CHAPTER 2: THE FOUNDING AND THE CONSTITUTION Core of the Analysis: ● The framers of the Constitution, although guided by underlying values, also had conflicting goals and interests. ● The first attempt at a new arrangement for self-government relied on institutions that were too weak to achieve collective action on behalf of the nation. ● The conflicting interests of the Founders were eventually accommodated through a complex set of rules and procedures set forth in the Constitution, which divided power among three branches of the federal government and between states and the federal government. ● The Constitution not only provides a framework for the government but also often guides the policy process, even to this day. The First Founding-- Interests and Conflicts: ● Five economic sectors of society were important in colonial politics: ○ 1. New England Merchants ○ 2. Southern planters ○ 3. “Royalists”--holders of royal lands, offices, and patents ○ 4. Shopkeepers, artisans, and laborers ○ 5. Small farmers ● Political Strife and the Radicalization of the Colonists ○ Merchants teamed up against the powerful British monopolies (East India Company) and established a colonial government. The result was the Boston Tea party of 1773, led by Samuel Adams. ○ In response, the British parliament enacted harsher reprisals like closing the port of Boston to commerce, changing the provincial government of Massachusetts, provided for the removal of accused persons to Britain for trial, and added new restrictions on movement to the West. ○ This further radicalizes American colonists, resulting in the First Continental Congress in 1774. The Congress called for a total boycott of British goods. ● The Declaration of Independence: ○ Declaration of Independence was drafted in 1776 by the Second Continental Congress. ○ Written by Jefferson, borrowing ideas of British philosopher John Locke. ○ “Unalienable rights”: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ● The Revolutionary War: ○ War began in 1775, notably at Lexington and Concord ○ The revolutionary armies prevailed, mainly because the cost to England of fighting a war thousands of miles of home became too great ○ War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which granted the 13 colonies their independence.
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