I have finally decided to begin a long overdue effort to evaluate the US Constitution, with a goal of demonstrating where it went right, where it was insufficient, and why.
There are people to be found in both extremes of opinion, some calling the document the best and most perfect instrument of freedom, others calling it a thinly veiled scam meant to usher in a powerful state. As usual, the truth lies somewhere in between the two extremities of opinion.
Had the Constitution been as perfect as proclaimed, we would not be suffering the oppressive government of today. On the other hand, the allegation that it was a scam can be discounted by examining not only the people involved, but, more importantly, the people not involved.
Up until the time of the Revolution, most of the people in the Colonies still viewed themselves as English. This did not change until the approach of the Revolution, when the idea of independence entered the thinking of a large number of people. These new supporters of independence were generally not thinking on the scale of a large, united country, though, but of the future of their individual colonies. They were not thinking of a large central government, but of their own communities, and of the communities close enough for them to interact with. Those who supported a central government tended to support the existing central government, the Monarchy in England. Most of these supporters of the government in England were quickly labeled as Tories and ostracized, or worse.
Those who were left to form the new government were more inclined to place the bulk of their loyalty with their individual colonies, hence the large number of compromises to be found in the final version of the text.
These numerous compromises are at the heart of most of the debate. I will attempt to show over time that these compromises were neither a perfect solution nor a covert plan to usher in a powerful state, but rather the only available solution to the problem then at hand of preserving the newly won independence.
This project will take some time, but if it interests you please follow along. Also, as always, your insights are helpful, so comment freely as we go along.