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Motives Behind the Making of the American Constitution by the Founding Fathers

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Motives behind the making of the American Constitution by the Founding Fathers

Motives behind the making of the American Constitution by the Founding Fathers

In the past century, there has been a growing debate as to the motives of the founders of the republic and as a result the nature of our constitution. While Marxist analysts such as Charles Beard contended that the founders were wealthy elite that ultimately created a conservative document intended to weaken the poor popular majority, other scholars like John Roche believed that the fathers had no such agenda. Pluralists, such as Hofstadter, believed that the constitutional insistence of checks and balances intended to create a slow political process in which no interest can completely win and oppress other interests over a long period of time. The individual viewpoints have come under scrutiny as the critical attributes have been examined by scholars on their applicability at the time. There are individual themes that come to light from a critical analysis compounding the main issues and aspects that were present at the time. Whereas Charles Beard and John Roche make a strong defense of their arguments, it appears, based on the constitutional document and historical analysis that Hofstadter provided a more accurate portrayal of the founding fathers.

Charles Beard examined the economic implications and interpretations of the events and attributes that led to the making of the Constitution. Beard adopted a Marxist principle where he argues that the Founding Fathers were upper-class members of the society and had to protect their resources against the majority who were poor (Beard 12). The Founding Fathers contemplated a case where the majority would look to gain power and their resources would be forcefully taken. Since the Americans had succeeded in gaining independence from Great Britain, it was important to develop the main attributes and methods that could ensure proper governance and control. The Founding Fathers included upper-class members of the society who had huge tracts of land and were of the elite society. According to Beard, the contract clause was directly aimed at protecting the elite members of the society against the poor majority. The Founding Fathers had to devise a method set under the law that would ensure that they protected their interests and methods needed (Beard 24). The powers of the Senate, Legislature and the Presidency were also aimed at gaining power and control to protect their resources. It is factor that led to the different methods that were being adopted towards strengthening and forging a document that would inculcate all aspects of control to give power to the elite minority. The Shays Rebellion highlighted the fear that Washington and the Founding Fathers were protecting against. They saw the power of majority in gaining power and overcoming their oppressors since they had managed to use the same power to overcome the British. The Constitution was a document that was aimed at holding legal bearing against taking any actions by individuals in the society and creating a legal bearing for their elite position in the society (Beard 30). The document may have been critical in forming a democratic society but the motives of the Founding Fathers were not noble as believed.

On the flipside however, John Roche holds a contrasting opinion noting that the Constitution was not found on ill-motives by the Founding Fathers. Roche posits that the founding Fathers had a responsibility towards making a document that would be inclusive and engage different groups in the society (Roche 802). The pluralists held that the document was aimed at uniting the country. The country had faced massive problems with the Revolutionary War and instability in the source of governance and power across the country. It was imperative to ensure that the best methods were developed towards creating a strong approach that was founded on specific traits needed in the society. The minority groups had to be included and the different states were assimilated and represented under the new government structure. Roche holds that the Founding Fathers came from different backgrounds and regions in the country and therefore, there was no single attribute that aligned their interests as a whole. The interests could not have aligned but the Founding Fathers had to constitute a document that represented the American people (Roche 807). There had to be compromise to ensure that the document was developed and individual traits had been developed. The critical methods that were being developed had to be mapped and outlined within the systems and information developed within the systems accordingly. The composition of the legislature and the standoff on the representation of slaves in the legislature were among the main arguments that Roche raised in his argument (Roche 812). The argument draws on the problems that were faced while passing the Constitution thereby relying on significant models that were critical in forming a strong central government where the people were included under the representation of their members as proof. Roche aimed at highlighting the diligence of the Founding Fathers and the strong approaches that were created towards gaining balance in government as proof of their pragmatic approach.

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