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Unit Two Lesson Fourteen The Federalist Position in the Debate on Ratification.

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Presentation on theme: "Unit Two Lesson Fourteen The Federalist Position in the Debate on Ratification."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit Two Lesson Fourteen The Federalist Position in the Debate on Ratification

2 Ratification Debate Constitutional Conventions called in all 13 states to consider the Constitution. Each state would debate if they would approve this new form of government The Federalists and Anti-Federalists sent representative to each government to present their case Debates were held at the state constitutional conventions and in town squares across each state Both sides wrote to newspapers and printed up pamphlets to sway public opinion to their point of view (biased) The Federalist Papers are still considered the paramount writings on the form of democracy that America is built upon

3 Key Leaders for each side Federalists ◦George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison Anti-Federalists ◦Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, George Mason

4 Key Points for each side The Anti-Federalists ◦It gave too much power to the national government at the expense of the state governments. ◦There was no bill of rights. ◦The national government could maintain an army in peacetime. ◦Congress, because of the `necessary and proper clause,' wielded too much power. ◦The executive branch held too much power. The Federalists ◦The separation of powers into three independent branches protected the rights of the people. Each branch represents a different aspect of the people, and because all three branches are equal, no one group can assume control over another. ◦A listing of rights can be a dangerous thing. If the national government were to protect specific listed rights, what would stop it from violating rights other than the listed ones? Since we can't list all the rights, the Federalists argued that it's better to list none at all.

5 Federalist Strategies Wanted to get out ahead of the Anti-Federalists Believed if state conventions were held quickly, the Ant- Federalists would not be ready The State Debates lasted 10 months ◦A tense and bitter political struggle ◦3 men led the charge ◦ Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, & James Madison ◦ Published essays in newspapers “the Federalist Papers ” ◦ Listed reasons to support the Constitution and the type of republic it created (biased/propaganda) ◦ Addressed the key points the Anti-Federalists would make, chiefly that there was no BILL OF RIGHTS ◦ Only highlighted the good points of the structure and function of the new government, didn’t mention the areas of conflict

6 Federalist Response to the Anti-Federalist’s fears of a Large Republic AF- a large republic could not be sustained over a large, diverse nation Federalist Paper #10 – FACTION – any group that placed its own interest ahead of the common good was what was the problem, not the republic ◦If the faction was the minority, the majority could simply outvote it ◦If the faction was the majority, the risk of majority tyranny arose. Democracy would fail the common good ◦Majority tyranny a risk in a small, homogeneous society too. In fact, the risk was higher. If unopposed, the majority could ignore the common good in their own self-interest ◦The benefits of a large diverse republic was the different factions ◦Good representation “refined” public views by filtering out ideas based solely on self-interest

7 Central Argument of the Federalists 1) Civic Virtue can no longer be relied on as the sole support of a government that can protect people’s rights and promote their welfare 1)Greatest danger to the common good and the natural rights of citizens is the pursuit of selfish interests 2)Many states had passed laws that helped those in need at the cost of others (common good) 3)Federal government of a diverse country could not solely rely on civic virtue to protect rights and to promote the common good. Many interests and factions would act as a check, no one would dominate

8 Central Argument of the Federalists 2) The way the Constitution organized the government, including the separation of powers and checks and balances, is the best way to promote the goals of republicanism 2)Rights protected by the complicated system of checks and balances and federalism 3)By filtering the peoples’ vote thru the state legislatures (Senate) and the Electoral College (President), it ensured good choices of leaders

9 Central Argument of the Federalists 3) The representation of different interests in the government will protect basic rights * The 3 branches would ensure different voices were heard, distributing the powers of the government 1) Legislative : Peoples’ voice in the House of Representatives. The Senate was the voice of the states 2) Executive: National interests were taken into consideration, chosen from prominent leaders 3) Judicial: Good judgement over the national government free from the political game. Responsible ONLY TO THE CONSTITUTION

10 How did Ratification succeed? By June 1788 – 9 states had ratified the Constitution, enough for it to take effect But New York and Virginia had not and without them, the US could not survive as a nation Federalists and Anti-Federalists made a deal, before that state constitutional conventions, that the first act of the new Congress would be to add a Bill of Rights to the Constitution Anti-Federalists main disagreement was now gone. New York and Virginia quickly ratified. But there were still debates. North Carolina held out until the Bill of Rights were officially amended to the Constitution. Rhode Island held out until economic sanctions were threatened by new President George Washington

11 Federalist #10 Summary This essay, the first of Madison's contributions to the series, was a rather long development of the theme that a well-constructed union would break and control the violence of faction, a "dangerous vice" in popular governments. Defined by Madison, a faction was a number of citizens, whether a majority or minority, who were united and activated "by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community." There were two ways of removing the causes of factions, or political parties. The first was to destroy the liberty essential to their existence. This remedy would be worse than the disease. The second was to give everyone the same opinions, passions, and interests. This was impossible. Woven into the fabric of all societies, deeply planted in the very nature of man, were conflicting ideas, interests, and passions. The greatest source of factions had always been the various and unequal distribution of property, said Madison: Those who hold, and those who are without property, have ever formed distinct interests in society. Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors,... a landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a mercantile interest, a monied interest, with many lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide them into different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views. The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern Legislation. The inference to which we are brought, is, that the causes of faction cannot be removed; and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its effects. Such effects could be better controlled in a large society under a representative form of government than in a small society under a popular form of government. The proposed constitution would check the power of factions by balancing one against the other. Factious leaders might "kindle a flame" in one state, but would be unable to spread a general conflagration throughout the states. "A rage for paper money, for abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project,..." was not likely to spread if those professing themselves republicans showed zeal in "supporting the character of Federalists." Analysis Madison's definition of a "faction," or political party, is interesting and most significant in view of the fact that Madison soon ceased to be one of the Federalists who believed in a one-party system, and became Jefferson's most active lieutenant in organizing in opposition the Democratic-Republican Party, which was strongly Anti-Federalist and took power after 1800.

12 UNIT TWO ESSAYS Unit Two Essay: Answer 2 of the essays below (10 points each) HOW DID THE CONSTITUTION LIMIT GOVERNMENT POWER TO PROTECT INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS WHILE PROMOTING THE COMMON GOOD? ◦Why did the Federalists and Anti-Federalists disagree on whether the Constitution sufficiently protected individual rights and promoted the common good? ◦What responsibilities, if any, do citizens have for seeing that individual rights are protected and the common good is promoted? WHAT WERE THE MAJOR CONFLICTS AT THE PHILADELPHIA CONVENTION AND HOW WERE THEY RESOLVED? ◦What are arguments can you make for and against giving each state the right to send the same number of members to the Senate? ◦What arguments can you make for and against including the 3/5ths clause and the fugitive slave clause in the Constitution? WHAT WERE THE MAJOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE FEDERALISTS AND THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS? ◦How did the arguments of the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists reflect their points of view regarding natural rights, republicanism, and the powers of the states? ◦Why are the Federalist and Anti-Federalist debates still relevant today?


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