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    Heart of America: Constitution and Articles of Confederation

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    America has had a long history of greatness and hardship. From the dawn of this proud nation, Americans have stood by a set of rules that were decided by their forefathers, the Constitution. However, there was also a less popular code of rules that was proposed to be America’s code of ethics first, the Articles of Confederation. As history has shown us, America chose the Constitution over the Articles, but why is it that the Articles were doomed to lose from the start?

    The Constitution was made by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, with assistance from John Jay, along with persuasive essays to convince the people to ratify these papers. This form of ethos was very powerful because James Madison and Alexander Hamilton were well known individuals. Along with people such as Thomas Jefferson backing the paper, the Constitution had respect before people saw what was on the paper. However, the Articles of Confederation were written by John Dickinson, a delegate from Delaware. Though the people showed their respect for the original Articles and its authors, the ethos of James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin led to a landslide of ethos to bury the opposition.

    Although, the people behind a project didn’t make the Constitution great immediately, there had to be a good deal of logos and an intelligent form in the words of the Constitution themselves. The Constitution gave the branches of the government power and plenty of weaknesses. The system of checks and balances were put in place to make sure that no branch of government could have too much power over another branch of government.

    Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law…(Madison Section 7:2)

    This is logical to readers because if one branch grew too powerful, it would reign tyrannically over the other branches. The amount of planning that was used was evident in every sentence of the Constitution and the citizens recognized this fact. The Constitution also gave states votes for election depending on population size, a condition that states were ecstatic to put in place. On the other hand, the Articles of Confederation gave each state one vote no matter how large the population was compared to another. This lacked a logos appeal because in comparison to the Constitution, this method of voting lacked logic. This made elections drastically unfair in the fact that larger states would have to be put on equal footing with the much smaller and less contributing states. This is the equivalent of giving a project manager the same power as a simple laborer. In this area of government, the size of the people does in fact matter. Also, the taxes were not regulated under strict rules. If a state did not want to give the main government part of their tax revenue, they simply did not. This was a logos error that showed that the government was not smart enough to control it’s states. Therefore, the people were discouraged by their government.

    While good rules are a foothold in every flourishing nation, you also have to give the people a reason to follow the set of rules put in place. Having a strong pathos led to people putting more trust in the government. The Articles of Confederation told the people of America to take pride in their state and fellow statesmen. While taking pride in one’s state is an important foothold to have, it also led to a sense of rivalry between all of the states. This sort of rivalry led to them feeling more loyal to their state than to their nation, leading to all the delegates of the state in a state of power hungry greed. The Articles of Confederation state “…perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different states in this Union,…”(Dickinson Art. 4) The Articles viewed the United States of America as a group of friends instead of a nation. While still a form of pathos, these divisible emotions led the people in the entirely wrong direction. Meanwhile, the Constitution was exceptionally good in this area in the fact that it invoked a sense of nationalism that led one to take pride in their nation and themselves. In the Preamble of the Constitution, the first words written are, “We the People” and then goes on to say “…to ourselves and our Prosperity.”(Madison Preamble) This led to a feeling of camaraderie between all of the United States of America. This camaraderie has led to America living a prosperous and healthy way of life that could only be achieved through a united front that only came forth through the rules of the Constitution.

    The United States of America has stood strong through many challenges and came out with heads held high. This was in large part due to the foundation that the Constitution gave to the people of America. The support of the strong government officials led to the Constitution being given a chance. The logic of the Constitution led to it being ratified in 1788. The emotional connection from the people is what gave the Constitution the authority to be kept in place. In contrast, the Articles of Confederation, while a commendable and accomplished form of government, was not up to par with the much better Constitution. The support of much smaller member of government led to it being outshone by the Constitution. The logic of the Articles could not compete with the much more sensible Constitution. The emotional connection could not be kept when the ethos and logos of the Constitution is so strong. No matter how great something or someone is, there is always something better. In this case, the Constitution was simply better than the Articles of Confederation.


    1. George W. Baltzell. ‘Constitution of the United States – We the People.’ 12 Mar. 2017. Web. 18 Dec. 2018.
    2. N.a. ‘A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 – 1875.’ n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2018.

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