Founding FathersWhile I can find plenty of evidence that the Founding Fathers had every right to be skeptical of a strong central government, could some point me to information that would back the...

Founding Fathers

While I can find plenty of evidence that the Founding Fathers had every right to be skeptical of a strong central government, could some point me to information that would back the case for a strong central goverment?

I have read and re-read my text and cannot seem to find anything definitive about who supported a strong central government and reason for the support.

I have a paper to write is based on a true/false debate. The true portion is easy enough to support, the false portion has me scratching my head.

Asked on by bethwh

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amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

A strong central government supports for a sound and strong economy.  Of course, with any one person or one group of people in control, there is always to power-hungry and greedy individuals.  No one is perfect, and all humanity is susceptible to the lure of power and money.  The last thing the Founding Fathers wanted was another King.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

As the previous posts identify, examining the works of James Madison and John Jay might be a good start.  The fundamental fear caused by Shays' Rebellion and the lack of control the government had under the Articles of Confederation helped to bring to light that while central government had much within which to be scared, it had to be present in order to prevent anarchy and chaos from ensuing.  I think that these issues were fundamental and quite evident in the writings of these two framers.  Check out "The Federalist Papers" as previously noted.  This would give much insight into the Federalist position that advocated a strong central government in the new nation.

dbello's profile pic

dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

The best primary source arguing for a strong central government is  The Federalist, A Collection of Essays written by James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton under the pen name Publius. Known today as The Federalist Papers,  the essays were written in the defense of the ratification of the Constitution, thus a stronger central government. Although the essays take on different aspects of the proposed new government, all of them reflect the support for a centralized authority...out of necessity due to the failures of The Articles of Confederation.

The Library of Congress has internet access to The Federalist Papers, as well as the Anti-Federalists Responses. I think you should begin with The Federalist Numbers 10, 51, and 78  to address your topic however, read through several of the others...for it will only make your paper stronger.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

#2 correctly highlights some of the reasons the founding fathers had for favouring a strong central government, which were mainly financial and defence based. You might want to think of some of the advantages of central government in general and then think if they apply to this specific historical context. Certainly the control that central government yields to any leader is an attractive prospect.

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Well, I'd look in that text again, because if they said anything about George Washington, Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton or John Adams, they were all avid supporters of a strong central government.

They had good reasons.  The country was broke and $4 million in debt with no way to tax so they could become economically stable.  There was no standing military either to protect our shipping from seizure or the frontier against Native attacks.  Nor could our country even effectively deal with a mob of ticked off farmers in Shay's Rebellion.  With a 13/13 requirement to amend the Articles of Confederation, they also argued that it had to be scrapped, there was no way to fix it using that requirement, as the 13 states would never agree on one proposal.

bethwh's profile pic

bethwh | Student | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

#2 correctly highlights some of the reasons the founding fathers had for favouring a strong central government, which were mainly financial and defence based. You might want to think of some of the advantages of central government in general and then think if they apply to this specific historical context. Certainly the control that central government yields to any leader is an attractive prospect.

Thanks 2 and 3, yes I continued to read the text and it started to become clearer, but I want to thank you for taking the time to confirm my thoughts.

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