Politics and Government Book Report
- Length: 8 pages
- Subject: American History
- Type: Book Report
- Paper: #29477523
Excerpt from Book Report :
Government & Politics
The arguments contrast two observations. Which of them is the best and why? Give a detailed and substantial response.
Charles Beard and John Roche had differing views regarding the American constitution as they hailed from different background. Due to their diverse backgrounds, they have their own views regarding American constitution. A deep study of both authors shows that, John Roche is an optimist and a reformer, while Charles Beard attempts to expose the inner intentions of the founding fathers (Thesis Statement, 2014). Both authors give interesting insight into the minds of the founding fathers with rock solid evidence. Beard (1913) proposes that founding fathers had huge properties to protect while Roche (1961) argues that constitution united the nation quite effectively.
Those penning the constitution had sold commercial and financial interest of their own (p. 36)
The authors of the constitution were bent on penning a constitution protecting themselves from general population which had no property at all (p. 37)
The founding fathers had political motives
The founding fathers were politically driven and their top priority was to serve the nation within the confines of a well written constitution (pp. 11-12)
The Philadelphia Convention was a nationalist reform group working with great ethics and efficiency in an atmosphere surrounded by adversaries, but attained massive approval (p. 12).
Charles Beard was respected widely before 2nd World War after which his popularity spiraled down exponentially as he opposed American participation 2nd World War. But Roche's observation is now accepted widely as apt and correct. It was a compromise among states, financial interests and political viewpoints.
Politicians wrote the constitution
Roche appreciates the brilliant work done by founding fathers citing their superiority at working with politics on a professional level. According to Walton Hamilton, they made history whilst keeping agreement in context.
Roche notes that Philadelphia convention wasn't any Council Platonic Guardians neither College of Cardinals, but rather a nationalist reform group. They worked superbly well amid many enemies and sought popular approval.
Founders of constitution were elitist
Roche agrees on the fact that founders of the constitution were elite, yet they were hardening the ground for a stable national government, which would cover up the feebleness of Articles of Confederation.
Founding fathers weren't moneymaking individuals
Roche argues that the elite weren't capitalistic individuals having no hidden agendas of pooling properties, but rather making a stable national government. Roche has given Beard's argument a plausible counter argument.
Roche's view on the founding fathers
As the founding fathers set out to frame the constitution, they had considerable hindrances ahead of them. They did have some solid political assets which helped them maneuver the political process as the situation demanded while the opposition continued their erratic behavior, they marched ahead.
Founding father's convincing power
The founding fathers managed to persuade the elected individuals of the necessity of change. The core was fueled with the American spirit and putting U.S. On the world map.
Founding father's assets
Their assets of prime importance were:
Attendance of George Washington in the caucus as an authentic American
The superiority and talented leadership they commanded consisting of John Adam and Thomas Jefferson who were intellectuals of their time
John Roche's had released a commendable counter argument to naysayers who cited the constitution as an impractical political document having only elitist interests and frame in mind.
Reading I: "Founding Fathers: A Reform Caucus in Action"
Please explain the author's main argument concerning the Founding Fathers & the construction of the constitution. When discussing the authors arguments please provide two examples used to support his thesis.
The Articles of Confederation was written down by the U.S. revolutionaries, they did realize soon enough that it lacked the power of uniting different states. Hence an argument took place between federal and antifederal sides. The former were led by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton and the latter by Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. Hamilton contested amount of power given to Congress and new government while his opponents wanted more power local and state governments. In 1787, a compromise was reached resulting in a new constitution with its amendments called Bill of Rights. Founding fathers were happy with their work but friction between state and federal power resulted in Civil War (Berg, 2012).
John Roche in his essay on A Reform Caucus in Action, debates that the American constitution was a great compromise among states which is a complex matter as an agreement was to be reached between small and large states. He cuts out monetary intentions totally from the discussion (Dalleva, 2010). The founding fathers were concerned with keeping the nation together under a democratic document for which they fought the 1776 revolution. Roche has admitted that founding fathers were elitists after all being protective of their own states, they still made great sacrifices for the greater good (Dalleva, 2010).
Roche commences his case by terming the Constitutional Convention as a group for democratic reform. He puts great emphasis on the noble intentions of the democratic reform group. He also puts great emphasis on the word reform. He dismisses the claims of monetary intentions of the founding fathers and stresses upon their aim at reforming the government. Articles of Confederation lacked the power to be enforced (Dalleva, 2010).United States of America needed a strong constitution to remain in the world's economic atmosphere and it couldn't with weak laws. Apart from that, they realized that a central government was necessary to keep the country together while it would weaken overall democracy a bit (Dalleva, 2010).
Roche is fully aware of the political restrictions during those times which restricted the founding fathers in their mission to pen a practical constitution. New York City was one prime example of this issue at hand. Roche deems that New York's absence from this convention would result the entire project into a complete political stalemate, hence its presence was ensured at the convention. He then explain the consequent steps in some detail (Dalleva, An Analysis Of John Roche's Essay "A Reform Caucus in Action," 2010).
New York agreed to send its delegates to Constitutional Convention, and then had to pay for maintenance of their delegates as well, something done by other states for their delegates as well for instance New Hampshire. Lastly, New York made their own convention in their state for document's ratification which would be penned in Constitutional Convention. Apart from that, New York had to accept the decision of their state's convention that they needed to attend the convention at the Constitution Convention after all (Dalleva, 2010).
Examine the Virginia Plan and New Jersey Plan. What was the end result?
Madison developed the Virginia Plan which would prevent creation of state laws developed for personal gains and enable a solid national government. Bicameral legislature was the central institution. Lower house would be elected by the people, which would go on to elect upper house followed by selection of a judiciary and an executive. The Virginia Plan didn't agree with Articles of Confederation's clause of equal representation of states rather by population size only. Virginia Plan was in great demand along with some opposition from Border States. Madison was unable to hold a coalition keeping a worthy national government as well as legislature based on population. Minor states such as Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey foresaw being overpowered, yet they liked the idea of national government. Massachusetts and three southern states aligned with Pennsylvania and Virginia as they liked population-based legislative districts but detested nation government's power given by Virginia plan (Paletz, Owen, & Cook, 2013).
The minor states recommended another proposal on June 15. According to New Jersey Plan, the national government had more vested power in levying taxes as well as governing business and allotted the remainder of the control to the states. The legislature would elect a federal executive and oversee its obedience with national law. A federal court will resolve the conflicts between states and national government. All national laws would therefore be a binding law for all states. The New Jersey Plan secured the Articles of Confederation which cites states having equal representation in a unicameral legislature.Three states supported this New Jersey Plan, while Virginia Plan was characterized as weak. The Connecticut delegates proposed that some points from Virginia Plan could be taken such as legislature being bicameral as House of Representatives would comprise of representatives from districts and Senate would have two senators from every state (Paletz, Owen, & Cook, 2013).
The Connecticut Compromise (famously called Great Compromise) was agreed upon the convention while Pennsylvania and Virginia stood against it. Hence the congress configured today materialized due to states having conflicts of interests which needed compromise rather than principled deliberations. Hence the founders divided the differences (Paletz, Owen, & Cook, 2013).
While going through the intentions of authors of constitution, what's the author's point-of-view regarding certain aspects of constitution left unattended?
John Roche in his essay titled 'A reform Caucus in Action', states…