United States Constitution Essay
The United States Constitution over the years has established itself to actually be a permanent structure for the representative government. The Constitution is mutually specific adequately to outline the fundamental authorities of our country’s government and at the same time flexibly achieved through the numerous processes of amendments. This quality makes it meet the tests of the modern-day life. This legal document is not of stationary nature of the late eighteenth century. However, presumably, an existing and breathing foundation of democracy there is. At the time of drafting the document in 1787, quite a few of the renowned framers referred to it as a phenomenon. The whole set of authors who were behind the drafting of the United States’ Constitution wanted not just to defend the liberties which all the Americans had apparently fought and died for. They also wanted to add in their regional agendas, personal convictions and the intellectual inheritance into law. They were founded on hypothetical foundations undertaken and factual to civilizations prior to America.
However, the primary ideologies of the United States’ Constitution are basically those emanating from the Revolution. For instance, civil rights, entity state’s rights, freedom of the press, religion, assembly, speech, the representational government, a detached and sovereign judiciary, and the appropriate process of the law among others. These were amended in the radiance of the miserable letdown of the U.S. Articles of Confederation. Moreover, by instituting an extensive scheme of checks along with balances, the U.S. Constitution had made certain that no branch of the government could perhaps strengthen the entire powers of supremacy in itself.
The U. S. Constitution was apparently written in the course of the famous Philadelphia Convention in 1787. After it underwent the ratification in 11 U.S. states, its formally elected officers to the government in 1789 converging in New York City. Thereafter they decided on replacing the former 1781 documentation called the Articles of Confederation. Subsequent to its institution, the original U.S. Constitution document has been revised 27 times. The accurate meaning or rather the actual interpretation of the Constitution is done and extended by the judicial appraise in the country’s federal courts. The original print of the whole parchments is kept hold at the National Archives Building.
In the Philadelphian Convention, two optional plans were formed where the nationalist popular were later called the “Federalists”. They laid forward the auspicious Virginian Plan, which was apparently a consolidated form of the government founded on a comparative representation amongst the states through the use of their population. On the other hand, the “old patriots” that were later, referred to as the “Anti-Federalists”, ostensibly advocated for New Jersey’s Plan, which was a solely federal suggestion, based on granting every state with the equivalent representation. Afterwards, the Connecticut Compromise consented to both proposals to work jointly. Additional controversies emerged on the subject of a Bill of Rights and Slavery in the earliest existing document.
The complete drafted Constitution document was then presented to the body called the Articles’ Congress. The document was, in turn, advanced to the U.S. states for endorsement. The Federalists’ proposals provided the background as well as the rationalization for the entire Constitution. Some states approved to endorse the Constitution barely if the revisions that later were to be developed into the Bill of Rights were taken up right away by the fresh government. Then, this was appropriately proposed within the first assembly of the First Congress by it.
Immediately after the Articles Congress verified that 11 states had already approved the Constitution, then the first ever elections were undertaken. The new United States’ government commenced its operation on 04 March 1789, while the Articles’ Assembly disbanded itself. Soon after, the amendments which addressed to individual freedoms, rights, and liberties, the Congressional pay, the utilization of alcohol, financing the government, ending slavery, expanding voters, requisites of office, election procedures, thus, the federal relationships came into existence. Mounting disparagement over the existence of the U.S. Constitution has been majorly centered on intensifying the states’ rights as well as democracy.
Declaration of Independence
The declaration of independence in the country occurred in the middle of 1776 after the dissolution of the treaty bounding the country to Great Britain. Even though the resolution or rather the declaration making the country independent was merely a proclamation of principles, it did not provide quite an absolute framework on how the country would be run or even how politics were contacted. The Articles’ of Confederation assumed in 1781 the initial Constitution’s framework which came into existence after the independence. It provided the basic makeup to the new country all through and past American Revolution. Consequently, the Declaration did put into open the thoughts of the social contract and the natural rights that would facilitate form the groundwork of legitimate or rather the constitutional government. The Articles of Confederation enlightened the public on such issues concerning their rights and freedoms, the constitutional voting rights, elections and even the role of governance. All these led to revolutions as Americans rose and fought for their rights and freedoms.
Articles of Confederation
The documented Articles of Confederation was collectively approved in 1781 formerly after Maryland agreement. This document had been previously applied by the Congress as the “working document” so as to govern the early on the U. S. government, the agreement of Paris in 1783 with Great Britain and more so win the Revolutionary War. There were the long-lasting successes in its life previously to the predominant Constitutional Convention. They consisted of the Land Ordinance (1785) where the Congress assured settlers that were west of the elevated Appalachian Mountains. At that time, numerous nationalists termed the Confederation’s fundamental government or rather the central government as being not tough enough to set up a sound monetary system, to enforce treaties, regulate the trade, or even depart to war if the need arises.
Seemingly, the Congress body was the only branch of the central government. There was no general court which would interpret the law or even an executive branch enforcing them throughout the states. Therefore, the Articles of Confederation document was not enough to govern the country. It had the minimal guidelines which would stipulate how things were going to run in the country. Also, the states did not have any well laid down rules on how to approach the issues or taxations. For instance, some states levied tariffs and taxes which brought to the retaliation amongst all states. Moreover, the Congress would act as a negotiator and judge between anxious states. However, the states did not have to agree to the Congress’ decisions. The emergence of rebellions and disputes between the states prompted the search for a universal document. This would at least ease the governing of the country (“Constitution of the United States”).
Steps to the Convention
Therefore, the steps and movements towards a major constitutional convention and one of the conferences were followed. They were held by George Washington calling it as the Mount Vernon Convention. It basically aimed at negotiating a cooperative commercial guideline of the Potomac River between the Maryland and Virginia states. Creating a uniform trading system across the U.S. was also among the issues brought up during the convention. ^This engineered the establishment of the biggest free commercial area globally. Another step towards making a new constitution was the Grand Committee report of 1786 which apparently was proposing 7 amendments to be enacted on the states to make the central government adequate. The Annapolis Convention of September 1786 was aimed at formulating the proposals for massive improvements in the interstate commerce and international trade. It was wavering in the rule of the Articles of Confederation. Even though the Annapolis Convention didn’t bring the required results, it was during this meeting that the constitutional Convention of 1787 had been planned.
The Philadelphia Convention basically known as the Constitutional Convection was the one that had given birth to a new constitution. It had totally a different design from the Articles’ of Confederation. Even though the main agenda of the convection was to amend the Articles, it dawned on them that the only move which would liberate the country was adopting a completely new form of constitution. Numerous delegates from different states fought for the specific issues where, for instance, those from New Hampshire wanted the timely measures to expand the supremacy of Congress. Meanwhile, those from Virginia strained for the need of widening the review of the central system of government to every of its defects. With such divisions, Delaware forbade the revision of the Articles on the basis of the state’s requirements. The chamber fought for the reconciliation of the divergent expectations of each delegate.
The Virginian plan which was tabled by Edmund Randolph had the interests covering more heavily populated states. It generally touched the general welfare, the security of liberty, and the common defense. Therefore, the proposal had a national picture, and it was adopted therein. All powers which were in the Articles were transferred into the fresh government. The Congress was modified in the way to consist of two houses. The president was given the power to enact laws. The overall Supreme Court and further inferior courts were directed to rule on the United States along with the state law. Moreover, the Constitution was noted to be the ultimate law. Each and every state officer had to swear to defend it.
The New Jersey’s delegate, William Patterson, recommended for the adoption of the New Jersey Plan. However, it had its strength towards the welfare of the minorities and less populated states. Some substantial aspects of the plan were adopted. It outlined that the Senate had to be elected by the respective states. All the rulings enacted by the state courts were reviewed by the highest court on land, the Supreme Court. It also advocated that States were able to be put into the Union. The state judiciaries were supposed to enforce state laws and treaties within their respective states; and the president was the only person allowed to assign federal judges. The mutual relationship between the nationalist Federalists and Anti-Federalists and their working together forged a strong faction of participants being ready to enact and bring changes to the U.S. Constitution.
The delegates meditated about the British approach which basically advocated for the virtual representation which gave the legitimacy to the House of Commons. Therefore, this concept of the Englishmen was towards a parliamentary dominion. The American presumption of representation, on the other hand, was towards the autonomy of citizens. Therefore, the amendments carried out were towards the equalized population; and the community citizenship of representatives and voters in the voting districts. The new concept of "autonomy of the people" was then applied to the U.S. Senate and also to the House of Representatives.
The Bill of Rights
The U.S. Constitution apparently has been revised in 27 instances since its ratification in 1789. During the first Congress, James Madison in 1789 made 12 amending propositions. The Congress later accepted these constitutional amendments, and by the end of 1791, 11 states had already ratified ten of the amendments. These 10 amendments were collectively termed as the U.S. Bill of Rights. Now, they are aimed at protecting the ordinary rights of property as well as liberty. These rights guarantee the U.S. citizens of numerous personal rights and freedoms like the freedom of speech, association, security, immediate and open trial, amongst others. More so, they restrict the government's supremacy in legal and other trials plus reserving a number of authorities to the public and states. Seemingly, of the remaining 2 amendments, one was approved about 203 years afterwards and named as the 27th Amendment; while the other one theoretically remains awaiting facing the states.
The Bill of Rights paved a way to other 17 amendments which covered quite a diverse range of issues. The Eleventh Amendment which was ratified in 1795 provided a basis for the sovereign immunity. Meanwhile, the 12th amendment described the procedures of the presidential elections. The famous 13th Amendment ratified in 1865 was aimed at completely abolishing the involuntary servitude and slavery. The 14th Amendment had also a far-reaching impact on the U.S. citizens. It clearly has established the exact description of citizenship and guaranteed the equal handling under the U.S. law. The fifteenth Amendment stated that no U.S. citizen had to be prohibited to vote due to the color of skin. Also, the 16th amendment allowed the central government to gather the income tax from its citizens. The direct election of senators through the popular voting was established by the 17th Amendment; and the subsequent amendment banned the production and vending of all intoxicating liquors. Consequently, the 19th revision established the women suffrage. The twentieth one set out the commencement of presidential and congressional tenures of office.
The most topical amendments are involved into the 22nd one which limits the presidential term to 2 tenures in office; and the 23rd grants all District of Colombia citizens the presidential rights to vote. The 24th Amendment gives the U.S. general public the right to take part in the election in spite of the failure to disburse the poll tax. The 25th amendment demarcates the presidential succession; whilst the twenty sixth one establishes the voting age as 18 years. The 27th Amendment limits the U.S. representatives and senators’ from a pay increase. The amendments impacted on United States’ Constitution significantly as they extensively have explained our duties and rights as citizens. More so, they gave the people sovereignty over the federal and state governments and also clearly demarcated the authority of the government.
Criticism of the Constitution
There have been numerous criticisms towards the Constitution since the early 20th century up to now. During that time, the constitution was disparaged for being inflexible and some of these criticisms actually led to the amendments of the document. The further current disapproval has frequently been scholastic and restricted to specific features. For instance, Sanford Levinson being a law professor at the University of Texas wonders if it actually makes logic to give such state like Wyoming a similar figure of votes as for that of California. The latter one apparently has roughly 70 times the total population more. This imbalance results into the redeployment of national resources from big states to undersized ones.
Moreover, the professor argues that the issue of the Electoral College permits or rather offers the possibility to elect presidents being in the real sense without any plurality of votes or majority. These and other criticisms have engulfed the U.S. constitution. However, apparently the document can only pass through another public Constitutional Convention for it to be brought up to date and, therefore, to settle the numerous issues which have come up or rather risen from the previous two centuries.
In the U.S., there are common principles that rule over individual civilizations where definite standards are determined through the judicial courts when there happens to be an occasional disagreement. These aspects have been originally put in place by our founding fathers. While the founders of the U.S. Constitution came collectively to write down the fundamental plan or rather guidelines that eventually would grant the elemental legal fortification and human being rights and freedoms for their recently formed nation, they described the duty of demarcating America’s general moral code. Although a number of this moral code has been taken or rather borrowed from the Englishmen, the Romans and Greeks, much introspection and thoughts of conscience seemingly has been applied into the creation of such U. S. Constitution. The American fresh leaders were actually forced to make use of a scheme of checks as well as the balances directed by their personal consciences. For the reason, that social equality and more democracy were so fresh to the government, that the founders principally relied on mainly their inner logic of good and evil, wrong and right to establish the ethical principles for the U.S.
The completely written Constitution provides several functions, every part of which protects the entire citizens in the country regardless of their social statuses. All of them are bound and governed by this meticulous document. In the event that the Constitution was not actually drafted or rather written in the U.S., then different political factions may argue and in the event differ as to the fundamental guidelines and strategies of the government’s rule. The written United States’ Constitution basically offers the uniformity in that the document’s significance continues throughout the time regardless of any changes in which the country leans either towards conservative or liberal ideology. Due to the fact that the document has been altogether written by the founding fathers of our nation, and it has been fully accepted by the government together with its people, then over the ages, it has become a resource to the population of what seemingly is being custom and accepted all over the spheres of our country. It has become the assurance of all sorts that persons will honor.
For the founding fathers to ensure that the United States’ written Constitution is enduring and effective, they have drafted it in such a way that it was not excessively specific. Therefore, the guidelines or rules and statements ought to be written diligently so that the document or rather the Constitution fit completely into the future situations. They also have ensured that the rules were, to some extent, general in nature since it was vital that the document was not going to become obsolete. Consequently, even though the Constitution might be seen to be self -governing since it is printed, it is yet a matter to elucidation. For instance, despite the fact that the U. S. Constitution seemingly proclaims that all Americans have the sovereignty of free speech, it subjects to interpretations. The U.S. Constitution started on by the formulation and usage the Articles of Confederation which by then helped in creating a stronger central government. Every state seemingly had their respective understanding of the manuscript. As well the unstable lifestyles of citizens and framers delayed its endorsement for a long time. Nevertheless, as a result of the document’s flexibility, coupled with many debates, then the final standardized document has been finally created.