The Constitutional Convention

During the mass protests several centuries ago, the call to work out a fair constitution that meets the interests of the people repeatedly sounded. However, George Washington, who became the president of the Сonstitutional Сonvention, and other delegates representing the propertied classes, were not at all guided by this appeal. On the contrary, the creation of the constitution was aimed at the establishment of a “law and order” in the country. Many historians argue that adoption of the U.S. Constitution was conditioned by real economic, political, social and ideological reasons. The collapse of “ever closer union”, a monstrous particularism, economic chaos, the threat of civil war – all those factors required the creation of a single state on the basis of 13 almost independent states. Thus, the main aim of the assignment is to discuss the meaning of the Constitutional Convention, using various historical documents for the purpose to demonstrate all the facts important for discussion.

Exploring historical events in the discussed period, it is possible to mention that in 1786-1787, political minds of elite pushed ahead a solid theoretical rationale for a strong national state, reliably protecting the interests of their class. The most powerful arguments were expressed by John Adams, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. They rejected ideas of Democrats about social homogeneity of North America, about absence of real class antagonisms and uselessness of a strong state for this reason as idealistic and extremely dangerous to the country’s future. They found a division of society on social fractions (classes) and a presence of irremediable antagonisms between them. So, the focus of their attention was aimed at the necessity to ensure social peace in such a society as well as a possibility to reliably protect and present economic and political interests of the rich minority.

It goes without saying that ways of formation of different social groups were different: in Europe, this division rested on the differences arising from the inherited political and legal privileges of the titled nobility, but in the U.S., where there were no class differences, the division into the minority and the majority was due to inequality of property, as well as the natural inequality in abilities and talents of people, allowing one of them to rise above the others. In such a way, political and economic situation, as well as an increasing social tension has led the country’s government to the necessity to adopt the Constitution for the purpose to somehow stabilize the situation.

Thus, it is a well-known historical fact that the American constitution was drafted and adopted by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia (May-September 1787). Moreover, it is accepted in the U.S. to call the “founding fathers” all the members of the Convention. By the way, in formulating the provisions of the Constitution, “the founding fathers” stated three main political objectives: to stop further development of the revolution, to create a viable state on a federal basis, and to reliably protect and guarantee the rights of private property to all the country’s citizens.

According to Solberg, there also exists an opinion that the Constitution, as it was envisioned by its founders, was designed to strengthen the dominance of power elite and to get rid of the “horrors of uncontrolled democracy”, or to “find a kind of refuge from the democracy” (Solberg, 1958). The Constitutional Convention took part in a meeting in a closed session, and the statements of its members were not subjected to public. At the time, Jillson, analyzing the composition of the convention, showed that it consisted entirely of upper-class representatives (Jillson, 2002).

In such a way, taking into consideration of the above mentioned facts and using information taken from different reliable sources, it can be stated that on February 21, 1787, the Congress of the Confederation adopted a resolution on the convening of the Convention “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”. Twelve states (except Rhode Island) approved a total of 70 delegates, who were assigned to participate in the Convention. Although the initial goal of the Convention was a revision of the Articles of Confederation and the issue of the development of a new document was not raised, all the delegates gradually realized the need for a new constitution which would have adopted the territorial structure of the federation and system of government bodies that would be fundamentally different from those that existed at the time. As we have previously mentioned, discussion of the project was closed, but James Madison, one of the main authors of the Constitution, made different notes throughout the Convention; so, many details of the meeting as well as points of view of the Convention’s participants became known due to these notes (Solberg, 1958).

Moreover, plunging into the issue of our discussion with more details, it is good to add that the Constitutional Convention considered a number of models, starting with forever elected President (it was a proposal made by Hamilton, which, in view of public opinion, had no chance of implementation) and ending with the collegiate governing body which would be able to be the variation of republican principles realization.

In conclusion, we have discussed the Constitutional Convention from various perspectives, and demonstrated many facts in support of the fact that initial aim of the U.S. Constitution was not only to protect the country’s citizens and to avoid various threats of revolution, economic chaos and the civil war, but also in necessity to protect the interests of power elite.

 

Bibliography

Jillson, Calvin. Constitution Making: Conflict and Consensus in the Federal Convention of 1787. New York: Agathon, 2002.

Solberg, Winton. The Federal Convention and the Formation of the Union of the American States. New York: Liberal Arts Press, 1958.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: August 11, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: August 11, 2022]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: August 11, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: August 11, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: August 11, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: August 11, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: August 11, 2022]
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