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To Ratify or Not to Ratify Essay

1. According to Article VII, the Constitution would go into effect when nine states ratified it. A fierce debate raged for months between the Federalists, who supported the Constitution, and the Anti-Federalists, who opposed it. What arguments did each group present? Fill in the chart below with a brief description of the main arguments.

Federalist arguments
Anti-Federalists arguments
The debate reached meeting halls, homes, and newspapers. Throughout the states, many newspapers where published by Maddison, Hamilton, and Jay- they produced a remarkable series of 85 political editorials aimed at winning support for the new Constitution. Anti-federalists worried that a strong, central government would override the public good and impose tranny on the people. Madison, Hamilton, and Jay argued that the new Constitution was in accord with the republic ideals of the American Revolution. They were concerned that the new Constitution included no bill of rights. –Many state constitutions included language that identified and protected the people’s individual rights. Federalists argued, the new Constitution, with its strong federal government and its systems of checks and balances, would help provide “a republican remedy for the evils most incident to republican government” Patrick Henry charged that the document “squinted toward monarchy.”

Accustomed to local rule, many people believed that republics could only thrive in small geologic areas. Pointed out questions like: would the new federal government be any better than the oppressive British Parliament? Would a powerful president turn into a tyrannical king? Had not Americans just fought and died to secure liberty against such threats? -The new constitution would help secure the library for which Americans had fought for Mason remained adamant that a bill of rights be included in the new national constitution, so adamant that he refused to sign the document without one.

2. If you had to choose sides, would you side with the Federalists or Anti-Federalists? Explain why you sided with the particular group by summarizing, in your own words, their arguments. I would chose to be on the anti-federalist side. I would side with the anti-federalists because with no Bill of Rights I think things would be a complete disaster. The anti’s argument had some really good points about how the new document “squinted towards monarchy”- I really agree with this statement because without a bill of rights there would total destruction in the system… there would more than likely be a whole other argument/war that would go on with this new document.

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