Confederation Vs State Power

1598 Words 7 Pages
The formation of the new country brought many controversial issues to the surface of the budding government. The end of the American Revolution marked the independence of the nation and the beginning of the country built on freedom, but there was a roadblock. How was the country going to be structured? The Americans had their eyes set on democracy, the idea that promised to ensure everything that they wanted in a country. However, democracy struggled to be defined as the members of the new country wrestled with its controversial components. Americans struggled to determine how the issues of liberty versus order, federal power versus state power, and freedom versus slavery and discrimination were going to be resolved. The final answer to the …show more content…
After the United States became an independent nation, they sought to form a government that was different than the monarchal system they had separated from in Europe. In this regard, Americans were hesitant to adopt a strong federal government, yet a system of primarily state power did not seem functional. The first system of government, outlined in the Articles of Confederation, was a failure at balancing this argument. The Articles gave the states almost complete power and divulged virtually none to the federal government. This showed the severe unbalance between state and federal power and resulted in a faulty system of government that ultimately failed. In fact, since the Articles of Confederation gave no federal power, there was no way to solve the major issues of the time and almost led to the destruction of the country. The major issues included the depression after the American Revolution, Congress not meeting regularly, and the English troops still stationed in the Midwest (Class Notes, “The Early Republic”). The Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation in 1787 to balance this issue. The constitution divided the federal state power by making three branches of government and divulging some power to the states. The executive branch, headed by the President, was given the power by the votes of the people, giving them power. The legislative branch divided consisted of people …show more content…
This issue, despite all attempts, failed to live up to the American ideal. When the Constitution was written, the issue of slavery was left mostly untouched because no decision could be made about how to resolve it. Some Americans believed that the country could not be a democracy is slavery existed, and others believed they could coexist. This issue, however, was one of the few that could not be resolved with compromise. It was one or the other, the way of the abolitionists or the slave holders. The issue was first approached with attempts at compromise: the Three-fifths Compromise and the dissipation of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (Class Notes, “The Early Republic”). However, it became apparent after the Deep South seceded from the United States that there would be no balance between democracy and slavery. Thus, the Civil War ensued. After the Civil War ended and the United Sates reformed as one nation, amendments were added to the Constitution to ensure “equality” among whites and blacks. These Amendments, the 13th, 14th, and 15th, made the two races legally equal, but due to the threats and actions of extremist groups such as the Klu Klux Klan, there was no actual social equality (Class Notes, “Between the Civil War and WWI”). The unbalance continued as Western Expansion began. Americans believed that it was their God-given destiny to expand and to spread the Word of God:

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