Excerpt 1

  1. What were the arguments given in favor of the 'strong presumption of fraud'?
  2. Why were some of the delegates so hesitant of that phrasing?
  3. Are there any clues as to why there was so little discussion of the 'absconding debtor' amendment?
  4. In what way is the term 'absconding debtor' more precise than the phrase 'strong presumption of fraud'? Is this a case where the delegates were too specific or not?
  5. Why did several delegates insist that fraud, not debt, is the real crime?
  6. In historian Charles Beard’s famous 1913 book An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution he concluded that the vested economic interests of the delegates to the Federal convention in Philadelphia were paramount. Based on this debate over imprisonment for debt to what extent can a similar argument be made for Alaska? Why or why not?