Gaining Their Independence What Were the Principal Term Paper
- Length: 5 pages
- Subject: American History
- Type: Term Paper
- Paper: #43217925
Excerpt from Term Paper :
gaining their independence, what were the principal concerns Americans had about constructing a frame of government, and how were these concerns addressed in the structure of the Constitution?
After Americans gained their independence from England the next step was to structure the frame of a new government. In 1787 it was determined that the Articles of Confederation would be tossed out and an entirely new government frame would be constructed which would reflect the new views of the nation. The delegates from each state argued and debated behind closed doors about what the framework of the new government would include (The Constitution of the United States (http://www.archives.gov/exhibit_hall/charters_of_freedom/constitution/constitution.html).There were several chief points of concern to those who were developing the frame. One of the most important aspects of the debate was how much power each state should be allowed to have. This included debates on how many members each state should have in Congress. In addition there was concern about how much power the central government should have. Once the numbers were agreed upon a new concern took shape. The argument turned to how these representatives should be elected. Some wanted the representatives to be elected by the public and others felt the state legislators should have the ability to elect the representatives (The Constitution of the United States (http://www.archives.gov/exhibit_hall/charters_of_freedom/constitution/constitution.html).
As history has revealed the decision was made that the public would elect those that they wanted to represent them in the various political offices. These were extremely important issues to be decided because it would set the stage for the entire future of the nation. Today, the framework that was decided upon then is still in operation today.
2.- What was the process for ratification of the Constitution, and what major addition was required for its final approval?
After the constitution of the United States was penned it still had to be accepted, or ratified by the various states that it would govern. The ratification process was not a simple one because there were many concerns and disagreements about certain aspects of its content along the way (Constitutional Topic: The Federalists and Anti-Federalists (http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_faf.html).
The ratification process involved each state looking the document over and voting on whether or not to accept it in its whole and entire content or if there were changes that needed to be made first. The initial introduction of the Constitution was immediately accepted by three states. Within three months Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey read, discussed and ratified (accepted) the Constitution precisely the way it was penned. In January 1788 two more states ratified it by vote, and they were Georgia and Connecticut (Constitutional Topic: The Federalists and Anti-Federalists (http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_faf.html).
Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia were key states, both in terms of population and stature." And they did not immediately accept and ratify the constitution as it was written. Massachusetts had many heated debates about whether or not it would ratify the constitution eventually ratifying it. New Hampshire and South Carolina soon followed. The Bill of Rights (Ammendements 1-10) was added to try and capture the approval of several hold out states (Constitutional Topic: The Federalists and Anti-Federalists (http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_faf.html).
The problem arose when the Anti-federalists refused to ratify the constitution. They were not comfortable with the ability of the nation to have an army in peacetime nor did they like the power being given to the national government. In the end however, it was the Bill of Rights issue that they were so set to have before giving in. Once the Bill of Rights was added and secured the final states ratified the Constitution.
3.- Alexander Hamilton was a major advocate for the Federalists. Describe the principal features of the Federalists, and how the programs Hamilton proposed reflected the Federalists' position.
The Federalist Party was comprised of those who did not want to ratify the constitution. Federalists were believers in smaller local governments. They were not in support of a large central national government. At the time of the Constitution the federalists were against several things. One of the main problems they had was the fact that the United States government was going to be able to maintain an army even during peace times. They were of the mind that the only time an army should be financially supported should be during war times. The party became more defined after 1794 (federalist party http://library.thinkquest.org/12587/contents/parties/federalist/federalists.html?tqskip1=1&tqtime=1202).
The Federalists also refused to align with France but did push for diplomatic relations with England, whom the nation had managed to break away from.
The most influential of the Federalists besides Hamilton were John Adams and John Jay, and Fisher Ames, Roger Sherman, Jonathan Trumbull, Rufus King, John Marshall, and the members of the "Essex Junto (federalist party http://library.thinkquest.org/12587/contents/parties/federalist/federalists.html?tqskip1=1&tqtime=1202)." "
Hamilton proposed several programs that underscored the federalist beliefs including individual state governments and the alignment with Britain (federalist party http://library.thinkquest.org/12587/contents/parties/federalist/federalists.html?tqskip1=1&tqtime=1202).
4.- Describe the political beliefs of Thomas Jefferson and contrast them with how he carried out the duties of the Presidency once he came into the office.
There has been much controversy about the political beliefs of Thomas Jefferson both before he became president and afterwards. To many Jefferson was considered a prophet of American civil religion. In addition he claimed to be against the legal act of slavery, though he owned many slaves himself.
He became an apologist regarding the French revolution which he viewed as a mimic of the American Revolution. Thomas Jefferson believed that Americans were superior to Europeans in many ways. He believed they were socially and morally above their European counterparts. Jefferson encouraged Virginia to resist becoming part of the nation before he became president, but when he was elected himself he worked to unite the country including the state of Virginia (The Pope of Liberty (http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/96oct/obrien/obrien.htm).
Probably the most important change in Jefferson's political beliefs was the change in slavery. He proclaimed to be against slavery and the act of slavery. Much ado has been made recently of the fact that he proclaimed to be against slavery, yet he owned several of them himself. Another change in his political beliefs was the way he encouraged Virginia not to join the nation but as president he never would have encouraged such resistance.
5.- In what ways did the transportation revolution contribute to the development of a national, capitalistic, market economy?
The transportation revolution has often been referred to as the second industrial revolution because of its tremendous contributions in many areas of American life. The revolution was instrumental in the development of the capitalist, national, and market economy. The revolution worked to expand these areas while at the same time providing avenues for growth in other areas (The Transportation Revolution (http://www.dur.ac.uk/h.j.harris/3MR/mr04.htm).The iron industry was one of the strongest boosters of capitalist economy at the time and the transportation revolution enabled the transport of products and components needed to succeed.
Dominant reality in early C19th U.S. economy: expensive, inefficient, unreliable transportation except (relatively speaking) by water-- U.S. well able to e.g. develop its agricultural resources (cotton, grain) for export markets [rise of New York as leading port in Atlantic trade; all major cities in early C19th basically ports rather than mfg centers, exc. Philadelphia], but exploitation of internal markets for manufactured goods exc. light/low volume/high value hindered by transport costs. " When the transportation revolution occurred and the development of less expensive methods were completed it exploded the industrial world and allowed for many expansions, sales far away, and the import of needed elements to manufacture and produce various products.
The development of transportation improvements was key to the success of industry around the nation (The Transportation Revolution (http://www.dur.ac.uk/h.j.harris/3MR/mr04.htm).The improvement of the railroad system provided a method by which workers, products and resources could be moved about the country at will. When…