“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”—Thomas Jefferson [Many people forget to add the second part for some reason…]
I have procrastinated way too much on this essay yet I still continue to do so. I figure I might just procrastinate with other studies. eh?
Discuss at least three of the compromises that to be made by the framers of the Constitution in 1788 before they had a document to send for ratification
Three important compromises made by the framers of the Constitution were over the issues of representation, slavery, and Congress’ involvement in trade and commerce.
There was a heated debate going on at the Constitutional convention over how the House of Representatives and the senate should be apportioned. The larger states wanted a state’s representation to be based on the size of its population while the smaller states demanded equal representation. A New Englander, John Sherman, proposed what is now known as the Great Compromise. Sherman proposed that the lower house be based on a state’s population, a state would get 1 congressman for every 60,000 citizens. However, in the Senate, there would be equal representation among the states. Every state would get two senators appointed by the state legislature.
Many argue that the issue of slavery was the real great compromise during this Constitutional Convention. Madison even wrote in his notes that the great conflict among the delegates is not between small states and large states but between slave states and free states. There were three key questions surrounding this issue. One was whether or not the import of slaves should be stopped. Delegates from Georgia, North and South Carolina objected to this idea and stated that they would not support the Constitution if the slave imports stopped. Another question was should slaves be counted for purposes of representation? Southerners argued that slaves should be counted, since it would give them more influence in the House of Representatives. Northerners objected because slaves were property and should not be counted as free persons. The result of this divide was the 3/5 Compromise which stated that 5 slaves were equal to 3 free men in terms of representation. It also stated that Congress could not vote to end the slave trade for another 20 years.
The debate over slavery was also a debate over Congressional involvement in trade and commerce. Southerners were hostile to the idea of Congress being allowed to impose tariff duties and regulate interstate commerce. They believed Congress can use this power to tax slave imports or even eliminate the slave trade entirely. In exchange for the 3/5 Compromise, Southerners accepted Congress’ control over trade and commerce as long as they did not tax the export of plantation crops such as tobacco and rice.
So its that magical time of year where I subject myself to way too much stress than my body knows how to handle. This is only made worse by my frequent caffeine abuse and horrible procrastination that also takes over at this time as well. (I’m talking about finals if you somehow forgot to read the title of this.) But anyway, now I am going to use my blog for the next week or so as just a place where I ramble about what’s on my final and dissect the study guide. Follow along if you care. Today I’m going to talk about EARLY AMERICAN LEGAL HISTORY (note: this subject is really really dry so you’ll probably only read this if you’re in my class, although I don’t think anyone in my lecture reads this.) So now its books cracked. Beyonce on. Let’s roll.
Anti-Federalists: Anti-Federalists opposed the creation of a stronger central government and favored the Articles of Confederation over the Constitution. This was because the Articles of Confederation gave more power to the states than the federal government. Some notable Anti-Federalists include Patrick Henry, Luther Martin, and Elbridge Gerry. They contested with the Federalists over issues of the Bill of Rights, Congressional representation and the size of the republic.
Judiciary Act of 1789: The Judiciary Act is arguably one of the most important laws passed by Congress in America’s history; it essentially established the U.S. federal court system. The Judiciary Act created one Supreme Court (with 6 justices and one Chief Justice) as well as Federal Circuit Courts presided over by a SCJ. There were also lower federal district courts made to oversee civil controversies. There are three important sections to the Judiciary Act
Section 13: This section allows for a writ of mandamus to be called upon federal officers. This section was challenged in the case of Marbury v. Madison.
Section 25: This section details how to enforce the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution. It states that if a state court rejects any claim that someone has under their rights in the Constitution, that claim can be directly appealed to the Supreme Court. This was controversial because it negated states rights and undermined the power of state courts.
Arg! That’s all I have time for before I have to head off to my work. Bleh. Two terms down, 3587985642758934748584 million more to go. AAAAAAH. Kill me.
Today, I found (what I think to be) the most awesometastic twitter ever. No, it’s not some random celebrity…. it is one Oxford history grad, Alwyn Collinson, who has taken it upon himself to tweet events from WWII in “real time” for the next 6 years. Of course, for it to be real time you have to imagine that the year is 1939, but the day’s tweets correspond with actual events that occurred that day more than 60 years ago. I have never spent 2 hours reading someone’s twitter history before I found @RealTimeWWII
In an interview that Collinson gave with The Telegraph, he explains why he’s doing this project
“I’m hoping to use Twitter to help bring the past to life, helping people understand the past as people at the time saw it, without the benefit of hindsight,”
This guy is just so amazing. As far as Collinson’s goal goes, he’s certainly achieved it with me. His tweets are informative and incredibly human. Collinson’s tweets are also loaded with contemporary sources such as pictures, sound bites, newsreel and eyewitness accounts. Right now, most of his accounts talk about America’s “Neutrality Act” and Hitler’s invasion/occupation of Poland. I love how in just 140 characters, Collinson can still make these tweets hit home. Some are uplifting, but in such a dark and uncertain time as 1939 was, most are heartbreaking. Such as this one, posted on Veteran’s (Remembrance) Day. It an except from the diary of Canadian Lt. Gen. Alan Brooke reflecting on the Remembrance Day ceremony he’d attended.
"The poppies served as a vivid reminder of the floods of blood spilt on this very ground, & the futility of again causing such bloodshed"
His posts on Remembrance Day are also quite revealing. They make you think of how people must have felt at the time, many had just barely survived the massacre that was supposed to be “the war to end all wars” and now they find themselves subjecting their own children to horrors that they spent the last decade trying to forget about. I believe everyone should check out this twitter, even if they aren’t a history fan. I mean, @RealTimeWWII may not promote useless products like @KimKardashian, but you might just learn something.
Basically, I made this blog as an outlet. I have yet to find someone who is as interested to hear me ramble about history as I am to ramble about it. So I figure, hey the internet is filled with people who like to read about random shit, so I’ll just ramble there and whoever the fuck cares can read this. Also, maybe I can use this blog to put my history classes into perspective (and sort of study). Right now, I am taking a courses on: the formation of the Russian Empire (pre-Soviets), American legal history from the colonial era to the Civil War, and U.S. aggression in Latin America. I’ll mention these classes more often than not.
To start let me just say that I really love talking about history. Sometimes I actually get physically excited about it. Which means that most of my posts will tend to go on and on and on and on… Anyway, let me just give a quick overview of some of my favorite historical things, because I’ll probably mention them a lot. Just to mention, I don’t know too much about African, Asian, Latin American, and European history (yet). But I hope this blog will give me motivation to pursue these fields.
My favorite historical figure: John Brown. I could seriously talk forever about how interesting and complex a character he was. I have also taken it upon myself to learn the words to the song “John Brown’s Body”. I can’t say what I’m more amazed/appalled at, his part in Bleeding Kansas or the siege on Harper’s Ferry (arguably America’s first terrorist attack). I can’t decide if I admire his dedication to his cause or think he’s a homicidal maniac with a God-complex.
Favorite President: this one is sort of tricky, if it were based on their ideologies and actions I would definitely have to say it would be James Madison. Since I have been taking my American Legal history class this quarter, I have grown to admire him more. Especially after reading Federalist Paper #10. I also deeply admire his wife Dolly Madison for everything she did during her husband’s term as president (ex. saving almost every important document in the White House before the British burned Washington). Dolly Madison would definitely be my favorite first lady.
Now on the subject of my favorite president just because he was an all around badass was Theodore Roosevelt. I mean come on, the dude killed half of the Africa exhibit in the Natural History Museum. Theodore Roosevelt has probably done more to preserve America’s natural beauty than any other president. Without him, we wouldn’t have the National Parks Service and Yellowstone (seriously beautiful, go there if you ever have the chance) might just be an oil field by now. However, I do question much of his actions in Latin America and the Philippines. And the whole believing in the White Man’s Burden and everything…. I might have to do a post on old Teddy soon. I just have so much I want to say about him.
Favorite Era: I think some my favorite subjects in U.S. history would regard the anti-government movements of the 70’s (such as the Black Panthers, the Weathermen and the American Indian Movement), the Gilded Age (Tammany Hall, Roscoe Conkling and James Blaine, Stalwarts vs. Half Breeds, and all the awesome post-Civil War drama), and the goings on of Puritanical Massachusetts in the 17th century (Salem Witch trials, Quakers, John Winthop, “for we shall be as a city upon a hill…”).
However, if there is one think that I believe is wholly American and I just LOVE to talk about is MORMONS. They have such a unique and amazing history that is unlike any other mainstream religion. Mormonism is the only religion that can truly call itself American. I will probably dedicate at least one posting to Mormons (It’s topical, I mean, we might have a Mormon president soon - we should know what we’re getting into). I myself, am not an LDS (or FLDS) member, I did go to some Mormon youth things as a kid but most of what I have learned about them has come from either:
My dad living in Salt Lake City (aka Mormon Mecca). The population is 50% Mormon there and there are LDS churches on every corner.
The Book of Mormon musical/that South Park episode about Mormons both by the equally Mormon-obsessed duo, Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
This great Frontline/American Experience episode about the history of Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church. I suggest that anyone who is interested in them and has two hours to kill to watch it. I think it’s free on the PBS website.
Now that I feel like I have rambled about many different topics for a while, I think I should end this post. But I now have about 7 or 8 topics in my mind for my next post. Until then dear Tumblr…