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US Government Development after Revolution - Essay Example

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People rely on their government for a good number of things, such as maintaining a police force to keep law and order, taxation for basic public services, a standing army that will protect them from external threats and a host of other benefits inherent in a democracy…
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US Government Development after Revolution
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US Government Development after Revolution

Download file to see previous pages... After all, this was one of the reasons why Americans revolted against their English masters, to have their basic personal freedoms and political rights for them to enjoy. This is why these principles were enshrined in the U.S.
Constitution but there were distinct periods in early American independence when the citizens alternated between liberalism and conservatism. Public attitudes regarding this matter were a reflection of the exigencies of the times back then and influenced by political thinkers. The colonial era (1607 to 1783) was a period when individuals had very few rights in relation to the larger community. The frontier mentality necessitated that individuals have to subsume their rights for the greater good because it was necessary for survival. Many colonial writers, political thinkers and philosophers extolled this virtue but things underwent a radical change after the American war for independence. The revolution was a success and American citizens now had to contend with what to do with their lives and their government. This paper is a short discussion on the developments of the American government after the Revolution. Discussion The United States of America gained complete independence from Great Britain via the Treaty of Paris signed on September 03, 1783 and ratified by the two countries on January 14, 1784. The agreement was notable for a few things, primary of which was it enlarged the boundaries of the new country and the American state legislatures were given the freedom to recognize the rights of real loyalists (former real British subjects) whose lands, estates and properties were confiscated during the course of war. Wording of instructions of the Congress of the Confederation (this was the name of the government back then) left it to the discretion of individual states on how to proceed on this point as it merely stated “earnestly recommend” without any sanctions for possible violations. As can be seen by subsequent events, some state legislatures reneged on this undertaking by failing to return confiscated properties, refused to pay old debts to former British creditors and confiscated anew some properties supposedly to pay off old debts owed to them by some loyalists. In other words, the prevailing situation after Independence was quite chaotic, as the central government was powerless to impose its will on the states. A good number of the states disobeyed lawful orders at their own will and sole convenience without much fear of penalties from the new federal government. The intervening period between the signing of the Treaty of Paris and the convening of the Continental Congress to finally draft and adopt the Constitution was a time of chaotic conditions in terms of relations between the newly-independent states and central government and a good number of the luminaries of the American Revolution saw the need for a strong or at least, a viable federal government to prevent the nation from breaking up and fragmenting. One of those who saw the dangers was Benjamin Franklin, who advocated for limits on rights of states and individuals to preserve the Union and its hard-won independence (Ward 96). He had the foresight to know that a weak central government ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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