Our Founding Fathers Motives Essay, Research Paper
Some people see the Founders of our constitution as capitalists, out only to benefit themselves and their bank accounts, and yet others see them as people who were only out to benefit the actual people of the United States. In my opinion, every man that was involved with writing the constitution was a little of both. Each was out to better his situation, yet I also believe that each was out to better the actual public?s interests. All in all the Founders agreed upon a great document which set up a well rounded government for our new country.
Each of the Founders was of high statute in society and also most were very well educated. Thirteen of the delegates were businessmen, merchants, or shippers, six were major land speculators, eleven speculated in securities in large scales, twelve owned or managed slave-operated plantations or large farms, nine of the men derived most of their income form public office, three were retired, and only two were actual small farmers. Most of these men had other professions as well, such as physicians, lawyers, ministers, and scholars. A small number of the delegates were wealthy as well as a number of them had been born into leading families. As can be seen, each of these men had great amounts to gain from a strong central government, but yet still great amounts to lose. Promoting this strong central government, to some was great because it allowed for their businesses to be protected and allowed for one single type of currency for the entire country. Both of these were benefits to the Founders because it allowed them to make money in all ways. But in return it could also hurt them by putting restrictions upon how they conduct business and how much they could charge for certain things.
Yet in spite of all of this, all of these men had seen the despair of the poor and knew that if something was not done soon and their government collapsed that everything that they had fought for in the Revolutionary War would be gone. Some of these men had fought for such the cause and would sacrifice everything to keep what they had fought so hard to achieve.
Even though knowing all of this each Founder knew that in order to create a government that would function without glitch their greatest weapon would be that of compromise. There were two plans that were placed upon the table to which the opposing side liked, the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan. The Virginia Plan was a government which would benefit mostly the larger states. It called for a strong central government with three branches, the legislative, executive, and the judicial branches. Each of these branches was to have its own power inwhich it could act. The legislative branch was to hold complete power on all things inwhich the individual states were not capable of acting. This branch could also veto any state laws that it felt necessary to do. This branch was to be comprised of to houses, the House and the Senate, inwhich one was directly elected by the people and the other being appointed by the house chosen by the state legislature. The executive and judiciary branches were to be appointed by a national legislature. To control the power for the national legislature, this plan enacted to allow the executive branch as well as some of the judiciary branch the power to veto any act of the legislature, all of this being part of the system inwhich we call checks and balances. The New Jersey Plan, on the other hand benefited that of the smaller states by proposing that each state should get only one vote in congress, thus making every state equal.
In the end everyone was forced to use their greatest weapon, compromise. This compromise was in entirety to satisfy the smaller states. It stated that one house of congress would be directly elected by the people and would be based on the population of the state. While on the other hand the other house of congress would consist of two members from each state that would be chosen by the state legislature. After this ?Great? compromise there were still many issues that were still in conflict, one being that of the president and how he would be chosen. Some thought that the president should be selected by Congress while others thought that he should be directly elected by the people. In the end compromise was used again. This time the Founders decided to make an ?Electoral College? inwhich each state would decide who would get its electoral votes by having an a popular vote, and whoever had the most electoral votes in the end became president. Another compromise had to be made over the issue of slavery. The southern states had a large population of slaves which were not considered free men, thus the northern states did not want to count them as part of the population. By doing so this would decrease the number of representatives the southern states had in the house. Yet again another compromise had to be made. This compromise was called the three-fifths compromise. This agreement said that only three-fifths of the slave population would count towards the population that decided how many representatives were given in the house. Thus throughout the convention every Founder in some way or another was forced to make some kind of compromise.
Many people have had differing views on the Constitution itself. Some say that it was simply a way for capitalists to gain more power and wealth for themselves, while others see the constitution as a holy writing that produced a strong government inwhich everything can thus function. In my opinion the Founders did a great thing by producing such a marvelous document which makes them heroes. This agrees with what John Fiske and Clinton Rossiter once said.
?By hero I mean a leader of men who engages with clear eye and stout heart in an uncertain enterprise for some purpose larger than the gratification of his ambition or the rewarding of his own friends, and whose deeds work a benevolent influence on the lives of countless other men….?
As many have seen the Founders made some good some bad decisions by which each may have had some personal gain from. Yet as we know these men not only looked to help themselves but to also help everyone in the country. None of these men were tyrants looking to feather their own nests but instead to help others and contrive a working government inwhich all the things that every citizen hold dear were retained. These men may have been looking to help themselves but as you can see they were also looking to help the entire country.