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American history-us constitution - Essay Example

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The History of the United States of America (USA) can be presented in the context of a defined timeline from the year 1000 to the year 1904. In effect, US history can be traced back to the year 1000 when Leif Ericson discovered Vinland (New England). The most popular date in American history is probably October 12th 1492 when Christopher Columbus discovered the 'New World'…
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Download file to see previous pages The 19th century saw the birth of a rigid US Constitution with the adoption of the Ordinance of 1787. May 14th saw the Constitutional Convention meeting at Philadelphia and on September 17th, the Constitution was finished and signed by the delegates. The 20th century is the modern period of the US even though seriously marred by the two World Wars (1914 - 1918 and 1939 - 1936 respectively) and the Great Depression of the mid 1930s.
The history of the America has been a very dynamic one. It can be divided into a five timelines: timeline of the colonization (1000 - 1764); the timeline of the American Revolution (1765 - 1786); Adoption of the Constitution (-'the biggest experiment in democracy'); the Civil War and Modern Times timeline (1861 - 1904); the World War II timeline (1939 - 1945).1
This dynamism is described by the Professor of History at the Moritz School, Ohio State University, Michael Les Benedict, in more than 40 essays in American History. Perhaps Benedict's works give the most comprehensive analogy of the biggest experiment in the history of democracy; the United States Constitution. The US constitution can be considered as the apex of US history. In an essay entitled Expanding the Scope of American Constitutional History, Benedict asserts that 'in the nineteenth century every history of the United States attended closely to the nation's constitutional development--to the constitutional issues that precipitated the American Revolution, to
American History 3
the operation of the Articles of Confederation, the framing and ratification of the Constitution itself, issues of state rights versus nationalism, constitutional aspects of slavery, Civil War, and Reconstruction.' (Benedict) This statement by Michael Les Benedict is a clear indication that US history is mainly inscribed in its Constitution. The United States is a former British colony and at the time of the colonization used mainly Crown laws in its colonies. In effect, the authors of the Constitution of the US attempted to do away with those aspects of British laws that limited democracy and civil liberties in the light of the history of that great nation. That was the reason why the Bill of rights was inserted into the US constitution to protect the rights of the minority and to ensure equality for all in the USA.
An analysis of post Constitutional Amendments proves that Benedict's findings on the US constitutional history can still be confirmed today. All constitutional amendments of the US Constitution are indeed geared towards ameliorating the ethical values of a revolutionary people. The Bill of Rights has given the US the name of the most democratic nation of the World and has equally given the US the fame of a land of freedom. From its discovery to the present, the US has always been called the 'land of opportunity' for all. Equally inscribed in this debate are recent measures taken by the US to assert the protection of its constitution and civil liberties of US Citizens in the fight against terrorism. This fight saw the adoption of the US Patriot Act post 9/11.
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