American Constitution’s Creation Controversy Essay Sample For College

Despite the enormous significance of the Constitution, its creation was associated with major controversy, which revolved primarily around the degree of centralization of the country’s governance. However, the final product can be considered a reasonable compromise between individual liberties and institutional responsibilities. The following paper provides a detailed analysis of the debate and the conditions in which the current political system was established.

The differences in political views are best illustrated through the comparison of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of 1787, which constitute key differences in approaches of both parties. Nevertheless, it would be reasonable to first identify the similarities between the documents. The most notable similarity is related to the financial aspect of governance. Specifically, both the Constitution and the Articles put the central government in charge of ensuring the value of the national currency. Another major similarity is the fact that both documents require compliance from each state regardless of the level of autonomy. Next, both the Constitution and the Articles forbid certain actions, such as the declaration of war, on behalf of individual states. Finally, both explicitly specify the limitations of different components of the government, intended to promote fairness and minimize corruption.

However, several differences exist between the documents. For instance, according to the Articles, each state is sovereign, which is ensured through the absence of a federal court system, the lack of taxing power at the federal level, and the inability of the Congress to regulate the interstate and international commercial interactions (Forte & Spadling, 2014). While it was suggested that such an approach could provide additional diversification of the economy and reduce the power monopoly, it should be acknowledged that it may also result in the accumulation of power and, eventually, the creation of privileged groups and parties. It is also notable that, unlike the Articles, the Constitution provided Congress with the possibility to enforce laws.

Finally, a number of Western territories historically occupied by pioneers were particularly difficult to govern under the conditions proposed by the Articles (the issue known as the Western Problem). Essentially, the strong state loyalty that existed at the time, coupled with the fear of a centralized government, has prompted the authors of the Articles to emphasize state-level authority over that of the nation. While such focus was suitable for the purposes of the American Revolution and helped to establish several national departments and international treaties early in the course of American history, several issues soon became apparent. Thus, the Constitution solved a number of issues more effectively, created fewer gaps in the system through which corruption could be introduced, and, most importantly, created a more efficient governance mechanism on the national level.

As can be expected in such a setting, the drafting of the Constitution was a complex process due to the existence of two major political forces that constantly negotiated for better terms. In addition to the “autonomy versus centralization” debate mentioned above, a division in view on slavery played a significant role in the process of drafting the Constitution. Since the final product had to be ratified on the national level in order to be adopted, it was necessary to create the conditions that would be acceptable to both parties. As a result, the drafting of the Constitution required several compromises to take place. The most apparent of these compromises was the absence of information on the abolition of slavery from the document. During the initial stages of the development, the representatives of the Southern states made it clear that any such elements would be met with an explicitly hostile reaction and lead to the rejection of the Constitution by the political forces at the state level.

The proportion of the slave population in the South and, perhaps more importantly, the importance of the slave labor to the economic, social, and political functioning of the region, has granted the slaveholders of the Southern states formidable political power (Finkelman, 2014). On the other hand, it was apparent that the representatives of the Northern states would oppose any attempts to make institutionalize slavery on the national level or, for that matter, grant any additional power to the slaveholders. In other words, the economic and social environment at the time required the recognition of slavery as an important component of the country’s economy without providing the slaveholders with excessive power. To address these restrictions, the final version of the Constitution granted several privileges to the Southern slaveholders but introduced a number of limitations that could later be leveraged to challenge the status of slavery at a national level.

Another issue that polarized the stakeholders was the issue of state representation in the voting process. Two different approaches were proposed to account for significant differences in size and population of each state. According to the first option, known as the Virginia Plan, the number of representatives in the U.S. Congress had to be proportional to its population, which put smaller states at a disadvantage. The New Jersey plan assumed an equal legal status of states and suggested a fixed number of representatives regardless of the state demographics. Since neither of the options could be accepted unanimously, a third option was proposed by Roger Sherman, who was a Superior Court judge at the time. According to the plan, also known as a Great Compromise, the Congress should consist of two chambers which utilize the principles of Virginia and the New Jersey plans. All states except Pennsylvania were familiar with such systems at the time, leading to the unanimous adoption of the Sherman Plan as a compromise solution.

The constant debate over the ratification of the Constitution has led to the emergence of two forces, the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. The Federalists exhibited strong support of the Constitution, favoring the existence of a strong national government. Prominent representatives of the Federalists include George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison, among others. The Federalists argued that the Constitution was sufficient for the protection of the individual rights of the citizens (The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, n.d.). To support their position, the Federalists published a series of essays that later became known as the Federalist papers. One of the principal points of the papers was the critique of what became known later as the United States Bill of Rights (Hamilton, Jay, & Madison, 2016). The Anti-federalists argued that the Constitution posed a threat to individual rights and liberties. To address the alleged gap, the Anti-federalists, such as Patrick Henry, John Hancock, and George Mason, argued in favor of the Bill of Rights to restore the violated liberties. In hindsight, it is apparent that the Bill of Rights has introduced important limitations of the government’s powers that were previously granted only at a national level.

The creation of the Constitution was a long and elaborate process that involved a significant amount of negotiation. It can be argued that the existence of several polarizing issues has led to a compromise between autonomy and centralization. The resulting document, along with the Bill of Rights, granted both the efficiency of the government and the existence of individual rights and liberties.

References

Finkelman, P. (2014). Slavery and the founders: Race and liberty in the age of Jefferson (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Forte, D. F., & Spadling, M. (Eds). (2014). The Heritage guide to the Constitution: Fully revised second edition. New York, NY: Regnery Publishing.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. (n.d.). Differences between Federalists and Antifederalists. Web.

Hamilton, A., Jay, J., & Madison, J. (2016). The Federalist Papers and the Constitution of the United States: The principles of American government. New York, NY: Racehorce Publishing.

African American Family Assessment And Diagnosis

Family Composition and Roles

John is an African American who is 40 years old and lives in the city of Miami. John has a wife Leah and three children: Frank who is 16 years, Donald 10 years, and Michelle 6 years. The family has two pets: Regge, the dog, and the cat called Swat. John is a technician at the Carnival Cruise Lines and is the sole provider in the family. His salary from the company facilitates the smooth running of the family. Leah stays at home looking after children and performing other domestic chores.

John is the head of the family: he pays fees for the children and provides all the basic needs required by the family. Michelle is still young while Donald and Frank are now teenagers and need care from the parents. Parents need to monitor the behavior of their children in order to avoid unwarranted character change influenced by the environment.

Changing lifestyles and unhealthy eating habits are manifest in the life of John. Unhealthy eating and detrimental lifestyle changes have resulted in John’s weight gain. Weight gain led to psychological and physical challenges, which affects the family and stresses them. According to Nicolas et al. (2008), the unhealthy family setting is a concern for every member of the family. Apparently, irrespective of the support from the family and their mutual understanding, John becomes a cause of misery because of his behavior. Overweight and abuse of alcohol is a big threat to many people in contemporary societies.

Developmental Stages and Role of Families

A close look at the family reveals the one that is going through a number of developmental stages. It is evident that the family is in the stage of childbearing, preschool, and teenage. The stages are clear because the parents are childbearing and have three children. Consequently, the stages of school-going and teenage are practical from the children who have ages ranging from 6 to 16 years. The three children are school going and two of them are teenagers.

Fundamentally, parents should provide guidance to their children as they progress through the various stages of development. It is important to assert that the developmental stage of individuals affects the stability of their families (Miami-Dade County, 2013). In John’s case, the effects on the family are evident through the lack of parental love and affection to children particularly those in adolescent and teenage stages. The effectiveness of role performance in relation to previous developmental stages is low. A low scale of effectiveness transpired because of John’s behavior that espouses alcoholism and neglect.

School going children want more time for interaction. Association of Black Psychologists (2003) explains that parents should encourage their children to develop a good culture and help them lead to productive lifestyles. Families with teenagers have to provide mental and social support through interactive and open discussions that focus on figuring out the experiences of children. The discussions help children secure a successful future by pointing out their problems and supporting their interests.

Johns indulgence in alcohol has affected his children. The high effect on his children occurs because the children are young and need parental care and attention. The relevance of providing care and attention for children in adolescent and teenage stages is because the provision facilitates successful transition and prevents emotional challenges, which can affect them as they grow.

Nursing Diagnosis

Management of Diseases and Parental Challenges

A nursing diagnosis of the family facilitates the identification and management of various predispositions and ailments. Fundamentally, the drinking habit of John has led to a contraction of diabetes type 2. Besides the health state of John, the family also has a genetic predisposition. The predisposition concerns John’s wife, Leah who has a history of breast cancer. In effect, Leah’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 40, a condition that led to her untimely demise.

The condition is also apparent in Leah who contracted breast cancer in late 2013. The predisposition compounds the challenges faced by the family. On the other hand, the family ensured that they immunize their three children accordingly. Immunization against diseases such as polio, diphtheria, pneumonia, and mumps are some of the several immunizations that the family focuses on because their children are still young.

A short nursing care plan comprises regular visits to the hospital for checkups. John needs to visit the hospital regularly so that his weight is monitored and managed. Conversely, Leah has to ensure that management and control of cancer are systematic and up to the required standards.

The family has started experiencing challenges of juvenile delinquency linked to their firstborn, who has been engaging in crime within the neighborhood. The boy’s engagements emanate from the high rate of crime in the city and the drinking habit of his father. Due to his drinking habit, the father does not have time to monitor and train the young boy in line with the legal aspects of life. As such, the young boy who is 16 years learns from the activities that take place within the neighborhood. According to Nicolas et al. (2008), crime rates in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood are high, especially among the youth.

Consequently, the family has had regular cases of hospital admission particularly after John contracted diabetes. Moreover, Leah’s condition, which is hereditary, has increased her visits and admissions in the hospital. Besides her condition, she was once admitted to the hospital due to depression triggered by the events taking place in the family. The main hospital that provides healthcare to the family and other residents in the neighborhood is under the management of the health department of Miami-Dade County.

Decision-Making, Communication, and Discipline in the Family

Communication and decision-making in the family follow a format where John gives commands and directives that override all other decisions from the family members. After giving the directives, the wife and children have to comply and abide by every provision espoused in the directives. As a result, John is the sole decision-maker in the family. By being, the sole decision-maker in the family the wife has had to retain some ideas that would improve the overall state of the family.

This is because whenever she tries to present the ideas she receives unwarranted scorning and reprimanding from her husband. Miami-Dade County (2013) explains that communication among many African American families in Miami is ineffective. The unrealistic nature of communication prevalent in the family concerns the absence of consultation and involvement of family members. It is elementary to explain that the family has developed some kind of resentment towards John. The resentment transpires because the wife and the children feel that the decision-making process downplays their needs and expectations.

John’s drinking habit has elevated the rate of violence within the family. Presently, the rate of domestic violence in the family is on the rise. The belief held by John concerning the place of a woman in the family further increases the rate of violence in the family. Apparently, John believes that a woman has her main role in homemaking and child-rearing. As such, he does not accept advice or ideas that come from his wife or children.

In actual sense, the violence in the family transpires when the wife or children try to present ideas that they believe are good for the family. Whenever, there are instances of violence, the extended family that includes John’s father, Simon come together to admonish and advise him to refrain from issues of violence. Robbins, Briones, Schwartz, Dillon, and Mitrani (2006) elucidate that the extended African American families believe that consultation and family reprimand is the best and effective way of according discipline to those who perpetrate violence in families. However, on occasions that concern grave levels of violence, the family refers the case to county authorities for effective counseling and discipline.

Cultural and Religious Affiliations, Goals, and Crisis Management Plan

The health and social status of the family follow the provisions of Christianity. John’s family attends Mt. Olivette Baptist Church. Moreover, inherited cultural affiliations are also among the factors that influence the health and social state of the family. The essence of consultation and dialogue that the family follows during instances of violence is a provision championed by the Christian belief, which elevates the importance of dialogue in conflict resolution.

Some of the goals that the family expects to achieve overtime include advancing their children’s education and starting a business that will increase family revenue. The need to have an additional source of revenue is because the present state is devoid of an external source of support. The absence of an external source of income for the family leads to an overload on John who is the sole breadwinner. Moreover, the family believes that with an additional source of income, they will be in a position of addressing emergencies because presently, they do not have a functional emergency plan.

References

Association of Black Psychologists. (2003). Psychological treatment of ethnic minority populations. Washington: Association of Black Psychologists.

Miami-Dade County. (2013). Income & poverty in Miami-Dade County.RER planning research & economic analysis, 1(1), 1-52.

Nicolas, G., Helms, J., Jernigan, M., Sass, T., Skrzypek, A., & DeSilva, A. (2008). A conceptual framework for understanding the strengths of black youths. Journal of black psychology, 34(3), 261-28.

Robbins, M., Briones, E., Schwartz, S., Dillon, F., & Mitrani, V. (2006). Differences in family functioning in grandparent and parent-headed households in a clinical sample of drug-using African American adolescents. Cultural diversity and ethnic minority psychology, 12(1), 84-100.

Nortel Networks Company’s Corporate Crime

Organization background

Founded in 1895, the Nortel Networks Corporation was a multinational company dealing in telecommunication services and manufacturing of different networking equipment. The company’s headquarters was in Ontario, Canada. Following a scandal which begun in the year 2009, the company was dissolved in the same year. This dissolution was ordered by a court. At the beginning of the 2003 financial year, the company had released a false financial statement of recorded profits of C$434 million while the true profit was C$732 million. As a result the earnings-per-share was presented as 10 cents instead of 17 cents. The main perpetrators of the financial statement manipulation were the former CEO Frank Dunn, financial controller Michael Gollogly, and the CFO Douglas Beatty. Despite efforts made by the company to clean up its financial statements, it was not able to recover. As a result, the company was closed in the year 2009.

The corporate crime

Despite the excellent performance, stakeholders of the Nortel Networks Corporation were concerned about the complexity of the financial statements. The management of the company used complex nature of the financial statements and the weaknesses in the accounting standards to manipulate the financial records. Actually, the “top officials at the company cheated investors and enriched themselves through complex accounting gimmicks like overvaluing assets to boost cash flow and earnings statements, which made the company even more appealing to investors” (Mann & Barry, 2010). The white collar crime was characterized by inflating the asset values, overstating the reported income and cash flow, and failure to disclose the liabilities in the financial records. The media reported the scandal in the year 2005. Despite being a fast offender, the magnitude of the scandal led to the closure of the company in the year 2009.

A review of the case shows that members of top management of the company were closely involved in the crime. The first person was Frank Dunn. He was the CEO of the company during that period. He permitted actions of the other management without getting to know the nature of the transactions. The second person was the CFO, Douglas Beatty. He was involved in negotiating dubious investment deals for the company. The third person was the financial controller, Michael Gollogly. He had the overall responsibility of ensuring that the books of accounts reflected true and fair view of the company. He did not disclose losses arising from the company in the financial statement of the Nortel Networks Corporation. The managers did not exercise professional due care in handling the shareholders’ funds (Bakan, 2005). The company fired the three top managers. Besides, other twelve managers were forced to refund a total of $8 million to the company.

The crimes committed by the top management were of different types. They can be categorized into five these are, conspiracy, securities fraud, false statement, insider trading, and fraud as established by the finding of the SEC in an investigation which lasted for three years (Bakan, 2005). The company was charged in the court for the crimes established by the SEC. The main charge was profit without honor due to fraud and misreporting of the financial performance. Profit without honor shows the “encounter between personal gain and individual integrity” (Pearson Education, 2012). Profit without honor was evident in the actions of the managers who were involved in the crime. The managers made gains without taking into account the underlying professional code of conduct and ethics. The two top managers were acquitted of the charges in the year 2009. However, the company had to be auctioned off, as a result of bankruptcy, as directed by the court.

The company was prosecuted under the regulatory system. The main charge was a misstatement or omission in reporting the financial performance. A misstatement or omission is material if it influences an investor’s decision on investing in a company. Material facts comprise of substantial changes in dividends or earnings and significant misstatements of asset value (Jamie, 2005). The materiality of the misstatement was based on the nature of the transaction, failure to disclose material facts in the financial statement, serious violation of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), and the amount involved in relation to the company’s profitability or turnover. Examples of material transactions in the case were overstating revenue, wrong debtor balances, and changing the company’s cut off dates with an aim of inflating revenue. The court came up with the material transactions such as capitalizing of financial misreporting with an aim of misleading the investors by paying lower earnings-per-share than what was expected (Glasbeek, 2002). Also, backdating the inflated profits in the financial statements made the court declare the Nortel Networks Corporation as a violator of the business regulations in Canada and the US.

Aiders and abettors are parties to an offense. They share the intention to commit a crime with the person who commits the crime. They may be liable as a principal, an accessory before or after the fact. Aiders and abettors are liable for fraudulent misrepresentation when they execute some overt act, or give advice or encouragement to commit a crime (Glasbeek, 2002). In the case of the Nortel Networks Corporation scandal, the company pressed charges against the three top managers as aiders and abettors in the scandal. However, the court later cleared them of any criminal charge.

Situational analysis

The manager involved in the scandal was competent but did not exercise professional due care and apt professional behavior. In addition, the manager did not exercise integrity when preparing the financial statements (Armstrong, Guay, & Weber, 2010). This means that he lacked integrity and objectivity in running the organization. The Nortel Networks Corporation scandal resulted in a massive loss that had never been experienced in the history of the Canada at that time. First, shareholders of the company lost about C$200billion as a result of the falling share prices in four years. Secondly, the Nortel Networks Corporation’s creditors and energy entities incurred hefty losses. Finally, over 100,000 jobs were lost. The employees also suffered losses resulting from the loss in value of the shares because over 50% of the amounts in the savings plans were used to purchase the company’s shares. The total market failure that resulted from the Nortel Networks Corporation scandal amounted to over C$400billion. However, the scandal could be attributed to the profitability pressure by shareholders, which made the management to misreport the financial statements.

Conclusion

In the case of Nortel Networks Corporation, a number of recommendations can be made to mitigate the possible recurrence of the crime in other companies. First, composition of directors of a company should include independent directors as the majority. Such directors are necessary for their decisions will be in the best interest of the company and not for individual gains. Secondly, all important committees such as audit committees, human resource committee should have independent directors. Finally, committees dealing with finance issues such as audit committees should comprise of competent and experienced personnel.

References

Armstrong, C.S., Guay, W.R, & Weber, J.P. (2010). The role of information and financial reporting in corporate governance and debt contracting. Journal of Accounting and Economics, 50(3), 179-234.

Bakan, J. (2005). The Corporation: The pathological pursuit of profit and power. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

Glasbeek, H. (2002). Wealth by stealth: corporate crime, corporate law, and the perversion of democracy. Toronto, Canada: Between the Lines.

Jamie, B. (2005). Ruling Canada: corporate cohesion and democracy. Halifax, Canada: Fernwood Books.

Mann, R., & Barry, S. (2010). Business law and the regulation of business. New York, NY: South Western Publication.

Pearson Education. (2012). Profit without honor

error: Content is protected !!