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Articles V. Constitution

Essay by   •  December 18, 2010  •  1,556 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,202 Views

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The United States left the Articles of Confederation behind for a new more adapted constitution in 1788 due to more than one reason, however a main reason for the switch had to do with the power of the federal government. There would be some Libertarians that would hold the Articles to be the symbol of American freedom at its peak, however there were those that would later be known as Federalists that saw the Articles as a failure due to the lack of strong central government powers within the articles. The many differences between the two documents were each important in there own respect, the first one that come to mind would be the power to levy taxes, under the articles Congress could request that States pay taxes, but under the constitution Congress had the power to levy taxes upon individuals. This power in particular was interesting because of its controversy with the recent War with England that partially encompassed England levying taxes upon her subjects and colonies. It is interesting that it would be part of our own Constitution that a powerful government could levy taxes upon individuals when we fought England to not do the same.

A major change from the articles to the constitution was the formation of Federal Courts, there were none and no power was given to congress to make them under the articles. The Constitution gave power to the congress to create a court system to deal with issues between citizens and states. Regulation of trade would be another point of information in the new Constitution, where there was no provision to regulate interstate trade in the articles. Yet another interesting point to which England herself may have scoffed at when they learned that the new Constitution was doing roughly the same thing that she tried to do among her colonies; regulate trade. One difference that is very clear today with the power of the Presidency was the formation of the executive power. Though the articles did account for a President, he did hardly more than preside over the Congress, there was no power in the Presidency. The Constitution on the other hand gave power to the executive branch headed by the President to choose the Cabinet and be another check to the judiciary and legislature. The Amending document was changed as well between the two, before 13 out of 13 colonies were needed to amend an article, while later 2/3 of both houses of Congress as well as Ñ* of State legislature or National Convention were needed. The representation of the States was drastically changed, under the articles each State received one vote regardless of size, in the Constitution the upper house (Senate) has two votes from each state and the lower house would be based upon population.

A major change in the documents would be the power to raise an army, previously Congress could not draft troops, they were dependent

upon the states to contribute forces, and however in the new system Congress could raise an army for military situations. There was also interstate commerce, which could be controlled by congress in the Constitution, and alike, disputes between states could now be dealt with by the federal Court system instead of a complicated system of Arbitration. Passing laws was yet another point of change, where only 9/13 votes were needed to approve legislation before, the Constitution needed 50% +1 of both houses and the signature of the President to approve legislation.

Mainly the changes were from state empowered laws and regulations to a system much more geared towards large central government, with many checks and balances as well as separation of powers. This new "Federal" system under the new Constitution was favored of course by the group known as the Federalists, and the name of our government still sticks today, the Federal Government. The name "Federal Government" comes from the idea that the government is not exactly central and all-powerful; it is powerful yet it co-exists among the States, a two-tier government of State and Federal law, each with their own processes. The Sovereignty of the United States no longer resided in the States after the Constitution was adopted, it moved to the Federal Government where the Constitution was now the supreme law of the land.

3.) "The Revolution Within" is an interesting idea that holds much truth to the events that came after the Revolutionary War, great social changes occurred and lives were not the same. Of course before the Revolution there was great dissent to break away from England, it was not the massive patriotic movement that is portrayed in movies and such, yes there was that aspect for sure, but the fact remains that many did not want to go through with independence. For many reasons that included many who did not have a voice, slaves and servants and poor whites, they either did not care who was going to rule over them, or they were not happy about the movement. These people were already at the bottom of the barrel, they were not seeking independence as Ben Franklin and George Washington and clearly others were; they were trying to make a living. Why would a poor white farmer want to exchange a tyrant living 3000 miles away fro one that would live 300 miles away, to many of these people they did not see independence as such a glorifying idea.

As for the social changes that occurred after the Revolutionary War, there was much to be had. The revolutionary movement started a defense of the status quo; much of what the revolutionary colonists wanted in their first protests was their continued status as British Subjects and the right to consent to their

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