Category: History

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The United States Constitution 1787

The unique peculiarity of our country can be seen in all the aspects of American history that determined the specific character of the main issues connected with our government system, social structure, policy, and culture. Many differences occur in the other existing systems and affect all phases of the state life. Nevertheless, when going more deeply into our history to identify the key factors that define the unique character of the political system of the USA, the leading role will be undoubtedly given to the Constitution of the United States. The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the country that was adopted in 1787. It originally consisted of seven articles, the first three of which concentrated on the development of power within the state into three branches. According to the articles, the legislative power is represented by the Congress, the executive is controlled by the President, and the judicial power is represented by the Supreme Court and all the other in-state courts. The fourth and sixth articles determined federalism as the government system, explaining the organization of the relations between State and State, as well as their attitude and connection with the central government. The fifth and seventh articles adhere to the issue connected with the Constitution itself, determining the processes of its amendment and ratification. The Constitution was the law that united territories of the eleven states under the common rule. Moreover, the fact that it is still kept in original form, although with a series of remarks that have been necessary for accordance with the changes throughout American history, perfectly proves its decisive character for the sake of American well-being.

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Talking about the supreme law of the United States, it is necessary to underline the fact that the Articles of Confederation served as the first Constitution of our country. The main concepts of the Articles were discussed within the government for a long period of time, and it was finally adopted by thirteen states in 1781 (Vance, 2002). Both supreme laws aimed to create the unity of the different states to become stronger and to gain more influence and reputation within the region and in the whole world. However, many differences can be seen in the two documents, and the first de facto constitution was criticized as the key reason for the failure of the country under the rule of the Articles (North, 2011). This can be revealed in the character of the first document that aimed to create a country that consisted of several independent territories. The states that belonged to the country were represented as sovereign and free in the bigger part of the legislative sector that gave the lowest possible power to the central government. This change adoption aimed to support the rights of the newly united territories, however, the system was weak as the separated country had no centralized power and therefore could not effectively control its political, economic, and military policy. Also, several other factors distinguished the Articles of Confederation from the following Constitution. In the first instance, the Congress was unicameral and the representatives of the states were present in the number that depended on the state population, but in fact, it caused a lot of chaos and misunderstanding as each state had only one voice regardless of the number of representatives (Vance, 2002). Also, Congress had no responsibilities for taxation that meant the absence of control within the government financial system. The weakness of this sector of the government system had the main impact on the future failure of the Articles. The economic disability enlarged with the lack of tools for the proper regulation of the international and up-country commerce that distanced the government from the main sources that were essential for the young union. The division of power was ineffective as there were no adequate executive branches and governmental organs that aimed to make any constitutional amendments. These failed government authorities had no impact on the key processes that were initiated within the country. The judicial system did not exist either (Kelly, 2013). There was neither a court system nor a Supreme Court that had to control the state system of justice. The system of national courts was extremely essential as laws play a key role in the settlement of the new government. New legal changes and regulations were supposed to embody tools that create the system of stable connections among the different states and the way they have to rely on the central government. In contrast to the drawbacks of the Articles, the Constitution created a strong system of courts, connected and headed by the Supreme Court. The executive power gained its reputability and strength being headed by the President. The period of the economic depression caused by the absolute disregard of the economic issues by the Articles was finally finished with the settlement of the regulation of trade and finances that took place in the Constitution. The Congress became bicameral, and all the representatives of the states had the right to vote, but the number of representatives was fixed to the number of two for all American states (Kelly, 2012).

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Constitutional Convention took place in Philadelphia on February 21, 1787, but it took more than a hundred days to develop the plan of a new government and enact an improved Constitution. The document to be elaborated on was extremely important for the future of the United States. This period of crucial changes determined the future history of our country. The settlement of the Constitution project is known as the Great Compromise that took place in 1787. This name is completely justifiable since different states had a lot of disagreements on a wide range of issues, but they reached a general agreement and this fact had the essential meaning for the United States. In particular, there were two plans concerning the creation of the branches of the government power, the Virginia and New Jersey plans (North, 211). On the one hand, the Virginia plan aimed to set a strong centralized national government with the division of power into the three branches. The legislative system would have had the division into two houses, the members of which had to be elected by the people first and then by the members of the first house. The legislature house was supposed to be responsible for the election of the President and the National Judiciary. On the other hand, the New Jersey plan represented the bright contrast to these ideas, as its proponents wanted to form a more decentralized government system that was highly influenced by the statements of the prior supreme law the Articles of Confederation (Hanigan, 2011). The Great Compromise perfectly combined these two systems and took the differences into account, regarding the matter of slavery that was supported by the Virginia plan and not appreciated by the New Jersey model.

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The new Constitution project provoked serious debates between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists. The ratification of the supreme law was very complicated because of the different approaches to the system of organization of the country territories. The Anti-Federalists refused to sign the document as their main arguments stated that it gave too much power to the central government and reduced the importance of the local authorities of the different States. They were especially against the regulation that referred to the unlimited power of the government concerning the military issue and participation in the war (Siemer, 2002). This also referred to the power of the executive and legislative branches that started to play the key role in all the processes and could implement the decisions that were obligatory for the whole country. However, the most crucial point of criticism was the lack of the Bill of Rights that eventually resulted in the elaboration and implementation of the document (Brackemyre, 2011). The Federalists answered to the strong criticism, explaining that the division of power was aimed to protect the human rights and freedoms within the country. Besides that, they did not want to create the Bill of Rights because the creation of such a document was potentially dangerous. If there existed a list of the specific rights that had to be protected, this might have led to the strong violation of all the other rights that failed to be taken into account or considered not important enough to be included in the document (Rockwell, 2009).

As a result of better organization and more reliable and topical argument, the Federalists finally reached the moment of the ratification of the Constitution. The nine states signed the document, and to receive the last vote that was extremely necessary for the ratification, Federalists decided to agree to the elaboration of the Bill of Rights. This compromise served for the creation of a powerful government based on the outstanding document of the Constitution of the United States.

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