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How does the constitution reflect the times in which it was written?

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alexam1996 | Student, Grade 12 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted August 25, 2013 at 5:30 AM via web

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How does the constitution reflect the times in which it was written?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 25, 2013 at 5:56 AM (Answer #1)

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The Constitution reflects the time when it was written in a number of ways.  Generally, these aspects of the Constitution show us how people at that time were worried about different issues than we are today and that they had different sensibilities than we have.

One example of how people worried about different things in those days can be seen in the fact that the Constitution prohibits the government from granting “titles of nobility” to people.  The idea that the US would make people knights or lords or anything like that seems odd now, but it was a real concern in those days.  The same goes for the prohibition against the government quartering soldiers in private homes.

Perhaps the more important way in which the Constitution reflects its time is in the way it treats African Americans and women.  The fact that it condones slavery clearly makes it a product of its time.  So is the fact that it does not protect women from discrimination and does not grant them the right to vote.  These are things that seem terrible to us today, but which clearly reflect the time when the Constitution was written.

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