Ratification Of The Constitution Dbq Essay

755 Words4 Pages

Throughout United States history there have been numerous issues, constitutional and civic, that Americans have debated. One of these constitutional issues that Americans debated, is the ratification of the Constitution. Federalists and Anti-federalists debated over the Constitution’s ratification for years. As a result of these debates, efforts by individuals, government, and groups, such as the Federalist Party, and James Madison, were made to address this issue. These efforts were very successful.
Prior to the Constitution was the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation was the first form of national government in the United States. Although it was the first, The Articles of Confederation was a weak form of national government. …show more content…

Shay’s Rebellion, a rebellion against high state government taxes, was a turning point and the main reason in proving the Articles of Confederation weak, as the United States government couldn’t defend against all the people rebelling against them. Washington even expressed his concerns over the weak government through his letter to James Madison where he thought the Articles of Confederation will dissolve due to weakness as it doesn't help in defending the country. (Doc 2) In 1787, following the Articles of Confederation, came the Virginia and New Jersey Plans. Although they were different, both were made to improve on the Articles of Confederation. The Virginia Plan was a stronger form of national government when compared to the Articles of Confederation. It introduced common defence, security of liberty, a two-house legislature, a president to execute and enjoy rights and laws, and a national court. (Doc 3) This was a major improvement from the Articles of Confederation, especially as the government can address problems such as Shay’s Rebellion. Although it was an improvement, there were some flaws including less …show more content…

Nine out of the thirteen states had to approve, but many people disapproved of it and didn’t want it ratified. Those who disapproved of it were known as the Anti-federalists. One reason why Anti-federalists did not want to ratify the constitution was that they thought that tyranny would form when they didn’t want one established. To ensure tyranny doesn’t develop, James Madison, in Federalist Paper #47, stated that three branches of government with separate and distinct powers will be needed. (Doc 5) The federal government instituted a legislative branch that deals with creating laws, the executive branch which contains the president, and the judicial branch which is the national court that interprets the law. As a result, checks and balances and separations of powers were created so none of the branches become too powerful. Another reason why Anti-federalists didn’t want to ratify was that there wasn’t a Bill of Rights. Patrick Henry had problems with the Constitution as there were no protections for the rights and liberties that American citizens held. (Doc 6) In regards to having no Bill of Rights, James Madison and the Federal Government created the Bill of Rights under the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Amendments were changes to the

Open Document