DBQ Essay The United States Constitution is a document that or founding fathers made in order to replace the failing Articles of Confederation (A of C). Under the Constitution, the current government and states don’t have the problems they faced when the A of C was in action. The Constitution was created in 1788, and held an idea that the whole nation was nervous about. This idea was a strong national government, and the Federalist assured the people that this new government would work. The framers of the Constitution decided to give more power to the Federal government rather than the state governments because the A of C had many problems, there was a need for the layout of new government, rights, and laws, and there was a need for the Federal
The constitution addressed the issues that the articles of confederation failed to do such as federalism, checks and balances, and the Elastic Clause. Federalism is the principle that the national government does not have all of the power in the nation. Subdivisions of the nation (states) have many powers too. The national government protects the whole nation and holds the nation together, regulating things that states cannot regulate.
Over the year’s federalism has taken on many forms within our federal system. The distribution of powers within these many forms of federal systems has had to adapt to each of these forms in order to keep up with the times. The federal system initially was set up to serve the 13 original colonies and was able to maintain their own powers given by the powers vested in each colonies individual constitutions. Federalism or the split of power between colonies and the federal or nation governing body was simply to form agreements among one another in regards to laws. The state governments possessed the powers given to them by their state constitutions which was known as reserved powers and concurrent powers were state and federal government
One of these rough patches was the Articles of Confederation, which taught us that a balance of power is of great importance. We abandoned the Articles of Confederation and adopted a new Constitution because of State powers, and lack of Congressional powers. The fear of a Central Government like Great Britain led The United States away from having such a strong Central Government. So the States were given autonomy to make most decisions & have many powers under early American Government.
The original constitution of the United States was drafted for multiple reasons. Under the Articles of Confederation, the federal government was extremely weak. The individual states had more power than the federal government, and each of the states acted more like independent countries. Additionally, the Articles of Confederation did not distribute power well. The revised Constitution allowed for 3 branches of government, which divided federal power so that one branch could not become more powerful than another.
The U.S. Constitution signed September 1787, not only unified America as one nation, but it also enriched America’s core structure of government on a national scale. One cannot ignore the significant disunion that existed during the time of the Articles of Confederation. Due to the fact that the states were allowed to act like independent countries, Congress had insufficient power to make and enforce laws or collect taxes. Both the national government and individual states had acquired a substantial amount of debt due to the cost of the American Revolution and needed the means to pay for it. The main source of government revenue became tariffs imposed by each state.
The first article of the Constitution says "ALL legislative powers...shall be vested in a Congress." The second article then reads "the executive power...in a President." The third article gives the "judicial power of the United States in one Supreme Court" and "in such inferior Courts as the Congress...may establish."
The Articles of Confederation were a document seen as the “first” constitution of the United States. This document granted the new national government power to control the military, declare war, and create treaties between the states. However, the Articles had holes in it considering the government did not have the power to tax, create laws without at least nine states’ approval, or change the Articles of Confederation without a unanimous vote. This means that the country soon fell into debt and petty arguments between state, the new government had no control. It was time for a change.
Enumerated powers, also referred to as expressed powers, are rules or powers given to the government. The enumerated powers are a list of things the government is authorized or allowed to do. The enumerated powers of the government are directly listed in the United States Constitution. The beginning talks about the specific powers the three branches can have such as what they can do and what they should look like and be like. Some examples of enumerated powers include taxing, regulating commerce with other nations, declaring war, creating post offices, and providing a Navy.
The Articles of the Confederation was the first government constitution that the United States used, and, although there were strength like the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, there were major weaknesses of the Articles of the Confederation like the following: requiring 9 out of the 13 colonial votes from the representatives from different states to pass a law; having no executive and judicial branch; and the federal government being unable to impose tax revenue onto the states. Such flaws would eventually lead to the Constitution and the repeal of the articles, for the Constitution was a measure to fix the problems of the articles with a stronger government that allowed them to impose taxes and and implement new laws for a more effective government.
Edwards and Wattenberg define Federalism as, “a way of organizing a nation so that two or more levels of government share formal authority over the same area and people. (Edwards and Wattenburg,70)” When the United States first started to form a central government their objective was to never allow for a dominating power to take over the country again. To do so they created a division of power and made it possible for states and more so the “people” the right to have more of an impact on government. Or so were their intended thoughts when creating the constitution and the branches. In doing so their focus constrained national government but left a loose string as to what the states and their constitutions could do.
Following the Revolutionary War, America had just gained independance from Great Britain and needed to form a new government. The Articles of Confederation were established as an attempt to create a government that was unlike Britain’s. Unfortunately, the Articles of Confederation had several weaknesses. When in the process of repairing those weaknesses, the Federalists and the Anti-federalists formed. The Articles of Confederation were very weak as well as useless to America and because of this, the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists could not agree on a new type of government.
The Constitution gave powers to Congress to collect taxes and raise revenue, regulate commerce, both foreign and domestic, declare war, maintain an army, and make changes “necessary and proper” to pursue the powers, and it added, “all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States.” They also added The Executive Branch that consists of a president and his cabinet. The president was to be elected through the Electoral College. The president would have the power to create treaties, but only if two-thirds of the Senate approved them, oversee the army and navy as commander-in-chief, name diplomats with the consent of the Senate, execute the laws passed by Congress and veto acts of Congress that he did not feel were constitutional. The great Compromise also helps to grant each state equal representation.