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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Debate over Ratification: Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists

HW for Thursday: Read Brutus I and Federalist 51; Constitutional Principles Quiz tomorrow!

When the delegates wrapped up the convention and presented the Constitution to the states for ratification in September 1787, it was not a guarantee that it would be approved. Fierce debate took place between Federalists,those who supported this new proposal of government, and their opponents who feared too strong of a central government, the Anti-Federalists. Today we look at the arguments and differences between them. 

Let's begin by looking at this comparison chart:

Based on the above chart, try to identify these statements as either Federalist or Anti-Federalist positions:

1. “I think those delegates exceeded their authority in creating a whole new government. They were just supposed to work on the Articles a bit.”
2. “What Americans need is a bill of rights, and this new government will not get my approval until we have one.”
3. “I think this new plan will provide a good balance of power.”
4. “Those people want to make the United States undemocratic and get special privileges for a limited few Americans.”
5. “It’s obvious that the Articles weren’t working, and I think this new plan reflects a careful compromise among a variety of opinions.”
6. “I and my two friends wrote our essays under the name ‘Publius’ because we wanted people to be influenced only by the facts.”
7. “If we give too much power to a central government, what’s to stop the United States from becoming a monarchy like Britain?”
8. “I think it’s important for people to realize that the large size and diversity of the United States will make it impossible for any single group to form a majority that could dominate the government.”
9. “I encouraged the delegates at the Convention to sign the Constitution and I fear that this nation will crumble if the states do not accept it.”
10. “I’m just a simple farmer, but I think those supporters of the Constitution expect to get all the power into their own hands.”
Now let's try the same thing, but with actual quotes from Federalist/Anti-Federalist papers.

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