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American History - Essay Example

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When, in 1776, the 13 American colonies east of the Appalachian Mountains declared their independence from the British Crown, they set about forming a national government in subsequent years. The Articles of Confederation is the culmination of this process which concluded with…
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American History
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American History

Download file to see previous pages... This condition was exacerbated by the creditors’ reluctance to accept the currency of Continentals. The problem arose from the fact that the Articles of Confederation did not stipulate the jurisdiction for printing money among the 13 states. Furthermore, the Articles constrained the Confederation Congress from raising taxes and initiating legal proceedings in disputes between states. The inadequacy of the Articles was further exposed by the Shays’ Rebellion, “in which farmers refused to pay taxes and took up arms to protect their right not to pay those taxes. The national government called out the federal militia and stopped the rebellion, but the entire episode made very clear the fact that a stronger national government was needed” (www.socialstudiesforkids.com). These weaknesses inherent in the Articles impelled the drafting of a more robust framework of governance in the form of the Constitution.
The purpose of the convention for the drafting of the Constitution was to elicit a consensus on the preferred mode of government and the process of electing representatives. Fifty five delegates in total attended the convention. Considering the diverse range of views and opinions expressed, as well as taking into account the handful of radical proposals made in these sessions, the delegates considered it prudent to maintain utmost secrecy. While the convention initially set out to amend the Articles of Confederation, its thrust soon shifted to replacing it completely. Intense debates raged between the delegates from Virginia and New Jersey. While the former wanted a more democratic and representative Constitution, the latter preferred the status quo. James Madison and Edmund Jennings Randolph, both of whom represented Virginia, argued that “no confederacy could endure if it acted upon states only and not directly upon individuals. Madison and Edmund Jennings Randolph were able to enter the Constitutional Convention with a plan of government ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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