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Old 08-10-2003, 07:58 AM
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Lightbulb Revolutionary War: Cause?

A humble ignoramus with a lot of opinions asks the following questions of those far more knowledgeable about america's first war than he will ever be:

I read several books about how our Constitution was written and why, and that work included a lot of information about the Revolutionary war.

In several passages and different books it seemed to be said that possibly THE major impetus for post-war politicians needing to address the governance of 13 former colonies was that the Articles of Confederation did not allow for a national money, or banking system, with which to pay vets their long overdue wages. The vets made such a stink about this, rightfully so, that eventually colonial leaders were sent to Philadelphia with specific instructions to work on the Articles and pay the vets, among other things, before there was an outright armed rebellion.

Instead of rewriting or amending the Articles, those in attendance TOOK it upon themselves to create an entirely new document (some authors contend that they did this in secret) instead. What they presented was what we now call The Constitution. The new document was not submitted to the electorate, but was presented eventually after huge amounts of debate (e.g. The "Federalist Papers") as a fait accompli; a national bank was soon founded, the vets gradually got paid, and no further use was made of the Articles of Confederation. The 10th amendment, vis "States Rights", was inserted in the Constitution more or less in an attempt to include local sovereignty in what had become a Federalist government essentially overnight.

Having left a bad taste in the mouths of those who ardently preferred the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution's provisions (or absence thereof, some would say) led to our own War of Rebellion (aka "Civil War") less than a hundred years later.

1) To what extent, if at all, are any or all of the above conclusions accurate?

2) To what extent can it be truthfully stated that?:
a) any government's greatest vulnerability, rarely articulated, is in how it does or does not treat its veterans?
b) the role played by Revolutionary war vets in producing the Republican democracy we know today was pivotal, economically and politically.

Missouri State Coordinator
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