University of Phoenix
American History 110
The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence
Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a Document to the King of England declaring their intentions to sever all political ties with England. It was addressed to the supreme Judge of the World Court; basically it was a petition to the world to be recognized as a legitimate government. The Colonist had final had enough of the English King and his oppression, they got together and formed a Continental Congress to come up with a plan. They drafted the Declaration of Independence as the last desperate act of an oppressed people, addressed to the world the colonist requested that the world recognize their sovereign right to govern themselves. U.S. Constitution
The U.S. Constitution was the document put forth by the Continental Congress to set into motion the laws of the newly formed country. The basis of all our current laws the Constitution is ideas and ideals of the new country. It set forth the provisions to have a government and how the government should be formed and the restrictions imposed upon it. The newly elected Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and drafted the United States Constitution. Once they drafted a document that they could all agree on they sent it out to the states for ratification, the criteria for adoption of the Constitution was that nine of the thirteen states had to ratify the document. Finally in 1788 the ninth state New Jersey ratified the Constitution making it the law of the land.
The Declaration of Independence was never designed as a basis of law governing the aspiring United States. Its purpose was to announce to King George III, and the rest of the world, that this nation was intended upon its own sovereignty. The Declaration of Independence declared that the colonies felt that rule under Britton was unjust and tyrannical; stating that, "The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States." (Thomas Jefferson, 1776) Furthermore, the Declaration went on to affirm that, because of these abuses that the people under such tenet, had the right, and duty, to create a new form of government; one that would serve the people at the consent of those governed. "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government."(Thomas Jefferson, 1776) This was a radical departure from the Old World mindset. The very thought that the people gave their consent to be governed tore at the very soul of the monarchal system, which felt that the King, or queen, was a position filled by divine choice, the will of God. The Founding Fathers also knew that this document, if their cause was lost, would mark them as traitors of the highest order in the eyes of England, in effect, if they lost their bid for freedom, that they had literally signed their own execution order. The Declaration was a great gamble, one in which the colonist were willing to lay down their lives for, if necessary. It was a rallying cry to arms, and the birth of a nation. The United States Constitution
Unlike the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution was intended to be the architecture of a new form of government, and mechanism for all future laws within that government. Among the chief points at issue were how much power to allow the central government, how many representatives in Congress to allow each state, and how these representatives should be elected--directly by the people or by the state legislators.(The National Archives ) It was not a call to...