The United States’ Increasing Legitimacy

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Prompt: The legitimacy of the United States government has increased over time. Identify and explain how the following increased legitimacy:

●       the Constitutional Convention

●       the Civil War

●       the New Deal

●       democracy

The United States’ Increasing Legitimacy

The United States has been a legitimate international superpower in all outlooks whether it be its economy, its societal freedoms, or the country’s powerful military. But the rise of the U.S. and its legitimacy has escalated through trials and tribulations that allowed us to become the global superpower that we are today. This includes the early days of the Constitutional Convention, or distasteful history like the Civil War. I am going to dissect each topic and input my personal opinion on each discussion point.

 Firstly, The United States’ primary foundations are, to this day, based on the work of the Constitutional Convention. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was a monumental event in ingraining the legitimacy of the United States into history books throughout the world. The Constitutional Convention was important because it revised the previous Articles of Confederation that was set forth to create a weak central government. This gathering of political figures in the U.S ensured to create expressed and implied powers of the government and strengthen its ability to maintain its citizens and their constitutional rights. The representatives from each state created a fundamental government that is used as a template for many nations today. The fact that each state agreed to create one body of government with centralized power shows how impactful it was. It allowed the United States to be a truly independent country of its preceding ruling nation, Great Britain. After the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the world saw the U.S. as its own governing nation and the country’s legitimacy took off from there.

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 I think the Civil War was one of the most staggering events to build the United States’ legitimacy. Many people may see it as the opposite however. The country was split into two and there was endless violence. This may show signs of weakness from an external perspective. But to me, this showed a sign of strength and legitimacy. The United States was able to overcome the tensions and tend to the needs of its citizens proving yet again, that the United States was more than capable of becoming the valuable nation that it is today. The largest issue sparking the Civil War of 1861 was the issue of slavery. Other controversial issues included states’ rights and the expansion of the nation. After multiple southern states seceded from the Union, war ensued and created a large number of fatalities. But the nation was able to unite and overcome its differences with many new laws and ordinances set in place. The country showed that it can operate well even under severe tensions and working tirelessly to restore the nation to its state of wellbeing. Also, America was able to prove its legitimacy not just to the southern states, but to the rest of the world, by showing the authority of the federal government and its power when it comes to individual states. The success of the war proved and legitimized the nation and its powers.

 The New Deal was also an impactful event in proving the legitimacy of the country on an economic platform. During the Great Depression, which was a major downfall that may have weakened the United States’ legitimacy, president Franklin Delano Roosevelt established and set in place this New Deal. It was a chain of programs that was implemented to restore America’s downfall to its former glory as a bustling economy. As president, Roosevelt acted quickly to create jobs and ensure the security of the nation’s citizens. All of these efforts paid off and FDR was able to recoup and rebuild the nation. This economic boost legitimized the country in a new way. It showed that the United States was serious about creating a flourishing nation for its people. Also, throughout the New Deal, other nations saw the efficiency of the U.S election policies as a great president was elected. Furthermore, the country proved its legitimacy by showing the relations it had with its citizens. All of the programs and projects set in place to create a stable economic environment allowed citizens to become more involved in the government’s outreach.

 Democracy obviously plays a big role in the United States and its increasing legitimacy. The U.S has the most efficient form of government in my opinion. We have a wealthy economy, strong military forces, and our citizens are a top priority of the government. America’s democracy ensures the fundamental rights of its citizens. America’s democracy shows strong foreign diplomacy which also increases the legitimacy of the nation. The U.S’ democratic state creates a method of achieving prosperity and security for the country as a whole. It gives citizens economic and political power. The capitalism it stands for allows the country’s people to establish different means of achieving success.

 The United States in itself is the greatest example of legitimacy today. From independence to its rise as a global superpower, the U.S has shown its strength and authority. Throughout the world, America is accepted and seen as a nation with opportunities. Throughout all of its tests and trials, the United States has proved its victory and its legitimacy.

Works Cited

  • Office of the Historian. “Constitutional Convention and Ratification .” U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of State, 2013,
  • Editors, “Civil War.”, A&E Television Networks, 15 Oct. 2009,
  • Editors, “Civil War.”, A&E Television Networks, 15 Oct. 2009,


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