Brighid Mallon

2.08 Assign


In the late 1780¶s the Articles of the Confederation were created to try and unite the states. Instead there was a lack of central government and the individual states grew stronger rather than the unit. Some of the bigger states felt that the smaller states were getting a better advantage since they had an equal vote. It was clear that something else would have to take its place. In the summer of 1787 the United States Constitution emerged with much controversy. Individuals in opposition argued that this new government would not be sufficient enough or beneficial, that individual states would lose their rights and fight against each other, and that congress would abuse the proper and necessary clause and raise armies. Supporters on the other hand solved these problems by creating the Bill of Rights which prevented governments from abusing their power and giving individuals equal rights, and also arguing that although military could be raised it could not be put into action without probable cause. After leaving a government ruled by an absolute despot, it was hard for many people to accept that a new form of government would work. Some were afraid that the rulers would abuse their powers and the entire union would come crumbling down. Patrick Henry said in a speech ratifying the constitution, ³« one government cannot reign over so extensive a country as this, without absolute despotism.´ (Doc A) He goes on to say, ³The president and senators have nothing to lose«They will, therefore, be regardless of the interests of the people.´ Patrick Henry was a politician and leader of the Virginia anti-federalists. Anti-federalists were opposed to the constitution in fear that the states right would disappear. He was bias in his quote because of this and his fears were rather public. In response congress passed the Bill of Rights. This bill was intended to prevent any abuse from happening and accompany the constitution and stop any worries that protesters may have had. In the preamble it reads, ³The Conventions of a number of the states, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added«´ (Doc H) In the end the federalist solution was sufficient enough for the republicans and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights has gone to serve the country of the United States for more than 200 years. Not only did the Bill of Rights solve the problem of the government but also state and individual rights. Another fear that the republicans had, were that individual states would not receive the appropriate rights that suited each one. George Clinton wrote, ³this unkindred legislature therefore, composed of interests opposite and dissimilar in nature, will in its exercise, emphatically be like a house divided against itself«´ It was a fear that lack of rights would turn each state against one another and that some states would have more rights than others and one another. The Bill of Rights once again fixed this problem. In The Address and Reasons of Dissent it reads, ³The first consideration that this review suggests, is the omission of a Bill of Rights, ascertaining and fundamentally establishing those unalienable and personal rights of

will not authorise them to impress men for the The New York Journal published an article titled Brutus which read. and authorises the raising forces.´ (Doc F) This argument may not have been the strongest but it was good enough that in the end the constitution was passed. and over to which it is not necessary for a good government to have the control.´ (Doc B) By securing these rights all individuals and states were equal and had no reason to turn against one another. except when in actual service. The last major fear of those opposed the constitution was that the congress would misuse the Necessary and Proper Clause to build an army. state rights. without the full. Although there was much controversy following the constitution. and secure enjoyment of which there can be no liberty. and the Necessary and Proper Clause. and disciplining the militia. supporters argued the case well enough that it has remained in action for the past 200 years. Whether the clause which impowers the Congress to pass all laws which are proper and necessary. . Noah Webster wrote. the Bill of rights was enacted and arguments settled any fears. In response it was argued that the congress may raise an army but would have no use for them whatsoever. to carry this into execution. is a question well worthy consideration?´(Doc E) The fear of having an army lingering over the country was a very big threat and the clause not only allowed this but other potential issues that the congress could say were exceptions to the constitution. ³The power to raise armies is indefinite and unlimited. ³Congress likewise are to have the power to provide for organizing. free. When there were doubts about the government. as well in peace as in war. arming. The very history and existence of America is founded on this constitution and it has served the country well. but have no other command of them.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful