• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

    to the Japanese Americans was unconstitutional and an infringement on their civil liberties however initially the constitution had failed to protect them. Another situation where the constitution failed to protect civil liberties was after 9/11. This is the most recent example of a breach of civil liberties.

  2. Has the US Constituion Protected Individual Liberties?

    Significantly, however, the Court had let stand, fifteen years earlier, a Virginia law that authorized the sterilization of 'mentally retarded individuals' who were institutionalized at state facilities for the "feeble-minded" ( Buck v Bell). Thus, it is clear that although the Bill of Rights can protect citizens, it can often depend on how the constitution is interpreted.

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

    Britain is noticeably cautious in its approach to a European constitution, shadowing the Scandinavian states, who perceive such a notion as 'written by someone with a blueprint for a full-fledged federal state in mind' (Anon, 2001, 47-48). A European constitution suggests a federal type of system, and this is in direct contrast to unitary Britain.

  2. Doctrine of the separation of powers.

    Sovereign is the head of the executive but her role is more ceremonial. However contrary to the USA doctrine of separations ministers are by convention members of the legislature. While this is a breach of the doctrine it can rationalised by saying that it promotes the responsibility of ministers by

  1. The British Constitution

    He found himself having frequent disagreements with leading citizens over religion and expenditure. In March 1629, Charles dismissed his fourth parliament. His opponents later called this period 'the eleven years tyranny'. It was his measures to the raise income without parliament that made him unpopular with royal followers.

  2. The Religious Right

    The group has also, in a joint effort with 13 other groups, the CWA released an advertisement stating "The DOJ and FBI should immediately investigate whether 'adult' videos being sold in hotels by OnCommand and LodgeNet violate long-established Federal and State laws regarding distribution of obscene material.

  1. Was the Weimar constitution a model of democracy or was it providing a blue ...

    It was however outnumbered by anti-socialist parties largely representing the middle and upper class. The combined strength of these parties the DVP DNVP and also DDP had a total of 249 seats, just over half of the total. Germany's socialists no longer had a lot of political power, as they

  2. The 1820 Missouri Compromise.

    It made a profound impression on the minds of the population throughout the Union which set the scene for the eventual abolition of slavery. Suddenly, without warning, the North and the South, the free States and the slave States, found themselves arrayed against each other in violent and absorbing conflict.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work