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A people’s history of the United States – “A kind of Revolution”

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“A Kind of Revolution” is an article written by Howard Zinn. I found the article from “A People’s History of the United States”. Howard Zinn claims to show a series of controversial facts about the Constitution and how it ultimately contributed to the failure of the union because of the issues that were not resolved, and therefore caused controversy in the years leading up to the Civil War.

Howard Zinn states that the Constitution only addresses how slaves were to be counted in terms of population, and did not fully settle the idea of slavery. As a result of their avoidance of addressing slavery, it became one of the main issues that led to the civil war. Over the years slavery was a topic of controversy in the North and the South. In fact, the Founding Fathers did not want a balance, except one which kept things as they were, a balance among the dominant forces at that time.

What Zinn was trying to say was that the Constitution did not pay much attention to slavery and its fate. There were two writers of the time who spoke out against slavery, even though the law made it legal. Ralph Waldo Emerson and William Lloyd Garrison. They did not support a Constitution which allows people to be treated as property, and believes that the issue of slavery must be settled. Not addressing the problem of slavery resulted in it being much more difficult to deal with after being ignored for so long. The writers of the Constitution can be blamed for not settling the issue of slavery, and leaving it to grow and expand into the largest cause for the division of the union, and ultimately the Civil War.

Among the evidence that Zinn cites about the approval of the Constitution was also another process which exposed the emerging political differences of the new nation and eventually led to Civil War. During this process there was a conflict between Federalists and Anti-Federalist who supported and rejected different things. But although the Anti-Federalists believed that such a government would limit not only the supreme power of the states but also their own power within those states. The consequent argument between Federalists and Anti-Federalists produced the Bill of Rights, but it certainly did not solve the disagreement between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists since they were still opposing the federal government, even after the declaration of the Bill of Rights.

I believe that the Constitution is definitely a major reason for the failure of the union. Although it was originally constructed as a sign of unity for the United States, it resulted in the disunity and tension which over all led to the Civil War. The document’s unresolved issues of slavery, ratification of the Constitution, and the many conflicts between the North and the South were the main causes for it to lead the country towards the Civil War.

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