Short Report On The Ratification Debate. Federalists/Anti Federalists. 581 Words

649 words - 3 pages

Report on the Ratification DebateOriginally, it was agreed that the Constitution should be communicated to the governing body of each state, and when ratified by nine states, Congress should prepare for implementation. It was immediately circulated, and enthusiastically received with favor.The Constitution was welcomed by farmers, mechanics, and merchants. Soon, however, the newspapers together with the views of men eminent for ability, honesty, and patriotism, were against its adoption; and they won support from others. Therefore, the country became divided into two great parties: one, called the Federalists, composed of those who were in favor of the ratification of the Constitution; the other, Anti-Federalists, or those opposed to the ratification. (Baker Jr., 1993)The Federalists emphasized the weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation and the desirability and need of a stronger central government. They w ...view middle of the document...

Another frequent objection was that the Constitution gave too much power to the national government at the expense of the states and that a representative government could not manage a republic that large. (Baker Jr., 1993)The Federalists fought back against the Anti-Federalists and were convinced that rejection of the Constitution would result in anarchy and civil strife. They argued that a catalogued list (Bill of Rights) might be incomplete and that the national government was so constrained by the Constitution that it posed no threat to the rights of citizens. The Federalists published a series of 85 letters to prove their point, reassure the people, and urge the ratification of the Constitution. Another main reason was to persuade the state of New York since it was a primary influence. They knew if New York approved, the other states would follow. (Baker Jr., 1993)I think that the issue that was the most controversial was the argument about a national government. The nation was in need of a government "roadmap" that they could base their laws to protect everyone that lived in the country. The Anti-Federalists felt that with the application of the Constitution it would be "too strict" and the government would have too much power. They felt that if it was to go into effect, the people would not be totally free. The Federalists successfully countered this criticism. Eventually, they felt that a Bill of Rights was needed, and they assured the public that the first step of the new government would be to approve a Bill of Rights.In July, 1788, the President of Congress informed the leaders that nine states ratified the Constitution. Also on that day, a committee was appointed to report an act "for putting the said Constitution into operation." It was not until September 13th that Congress agreed upon a plan. Finally, in New York, in March, 1789, the commencing proceedings under the newly ratified Constitution took place.ReferencesBaker Jr., J. S. (1993). Constitutional architecture. [EBSCO Host]. Available: (2002, April 4).


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