The Constitution: a Democratic Document?

Topics: United States, United States Constitution, Articles of Confederation Pages: 3 (941 words) Published: February 12, 2006
Upon the opening words of the Constitution, "We the People…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America," one must ask, who are these people? While the American Constitution provided its citizens with individual rights, many members were excluded. Elite framers manipulated the idea of a constitution in order to protect their economic interests and the interests of their fellow ‘white land and slave owning men' by restricting the voices of women, slaves, indentured servants and others. Therefore, the Constitution cannot truly be considered a "democratic document." However, because it is a live document, malleable and controllably changeable according to the interest of congress, it has enabled us to make reforms overtime. Such reforms that have greatly impacted America, making us the free, independent nation that we are today. The elite opted to prevent rebellions which voiced the opinions of disregarded members of society such as women, slaves, indentured servants, and men who didn't own land, by intervening and taking them into their own hands because they wanted to preserve their power. In 1780, Shay's rebellion, led by Daniel Shay, a veteran of the Battle of Bunker Hill, allowed farmers who were unable to pay their mortgage, to speak out. Creating chaos amongst the peaceful streets of Springfield, armed farmers were stopped by state militia. Shay's rebellion led way to the Philadelphia Convention in which fifty-five men representing twelve states congregated on 1787, in proposal of drafting a new constitution. Through the occurrence of the American Revolution, they were aware of the power that their people were able to execute and wanted to stabilize the government by creating a new Constitution. Members included James Madison, Robert Morris, and Alexander Hamilton. Delegates met in secret, excluding the response of the people.

According to Charles Beard, "A majority of the members [of the Constitutional convention] were...
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