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Ratification Debate -- Constitution Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists.

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1 Ratification Debate -- Constitution Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists

2 Thinking By Analogy United Nations Consider a proposal to give the United Nations the following:  power to tax and spend money for global warfare  exclusive power to issue currency  control of international commerce  jurisdiction over all cases involving the UN Charter  jurisdiction over cases involving more than 1 country  power to take over national armies to execute UN law  power to make any law thought “necessary & proper” In what ways would this proposal affect the sovereignty of member nations? During the following discussion, think how this analogy does/does not reflect the the situation faced by the citizens of the 13 states in 1787….

3 Ratification Process James Madison’s plan Article VII  9 of 13 states must approve  through direct vote; not state legislatures conventions w/delegates selected by vote town meetings (Rhode Island)

4 The Articles of Confederation had to be ratified by all 13 states. Were the Framers justified in changing the rules for ratification? If a convention was called today to consider major changes to the Constitution or to draft a new one, what rules or procedures would be necessary to insure an informed civic discussion of the fundamental issues? Today, most newspapers refuse to publish letters to the editor or opinion pieces without the author’s name. In contrast, many people comment on the Internet using pseudonyms. Does the use of pseudonyms improve or diminish the quality of civil discourse?

5 Campaign to Ratify or Oppose Newspapers Pamphlets Speeches “Reasoned Civic Discourse” Both supporters and opponents published anonymous essays Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists

6 Anti-Federalists Objections A large, diverse nation cannot maintain a democratic republic force In such a big nation, government would be too distant from the people and would have to rely on force to maintain authority. Therefore, taxes and standing army.

7 Anti-Federalists Objections “necessary and proper” clause gives Congress too much power president’s power to pardon could be abused national courts could overwhelm local courts treaties negotiated by the president only have to be approved by the Senate, leaving out the more democratic House of Representatives the separation of powers will only allow collusion between branches civil rights are not protected Many demand the inclusion of amendments to assure basic civil liberties: A BILL OF RIGHTS

8 Which criticisms seem the most valid? Which criticisms seem least valid? Which fears of the Anti-Federalists do you still hear today? Are those fears justified? Why/why not?


10 Federalists Efforts to Ratify published a series of essays known as the Federalist Papers to create support

11 Federalists’ Efforts to Ratify QUICKNESS systematic rebuttal of anti-federalist claims Madison’s argument in Federalist #10-dangers of faction  minority factions can be controlled by democracy  majority factions (majority tyranny) can be controlled by representative government  leaders could filter the self-interest of factions to create public policy for the common good  in a large, diverse society, no one faction can dominate

12 When the citizens of the US were debating the ratification of the Constitution, people in geographically distant states were unlikely to know each other or share a lot of common knowledge.  How have modern communication technologies changed the political debate?  Does the Internet contribute more to unity or to factionalism?

13 September 17, 1787: The Constitutional Convention adjourns. September 28, 1787: The Congress agrees to send the Constitution to the states for debate and ratification. December 7, 1787: Delaware ratifies. Vote: 30 for, 0 against. December 12, 1787: Pennsylvania ratifies. Vote: 46 for, 23 against. December 18, 1787: New Jersey ratifies. Vote: 38 for, 0 against. January 2, 1788: Georgia ratifies. Vote: 26 for, 0 against. January 9, 1788: Connecticut ratifies. Vote: 128 for, 40 against. February 6, 1788: Massachusetts ratifies. Vote: 187 for, 168 against. March 24, 1788: Rhode Island popular referendum rejects. Vote: 237 for, 2708 against. April 28, 1788: Maryland ratifies. Vote: 63 for, 11 against. May 23, 1788: South Carolina ratifies. Vote: 149 for, 73 against. June 21, 1788: New Hampshire ratifies. Vote: 57 for, 47 against. June 25, 1788: Virginia ratifies. Vote: 89 for, 79 against. July 26, 1788: New York ratifies. Vote: 30 for, 27 against. August 2, 1788: N.Carolina convention adjourns w/out ratifying;vote for adjournment 185-84 November 21, 1789: North Carolina ratifies. Vote: 194 for, 77 against. May 29, 1790: Rhode Island ratifies. Vote: 34 for, 32 against.

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