The United States Constitution AMERICAN HISTORY – Pre-Columbian through the Civil War After the War the 13 colonies first formed a very weak central government under the Articles of Confederation. This government lacked, for example, any power to impose taxes, as it had no method of enforcing payment. It had no authority to override tax laws and tariffs between states. The Articles required unanimous consent from all the states before any changes could take effect. States took the central government so lightly that their representatives were often absent. For lack of a quorum, the national legislature was frequently blocked from making even ineffectual changes. In September 1786 commissioners from five states met in the Annapolis …show more content…
The U.S. Constitution styles itself the "supreme law of the land." Courts have interpreted this phrase to mean that when laws that have been passed by state legislatures or by the Congress are found to conflict with the federal constitution, these laws are to have no effect. Decisions by the Supreme Court over the course of two centuries have repeatedly confirmed and strengthened the doctrine of Constitutional supremacy, or the supremacy clause. Although the U.S. Constitution was motivated in no small part by elite mercantilists and financiers' desire to minimize the political impact of non-owning classes and smallholding classes on elites' property and prerogatives, the Constitution guarantees the legitimacy of the American state by invoking the American electorate. The people exercise authority through state actors both elected and appointed; some of these positions are provided for in the Constitution. State actors can change the fundamental law, if they wish, by amending the Constitution or, in the extreme, by drafting a new one. Different kinds of public officials have varying levels of limitations on their power. Generally, middle and other working class officials have extremely limited powers in American government. Their powers are merely discretionary. However, elite actors in government and certain departments like the military have few
The supremacy clause states that the United States Constitution, treaties, federal laws, and federal regulations are the supreme law of the land, if this didn’t exist then states would have more power over the federal government.
While the Articles of Confederation unified the American colonies for the first time, the individual states had a hard time allowing a central government to solely control their territory. Due to fear of an all powerful monarchy like the one they had experienced in England the colonies were wary of allowing a central government certain powers. These certain powers included control of commerce, ability to tax, and even the ability to act directly upon individual citizens of a state. While the Articles provided a loose confederation to unify the new country, they were only a temporary solution due to their obvious weaknesses in several areas. The Articles of Confederation were essentially
Each type of government holds different views as to the role the leaders and citizens should perform in their country .Different types of government include, oligarchy where the government is run by the best leaders, Tyranny, where they believe those in power should have complete control over its people. In the United States of America, we believe in democracy, rule by the majority. The main problem with our type of government is maintaining it. Our government and its citizens have lost sight of their roles and responsibilities, in government.
The Supremacy Clause is a statement in the US Constitution that says that “the laws of the United States… shall be the supreme law of the land.” This was created to resolve any disputes among laws of the states and of the nation. The supremacy
Based on your interpretation of the course text, explain the framers’ (framers’ of the U.S. Constitution) position on the Presidency:
The feebleness of Congress was a major weakness of the Articles of Confederation. When the Articles of Confederation were adopted in 1777, they created a “loose confederation” of states (Pageant, 181). This meant that each state was independent and sovereign, linked by Congress only to deal with common problems and foreign affairs. Congress was meant to be part of a united central power of the government, but due to the abuse suffered from the king, the states so limited the powers of the central government to the point of powerlessness.
Following the War the 13 colonies initially shaped an amazingly feeble focal government underneath the Articles of Confederation. This government lacked, for instance, any capacity to impose taxes, since it had no way of enforcing payment. It has no power to override tax laws and duties between states. The Articles required unanimous consent from the states before any changes might take effect. States carelessly misuse the central government which often result in most of their representatives being absent For insufficient a quorum, the national legislature was often blocked from making even ineffectual changes.
In the Constitution, the Supreme Court is the overriding law of the land. The Supreme Court can overrule the decisions made by the likes of a state or appeals court. The Constitution is clear in its attempts to unify the nation and strengthen the federal government, all while maintaining the freedoms of the states and the feeling of equality. Though the Constitution is written in a vague way, leaving it to be open for interpretation and allowing it to conform with the changes that time brings to society. But because of the uncertainty of the document, it has often been misinterpreted, or has caused a wide array of viewpoints of a certain issues. The most memorable example being that of the Civil War, but today it is even more prevalent when we try to relate modern day issues to the ambiguous instructions left to us by our forefathers.
Compare the strengths and weaknesses of the Articles of confederation to those of the Constitution. Which document did a better job at protecting liberties? Running a government? Explain your answer with specific examples.
When the United States declared itself a sovereign nation, the Articles of Confederation were drafted to serve as the nations first Constitution.Under these Articles, the states held most of the power; but due to an almost absent centralized government, colonists were ill-equipped to deal with such practices as regulating trade both between states and internationally, levying taxes, solving inter-state disputes, negotiating with foreign nations, and most importantly enforcing laws under the current notion of "Congress". Realizing that there were several deficiencies in the current system of self-government, the states appointed delegates to ratify the situation and come up with a way to attain the aforementioned practices they needed to
However, the most important power was that Congress had the right to obtain territory and control development of the western territories, which was previously controlled by their mother country, Great Britain. (Doc D) With the Articles of Confederation, the United States was able to break away from their mother country and become a free nation, setting up their own government. Although the articles set the United States free, it was unable to provide them with a solid government. Leaders like John Jay and James Madison criticized the Articles of Confederation because of the weak government. (Doc G) There were several problems between the states and the central government. For instance, sometimes the states refused to give the government the money it needed, and they engaged in tariff wars with one another, bringing interstate trading to a halt. The government could not pay off the debts it had incurred during the revolution, including paying soldiers who had fought in the war and citizens who had provided supplies to the cause. (Doc C) In addition, the new nation was unable to defend its borders from British and Spanish encroachment because it could not pay for an army when the states would not contribute the necessary funds. Another serious problem was that Congress could not pass needed measures because they lacked nine-state majority required to become laws. The states
After the Revolution, the States adopted their own constitutions, many of which contained a Bill of Rights. The Americans still faced the challenge of creating a central government for their new nation. In 1777 the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, which were ratified in 1781. Under the Articles, the states retained their “sovereignty, freedom and independence,” while the national government was kept weak and inferior. Over the next few years it became evident that the system of government that had been chosen was not strong enough to completely settle and defend the frontier, regulating trade, currency and commerce, and organizing thirteen states into one union.
The American Revolution was when the British colonies in America revolted against British rule for being taxed by people not even living on their land and gained independence by overthrowing British imperial rule under King George III. The French Revolution was a period of social and political upheaval in France, marking the decline of powerful monarchies and churches and the rise of democracy and nationalism. The French Revolution began less than two decades after the American Revolution. In many ways, the American experience was an inspiration for the citizens of France. But the people of the two countries had different situations and had different concerns, which influenced the way each revolution began, progressed, and ended.
They did not trust strong governments, so the central government very little power (Murphy). There was no court system given to the national government so the states were in charge of it all, which meant complaints could not be filed against them (Brackemyre). One of the only powers the national government had was to declare war but they were not allowed to raise an army to fight it and it lacked a chief executive to conduct foreign affairs. The United States also had an ineffective legislative under the Articles of Confederation. Amendments that they wanted to be passed needed to be vote on unanimously and there had to be a nine out of thirteen vote to pass a law (Kelly). Each state also had only one despite their population. Under the Articles, the government did not have a stable economic system, lacked key central leadership and had an inefficient legislature.