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John P Roche-The Founding Fathers: A Reform Caucus in Action Essay

Roche’s thesis is that the Founding Fathers were essentially good people and that the framing of the constitution was a fairly democratic process that equally addressed state, economical, and political interests. He says that we should give them credit for the great job that they did. The Philadelphia Convention had to work very hard in order to make everyone happy. They had to do their best to achieve political equality for all the citizens while still addressing all the delicate issues necessary. He goes on to say that although the framers themselves were an elite class of people, they still had the interests of the people at heart. They knew that the Articles of Confederation were too weak and a stronger type of government was needed. They also had to keep all of the states happy. In order to get the states to ratify the constitution, they had to do things to keep them all happy. This was especially hard because many things that one state wanted, another was against.

Roche argues that their greatest success was convincing the men of the states that change was crucial for the success of the nation. The main assets of the framers in convincing the states were that they had George Washington on their side and that they had many of the greatest intellectuals of the time, including Jefferson and Adams. He also thought that Federalism was vital to the success of the state ratifications. He called Hamilton and Madison “inspired propagandists.”I agree with Roche that the framers did have the best interest of the people at heart. They were the smartest men of the time period, and they could see the Articles of Confederation were a failure and that the United States could not last with them.

They gathered together and created a document. Although any form of government will have its’ flaws, they did their best to create a fair and equal government, whose interest was to protect its’ citizens rights. I also agree that the framers had to do some convincing in order to get the states to ratify. A lot of what he calls propaganda was probably more like lies, but I still think that they were doing what was best for the country. Sometimes it is necessary for the intellectually elite to take control and make changes that are necessary for the success of a group or nation, even if the regular citizens do not necessarily see the changes as necessary.


Woll, Peter. American Government: Readings and Cases. 16th ed.

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