The United States Constitution is one of the most significant documents in modern world history. Its official date of adoption was on the seventeenth of September in 1897. The Constitution itself represents the advent of democracy, justice and freedom in a once-was colony which thereafter gained its independence. It established three branches of government; the legislative branch, the judicial branch and the executive branch. Additionally, the Constitution outlined the relationship between the country’s citizens and the Federal government.
Many section of the Constitution have been debated and examined. One of the most interesting articles is Article V which details the process of ‘amending,’ or revising, the Constitution. There are two ways to go about the amending process. According to usconstitution. net, “the first method is for a bill to pass both houses of the legislature, by a two-thirds majority in each. Once the bill has passed both houses, it goes on to the states. This is the route taken by all current amendments.
Because of some long outstanding amendments, such as the 27th, Congress will normally put a time limit (typically seven years) for the bill to be approved as an amendment. ” Secondly, “Congress … on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which … shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States (Philip 26). This procedure has never been used to amend the Constitution. One pro of this Article is the fact that the executive branch, or the President, does not have an official role in the amendment process. He cannot veto a proposed amendment. This limitation to power, an example of the system of ‘check and balances’ so central to the philosophy of the Constitution, prevents the President from engaging in self-serving ratification. In an article entitled Is it time for a convention?
Article V of the Constitution is a not-so-secret weapon for opponents of ObamaCare and other federal outrages, Philip Klein discusses a con of Article V. Namely, he examines the second method of amendment, or the Constitutional Convention. As the article details, many conservatives find the prospect of a Convention appalling and dangerous. Klein recalls that “at the time of the founding, the ability of the states to call a convention to propose amendments was seen as a way to prevent the federal government from becoming too expansive (Klein 28). Is the fact that this second method of amendment has yet to be used an indication that the Federal Government far overpowers decision-making on a State majority basis? The U. S. Constitution is an impressive document, one open to interpretation, clarification and ratification. This process is ongoing, one which changes as the times themselves change and evolve. In relation to the ever-important Article V, Klein asks “if we don’t use a mechanism that the Founders designed for the purposes for which they designed it, then we’re not paying respect to their design (Klein 31). Perhaps we should consider ourselves doing a disservice to the founding fathers by not examining this aspect of Article V more carefully. Works Cited Klein, Philip. “Is it time for a convention? Article V of the Constitution is a not-so- secret weapon for opponents of ObamaCare and other federal outrages. ” The American Spectator Oct. 2010: 26+. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 14 Nov. 2011. U. S. Constitution Online. 2010. Steve Mount. 12 November 2011
Essay about The 1787 Constitutional Convention
1944 Words8 Pages
The 1787 Constitutional Convention was paramount in unifying the states after the Revolutionary War. However, in order to do so, the convention had to compromise on many issues instead of addressing them with all due haste. This caused the convention to leave many issues unresolved. Most notably were the issues of slavery, race, secession, and states’ rights. Through the Civil War and the Reconstruction, these issues were resolved, and in the process the powers of the federal government were greatly expanded.
There was no significant desire among most delegates to abolish slavery during the 1787 Constitutional Convention. In addition, the focus of the convention was on forming a more perfect union, not dealing with the issue…show more content…
That clause prohibited any amendment made to the Constitution prior to 1808 that interfered with the three-fifths compromise or the clause regarding Congress’ interference with the slave trade (Dolbeare, 77). Lastly is The Fugitive Slave Clause in Article 4, Section 2 of the Constitution that permitted the extradition of runaway slaves (Dolbeare, 77). While the compromises within the constitution were necessary to ensure the formation of the United States, it is clear that the 1787 Congressional Convention did little to address the issue of slavery.
The Civil War and the Reconstruction brought about much change and turmoil throughout the United States. During these periods, three main events occurred that resolved the issue of slavery, and expanded the power of the federal government.
First was Lincoln’s delivery of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Lincoln declared, “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free” (archives.gov). Lincoln’s speech was simply a declaration of policy that did not actually free any slaves. Nonetheless, it was important because it paved the way for legislative reform that Lincoln worked so hard to effect.
Lincoln barely managed to get the necessary number of votes in the House of Representative to