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Ratifying the Constitution Federalists vs. Antifederalists.

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Presentation on theme: "Ratifying the Constitution Federalists vs. Antifederalists."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ratifying the Constitution Federalists vs. Antifederalists

2 The Final Document O It took four months of debate and compromise to complete the final draft of the new US Constitution. O On September 17, the final document was read aloud. O Some delegates were not happy with the final version; some even refused to sign it. O Nevertheless, 38 delegates did sign the document, and Congress approved it. George Mason refused to sign the Constitution unless a bill of rights was added to it.

3 More Work Ahead O Once a new constitution was created, there was no guarantee the states would approve it. O There was a lively debate in the newspapers and on the streets between those who supported ratification and those who did not.

4 The Federalists Those who favored ratification were known as federalists. Noteworthy founders such as George Washington and Ben Franklin were federalists. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay went so far as to write a series of letters to N.Y. newspapers defending the Constitution. Those letters became known collectively as The Federalist Papers. Hamilton Madison Jay

5 The Federalists Other groups that supported the federalist argument included: – Many merchants, skilled workers, and laborers – Small states and states with weak economies. Congressional Powers that benefit these groups:

6 The Federalists Federalists argued 3 main points: 1.Only a strong central government could handle problems the nation faced; 2.Checks and Balances would prevent any of the 3 branches from becoming too strong; The penname Publius refers to the Roman consul who helped overthrow the Roman monarchy and establish a republic in 509 B.C. 3.The real threat to individual rights came from state governments, which lacked sufficient checks and balances.

7 The Anti-federalists Anti-federalists fought against ratification. Some notable anti- federalists included Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, George Mason, and Thomas Paine. Support for the anti- federalist argument came from rural areas, large states, and states with strong economies. AdamsHenry MasonPaine

8 The Anti-federalists Like the federalists, the anti-federalists wrote editorials outlining their arguments. Unlike the federalists, there was no real coordinated effort within the anti- federalist movement. Anti-federalists used many pennames. It is widely believed that Richard Henry Lee wrote as the “Federal Farmer.”

9 The Anti-federalists Anti-federalists passionately believed that states’ powers must be preserved in a weak union of states. Rather than draft a new document, they just wanted to strengthen the Articles of Confederation. AdamsHenry MasonPaine

10 Other Anti-federalist Arguments Some feared that the Constitution created an elitist government that would only serve the interests of the privileged(see “Key Participants” chart); Others doubted that a national government could address the problems of such a large, diverse nation in the way that a loose confederation of state governments could; Many argued that a strong central government posed a threat to the individual rights of citizens.

11 General Summary of the Debate federalists Only a strong central government can deal effectively with national problems! anti-federalists Strong government can not be trusted! – Could abuse its power – Might serve interests of the rich and ignore common man. – Could pose a threat to state power and people’s rights

12 General Summary of the Debate federalists A bill of rights is not necessary! The system of checks and balances would prevent any abuse of power. anti-federalists Demanded a bill of rights listing individual rights and freedoms. – A written guarantee is the only way to ensure that the federal government could never infringe upon rights!

13 Important Clarification! The federalists in this debate are not necessarily the Federalist Party that formed in the 1790s, though many in this movement do join the Federalist Party. Here, “federalist” refers to a loose movement and should not be capitalized since it is not a proper noun. Likewise, “anti-federalist” refers to a very loose movement and not a proper noun. CICERO © 2011

14 Ratification! In the end, the federalists were able to achieve victories in enough states to ratify the Constitution. They were able to win over many reluctant states by promising to adopt a Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights was presented by James Madison to the first U.S. Congress as a series of Constitutional amendments. The first ten amendments to the Constitution are referred to collectively as the Bill of Rights.

15 A Built-in Safeguard An amendment process was included in the Constitution because the Founders recognized that times change and laws should be able to change with the times. They did not, however, want the Constitution changed on a whim: – They wanted to make sure a super majority of Americans wanted to change the Constitution before a change could be made. – They did not want a quick 51% vote of a legislature to have the power to make any changes. Therefore, the amendment process is long and drawn out – by design. To date, there have only been 27 amendments added to the Constitution.

16 3/6/2014 O Essential Question(s): What role should the government play in protecting rights? O Do Now: O Read “People Demand a Bill of Rights” on page 147 and answer Main Idea question B in your binder. Objectives: Explain how and why the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution ( A.2.d) Trace the expansion of voting rights throughout American history ( A.1.b). Homework: Complete Unit 1 Study Guide.

17 Bill of Rights First 10 Amendments to the Constitution The First 8 spell out personal liberties #9 makes it clear that rights are not limited to those mentioned in 1 – 8. #10 is a clarification:  any powers that are not granted to the federal government or explicitly denied to the states belong to the people and the states. This was your homework assignment! Take out your summaries and turn to page 149.

18 Something that is NOT mentioned in the Bill of Rights...

19 Recall In what ways did the newly formed United States government seem to contradict the ideals of equality and freedom expressed in the Declaration of Independence? – Thing to Think About: Voting Slavery Native Americans

20 Global Impact Other nations followed, and continue to follow, the United States in enumerating such rights. South Africa, for example, adopted its Bill of Rights on May 8, 1996.

21 For Further Research Charters of Freedom: onstitution.html onstitution.html Bill of Rights Institute: Constitution for Kids: Exploring Constitutional Law: conlaw/home.html conlaw/home.html

22 Government Sites Senate: House of Representatives: White House: Supreme Court:


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