- Based on the arguments presented in Readings 6.1 and 6.2, which social class wrote the Constitution, and which class was excluded and not allowed to participate in this process?
Based on the readings 6.1 and 6.2, white, wealthy, landowning males wrote the Constitution, and working class people, women, native americans, black people, and even middle class white male landowners were excluded. In 6.2, Beard summarizes these into four groups, who he called the disenfranchised: “the slaves, the indentured servants, the mass of men who could not qualify for voting under the property tests imposed by the state constitutions and laws, and women” (1).
- Would say that the social class structure of early United States society was the same as ours today, or different? Explain.
The social class structure of the early United States was similar to ours, but not the same. While accumulated wealth, education, race, and gender still show divisions in terms of social class, I think wealthy white women in particular have accessed the most “mobility.” They are still somewhat disenfranchised in our patriarchal world, but they are able to get close enough to the money and power that they help maintain the status quo of social classes to preserve their own proximity to the white male landowners of today. Whereas everyone who isn’t close to that kind of generational wealth and whiteness is to be exploited for self preservation, much like in the 1780s.
- Why were the people who wrote the Constitution so afraid of democracy? Hint: think about how to answer this question by discussing it in terms of social classes.
The people who wrote the constitution were afraid of democracy because their interests were those of the upper class white male landowners were exploiting the majority of workers, many of whom were also debtors if not slaves. The interests of this minority were to continue accumulating wealth and power, and that was most possible through the disenfranchisement of the majority whose competing interests would certainly win in a true democracy.