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The Ghosts Of The Founding Fathers.

949 words - 4 pages

The Ghosts of the Founding FathersWhen our Nation was known as, ?These United States Of America,? our ?Founding Fathers? had obstacles to overcome when making our Constitution. Alfred F. Young describes these obstacles as the haunting of ghost?s, ? Symbols of the broadly based movements elites had confronted in the making of the Revolution from 1765 to 1775...? (150). Young explains how these, ?ghosts?? made their presence at the, ?Philadelphia Convention even if they were not present.? (150). The four ?ghosts?? who made their presence at the Philadelphia Convention were, Thomas Paine, Abraham Yates, Daniel Shays and Thomas Peters.The first ?ghost? was Thomas Paine, according to Young, he was, ?The most influential radical democrat of the Revolutionary Era.? (150). Thomas Paine released a pamphlet in 1776 that, ?Rejected not only King George III but the principles of monarchy and the so-called checks and balances of the unwritten English Constitution.? (150). This pamphlet was called Common Sense. Thomas Paine?s pamphlet of Common Sense, offers a ?Vision of a democratic government in which a single legislature would be supreme, the executive minimal, and representatives would be elected from small districts by a broad electorate for short terms so they could ?return and mix again with the voters.? (150). One of the ?Founding Fathers, John Adams, thought that Common Sense was, ?Too ?democratical? , without even an attempt at mixed government that would balance democracy with aristocracy.? (150). The ?ghost? of Thomas Paine was ?slayed? in three ways. First, clearly an act of ?coercion,? James Madison, ?Wanted some kind of national veto over the state legislatures [?] no state could emit paper money or pass laws impairing the obligations of contracts.? (152). According to Young, the second solution to the ghost of Thomas Paine was to ?end run around of the State legislatures.?(152). And thirdly, according to Young, Madison?s solution to ?the problem of protecting propertied interests from democratic majorities(152),? was to ?extend the sphere of government.?(152).The second ?ghost,? according to Young, was the ghost of Abraham Yates. Being a member of the New York state senate, Abraham Yates was typical of the ?men who had risen to power in the 1780s in the state legislature.?(150). Explained Young. In a memorandum in 1787, James Madison recognized the ?vices of the political system of the United States.?(150). Madison stated that, ?The Abraham Yateses were the number-one problem.? Madison explained that, ?the state legislatures had an itch for paper money laws, laws that prevented foreclosure on farm mortgages, and tax laws that soaked the rich.?(150). Madison thought this meant ?debtors defrauded their creditors and the landed interest has borne hard on the mercantile interest?(151). According to Young, ?They would slay the ghost of Abraham Yates with the ghost of Thomas Paine.?(152)The third ?ghost? was the ghost...

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