Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2

What problems faced the framers of the Constitution in 1787?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What problems faced the framers of the Constitution in 1787? The American constitution of 1787 was drawn up to replace the gap left behind following the end of British rule and allow the declaration of independence to be translated into a workable government. It sought to replace the articles of the confederation and perpetual union by creating a greater separation of powers and expressing the principles of democracy. The constitution attempted to balance the need for greater federal control and unity amongst the states whilst protecting individual state liberty and ensuring that no group would gain ascendancy. It provided the framework for a government strong enough to protect commerce and weak enough to prevent it from abusing its powers. However the problems that faced the framers of the constitution meant that the constitution would not be complete and further amendments would be needed. The framers of the constitution faced a wide variety of problems in 1787 mainly concentrated on the diversity between the states. Historically, the American culture was split following years of settlement from the British the French and the Spanish. ...read more.

Middle

However the framers also had to provide a government that was superior to the states. There was economic diversity between the states, from plantations in the south to the merchants in New England. The framers needed to protect the industries but also provide a united front to Europe. Slavery also split the states, and a civil war could have occurred earlier if the framers did not address the issue. There were also many radical state legislatures, which the framers needed to deal with, notably Rhode Island. The framers also had to deal with how to make the new government representative equally between the states. The diversity between the states meant that there was very little consensus and that framing a constitution around them would create a compromise. The framers had to provide the constitution to meet all these problems. One way it did this was by a separation of powers. The principle of separation of powers, the executive, the legislative and the judiciary, ensured that a system of checks and balances was enabled to protect the rights of the states and of the constitution whilst providing a government strong enough to guard against 'excessive democracy.' ...read more.

Conclusion

This appeased the south sufficiently to prevent them from rejecting the constitution, but the problem was still there. The constitution was able to gain popular support through providing elections and later by a Bill of Rights. The Marbury versus Madison case showed that the Supreme Court would uphold the constitution. The constitution gave those powers that were not enumerated, in the necessary and proper clause, to the states and thus appeased those people who wanted to protect their state rights and liberties. The Presidency had a four-year term and elected indirectly through an electoral college. If an amendment was needed for the constitution then it needed two-thirds approval in the Congress and three-fourths adoption by the states. Article six in the constitution made sure that national law was the supreme law of the land and could not be overruled by state law. There are a number of limits placed on the government. The habeas corpus act protected citizen's liberties. By applying the principles of federalism and a separation of powers, the framers of the constitution were able to create a balance of the problem facing them and the need for a united economic country. 1 Jack Gabb Page ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United States section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United States essays

  1. The British Constitution

    It would be an aide that 'rubber stamps' an item, which will then become legislation. There has not been a refusal to sign since Queen Anne in 1704. There is no true separation of powers in the British parliamentary system between the legislative, executive and judicial parts of the government.

  2. How is Britain's constitution changing in the 21st century?

    The European Convention of Human Rights Over forty countries in the European realm have applied the ECHR as an addition to their constitution. In 1937 Friedrich believed a constitution should be 'a system of effective regularised restraints on government action, therefore should be a statement of individual rights' (Hague and Harrop, 2001, 186).

  1. To what extent has the Constitution protected civil liberties in America?

    It was said that "any or all persons maybe excluded" and were locked up without trial and the government temporarily removed their rights in states such as California and Oregon. This was a violation of amendment 5 as there was no "due process cause".

  2. Doctrine of the separation of powers.

    On the other hand the most glaring breach of the doctrine of separation of powers is provided by the functions performed by the Lord Chancellor. He is a member of the executive as head of the Lord Chancellor's department and therefore a member of the Cabinet.

  1. American Government Term Paper #1. Discuss the theory of Checks and Balances as outlined ...

    The Framers idea when creating the checks and balances system was to keep a balance between the different branches of government, or separationâ (We the People). They did not want the president to have too much control, so the legislative branch looks over the executive branch and also has some say in the actions of the executive branch.

  2. Has the US Constituion Protected Individual Liberties?

    The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that criminal sentences that are inhuman, outrageous, or shocking to the social conscience are cruel and unusual. Although the Court has never provided meaningful definitions for these characteristics, it is clear that they have been applied in some cases.

  1. The paradox of power in the United States constitution.

    states had the right to decide whether or not they would accept the constitutionality of laws imposed by the federal government. Jefferson, who wrote the Resolutions, wrote in a letter to Abigail Adams (whose husband was the Federalist opponent of Jefferson), "You think it devolved on the judges to decide on the validity of the sedition law.

  2. The Religious Right

    Methods The Concerned Women for America tend to focus on the issue of sex and homosexuality. They have recently sponsored initiatives that place emphasis on opposing programs geared towards helping LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) teenagers on the basis that such programs promote homosexuality, as well as opposing anti-bullying programs which explicitly mention sexual minority youth.

  • Over 180,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.