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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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Sondre Havnekaj 23

In John P. Roche's essay "A Reform Caucus in Action", he suggests that the constitutional framing process was a highly democratic process involving the interests of each state of in the Union. The paper was written as a response to those who believed the framing of the document was a reflection of the elitist views of its framers. Roche begins his essay by describing the Constitutional Convention as a democratic reform caucus. This is central to Roches argument regarding the intentions of the founding fathers. The key word in understanding this characterization of the creators of the constitution is the word reform. Roche starts by explicitly stating the founding fathers intended to reform the government, not manipulate it according to their personal needs. The Articles of Confederation were weak and unenforceable as a governing body, and lacked the true legislative power necessary to support a functional democracy. The United States hadnt the power to compete in the global economic climate because it lacked the power to enforce its own laws and decrees. Roche acknowledges that the political constraints of the day greatly limited the efforts of the reforming founding fathers in their quest to amend and create a functional Constitution.

He uses the example of New York, a known advocate of states rights as an example of this great problem that was confronted. Roche comments that the absence of New York from the convention would be disastrous and thus doom the project to failure, and severely tedious steps were taken in order to ensure their presence at the convention. He lists these steps, briefly, but in detail in order to further his argument. First, New York had to agree to even send delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Political theory also played a great role in determining the purpose and effectiveness of the Constitution and ultimately asserted itself as deliberation occurred between the states. John Roche comments that the political intentions of the founding fathers were not as starkly different from each other as previous interpretations of the motives of the framers had implied. He dispels the notion that there were strict states rights advocates at the convention and strict national government advocates. Roche claims that had the mens political philosophies been so different as to divide them into two opposing factions, the Constitutional Convention would have floundered from the start.

Many interpretations of the Constitutional Convention cite the absence of influential members of the United States such as Thomas Jefferson from the convention as proof of this dissent within the country. Finally, Roche confronts the common interpretation of the Federalist Papers as the great interpreter and explainer of the purpose of the Constitution. Throughout history, The Federalist has been used without hesitation in blatant examination of the United States Constitution. Roche concedes that the main components of the Federalist Papers, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, had a distinct talent for retrospective symmetry, and did accurately portray the events of the Constitutional Convention. However, Roche argues, that a strict interpretation of the Constitution in the context of the Federalist Papers would be unwise because the Federalist was undoubtedly, for lack of a better word, complete propaganda. It is impossible to deduce the motives of the Constitutional Convention from the Federalist Papers because they did not reflect the political ideals of the convention, but merely reflected the political ideals that the convention created.

Roche comments that the Federalist was merely an improvisational piece of propaganda that detailed how the government was to work under the new Constitution rather than why the Constitution was created in the first place. The United States Constitution has served the country well since its inception in 1787. It has been scrutinized, interpreted, reinterpreted, and analyzed since the very moment it was ratified in that hot summer in Philadelphia. Subject to much of the same scrutiny have been the purpose of the Constitution and the motivations of its authors. Charles Beard attempted to characterize the framers of the Constitution as men who were purely self interested, and thought only of amending the government of the United States to serve their own personal goals of wealth and land. John Roche argues a completely contrary perspective. He begins this argument by describing the Constitutional Convention of 1787 as a democratic reform caucus. This is important in understanding Roches argument as whole. He uses the key word of reform to illustrate that the founding fathers did not intend to alter the Constitution on a whim, but on a carefully thought out plan to make the government efficient, effective, and to preserve democracy.

It was included in the HABS survey of Pendleton that was done in the 1930s, but they just made floor-plan diagrams and took no picture. I don't know the name of the original builder, but it was later owned/lived in by descendants of General Andrew Pickens. I think it was called "The Poplars" or "Poplar Lane". After brothers Don and Richard Quattlebaum graduated from Clemson University, they purchased this 256 acre farm from Mr. and Mrs. J. Monroe Tinsley. The Tinsleys previously had a dairy farm and that was exactly what the Quattlebaums wanted to do along with their wives, Opal and Shelby. They named it Greenglow Farm and in 1956 began their Dairy Farm. Richard had recently returned from the Army so he and Shelby were living in a mobile home on the farm while Don and Opal lived in the big house. Both women were pregnant at this time with their first children. On New Year's Eve 1959 the house caught on fire and in 45 minutes nearly everything they owned was gone up in flames. The house was built of pine and the fire was started in the attic from the wiring or a squirrel.

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