Are you sure you want to delete this answer?
A tribute to the Anti-Federalists The standard American myth celebrates the Constitution as the triumphant culmination of the American Revolution.
This is largely untrue and misleading. Those who assembled at the Philadelphia Convention to write a new Constitution were not disinterested demigods, nor did they intend to establish a federal system of divided government powers.
The Constitution did not have the support of most Americans. And finally, rather than representing the culmination of the previous Revolution, the Constitution represented a reactionary counter-revolution against its central principles.
The American Revolution, like all great social upheavals, was brought off by a disparate coalition of competing viewpoints and conflicting interests. Although by no means in unanimous agreement, the radicals objected to excessive state power in general and not simply to British rule in particular.
They sought a strong American state with the hierarchical features of the 18th-century British state, only without the British. The Revolution started out as a struggle against taxation. What passed among the newly independent American states for a central government, the Second Continental Congress, did not have access even to this usual state power.
For revenue, Congress initially had to rely on requisitions from the state governments, which could not get away with very extensive taxation themselves.
Yet the military strategy adopted by Congress required large expenditures. Military conservatives such as George Washington induced Congress to focus the Revolutionary effort on a costly conventional force, the Continental Army, rather than the militias.
They proceeded to implement a financial program that gave the central government much more power. Already, the Revolution had taken an important step in this direction with the drafting of the Articles of Confederation, a written constitution.
The Articles left Congress not too weak, as defenders of the Constitution claim, but too strong: Congress appointed him head of the newly created Department of Finance, from which post he became a virtual financial dictator. An amendment to the Articles granting Congress the power to impose an import duty looked in like it would receive the required unanimous approval of the states, but tiny Rhode Island held out.
Morris and the nationalists made a last-ditch effort in March to coerce the states with the Continental Army, then encamped at Newburgh, New York. The radical suspicion of standing armies stood fully vindicated, for never has the United States been closer to succumbing to an American Caesar.
At this point, however, Washington, although firmly endorsing nationalist goals, balked. His personal intervention caused the Newburgh conspiracy to disband. As the war wound down, the financial pressure on the national government, and the apparent need to grant taxing power to Congress, diminished.
The nationalists lost control of Congress in lateand Morris resigned his post after an incriminating investigation into his financial machinations. Congress wisely discharged most of what was left of the Continental Army. Unfortunately, the war-induced nationalization of the Northwest lands had shifted the burden of policing that territory from the states to a national force.
So Congress authorized a small frontier constabulary to be raised from the state militias for fixed periods. The still-unceded Southwest territory got along fine without congressional attention. Eastern land speculators, however, found the Northwest force insufficient to protect their vast claims from Indians, squatters, and foreign intrigue.
They looked forward instead to a strong standing army.
|Related Questions||Jack Rakove, Original Meanings:|
|Expert Answers||Democracy is government of, by, and for the people. It is government of a community in which all citizens, rather than favored individuals or groups, have the right and opportunity to participate.|
Chastened but not repentant after the Newburgh conspiracy, they had organized a hereditary fraternal association, the Society of the Cincinnati. Through this new nationalist pressure group, they campaigned for a military capable of quelling domestic disturbances and rivaling European armies.
Once Congress repudiated the paper money it had issued during the war, there should have been no obstacle to repudiating the debt as well. This was an overestimate by as much as 75 percent of their real specie worth and thus a generous subsidy to creditors.“To what extent did the Southern colonies demand the Second Amendment as a way to protect them from their fears of slave uprisings, rebellion, and violence?” There were some delegates who felt confident that the Constitution already prohibited the.
To what extent did the failures of the Articles of Confederation lead to the Constitutional Convention of ? Was the U.S. Constitution created primarily from compromise or consensus? What elements of the Constitution make it a "living" document?
Why Was the Constitution Necessary? States a bedrock of continuity and stability. Because we live under these rules, it is essential that we know what they are, why they were established, how they have been implemented, and how they directly affect us. The Constitution not only designed a .
To what extent is the Constitution of the United States a ‘repressive’ Document? The Constitution of the United States of America was the solution to fix the weaknesses that Articles of Confederation had caused the United States.
Transcript of To what extent was the United States Constitution a radical departure from the Articles of Confederation? To what extent was the United States Constitution a radical departure from the Articles of Confederation?
Ellen Paquet US Constitution vs. Articles of Conferation The numerous. This illustrates his strong beliefs in limiting federal power and interpreting the extent of federal power through a strict construction of the Constitution.
He furthered this same point when he wrote the Kentucky Resolutions in (Doc. B).