Ratifying the Constitution. Chapter 5 Section 3

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1 Ratifying the Constitution Chapter 5 Section 3

2 Focus Question: How did Americans ratify the Constitution, and what are its basic principles?

3 The Struggle Over Ratification Federalists favor strong government George Washington (VA) James Madison (VA) Alexander Hamilton (NY) Antifederalists fear a strong government Thomas Jefferson (VA) John Hancock (MA) Patrick Henry (VA)

4 HAMILTON WASHINGTON MADISON JEFFERSON HANCOCK HENRY

5 Federalists Favor Strong Government They stressed the weaknesses of the Articles. They argued that only the proposed Constitution could remedy these weaknesses. They were led by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton who, along with John Jay, published a series of essays called The Federalist.

6 Antifederalists Fear a Strong Government They feared a loss of liberties and distrusted the absence of a bill of rights. They feared concentration of power in a distant elite, believing instead that power should remain in democratically elected state governments. Leading Antifederalists included Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Patrick Henry.

7 Farmers Were Antifederalists Antifederalists included many farmers. They feared the Constitution threatened state debtor relief laws that rescued many from foreclosure. Farmers also distrusted lawyers, merchants, and the wealthy, who were largely Federalists.

8 The Federalists Gain Support The two most trusted Americans George Washington and Benjamin Franklin favored ratification.

9 Frontiersmen felt a stronger government provided protection against the Native Americans and the British in the Northwest. Artisans in the cities and most newspapers supported ratification as well.

10 The Federalist Papers In Federalist No.10 and Federalist No. 51, Madison argued that a strong national government and the Constitution s system of checks and balances would strengthen liberty. In Federalist No. 78, Hamilton wrote of the importance of a judicial branch to protect liberty.

11 The Federalists pushed for fast approval. By mid-january 1788, five states had ratified, but nine states were needed. Federalists gained the support of Massachusetts Gov. John Hancock by hinting he may be picked as the first vice president. When the Federalists agreed to add a bill of rights, four more states quickly ratified.

12 Ratification While nine states were the minimum, the two largest states, Virginia and New York, were necessary for the nation to survive. Virginia finally ratified, despite Patrick Henry s opposition. New York ratified after New York City threatened to secede from the state.

13

14 A New Government Congress convened in New York s Federal Hall on March 4, 1789 Elect a first president (George Washington) and vice president (John Adams). Add a Bill of Rights. The last two states, Rhode Island and North Carolina, now reconsidered earlier rejections and ratified as well, bringing the total to 13 states.

15 The Bill of Rights 1. Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. 2. Right to keep and bear arms in order to maintain a well regulated militia. 3. No quartering of soldiers. 4. Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. 5. Due process of law, freedom from self-incrimination, double jeopardy 6. Rights of accused persons, e.g., right to a speedy and public trial. 7. Right of trial by jury in civil cases. 8. Freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishments. 9. Other rights of the people. 10. Powers reserved to the states.

16 The Constitution established a representative government based on six principles. Popular Sovereignty The people are the only source of the government s power Limited Government The government has only the powers that the Constitution gives it Separation of Powers Power is divided among three branches of government Federalism The federal government and state governments share power Checks and Balances Each branch of government has the power to limit the actions of the other two Representative Government Citizens elect representatives to government to make laws.

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