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Not being able to tax or raise armies may have ended our struggle for independence during the war had it not been for the leadership of General George Washington. After the war, competition rose between the states because of the inability to regulate interstate commerce. Robert Higgs’ essay regarding individual rights and the nature of government is a reality-based summary which should be widely read. Bradford’s contribution, “Not So Democratic,” is an outstanding essay regarding the profoundly “undemocratic” beliefs of the framers of the Constitution and the numerous antimajoritarian mechanisms within the document.
The Second Continental Congress convened in 1775 after the war began was the first true governing body for the 13 states.
Two accomplishments were important to our current form of government, The Declaration of Independence which declared that Governments derive their power from the consent of the governed and designing the Articles of Confederation which became the constitution governing the states.
The Boston Tea Party is a major link in the chain of events that resulted in the form of government we enjoy today.
After the Tea Party, Britain responded with economic actions including a blockade of Boston Harbor.
This convention of course did not amend the Articles but instead created a draft of the current US Constitution and released it for ratification hopefully by at least 9 of the 13 states.
This constitution, also called at the time the Philadelphia draft or Philadelphia proposal, contained only mandates with no explanations, a governing philosophy unique in the history of the world where the people were sovereign, and no official written record of the secret proceedings, so ratification was not assured without some education as to why this constitution was necessary to satisfy the nations need’s.
Three facts for consideration, a portion of our population increase is from immigrants and others without an innate sense of what it means to be an American, our schools lack an interest in teaching the constitution and some of our representatives in high office are violating the document they have sworn to uphold.
Perhaps a modern day Hamilton or Madison will read the summaries consider these issues and conclude a repeat of the original task is necessary and decide to author The Tea Party Papers.
FEE’s most recent collection of essays, essays spans 30 years, including contributions from historian Clarence Carson; the late M. Bradford, the noted “Southern agrarian” conservative; philosopher John Hospers; historian Robert Higgs; and economist Dwight Lee, among others.
The book is marketed as a primer, but be assured that the person who absorbs this book’s lessons will gain a sober grasp of the intellectual ground from which the Constitution grew, its historical context, what the Founders intended it to accomplish, the permissible reach of government powers, and how profoundly “undemocratic” our government was structured to be—and why that’s so.