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The Revolutionary Context of the Constitutional Convention - Essay Example

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The State Constitutions of 1776 were characterized by a variety of factors, based on the revolutionary need for a “fundamental transformation of political institutions” (Banning, PAGE #). Wishing to create a government body that did not emulate the problematic and tyrannical…
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The Revolutionary Context of the Constitutional Convention

Download file to see previous pages... e revolutionaries believed that “proper constitutions…depended on consent, but governments existed in order to protect the liberties of all…[the revolutionaries searched for a] governmental structure in which liberty and representative democracy could be combined.” While there were undoubtedly fundamental problems with creating the sort of government where the officials held little to no power, Banning argues that “whatever the Revolution was or would become, its essence lay originally in these thirteen problematic experiments in constructing republican regimes” (PAGE #). As such, it is evidenced that the State Constitutions of the individual colonial governments was a precursor to the greater Continental government establishment, and provided an ideal staging ground for the revolutionaries to experiment with the idea of new government.
Arguably, the most significant accomplishment of the Articles of Confederation was establishing “a permanent confederation presided over by a Congress whose authority would be confined to matter of interest to all” (Banning, PAGE #). The Articles of Confederation, according to Banning, “did not issue from a systematic, theoretical consideration of the problems of confederation government” (PAGE #). Rather they merely emulated the government practices that had evolved in the State Constitutions over the years. While it was popularly taught that the Articles of Confederation were characterized by a chaotic period in the early colonies, recent scholarship attributes greater credit to the Articles than in times past. For instance, Banning points out that the Confederation years, aside from consolidating the thirteen states, “secured their independence and won a generous treaty of peace…weathered a severe post-war depression…and organized the area northwest of the Ohio for settlement” (PAGE #). The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, in fact, became the basis for “all the rest of the continental expansion of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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