Saturday, April 14, 2012

Political Science

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Our founding father set forth a constitution in 1787 to insulate government from the masses, and create a national government that has the capabilities to do what it wants and needs, by a government compiled as a result of the elite, white, Anglo-Saxon men of each state. A government elite is when there is A minority that should be the only one to govern. These delegates say the national government is strong enough to do what is “right” for the nation and is insulated from the “wrong” people. Our government was derived of fifty-five wealthy men who wanted only to represent their states efficiently and derive a constitution, which takes the powers of government out of the hands of the uneducated masses and position it in the hands of the minority elite. The framers of the constitution knew that the only way our government would survive would be to give the people enough power to keep them from wanting to revolt, while actually leaving the imperative decisions to the elite who do what they think is ideologically right. Through the eleven years before the constitution, the characteristics of the men who wrote the document, the major features of the constitution, and the “compromises” show that the constitution of 1787 was elitist. It is clear that this way of governing is unjust because the three circumstances in deciding justice is equality, freedom and order. In this way of governing, only order is shown.

As our country became an independent state in 1776, the eleven years prior to the writing of the constitution was governed not by a government elite but by a capitalist system, which was based at a time of experimentation of our government and rebellion for our people. Our government started to lack authority of those it governed because the elite of our nation, the creditors, lost faith in our economy. “In a capitalist system, the health of the economy is intricately tied to the health of the creditor class.” (Text, pg. 50) As our government tried to take initiative and pass two laws to help our economy, their plan backfired and inadvertently caused our economy to crash. Not only instigating our debtors to go bankrupt but also our creditor class, leaving only one option for our citizens to rebel. “Both types of laws were originally designed to relieve the economic pressures of the debtor class by allowing debt repayment to be less painful during bad economic times. The results were quite the opposite.” (Text, pg. 50) Our government was not yet a government run by the elite theory and did not try to aid the elite but gave the power to the people. By inflating the economy with this new coined money, our whole class system was destroyed and therefore caused both the creditors and the farmers to go bankrupt. This then led to Shays Rebellion because the farmers felt they had the power to start a war against the elite creditors and they challenged our government by burning down courthouses. After this incident, this then awakened our government, as we recognized a need to change our new independent nation before we fell apart.

The framers of our constitution were the elite of our nation, chosen to represent their states and the creditors, not the population as a whole. “All the men at the convention were creditors who represented the conservative interests of the creditor class.” “They did not represent the population at large. The delegates were all white men who ranged in age from twenty-six to eighty-one.” (Text, pg. 54.) The basis to our constitution, which is the basis to our nation’s laws, was contrived by a group of men who only held the interests of the elite when writing it. Because no one was representing the needs of the poor farmers, our nation is founded on what fifty-five wealthy men thought would benefit them and their states. “The men who attended were some of the most prominent economic and political figures in the Unites States.” (Text, pg. 5) These elite men not only represented the power of government, but also took control of it by giving themselves the capabilities needed to pass what they thought was necessary for the well being of the nation.

Our government was based on the belief that the masses should have as little to do with government decisions as possible, while rendering them to believe they had most of the power. This belief caused the framers to allow the people to vote only for the representatives of the House and indirectly elect all other members of government. By doing so, the government took the majority of power out of the hands of the uneducated massed and placed it into the wealthy creditor class. “The delegated believed that the masses should have a very limited role in the selection of their governors; this role, if any, should be indirect. The delegates never meant for “the people” to govern either directly or indirectly in their national government.” “The only constitutional officers to be “elected” by the people were the members of the House of Representatives.” (Text, pg. 55) By taking the power to vote from the masses and giving it to the elite, the government is monopolizing all the government positions, except the House, which allows them to pass laws and control the nation much easier. By allowing the masses to vote for the members of the House, the people feel as if they are playing a big role in government and that their votes are being heard, which in effect, prevents them from wanting to revolt.

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Our government wanted to prevent the possibility of electing an uneducated politician to represent our government for more than a certain period of time, and preventing a huge shift of power; they ensured this through the process of staggered elections. Because they had to give a minimal amount of power to the masses our government had to protect itself from the possibility of an ignorant representative. This is conducted through staggered elections because every two years there is some sort of election representing a candidate for a different field of government. By staggering the elections for the Senate for example, no state can elect two of their members in any given election and only one-third of the senate is elected every two years. This ensures that there is not a massive shift in power in any given elections. “The delegates believed that the masses should have a very limited role in the selection of their governors. (Text, pg. 55) Also, if there is a representative in a government position who the elite or the masses dislike they could prevent them from getting re-elected. This process keeps the majority of powers in the hands of the elite because they get to control not only whom the people indirectly elect but also whom they directly elect.

The framers knew that the even the elite had to be restricted at some point, if not be the people by their fellow influential, selected few, to prevent the government from shifting from a government elite to a tyranny. Therefore, you can conclude that the politicians in the government were power hungry. Separation of powers and checks and balances are two factions. The first step in forming a new government was keeping the powers of government out of the hands of the masses and into the hands of the elite. The second step was making sure even the elite did not get out of control with all of their newfound power. “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” (Text, pg. 6) A system of separation of powers was noted to prevent “any one branch from dominating another and becoming too powerful.” (Reader, pg. 6) By giving each branch of government a check over the other two, a balance is created throughout the government giving the people a sense of relief that the government would not abuse their powers while it is leaving the major decisions regarding government within the hands of the elite.

A constitution is the supreme law of the land. Because the people of the states believed that the states did not have enough power, this caused them to want a federalist system that would allow central authority, the government, and state governments to join in decisions, which would allow the masses to be heard. The court case Brown vs. Board of Education was a defining decision in federalism. “It placed the responsibility for the social and political construct of race in America squarely in the hands of the national government.” (Text, pg. 77) This proves the very belief that the framers wanted to put power in the hands of the government and not in the hands of the masses. “In a federal system, the constitution is the source of political power. It establishes the parameters of power for the various governing units. The United States Constitution stipulates that power will be shared by the national and state governments.” (Text, pg. 77) By giving both the national and state governments more power both the masses and the elitists have power and that’s what the framers did not want. They wanted the elitists to have all the power and the masses to have less say in the government that’s why the elitists didn’t want a federal system.

The framers of the constitution wanted the powers of the government to be within the hands of the elite; although, they had to make it possible for the constitution to be ratified if necessary. The framers did not want the states or the government to change what they had worked so hard to create so they formed a two-step process with super majority requirements, which one must go through to ratify the constitution. “Although these procedures made it possible to change the constitution, they clearly do not make it easy.” (Text, pg. 7) The two-step process involves the Senate, the House and the State Legislature, as the amendment must first be proposed with a two-thirds House and Senate approval and then a three-fourths State Legislatures approval. The framers also made this process an elitist method by giving Congress, not the House, the power to choose which of the two processes they use.

One of the most controversial issues of the convention was based on the North and South disagreeing on the subject of slaves. It was a disagreement of authority as to how many representatives they were about to have and how much tax they had to pay. The Northern and Southern states were separated on how much they believed slaves were necessary. The southern states found them to be a crucial influence on their ability to produce goods, as they needed the cheap work force, while the northern states did not need them and did not want to have to patrol their states looking for escaped slaves. “Northern states were more inclined to limit its practice with the idea that the institution would in time be abolished. Southern states, however, considered it vital to their economic and political interests and were willing to dissolve the union rather than abolish slavery.” (Text, pg. 60) “The economic discussion revolved around three important issues representation, taxation and the competitive vs. non-competitive labor market.” (Text, pg. 61) The framers decided to “compromise” by counting slaves as three-fifths of a person to give both states equality in what slaves counted as in taxes and representation. With this compromise, the elitist theory was being portrayed as the government was able to be the authorities in deciding how many slaves were counted as, and were able to reduce the worth of slaved and take away their rights as people because they were believed to be ignorant.

The ownership of property was conceived as a loyalty to one’s nation, and therefore without ownership of land, one could not be allowed to vote. When deciding who should be eligible to vote, Madison stated that if you own property, then you have a stake in the country so you should be allowed to vote. “Many states initially imposed property requirements that established a pattern of class voting that continues in our political process today.” (Text, pg. 56) If you do not own property there is nothing stopping you from wanting to destroy the nation. This belief was the elite’s reasoning behind trying to get the poor who could not afford property from voting and having a stake in government. This elitist belief prevented all women and slaves from even being eligible, and went on to prevent the poor white men from voting as well. This allowed only somewhat half-decent men to even be able to vote for who gets elected in the House.

The Bill of Rights also shows the elitism of the original constitution. “As Jefferson put it, inference was not enough. A promise that the first order of business for the new Congress would be to amend the constitution to include the liberties of the citizens had to be made to insure the ratification of the document by the required nine states.” (Text, pg. 67) The Federalists might never have obtained ratification in several important states if they had not promised to support amendments to the Constitution. These amendments were written to protect individual liberties against possible unjust rule by the national government. The Bill of Rights was an addition to the constitution to insure the rights of individuals.

What the framers of the constitution did in Philadelphia when writing the constitution in 1787, was unjust in creating a government that gives them the authority to have power and rule over its citizens. Circumstances on deciding justice consist of freedom, equality and order. The only thing the constitution did propose was order. It offered order at the value of equality and freedom. The framers restrained equality and freedom from those who did not consist of the elitists. The framers wanted to keep power for themselves. Like Madison said, “it is human nature to be ambitious and power hungry, especially so when the human is a politician. (Reader, pg. ) The fifty-five framers were only thinking for their own best interest and what suited them and their well being. They wanted to have all the power in the government, with the citizens having no say in what the constitution nor government would consist of. The citizens had no equality because the people were based on how much property they owned or what color skin they had. They also definitely did not have any freedom, simply because they had no say in the government. The framers did not want the citizens to have any say and wanted the people to be indirect with the government. The elitists were so power hungry that too much power was not enough for them. “Although the delegates were in Philadelphia to create a stronger nation government there was a great concern among them that concentration of power will be to unlimited government.” (Text, pg. 55) I believe that they were unjust in not representing the needs of the masses when sending representatives to form the constitution, which is the foundation to this nation, we live in today.

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