The Constitution And The Articles Of Confederation

950 words - 4 pages

Bankrupt, and on her knees for solutions, America was in a state of distress. Politicians alike recognized that The Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1777, desperately needed revision as well as modification. Under the Articles, a Continental Congress had been shaped, which was allocated virtually no authority to collect revenue, handle domestic affairs, or control commercial trade. Shortly after the Revolutionary War, America, had no way of compensating soldiers, or honoring investors and foreign nations for their loans. Losing faith in the nation as a whole, the States asked the Continental Congress to organize the Constitutional Convention. Held in Philadelphia from May 14th to September 17th of 1787, fifty-five delegates from nation-wide convened at the capital to amend the voids never addressed in the original federal document. The Articles, was identical to a poorly tailored quilt. The entire quilt and each individual pattern, symbolized the unification of the federal and state governments. However, the quilt was tattered, and the seams frayed. The power of the federal government was reliant solely on the compliance of every state government. The founding father divided themselves into two parties, the Federalist, and the Anti-Federalist. The Anti-Federalist desired to patch and reinforce the Articles, while the Federalist supported the creation of a completely new quilt, the Constitution. Both parties argued upon hours on end, unable to answer the various fundamental questions such as, “How much power should be given to a central government?”, and “How should a central government function?”. For four months, the delegates debated how to promise rightful liberty to a nation, while promising stability, and potential future.

Federalist Alexander Hamilton, wished to model America’s central government using Britain’s as a foundation, which he considered to be “best in the world.” While not one delegate endorsed his plan of government resembling that of England’s, many delegates understood the necessity to instilling more authority to the central government. Democracy was not something Hamilton did not wish to hesitantly grant to citizens. According to him, if democracy was to be given freely, then the wealthy would be subject to “domestic violence and the depredations which the democratic spirit is apt to make.” The democratic spirit, being the common people, would plunder the property of aristocrats for themselves. Under a strong central government, the democracy would have a civil check. A stronger central government “is essential to the security of liberty.” Wielding the belief that men are “turbulent, and changing,” and “seldom judge or determine right”, it can be said that Hamilton viewed the common citizens as low (Hamilton). One belief between Federalists, is that man by heart are vulgar. In Federalist Paper 10, James Madison defends the institution of strong central government in order to “secure public good and...

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