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United States Constitution

In Liberty Men and Great Proprietors, historian Alan Taylor explains that some of the rights and guarantees in the U.S. Constitution were viewed by those involved in labor conflicts as applying to their own cause and issues: "To the Great Proprietors, property was a legal right. In their vision of a hierarchical, rational, and paternalistic social order, the proprietors depended on the political system to enforce their land claims, demands for payment, and ejection of settlers" (53). As a result of some of these conflicts, capital and labor were consolidated, lending a contemporary or industrial feel to labor conditions at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries. Another example is how settlers were often ejected from their lands by Great Proprietors and forced into wage labor pools.

Because labor relied on the U.S. Constitution as a guide or document of ideology for its own issues, concerns and causes; such as settlers relying on ambition and their own labor to rise in power and status, often serving as mediators between settlers and distant authorities. In this sense, the U.S. legal system began to evolve, with settlers acting as mediators in labor disputes in this particular instance. Taylor maintains that "the lack of backcountry representation permitted the passage of laws" that often resulted in other conflicts, such as Shay's Rebellion and the violence associated with the Liberty Men (293). Many of the labor struggles involving the Liberty Men that occurred from 1796-1810 revolve around "land titles, the price of land demanded by the proprietors and the latter's use of their political and judicial power and control over appointments" (294). In essence, the Constitution was framed by primarily white, wealthy landed elites. The Great Proprietors; therefore, tried to use the U.S. Constitution to support their elitist and landed ideology, while the settlers turned to its principles of ...

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United States Constitution. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 18:07, March 23, 2017, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1376014709.html
 
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