Essay, Research Paper
A Plan in the Making
Some people have always wondered whether the making of Constitution of the United States was, in fact, supposed to happen at the Constitutional Convention or if it was even supposed to be drawn up in the way it was. In this essay, I will summarize to different views on what went on at the Constitutional Convention and how the Constitution of the United States come about. I want to emphasize that none of these views or theories discussed in this essay are my own. The convention that is referred to was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It began In May of 1787.
I will first discuss John P. Roche s views on the framing of the Constitution. He begins talking about the Founding Fathers. He called great democratic politicians. He says that even though they were great politicians, they had to proceed with caution. This was because they did not want to upset the public. They needed to keep the people s interest in concern at all times. Roche said that the Founding Father s relied on experience not reason.
He argues that even though the politicians wanted something else, they still had to conform to the general population. If they did not, then the public would not accept anything that came out of this convention. Roche also says that there were those that wanted a monarchy or a different type of government other than what the Articles of Confederation provided. Some representatives wanted a more centralized form of government, meaning that, more power would be given to the National Government. Others wanted the majority of the power to remain with the states. The reason being that people did not want a government that was like Britain s. With this entire situation going on, how were the representatives going to form a new government? Roche says that the Constitutionalists had great success in convincing all the other representatives that change was needed and necessary.
After this, the majority of the representatives felt the need to not revise the Articles of Confederation, but to make a whole new document stating all of the laws and rules that were to be a new government. Roche then says that even though all of these representatives were in agreement about making a new government, they all had their own ideas on how it would work. With all the representatives arguing over whose idea was better, only compromise would be the final solution.
Roche after his analysis is done, concludes that the Constitution of the United States was actually a series of compromises to fulfill not only the public s needs, but also to satisfy all of the representatives at the Constitutional Convention.
In Charles A. Beard s discussions, he also says that the convention was not held to frame a new supreme law of the land. He says that after the United States had gained its independence, all that was left to do was to maintain social order, and to develop favorable conditions that appeal to not only the public, but to the new economy of this new country. This, however, would be a difficult class. Beard refers to this struggle or battle as the war between business and populism. Those that attended the convention for how the economy was going to be run, were not great philosophers of that time, but rather, business, property and stockholders of public securities.
Beard states that the Articles of Confederation had hardly gone into effect before all of the well-respected leaders felt that the balance of power was inadequate. After previous attempts of trying to revise the Articles of Confederation, Congress finally ordered a convention to be held for the mere purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.
Beard says that the representatives could not discourage the majority, but also had to make sure that every decision was to be a popular one. In Beard s analysis, he states that Mr. Madison had warned the rest of the people attending the convention that they must not lose sight of changes that will occur through the process of time. He also stated that the distribution of property would play a huge role in how society views this new government. Madison said the property was the main object of society. Even though there was great opposition, the representatives protected the interests of property.
Checks and balances also played a big role in the convention. The reason is simple. No one branch of government should over power the other branches. People feared that an emergence of a dictator would lead back to what they had fought to free them from.
Now, came the challenge of adopting this new constitution. Everyone had different views on how the government run. Now even though most issues were resolved by compromise, the delegates could not have been happy with every piece of legislature. Compromise meant that your idea was not exactly accepted the way it was so it had to be changed. People want to be known for their great ideas, but with them being changed they can t take full credit for that particular idea.
Now even all of this compromise went on, the delegates finally agreed on one supreme law of the land. They all felt the need for change. Even though some were only interested in property and others only in it for their state that they were representing, they all knew that change was necessary. With that, the Constitution of the United States was born, and a brand new beginning was about to begin.