History is Fun!



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History is Fun!

Book II: Early American Republic

Unit 1: Constitutional Era

Lesson 3: Federalists and Anti-Federalists
Topic Overview:

Throughout the political saga of the US, both presently and in times past, is the debate over how power should be distributed. During the late 1700’s, that debate was waged by two camps: the Federalists, who favored a centralized power center and disliked the Articles of Confederation, and Anti-Federalists, who favored the Articles and thought a strong, centralized government would threaten states’ rights. The groups eventually met to make a new agreement that would satisfy both camps. That agreement became known as the Bill of Rights.


Activity Overview:
In this apprenticeship simulation students will work in small groups to govern their own country. They must decide on 10 issues concerning laws for their country. Students will then have a chance to merge with other groups or remain independent. Finally the students will see how their decisions compare to the ideas of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists.




Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to identify the positions of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists.

  2. Students will be able to describe how the positions led to the formation of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

  3. Students will be able to evaluate the Federalists’ and Anti-Federalists’ position.


Setup:

    1. Arrange desks into traditional rows.

    2. Make 30 copies of Your Country Worksheet.

    3. Make an overhead transparency of the Agreement of Countries.

    4. Make an overhead transparency of the Your Country Analogy Grid.


Materials:

  1. Your Country Worksheet (p.6)

  2. Agreement of Countries (p.7)

  3. Your Country Analogy Grid (p.8)


Activity in Detail:

  1. Announce to the class that each of them will get to be in a group of 3 leaders of their own country. As such they get to make the rules in their country.

  2. Have students get into groups of 3.

  3. Pass out the Your Country Worksheet to every student. They must read it entirely. For each issue, they will decide by majority vote on the rules for their country. If they do not like a given rule, they can make a compromise on it and then vote on the compromise. All students need to record their group’s answers on their Worksheet.

  4. Give students 5 minutes to work on the issues and record their responses.

  5. Afterwards say, “You will now review each issue with another group. You may possibly merge with that group. The bigger countries are the more powerful ones.”

  6. Drop hints that war may break out between countries to push them to merge (there is no fighting in this simulation). Countries wishing to merge must have a majority vote change a rule or make a compromise. The new group must reach a majority consensus on every issue. Students need to record any changes on their Worksheet.

  7. Give students 5 minutes to discuss issues. If they agree, the two groups will become one country. Have them merge their names. If they do not agree, they will remain independent. Allow students one more round to merge and make them sit with a group they have not sat with before. There will probably be big groups and small groups.

  8. If after two rounds of merging there are still many small countries and no big ones, try another round of merging. If not, have students sit with their groups facing the front board.

  9. Project the Agreement of Countries overhead transparency. Fill in the top with the names of the countries that remain. Review each issue to see if all the countries can agree on rules for the whole “world.” If a majority of students in each country agree, the issue passes for the whole world. Put an “x” on the overhead for each country that agrees. If only one or two countries are blocking a worldwide merger, try to see if they are willing to make compromises or not. Repeat until each country wants to remain independent or join the “world.”

  10. Ask students the following questions:

  1. At what stage were the laws in your country closest to your own beliefs? Most likely the first stage when they were in groups of 3. Some will feel that because of a majority vote, they were not represented at all.

  2. Did anyone find that the last agreement was closest to your own beliefs?

  3. Why would it be better for all the countries to agree? The laws would be uniform.

  4. Ask this to any group that did not merge: Those of you in the minority in your country, how do you feel and would you like to leave your country? If a girl was in a group of guys that said the guys should rule, would that girl prefer to be part of a country where she was equal?

  5. How would you feel if you could not leave your country because of cultural ties, economic reasons, or laws that made it difficult? Answers will vary.

  6. Why would larger countries be better than smaller ones? Protection of minority rights, stronger military defense.

  7. What motivated you to merge? Answers will vary.

  8. What are the advantages of making rules that affect small groups of people versus making rules for large groups of people? What are the disadvantages? In state-level government, politicians represent far less people and can be closer to their individual needs. For example, a state representative in California might represent 5000 people where a US Senator from California would represent millions. In a large group more people will have a say and more compromises are made, which means it is less likely minority rights will be lost.

  1. Have students complete the Analogy of Countries Overhead.

  2. Tell students: “The founding fathers were divided on who should have more power in the government. The Federalists wanted the national government to have more power and the Anti-Federalists wanted the states to have more power. A compromise was made: some states would sign the Constitution only if there was a Bill of Rights that guaranteed individual liberties and state powers.”


Debriefing:

Forging of the Constitution



  1. Federalism

    1. Centralized, Shared Power

      1. Sovereign central government

      2. Partially self-governing constituents (states)

      3. Shared sovereignty and interdependence

    2. Federalists

      1. Saw Articles of Confederation weak

      2. Held a convention to amend the Articles

      3. Convention published the Constitution

  2. Anti-Federalism

    1. Decentralized power

      1. Maintain the Articles of Confederation

      2. Unconditional rejection of the Constitution

    2. Anti-Federalists

      1. Saw a strong, central government as a threat to the sovereignty of the states

      2. Feared the rebirth of an ousted monarchy

      3. Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson

        1. Argued that the federal government threatened individual rights

        2. Thought the President would become a king

        3. Objected to the federal court system

    3. Strong Opposition to the Ratification of the Constitution

      1. In every state, especially North Carolina and Rhode Island

      2. Appeared immediately

      3. Individualism was the strongest element

  3. Bill of Rights

    1. Many saw flaws in the Constitution

    2. 12 amendments sent to the states

    3. 10 were ratified by the states

    4. The 10 became known as the Bill of Rights


Assessment:

    1. Your Country Worksheet

    2. Essay Question: What did the Federalists and Anti-Federalists believe? Which party do you think is a better government?

Your Country Worksheet


What is the name of your country? ____________________


  1. Should boys rule your world?

Yes No Compromise______________________




  1. Should Marijuana be legal?

Yes No Compromise______________________




  1. Should Pornography be legal?

Yes No Compromise______________________




  1. Should government give money to people who are unemployed?

Yes No Compromise______________________




  1. Should students be allowed to swear at teachers?

Yes No Compromise______________________




  1. Should students have to stand for the pledge of allegiance?

Yes No Compromise______________________




  1. Should parents be allowed to hit their children?

Yes No Compromise______________________




  1. Should people over 70 be allowed to drive?

Yes No Compromise______________________




  1. Should abortion be legal?

Yes No Compromise______________________




  1. Should same sex marriage be legal?

Yes No Compromise______________________

Agreement of Countries






















  1. Should boys rule your world?

Yes No Compromise___________






















  1. Should Marijuana be legal?

Yes No Compromise___________






















  1. Should Pornography be legal?

Yes No Compromise___________






















  1. Should government give money to people who are unemployed?

Yes No Compromise___________























  1. Should students be allowed to swear at teachers?

Yes No Compromise___________






















  1. Should students have to stand for the pledge of allegiance?

Yes No Compromise___________






















  1. Should parents be allowed to hit their children?

Yes No Compromise___________






















  1. Should people over 70 be allowed to drive?

Yes No Compromise___________






















  1. Should abortion be legal?

Yes No Compromise___________






















  1. Should same sex marriage be legal?

Yes No Compromise___________





















Your Country Analogy Grid


Your Country vs. One World


Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists

Your Country


States

One World


US

Agreement


Constitution

Compromises


Bill of Rights

People who choose Your Country


Anti-Federalists: wanted Bill of rights

People who choose One World


Federalists: wanted constitution

Your Countries laws


Protected individual needs

World laws


Protected individual rights





Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists, Page
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