

been a happy one the ratification of the Constitution still is

one of America's best accomplishments.  

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