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The Creation Of The United States Constitution

2758 words - 11 pages

The Creation of the ConstitutionTo amend is "1. To improve; better. 2. To remove the faults or errors of; correct; rectify. 3. To alter formally by adding, deleting, or rephrasing." This is exactly what the delegates to the Constitutional Convention had in mind when they arrived in Philadelphia in May of 1787 - to amend the Articles of Confederation. They had come to "remedy the perceived weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation." But in reality that is the exact opposite of what happened. They in fact drafted up a whole new constitution. The Articles of Confederation had a profound effect on the making of the United States Constitution. There were many opposing plans and conflicting views of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention. It was these plans and views which ultimately led to the creation of the Constitution of the United States of America.The Articles of Confederation was the first Constitution of the independent United States of America. It was instituted before the Revolutionary War was even won, and was in force since 1781. Whether or not to accept the Articles was a very controversial issue, "as witnessed by the drawn-out ratification dates." Many of the people feared a strong central government, fearing that it would become tyrannical. The Articles of Confederation "created a federation in which the individual State powers ruled supreme, at the expense of a strong national government." But the Articles of Confederation had its weak points. It had no cohesive power, and was unable "to regulate abuses among the States." It had insufficient power to control commerce. It couldn't tax, and was generally powerless in setting commercial policy. Also, it could not effectively support a war effort, and the states were in an economic disaster. There was high inflation and a lot of people were being thrown in jail for debt. Many farmers were mad and were fighting back.One such farmer was Nathaniel Shay. Shay had been a former captain in the Continental army during the Revolutionary War, and led a rebellion that is today, known as Shay's Rebellion. On January 25, 1787, Shay led an army of fifteen hundred armed farmers from western Massachusetts and fought back. What they did was prevent the circuit court from sitting at Northampton, MA, and threatened to seize the seven thousand muskets and thirteen hundred barrels of gunpowder stored in the arsenal at Springfield. Although the rebellion was put down by state troops, "the incident confirmed the fears of many wealthy men that anarchy was just around the corner." After Shay's Rebellion occurred, America knew that it was time that either the Articles of Confederation had to be changed or a whole new constitution had to be established.So the Constitutional Convention was scheduled to begin on May 14, 1787, but due to delays and traffic difficulties, it actually started on May 25. Seventy-four delegates were appointed, but only fifty-five delegates attended all or part of the sessions ....

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