The Constitution of the United States of America was the solution to fix the weaknesses that Articles of Confederation had caused the United States. The Constitution not only helped the United States gain more power but it also unified the states and creates a sense of nationalism. The Constitution eradicated any justification that the United States was weak and inferior. However, there are some constituents of the constitution that suggests that the constitution is not as honorable as it may seem. To what extent is the Constitution of the United States a “repressive” document?
Certain aspects of the constitution exhibit how the authors of the constitution wanted to keep the wealthy to have high status and remain on top and the common folk far away from the top as possible with little to no status at all. By analyzing some amendments of the constitution, the evidence that the wealthy are retaining and hoarding power will become evident. There are various reasons why the constitution could be viewed as a repressive document. Of the many reasons, it supports the upper class and discourages the middle class at having any real voice.
The constitution’s original objective was to resolve the conflicts that the Articles of Confederation had created. The intention of the Articles of Confederation was to assist the United States in initiating progression and to generate a strong and unified society. The constitution eventually solved the problems of the Articles of Confederation and accomplished its objectives. However, as a result of the constitution, a major segregation between classes was established for years to come. Bjornlund 1999, 23) It’s difficult to grasp the idea that our founding fathers created a legal document that represents freedom and justice for their own economic self -interest. They have accomplished this by implementing laws to protect their equities against popularly controlled state governments that adopts laws that advocates for the interest of small farmers at the loss of the wealthy. (History in Dispute-American Revolution, 69) The Preamble, which allocates the purpose of the constitution, is placed at the beginning of the document.
The three branches of government are then introduced and explained: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial branch. (Bjornlund 1999, 24) The constitution is the absolute law of the United States and it is used at the justification and reference to any legal body. (Amar2005, 32) The objective and the goal of the Constitution are to institute a formal government that creates a structure in which the government is based on. This structure will essentially explain the powers of the government and how the constitution will keep the United States in place, without corruption.
To do this, limitations must be set for each branch. Immediately following the Preamble, Article One explains what the Legislative Branch is entitled to do, what powers it has, and what it is capable of doing. The legislative branch is made up of Congress; that is the senate and the House of Representatives. The senate has a term that lasts for six years; the candidates for senate are to be chosen by the state representatives. However, the House of Representatives has a term that only lasts for two years; they are chosen by popular vote. The senate and the House of Representatives create Bicameral Legislation.
In order for one to be apart of the senate or the House of Representatives, one must own property. It then states that the objective of the legislative branch is to make laws that the United States needs at that point in time. In Section Seven of the first Article, it describes the long process of how a bill becomes a law in congress, and how the president plays quite a minor role in that process. (The Constitution Explained, 2010) “The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of several states.
The Senate of the United States shall be composed by two senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years, and each senator shall have one vote. ”(Article One, Section Two) From this, those who are already in power are choosing the new members. The previous passage proves that the constitution’s ideal representative that holds some sort of power and status in government need to be educated and wealthy. To sum it up, those who are already in congress are those who decide who’ll be apart of government, and make decisions that will affect our country.
This will further create a division amongst classes and tension between the upper and middle class will diverge from one another. Since the senate decides who is to be elected into The House of Representatives, they ultimately elect the wealthy, educated upper class to be in power. Also, for a bill to become law complex procedures are necessary; that is the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the President all need to formally accede the bill prior to legalization. The House of Representatives and the Senate are permitted to veto the bill if they deem it unnecessary. The Congress shall have power…To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof. ” (Article Once, Section Eight) Therefore, if Congress feels that a certain point should be mandated, they could essentially make anything legal or illegal as long as it is necessary and proper and passes Congress and the President. Next, the executive branch duties, roles and objectives are mapped out.
The executive branch is made up of the president, and Congress. The executive branch implements the law and coerces it on the citizens. In Article Two, Section One, it examines the plan of action for election. Direct election is no longer considered an effective means and congressional elections are deemed potent. (Bjornlund 1999, 28) Section five primarily asserts that the average person is not mentally capable of voting for a proper candidate to run the country. The common man is neither intelligent not educated, therefore they would not know who would best be the best fit to run our country.
To avoid catastrophic results from the elections, the constitution authorizes the population to vote for an appropriate representative who would vote for a presidential candidate. Essentially, the middle class or common man never directly votes for a president. (Legal Information Institute 2010) Section Two also lists what the president is entitled to, and presents the military powers as well. Article Two, Section One states that the people vote for a representative that votes for a presidential candidate. This shows that our founding fathers did not think that the average person was not adept to vote on their own.
Article Three clarifies the roles of the Judicial Branch. The Judicial Branch is comprised of the Supreme Court who deciphers the Constitution. They determine what exactly the constitution means considering it was written to be ambiguous. For instance, the judicial branch clarifies what the term “arms “ is meant to be (Bjornlund 1999, 31) With this, by deciding how to interpret a certain section in the Constitution; they could interpret it to ultimately benefit themselves. The Constitutional Convention was made up of fifty-five delegates who aided in the blueprint of the Constitution. These fifty-five delegates were the representatives of the hirteen colonies; not including Rhode Island. The delegates consisted of twenty-eight politicians, eleven statesmen, four governors, and eight lawyers.
Both Alexander Hamilton and George Washington attended the convention as well. The final two members were rather unlike the others. James McClurg aided in drafting the constitution; oddly enough, he was a physician. The final delegate was Robert Morris who was a merchant. Morris was the minority at the convention on account that he was the only delegate that was not educated or wealthy, ironically, he represented the majority of Americans, the middle class. Introduction to the Constitutional Convention & American Founding 2010) The United States Constitution enables economic classes to be further separated. It supplies passages that clarify how the wealthy conserves power and the lower class isn’t even voiced. In other ways, the constitution verifies that only prosperous upper class holds power is through elections. The lower or middle class don’t directly vote for the president, but for a representative who would then base his vote according to which he feels best fits to run the country.
The inevitable horror and threat that the uneducated lower class could possibly have any role in government has been eliminated and avoided. Overall, the examples that were provided to show how the Constitution of the United States is a “repressive” document include: the complex procedures for implementing amendments, the judicial veto, state legislators electing wealthy/upper class senators, presidential elections by the electoral college versus popular vote, and the opulent power presented to the central government to subdue popular opposition.
Amar, Akhil Reed. America’s Constitution A Biography. New York: Random House, 2005. Print. “Article I | LII / Legal Information Institute. ” LII | LII / Legal Information Institute. Web. 23 Jan. 2010. ;http://topics. law. cornell. edu/constitution/articlei;. Bjornlund, Lydia D. U. S. Constitution blueprint for democracy. San Diego, CA: Lucent, 1999. Print. “The Constitution Explained – The U. S. Constitution Online – USConstitution. net. ” Index Page – The U. S. Constitution Online – USConstitution. net. Web. 31 Jan. 2010. ;http://www. usconstitution. net/constquick. html;. History in Dispute – American Revolution (History in Dispute). Vol. 12. New York: St. James, 2003. Print. Pgs 69-71 “Introduction to the Constitutional Convention & American Founding. ” TeachingAmericanHistory. org — Free Seminars and Summer Institutes for Social Studies Teachers. Web. 31 Jan. 2010. <http://www. teachingamericanhistory. org/convention/intro. html>.