The United States Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson was a statement that was used on July 4, 1776 by the Continental Congress to declare the independence of thirteen American colonies from Britain.It entailed in part the following; political independence of every person as provided by natural law, right of revolution.By this, it implied that all Americans were entitled to equal rights and in cases where these rights were breached, anyone was entitled to revolt against the aggressor.
Another part of the declaration was a list of charges against king George who was seen as having dishonored the rights of colonialist therefore was seen as unfit to govern.
Lastly, the declaration stipulated conditions under which people could change their government and Britain situation offered a perfect example. Hence it called on to all colonies to throw off British Crown and claim their independence (Library of Congress, 1861, 865). The article of Confederation The article of Confederation was the first governing constitution of America.
The article sought to unite several States in America that were initially sovereign under the British regime. It was made in drafts with the last draft made in 1977 and adopted by Continental Congress on November 15, 1977. The article stipulated the rules and regulation to govern the new found United States confederation. Hence with the Article, United States was capable of making wars and settling interstates dispute diplomatically. Furthermore, United States was able to resolve issues concerning western territories.
The articles were created with a view of providing freedom, Sovereignty and independence of America. With time, it was found that these articles were unable to provide sufficient provisions that would govern the country effectively hence a need for a detailed constitution that would replace the Confederation with the Federal. This paved way for the formation of a constitution in 1788 (Jensen, 1970, p 109). The constitution The constitution is the current governing body of law in United States of America.
It is the supreme law of United States and is the source of legal authority fundamental to the existence of America and all its administrative and judicial bodies within it. It defines three arms of the government; the legislative led by Congress, an executive branch led by the President and judicial branch led by Supreme Court. In its description, it stipulates each branch powers that helps eliminate conflict of power during implementation. In addition, it established the federal system of government that gave individual states various rights.
It was adopted on September 17, 1789 and has so far undergone twenty seven amendments (Hickey, 1853, 483) Comparison and Contrast between Articles of Confederation, Constitution and Declaration of Independence. There are various similarities and differences in the Declaration, Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. In comparison, all the above three documents sought to provide the sovereignty and independence of United States of America. They stipulated that US was a sovereign state that was capable of making laws, negotiating diplomatic relations and setting up its own army.
America, therefore, was free to trade and govern itself under its own laws without any external interference. All three document emphasized on basic human right. This was stipulated through the provision for freedom of movement and expression in the constitution and the Article of Confederation. Equality and sovereignty of each state was also equally stipulated in three documents. Above all, the document stipulated the rules and regulation that would hence fourth govern United States of America.
Breach of which would lead to prosecution and there after a punishment. Similarity among the documents can also be seen in their way of formation where by; representatives from various states were chosen to draft them and later sign on the document to authenticate them. In this sense, all the above three document are similar. Contrasts Among the notable differences are in levying taxes. In Articles of Confederation, Congress could only request various states to pay taxes but looking into the constitution, Congress has the right to levy taxes on individuals.
On the Executive side, the Constitution provides the president with powers to choose cabinet members and has power to check on the powers of judiciary and legislature, however, the article provided the president with no executive powers and his role was only to preside over the Congress. On amending the constitution, two thirds of both houses of congress and three quarter of senate legislature are needed to amend the constitution under the provision of the current constitution compared to thirteen out of thirteen as provided by the Article.
With the Article, it recommended that sovereignty remained within States however; the constitution states that it is the supreme law of the land hence sovereignty applies within the range of constitution. Regarding trade, Article provided no control of trade within states and no regulation what so ever was done between interstate trades. This implied that there was free movement of goods and services within states without government interference. However, constitution provides for regulation of trades between states and the power is bestowed to the Congress which oversees all these regulations.
In formation of an army to provide military support, Article of Confederation awarded no right to the congress to draft troops that would participate in war. Hence, they had to rely on military contribution by various states. In the Constitution, Congress has the power to raise an army that would deal with any military emergency in the country. In conclusion, it can be asserted that without these three documents in US history, the legality of United States of America could be at stake and therefore, it would have become difficult to govern all the states under one government.
References Faber H. , Faber, Doris. (1987). We the People: The Story of the United States Constitution since 1787. New York: Scribner’s. Hickey, W. (1853). The Constitution of the United States of America: With an Alphabetical Analysis; the Declaration of Independence … Electoral Votes for All the Presidents and Vice-presidents: the High Authorities and Civil Officers of Government from March 4, 1789, to March 3. T. K. & P. G. Collins . pp 483. Jensen M. (1970).
The Articles of Confederation: An Interpretation of the Social-constitutional History of the American Revolution 1774-1781. University of Wisconsin Press. Library of Congress (1861). Catalogue of the Library of Congress. Oxford University. Pp 865. Suksi M. (1993). Bringing in the People: A Comparison of Constitutional Forms and Practices of the Referendum. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. US History. Articles of Confederation Vs the Constitution. http://home. earthlink. net/~gfeldmeth/chart. art Accessed on February 26, 2009.