Emerging American Republic Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Government Type: Essay Paper: #78014514 Related Topics: Constitution, American Revolution, South American, Slave Trade
Excerpt from Essay :

Constitution

The American Experiment

The American experiment: The Articles of Confederation vs. The Constitution

When the Founding Fathers initially designed a governing structure for the emerging American nation, they wished to err on the side of conservatism, in terms of granting power to the federal authority. After all, the American Revolution had been founded upon a principle of autonomy from a strong central authority in the form of the British king. However, the Articles of Confederation which emerged to govern was a "weak" and "anemic" structure ill-suited to a modern nation which had to hold its own with European powers such as Great Britain itself (Kennedy, Cohen & Piehl 2012:120)

The Articles of Confederation provided for a loose confederation or "firm league of friendship.' Thirteen independent states were thus linked together for joint action in dealing with common problems, such as foreign affairs" (Kennedy, Cohen & Piehl 2012: 120). In the Articles of Confederation, although there was a central authority "all bills dealing with subjects of importance required the support of nine [of thirteen] states; any

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The states could independently regulate commerce, including tariffs, which led to conflicting policy between them. The taxes paid to the federal government were voluntary by the states. The Articles did allow the federal government to establish treaties and did establish a postal service (Kennedy, Cohen & Piehl 2012: 120). But the lack of financial authority and central policy made waging war or negotiation with foreign powers almost impossible.

The resultant Constitution which superseded the Articles invested far more power in the federal branch of government and demanded more concessions of power from the states to be part of the new, emerging republic. The executive power was given additional strength in particular. "The president was to have broad authority to appoint officials and judges, veto legislation, and wage war as commander in chief of the military. But Congress retained the crucial right to declare war -- a division of responsibilities that has been an invitation to conflict between president and Congress ever since" (Kennedy, Cohen & Piehl 2012: 125). There was a continual balance in the document between the rights of the states and the rights of the government as a whole, such as "electing the president indirectly by the Electoral College, rather than by direct means (see Art. II, Sec.…

Sources Used in Documents:

Reference

Kennedy, D., Cohen, L. & Piehl, M. (2012). The brief American pageant. Cengage.


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