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Development Of The United States Constitution

1332 words - 6 pages

Development of the Constitution PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 1
AbstractShortly after the United States won it's independence from Great Britain, our founding fathers met in Philadelphia to draft the Constitution. Although they were men of different backgrounds, status and religion, they all shared one common belief: America need a strong national government and the rights and liberties of the people need to be clearly stated. Several previous governing documents would influence the development of the Constitution. Among these are: the Magna Carta, the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Federalist Papers. The United States Constitution would ...view middle of the document...

It influenced the development of both The Bill of Rights and The Constitution which is particularly obvious in the fifth amendment: "No person deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law" as well as the constitutional right that guarantees that "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned,...or in any other way destroyed...except by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to none will we deny or delay, right or justice."Mayflower Compact (1620)Another earlier document which played an important role in the development of The Constitution was The Mayflower Compact written by the first settlers in 1620. The Pilgrims realized that earlier settlers failed to maintain order because they did not have a central government to overlook things and protect the people's rights. They formed a government in which all people had a voice in state and national matters. These ideas would be the foundation of which our Constitution was written.Declaration of Independence (1776)Following the Seven Year War, the relationship between Great Britain and The United States began to deteriorate. Great Britain was deep in debt and so Parliament increased taxes on the colonies. Parliament believed that it was only fair that the colonies pay for their share of the empires costs. Since Parliament did not actually represent the colonies they felt that the taxes were unjustified. The issues about tax increases would eventually lead to the Revolutionary War in 1775. In June of 1776, Congress appointed a Committee of Five which included John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman to draft a declaration of independence from Great Britain. After approving the declaration it was signed on July 4, 1776.Articles of Confederation (1777)The Articles of Confederation were drafted in 1777 to establish a strong allegiance among the 13 states. In fact the articles were the first constitution in the United States. Unlike the Constitution drafted in 1791, the articles were established to restrict power within a central government and allowed the states their "sovereignty, freedom and independence." A committee composed of representatives from each state was responsible for several functions including conducting foreign affairs, declaring war or peace and maintaining an army and navy. However they had no power to collect taxes, regulate interstate commerce and enforce laws. Only after the Revolutionary war and Shay's Rebellion did our founding fathers meet to draft the Constitution that would allow congress those powers.Federalist Papers (1787-88)Finally a set of 85 articles named the Federalist Papers, outlined the philosophy and motivation of our founding fathers in the development of the Constitution. These articles published in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet between October...

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