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Governance Documents


Posted on Aug 2017



1). The Federalist papers 51 and 1, written by Madison addresses two distinct problems and also suggest solutions to the problems. In Federalist #10, Madison addresses the problem of the constitution. He advocates in this paper for the adoption of the constitution. This paper was written in 1787 presenting an argument that having a robust central government can aid in guard against the rise of factionalism within the smaller states. The robust central government opts to remain unprejudiced. Madison in this paper also talks about the distinction between a republic and democracy.  On the other hand, the Federalist #51 written in 1788, addresses the issue of separation of power between three arms of government in the U.S.  Madison argued that there should be three arms of government that are separate from each other; but have the same degree of power, however, the legislative arm should have bigger power. He notes that the government opts to control people. Nonetheless, the individual rights are supposed to be safeguarded.  Also, in this paper, Madison notes that in any ideal society, there would be need of people and government whose power is ultimate.

 2).  The revolution and governing documents both addresses different agendas. The governing documents focus on the issue of governance in the society, whereby, it argues that power comes from the people, and the government should be a representation of the individuals. It talks about the constitution that guides the people in matters of governance, such as the creation of different arms of government. Therefore, the agenda of the governing document is to address matters related to governance in the U.S after the declaration of independence. On the contrary, the revolutions document talks about the fight against inequality, inhumane treatment against certain groups of the people the society. It is a declaration of the independence of the people from all forms of political and social mistreatments. The document calls for unity and the need of people working together to build a society, where all people are treated equally.  The practical purpose of the governing document is to ensure that there are proper governing structures in the U.S after independence for the purpose of peace and stability, while the revolutions document aims at declaring that all people are free and equal.

            3).  Rousseau would agree with Jefferson's assertion that all people are created equal, and no person is greater than the other in the eyes of  God. Therefore, the assertion that colonist is ‘ people' would be used to indicate that they are all similar with the Americans, given nobody is different from one another.  The colonists tried to behave as if they were different from others by giving themselves more power than the rest of the Americans. They had more political and economic power, denying others their natural rights. Thus, it is right to say the colonist were ‘ people.'  The colonists during the war they become one as they were fighting against being controlled by the British Empire. Same as Americans they needed political liberty to determine their destiny in life, such as liberty in matters of trade. Thus, they did not remain distinct but worked together in the fight for independence.

            4). The best political approach, in this case, would be the right approach rather than utility one. The right approach empowers the people to do things according to their will as long as they do not violate the right of others. Given people have brains to reason, allowing them to enjoy rights would result in more productive society, where people are truly happy and are fulfilled economically. On the contrary, taking the utility approach would deny people social and political freedoms that are a key to a fulfilled and happy society. This would create problems in the society. Susan B. Antony argument would be different if the American Independence Declaration were based on utility principle. He would be opposed completely to the ideas as it amounts to the violation of the rights of people. The utility principle would mean that slave would not have any natural rights to proper treatment as long as their action maximize utility in the society. Thus, do to her stand against slavery and inequality; she would strongly oppose utility principle as the basis of the American society. The Declaration of Independence document would not have same inspirational power if it were based on utility principles, as some of the people would not be respected, especially the slaves and minorities.

 5).  The Federalist and various authors, such as Jock Locke advocates for a strong federal government, where there was a separation of power between various arms. For purposes of having strong federal government according to the authors is to avoid factionist within the states. This would ensure that the Union of various states remained strong. The solution to one arm of government having more power than the other is through ensuring that all different arms have similar power, but the legislative one has more power. In matters of where the power of governing should come from, the author advocate for the power to come from the people, by electing their representatives in governance institutions.