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Unformatted text preview: Ginsberg- Chapter 2 The Constitution The First Founding :The Revolutionary Era or Why war with England? • England= restricted free trade and goods production in order to protect its own manufacturers and imposed heavy taxes on staple items such as tea, sugar, and rum • England=pay debts incurred fighting the French & Indian War • Thomas Paine= Common Sense- an incendiary call for American independence; wildly popular. The Declaration of Independence was an attempt to forge a nation out of very different groups of people 1. New England merchants 2. Southern planters 3. Royalists-holders of royalists lands, offices, etc. 4. Shopkeepers, artisans, laborers 5. Small farmers 6. Quakers, Congregationalists, Catholics, Huguenots, Baptists, Deists, Freethinkers First Continental Congress in September 1774, formulated a list of grievances over British Rule. The delegates did not have independence in mind, but the conflict had already begun; founding fathers were left with little choice. Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union • There was another rule book before the Constitution. The framers of the Constitution didn’t invent the concepts it contains. • They were pulling from: English political traditions, like the Magna Charta (1215 c.e.)Very important because it established that no one (even the King) was exempt from the rule of law. • John Locke and the idea of the natural rights of man and social contract theory • American models of colonial government and the Mayflower Compact (1620). • The idea that government must have limits and those limits must be written & formal What was wrong with the Articles of Confederation? It had a unicameral legislature, the Confederation Congress. BUT: No executive offices No national court system No way to raise money or impose taxes. All $ sent to the national government were voluntary contributions. No way to regulate trade between the states, or prevent tariffs between the states NO WAY TO MAKE TREATIES No way to pay the soldiers who served in the Revolution, many of whom were in danger of losing their farms. Shay’s Rebellion THE ARTICLES WERE DESIGNED TO SEVERELY LIMIT THE POWERS OF THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT. By 1787 the Confederation was in serious trouble. England and France were just waiting……… The Constitutional Convention Driven by events like Shay’s rebellion, British control of trade (Tea), and taxes, tThe purpose was to “revise the Articles of Confederation ”, but it only took 5 days for them to agree that the Articles needed to be scrapped entirely. This was secret, because it was NOT the stated purpose of the Convention. Constitution is a series of Compromises Who wrote the constitution?...
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