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Essay help

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Armando's picture
Joined: Sep 2005
Essay help

I have to choose one of the following essays due next week but I have no power and will not for another week so I have no way to get info. and I don't have my book because I haven't been home for a week since my dad is out of town. Anyway, I'm at a friend's house who DOES have power but will return home powerless tomorrow. I don't usually ask for help without first looking stuff up on my own but I really have NO way to do so.

Anyway I gotta choose one of the two:

1) Historian Charles Beard described the Constitution as the "reactionary" phase of the evolutionary era. To what extrent was it a "reactuion," or is it better described as a "conservative counterrevolution?" Outline the positives and negatives of the changes implemented during this "critical period" in American History.

2) Thomas Jefferson once said that he believed that "all of the good" of the new Constitution might have been accomplished by simply amending the Articles of Confederation. Was it a good thing that the framers completely scrapped the Articles in favor of the Constitution? Make sure to include structural differences between the Articles and the Constitution specifically regarding powers granted to government, factors that led to the "scrapping" of the Artivles and fundamental differences between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists.

ANy and all help is appreciated, and again I am sorry I have to ask w/o having done it on my own before but I kinda am in a bad situation currently.

silentdragonzx's picture
Joined: Sep 2005

hmmm.....i dealt with the second question to an extent.......personally i think you will already find this info on this site but i'll post it any way.....

The Articles of the Confederation: America’s First Constitution

1. The Articles had no executive branch (hence, no single leader), a weak Congress in which each state had only one vote, required 2/3 majority on any subject of importance, and a fully unanimous vote for amendments.

2. Also, Congress was pitifully weak, and could not regulate commerce or enforce tax collection.

3. Congress could only call up soldiers from the states, which weren’t going to help each other.

a. Example: in 1783, a group of Pennsylvanian soldiers harassed the government in Philadelphia, demanding back pay. When it pleaded for help from the state, and didn’t receive any, it had to shamefully move to Princeton College in New Jersey.

4. However, it was a model of what a loose confederation should be, and was a significant stepping-stone towards the establishment of the U.S. Constitution.

5. Still, the states wielded an alarmingly too great amount of power.

•STRENGTHS OF THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION: The thirteen states established a permanent government in 1781 in the form of a confederation which included a congress that represented the states and had the power to conduct Indian and foreign affairs, mediate disputes between states, and establish a standard for weights and measures. The Articles protected against an oppressive central government, such as a monarchy or oligarchy, by placing power within the fragmented states.

•WEAKNESSES OF THE ARTCILES OF CONFEDERATION: The government established in 1781, was a confederation; each state was its own powerful entity and had its own tariffs and currencies, making it harder for interstate commerce to occur. The federal government lacked the power to tax and form a militia without the approval of all the states. Amending the Articles was a difficult and tedious process, because the amendment would have to be accepted by each state in order to be passed.

Here is a link to information about the "critical period"...hopefully you can access it.....

Armando's picture
Joined: Sep 2005

Thanks so much.

Anyone else?

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