2) Constitutional Convention [Constitutional Convention: a meeting held in Philadelphia in 1787 at which
delegates from the states wrote the U.S. Constitution] met for the first time
3) Independence Hall
4) Declaration of Independence had been debated in this very room just 11 years earlier.
5) ONE GOAL: REVISE the ARTICLES of CONFED.
B) Background and Two Opposing Views
1) Two guiding forces of influence while writing the Constitution
aa) The Iroquois League
bb) Magna Carta.
2)FRAMERS(LOOK closely: it IS NOT FARMERS)or writers, of the Constitution = difference of oppinion
aa) Some people thought the 13 states should be combined into one large state WITH NO CENTRAL
GOVT. bb) Others felt the states should keep as much power as possible for THEMSELVES.
This was called a FEDERAL SYSTEM – The power of the govt. would be divided between a national govt and the states.
C) The Convention
1) Rhode Island DID NOT participate.
2) 55delegates from 12 states met to revise the Articles of Confed., but decided to DISMISS them instead
3) Now: going to write a CONSTITUTION.
aa) Delegate Profiles
By the end of June, BOTH ratified by narrow margins.
North Carolina = 1789
Rhode Island = 1790
XIII Adding a Bill of Rights
served = as a continuation of the Constitutional Convention
MOST important TASK = ADDING A BILL OF RIGHTS to the CONSTITUTION
Congress approved 12 amendments on September 25, 1789
10 of them = ratified in the states by the end of 1791
We know these amendments today as the Bill of Rights!
Section 12 The Constitution Goes To The States Newspapers in every state printed the Constitution as soon as they could get it. What readers found was a plan that would create a “federal” system of government, in which a strong national government shared power with the states. Before long, the entire country was debating the same issues that had kept the convention in session for four long months.
The Federalists Supporters of the Constitution called themselves Federalists. The Federalists argued that the Constitution would create a national government that was strong enough to unite the quarreling states into a single republic.
James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay led the Federalist campaign for ratification. In a series of newspaper essays, they recalled the weaknesses of the government under the Articles of Confederation. They showed how the Constitution would remedy those weaknesses by creating a stronger, more effective union of the states.
The Federalist leaders also addressed the fears of many Americans that a strong government would threaten their freedom or take away their rights. The powers given to the government, they pointed out, were strictly limited. In addition, those powers were divided among three branches so that no one branch could become too powerful. The influential articles written by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay were later collected and published as The Federalist Papers [The Federalist Papers: a series of essays written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay in support of the ratification of the Constitution by the states] .
The Anti-Federalists Opponents of the Constitution were known as Anti-Federalists. They found much to dislike about the new plan. Congress, they feared, would burden the country with taxes. They claimed the president had power enough to rule like a king. The judicial branch, they said, would overpower state courts.
The Anti-Federalists also complained about what was missing from the plan. Their main complaint was that the plan listed the powers of the government but not the rights of the people. Most of all, the Anti-Federalists feared change. The idea of giving up any state power to form a stronger Union made them uneasy.
After listening to the arguments, Madison wrote that the question facing the nation was “whether the Union shall or shall not be continued. There is, in my opinion, no middle ground to be taken.”