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? In your comment, make sure you clearly specify the difference between the two classes by giving examples from the readings.
Based on the readings, it is pretty clear that the social class that wrote the constitution was “owning class” On the other hand, Beard describes “ four groups whose economic status had a definite legal expression: the slaves, the indented servants, the mass of men who could not qualify for voting under the property tests imposed by the state constitutions and laws, and women, disenfranchised and subjected to the discriminations if the common law .These groups were, not represented in the Convention which drafted the constitution…” (Beard, 1). In other words, the majority of Americans were not included in the writing of the constitution. Moreover, as Parenti claims the men who wrote the constitution looked after creating a strong central government. They agreed that government was institute for the defense of the rich against the poor (Parenti, 5). Thus, these other people were not included in the writing of the Constitution because their interests were not the same as the one the owning class had. Their main difference between the people who wrote the constitution and the ones excluded were their financial interests. Indeed, as Parenti reports “ persons of birth and fortune should control the affairs of the nation and check the leveling impulses of the propertyless multitude who composed the majority faction” (Parenti, 7). In conclusion, it is proved that the so-called “founding fathers” only had the intention of protecting their privileges and keeping the government to serve themselves.
Would say that the social class structure of early United States society, was the same as ours today, or different? Explain.
After the lectures about social class that we had, I can say that the social class structure of the early United States is the same as the one we have today. To Illustrate, it was claimed in prior readings that most of America’s total wealth is in the hands of the top 1%. Similar to what happened in Early America where Parenti claims: “ By 1700, three-fourths of the acreage of New York belonged to fewer than a dozen persons” (Parenti, 5). Moreover, the government in Early America was created to safeguard the propertied interests of the owning class; and it continues to work that way. In fact, it is well-known that the richest people in the United States are among the least taxed. On the other hand, the people with the lowest wages continue to be heavily taxed. That is just to prove how the government of the United States continues to follow the interests of the owning class. As well as to prove that the majority of wealth in America remains on a very small group of people.
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.
According to Parenti: “The framers of the Constitution could agree with Madison when he wrote (also in Federalist No. 10) that “the most common and durable source of faction has been the various and unequal distribution of property [that is, wealth]. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society” and “the first object of government” is “the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property” (Parenti, 7). Therefore, the government had been created to maintain this unequal distribution of wealth. Under this context democracy would be a threat and they thought of it as “the worst of all political evils”. This is not surprising, since democracy in theory would be the opposite of inequality which is what the “founding fathers” intended to perpetuate for their own benefit.