Constitution 5 Essay, Research Paper
A constitution is the legal structure of our political system, establishing governmental bodies, determining how their members are selected, and prescribing the rules by which they make their decisions. The nation’s founders, fifty-five men, met in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 to write a new constitution and to form a new government. George Washington was elected chairman of the convention. The founders were all very well educated. Over half the delegates had collage degrees, which was rare in the North American continent at that time.
They also had experience in governing. More than forty of the delegates held high offices in state governments, including three who were governors. The founders believed in the idea that the purpose of government was the protection of individual life, liberty and property.
In the opening argument, Congress, its existence and history are all questioned. It is dangerous to increase the powers of Congress. This argument states that even though Congress was constructed for the good of the people, the good of the people may not always rest at the peak. Corruption is a very real realistic circumstance and this statement expresses its anxiety towards a possible monopoly of power. If this were to occur, all efforts for freedom and liberty would be destroyed. After all, power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The yell of the commoners was also heard during the construction of the Constitution. They expect to be the managers of this constitution, and get all the power and all the money into their own hands. This was the basic argument of the common people. They feared that they would be lost in this scavenger hunt for freedom. Rightfully so, they looked out for themselves before they took into consideration the better of the nation. They feared being at the bottom of the chain and having rich lawyers and politicians forcing deeper and deeper into a hole with their import and land taxes.
Samuel Nasson, a storekeeper in Boston, made another similar argument. Suffer me, sir, to say a few words on the fatal effects of standing armies, that bane of republican governments. In his speech Nasson attempts to put down the idea of funding for a standing army. Nasson, as well as many others believe that the need for a standing army at all times is not necessary and the money and supplies that are needed are better off at home.
Both common men and those of high regard and wealth had their say on the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson felt that the Constitution was heading in the right direction but there were some distinct mistakes and also something very important left out. He wanted the Bill of Rights to be a part of the Constitution; the Bill would play the role of common laws and practices while the Constitution gave an overall view and description. Jefferson added a little more to an already good idea that made it even better. The Constitution was made better by the diversity of its people working together to cover almost every possible aspect that needed ruling.
The battle over slavery was a common issue in the Constitution and also a heated issue during that time. George Mason, one of the men that fought strongly against slavery refused to sing the Constitution when he saw that the rulings it proposed against slavery were watered down and not the direct strong ones he imagined. He goes on to warn the people of the power that the president and his people hold. He believes that if these people in high places are not watched they will destroy everyone. This is a similar feeling to that of the opening argument. An unbalanced power would lead to devastation and total corruption.
The basic intent of the makers of the Constitution was to appeal to everyone. They wanted to unify everyone under a single banner. They played a conservative role. They wanted to gain as much support as they possibly could. Playing conservatively made the radicals turn away from the constitution as we saw in the case of George Mason. Mason turned away due to the lack of strength in the rulings of slavery. Another reason why people feared the Constitution was its overall power. The people had never seen such power and regulation set up in just one idea. They looked out for themselves and their families, at the expense of the government. They were not willing to pay for what they felt was not necessary. This forced the government to give in to some of the demands issued by the people.