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US Constitution Draft in Historical Context

Introduction

The Constitution of the United States of America is the sole most crucial document in the country’s history. It helped establish the national government of early America, outline its fundamental laws, and ensure the citizens of the new nations had their fundamental rights guaranteed and protected. Despite being written in the 18th century, it continues to retain its core values that are broad and have proven to be applicable and adaptable to different time periods. This flexibility can be attributed both to the careful writing of the Constitution and the primary causes for its creation. This research aims to consider the drafting of the U.S. Constitution and the historical context within which it was created and enacted. It will be contended that one of the main reasons for developing the document was the need to unite thirteen American states that declared independence from England by a federal government. In addition, it will be suggested that the previous relationship between the British Crown and American colonies motivated drafting the document that limits the power of the government and safeguards the freedoms of its people.

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Historical Context

The political and economic position of the thirteen former British colonies in the late 18th century substantially influenced the drafting of the Constitution. The American Revolution secured freedom for the British colonies but left them decentralized and potentially vulnerable. However, the notion of a centralized administration was viewed by many as somewhat reminiscent of the Royal and the British Parliament influences of the past (Amar, 1998). The previous political relationship of the American colonies with Britain was believed to be oppressive and lacking in representation for the former, and it was feared that a united federal government would be likewise autocratic and unaccountable (Labunski, 2006). The charter of the time, the Articles of Confederation, allowed one vote for one state, regardless of its population, when debating new laws, leading to conflict between the territories (Labunski, 2006). Some states, including Rhode Island, were economically affluent and resistant to the notion of a centralized government that could affect their trade. Overall, before the draft of the Constitution during the Philadelphia convention and its ratification, thirteen states did not have a centralized administrative body that would help define them as a nation.

Impact of Historical Context

The discussed historical context greatly impacted the drafting of the Constitution and the content of its articles. The concerns of the federal government being oppressive and unaccountable were addressed in the document that carefully outlined the functions and powers assigned to the Congress (Amar, 1998). Moreover, the representation of the people of different states, existent both under the British control and the Articles of Confederation, was referred to in the draft. Thus, it was stated how to determine the number of representatives in the Congress from each state depending on its population (Amar, 1998). It can also be asserted that the oppressive British form of governance over the colonies served as an incentive to limit the power of the government and ensure the freedoms of the citizens. Thus, to protect people and help ratify the Constitution, the Bill of Rights was drafted to secure fundamental civil rights for the citizens of the new nation (Labunski, 2006).

Conclusion

In summary, the previous relationship between Britain and its colonies and the need for a more effective central government led to the drafting of the Constitution in 1787.

References

Amar, A. R. (1998). The Bill of Rights: Creation and reconstruction. Yale University Press.

Labunski, R. (2006). James Madison and the struggle for the Bill of Rights. Oxford University Press.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, October 8). US Constitution Draft in Historical Context. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/us-constitution-draft-in-historical-context/

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StudyCorgi. "US Constitution Draft in Historical Context." October 8, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/us-constitution-draft-in-historical-context/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "US Constitution Draft in Historical Context." October 8, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/us-constitution-draft-in-historical-context/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'US Constitution Draft in Historical Context'. 8 October.

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