Constitutional Democracy

1 January 2018

On July 2nd 1787, a Convention agreed o create a “grand committee” with a single delegate from each state to resolve disagreements about how the states would be represented equally in the legislature. The “Great Compromise” was created and the proposal called for a legislature in which the states would be represented in the lower house in the basis of population, with each slave counted as Three-Fifth a person. In the Upper house, states should be represented equally with two members apiece.When ratifying the Constitution the federal government was to have broad powers, including the power to tax, to regulate commerce, to control he currency, and to pass such laws as would be “necessary and proper” Gone was the stipulation of the Articles that “each State shall retain every power, jurisdiction, and right not expressly delegated to the US in Congress assembled”.

Alexander Hamilton proposed that the new government take responsibility for the existing public debt. The funding and assumption of debts would require new sources of revenue, since the government would now have to pay interest on the loans it was accepting. P to now, most government revenues had come from the sale of public lands in the West. Hamilton proposed two new kinds of taxes. One was an excise to be paid by distillers of alcoholic liquors, a tax that would fall most heavily on the whiskey distillers of the backcountry, especially in Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina- small farmers who converted part of their corn and rye crop into whiskey. In 1798 the conflict with France helped the Federalists increase their majorities in Congress. Armed with this new strength, they began to consider ways to silence the Republican opposition.

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The Alien and Sedition acts were passed. The Alien Act placed new obstacles in the way of foreigners who wished to become American citizens, and it strengthened the President’s and in dealing with aliens. The Sedition Act allowed the government to prosecute those who engaged in “sedition” against the government. The law made it possible to stifle virtually any opposition. In response, Jefferson and Madison wrote the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions. They used the ideas of John Locke to argue that the federal government had been formed by a “compact” or contract among the states and possessed only certain delegated powers.If the states decided the central government had exceeded those powers, the states had the right to “nullify”.

These resolutions were not accepted. In 1803 began a conflict with the courts that would forever increase the power of the judicial branch and further limit states rights. In 1 803 the case of Mammary vs.. Madison exercised the power of judicial review. In an effort to prevent future incidents that might bring the nation again to the brink of war with Britain, Jefferson presented a drastic measure to congress when it reconvened in 1807.Jefferson passed the Embargo which prohibited American ships from leaving the US for any foreign port anywhere in the world.

The economy was affected harshly. The hardest hit was the merchants and ship-owners of the Northeast. American government faced increasing popular opposition from the New England states as the war of 1812 dragged on. Daniel Webster who led the Federalists in New England dreamt of creating a separate nation in that region. In 1814, delegates from New England states met in Hartford, Connecticut to discuss their grievances, and discuss secession.Because the war was going so badly, the New Englanders assumed the government would have to agree with their demands. However, a couple days later, reports arrived of a negotiated peace.

The Hartford Convention was irrelevant. When Missouri applied for admission to the Union s a state in 181 g, slavery was already well established there. Even so, Representative James Talladega, Jar. Of New York proposed an amendment to the Missouri statehood bill that would prohibit the further introduction of slaves into Missouri and provide for the gradual emancipation of those already there.The Talladega Amendment provoked great controversy. In 181 9 there were 11 Free states and 11 slave states. The admission of Missouri would upset that balance.

Senator Jesse B. Thomas proposed an amendment prohibiting slavery in the rest of the Louisiana Purchase territory at the 36 30 line. Both the South and the North agreed to it. John Marshall and the court went through cases that made the judicial branch much more powerful and took away states’ rights by the cases Of I. Fletcher vs.. Peck- defended the inviolability of contacts ii.

Dartmouth College vs..Woodward- further expanded the contract clause of the constitution iii. McCullough vs.. Maryland, confirmed the “Implied powers” of Congress by upholding the constitutionality of the Bank of the US iv. Gibbons vs.

. Ogden- the court strengthened Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce The decisions of the Marshall Court established the primacy of the federal overspent over the states in regulating the economy and opened the way for an increased federal role in promoting economic growth. The “Tariff of Abominations” was a new tariff on imported goods.It originated with demands of Massachusetts and Rhode Island woolen manufacturers, who complained that the British were dumping textiles on the American market at artificially low prices. In order to get the middle and western support, the government decided they had to make all imports more expensive than American goods. John C. Calhoun argued that since the federal government was a creation of the states, the states were the final arbiters of the unconstitutionality of federal laws.

He therefore had his theory of Nullification. 1832 was the Nullification Crisis.South Carolinians responded angrily to a congressional tariff bill that offered them no relief from the 1 828 “tariff of abominations”. Jackson insisted that Nullification was treason and that those implementing it were traitors. Jackson then strengthened federal forts in South Carolina and ordered a warship and several revenue ships to Charleston. Jackson proposed a force bill authorizing the president to use the military to see that the acts of congress are obeyed. South Carolina held a eating and repealed their nullification on the tariff of abomination but nullified the Force Bill.

In the sass’s and sass’s most of the major magazines and newspapers were in the North, reinforcing the South’s sense of subjugation. Between the sass’s and 1 ass’s, the American economy experienced the beginnings of an industrial revolution- was a result of: v. Population growth- thru natural increase and immigration) vi. Advances in transportation and communication vii. New technologies Overall the industrial revolution widened the gap between the North and the South. David Willow of Pennsylvania introduced an amendment to the appropriation bill prohibiting slavery’ in any territory acquired from Mexico; it was called the Willow Proviso.It was passed in the house but not in the senate.

“Popular sovereignty’ – allowed people of each territory to decide the status of slavery in their own territory. This caused many issues as well. In the Compromise of 1850, Henry Clay tried to create a compromise that let California be a free state and let Mexico do what it wanted. John C. Calhoun and Daniel Webster spoke on behalf of compromise. Congress defeated Clays proposal, in the interests of the National government, not thinking bout the states. William H.

Steward opposed the proposed compromise, he didn’t think slavery was as important as preserving the Union. In the Crisis Of the sass’s Franklin Pierce was elected as president in 1852. The North and South continue arguing over the Fugitive Slave Act. Pierce supported the Democratic Party called “Young America”- he saw the expansion of American democracy throughout the world as a way to divert attention from controversies over slavery. The Extend Manifesto enraged antislavery northerners who charged administration with conspiring to bring a new slave Tate into the Union.The transcontinental railroad became part of the struggle between the North and the South. In 1853 Jefferson Davis sent James Sadden to purchase a strip of land from Mexico, it was called the Sadden Purchase.

Stephen A. Douglas made a bill that allowed for the railroad to go through his section by creating Nebraska. He said slavery would be decided by “popular sovereignty” so that the south would like the bill. The South demands more and he apparently repeals the Missouri compromise and divides Nebraska again into Kansas and Nebraska, it was known as the Kansas-Nebraska Act.The results of this act were that it divided and destroyed the Whig party, and it created a new party, the Anti-Nebraska Democrats and Anti-Nebraska Whig, which is also called the Republican party. Southerners made Kansas a slave state with the new “popular sovereignty’ rule. A fervent abolitionist in Kansas was John Brown; he led 6 people to commit the Pottawatomie Massacre.

In the North, the proper structure of society came to center on the belief of “free soil” and “free labor”. Basically, all citizens should have all rights. In the South was a closed, static society. Slavery was never to be deleted.

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