The Debate On What Form Of Government The United States

1021 WordsMay 11, 20175 Pages
The debate on what form of government the United States should assume was a highly controversial and debated topic. After the American Revolutionary War, the United States of America’s first constitution was ratified by all thirteen states in 1781. The constitution that unified the thirteen colonies by law was the Articles of Confederation; it established a weak central government that was adherent to the states. Therefore, the first form of government the United States officially had was a confederacy; which is where power is given to the central government through states. However, the new central government the Articles of Confederation created several shortcomings; for example, the national government did not have the ability to raise…show more content…
Using population as the basis for the legislature benefitted the larger states, therefore, they were the ones typically in favor of this plan. Second, the New Jersey Plan; it argued for the Articles of Confederation with a few minor tweaks. Also, they wanted a unicameral legislature with equal votes among each state. The proponents of the New Jersey Plan were opposed to the Virginia Plan because it benefitted the large states over the small states. With the two sides in bitter disagreement, a delegate proposed a plan that incorporated aspects both sides argued in favor for. The third plan, like the Virginia Plan, proposed a bicameral legislation; however, one would be based upon representation and the other would have equal votes among the states. This plan pleased both sides and became known as the Great Compromise. The constitution that came out of the constitutional convention in 1787 looked very different than the Articles of Confederation; it changed the United States from a confederacy into a hybrid known as federalism. The new federal system created through the new constitution created a central government and subunit governments (i.e. states) that share power; however, the central government had supremacy if the two contradicted each other. Also, some other prominent themes from the new constitution include Republicanism and free enterprise. Republicanism is the ideology that believes the
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