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Controversial Issues In The United States

990 words - 4 pages

Throughout history, especially when a new country is formed, there are many controversial issues. These issues come up when not everyone agrees on how the country should be run. In the United States, especially in the early years, there were various issues. These issues split the United States into 2 political parties. In the early 1800’s, these 2 parties were the Democratic Republicans and the Federalists. Democratic Republicans believed in a strong state government. The Federalist believed in a strong central government. Some of the issues they disagreed on were ratification of the Constitution and the purchase of the Louisiana Territory.
Before the Constitution came to be, the United States had a set of laws called the Articles of Confederation, which were approved in 1781. The Articles of Confederation gave a lot of power to the states and not very much to the central government. Very soon after the Articles of Confederation was created, many problems came up. As it states in Document 1, Congress could not tax or pay its bills or debts. It could neither protect its country from mercantilist European empires nor supply the army. They could not even revise the Articles of Confederation in order to be able to levy taxes since it needed the unanimous consent of all thirteen states. The state was much too powerful, leaving the federal government almost powerless. In 1787, 55 delegates from 12 states convened to revise the Articles of Confederation. During the convention, they came up with a plan that created three branches to the Federal government. The constitution created a strong government with lots of power given to the Federal government and stripped the state government of a lot of its power. This created 2 sides, Federalist, and Anti-Federalists. Federalists believed in a strong central government. The Federalists were supported by most of the North, John Jay, George Washington, and James Madison. They believed that a strong central government equals a strong nation. John Jay says, in Document 2, that the foreign nations will view America in whatever situation they are in. If they are united and have an efficient government, they will be more likely to cultivate a friendship rather than bother the United States. If the United States’ government is not effectual, not united, and the states are quarrelling between each other and each inclining to a different country, America will make a pitiful figure in their eyes. By America being centralized and united, they will gain the respect of other countries.
The Anti-Federalists did not like the constitution. Men such as John Quincy Adams and people from the South believed the states should have more power than the Federal government. They felt that the Constitution threatened the state government and the people’s natural rights. They believed that having a president was just like having a king and would soon corrupt the government. They argued that the United States is too vast to be governed by...

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