What major issues or ideological tensions did the debate over the Constitution reveal

What major issues or ideological tensions did the debate over the Constitution reveal

What major issues or ideological tensions did the debate over the Constitution reveal

For this discussion, we will use:

Patrick Henry’s Anti-Federalist Argument (1788)

–an excerpt from The Federalist No. 51 by James Madison (1787)

–Chapter 7 of Give Me LIberty!

To address the following question:

What major issues or ideological tensions did the debate over the Constitution reveal?

In order to answer that larger question, our discussion will need to consider:
What were the major arguments against the Constitution put forth by the Anti-Federalists?

What were the major arguments in support of the Constitution put forth by the Federalists?

What were the events and historical circumstances that influenced each argument?

Remember to use the sources to support your statements. You now know that this is done by quoting the source. Also, quoting the primary sources gives your statements more weight because you’re interpreting the data or the evidence yourself, rather than relying on another historian (Foner) for that interpretation.

How much should I say?
Each student will have to post their own post before they respond to someone else. Your first post can address just one of the many issues relevant to the discussion. It should not be an effort to address ALL of the issues at hand.

You must reply to other students’ posts. Your reply can be as short as a paragraph, but should be enough to refute or elaborate on another student’s point. If a post already has two replies, consider moving on to another thread.

In total, you should strive for somewhere around 250-400 words total for your discussion contributions. In general, each student should post at least 3 times with the understanding that your discussion contributions are worth 50 points total just like your Response Papers.

Finally, remember from the Response Papers and Discussions guidelines:

What to say if you don’t agree with the discussion post?
–“I think I see it differently…”
–“I have a different take on this.”
–“I am not sure I follow the logic of your thinking. The way I see it is…”

Use third-point referencing. That is, refer to the post, not the person who created the post.
–For example: “The argument might be stronger if…”
–“The thesis is clear and well-supported…”, “The sources don’t seem to support the point I think you’re trying to make…”

What to say if you don’t understand parts of the post?
–I am not sure I follow, exactly
–I know what I mean by the word “____” but I’m not sure I know what you mean…
–Could you help me understand your thinking when you said___

Avoid phrases like:
–“You do a terrible job of…”
–“You should have…”
–“Your thesis sucks…”

Suggested Structure
–1st paragraph–restate in your own words the argument that you understand the student is making

–2nd paragraph–extend or refute the point made by the student by including more evidence from the texts

–give a concluding idea

Student 1: The process of writing the constitution gave rise to debates on the issues surrounding ratification where the federalists and anti-federalists faced off in their different arguments about the constitution. The anti-federalists held that constitutional ratification would give a lot of power to the national government and they feared that they would pave way for another oppressing government like the one which was led by monarchs. Henry says, “if you make the citizens of this country agree to become the subjects of one great consolidated empire of America, your government will not have sufficient energy to keep them together” (Henry 2). The antifederalist held that liberty should be a priority of the government’s agenda and not power and so they believed the ratification of the constitution would threaten individual liberties (Foner 272).

The federalists, on the other hand, the likes of Madison supported constitutional ratification because it would lead to a strong federal government. Madison believed that there was no need for a bill of rights because the government is upheld by the people, and they cannot suppress their own rights. He argued that the constitution is important as it helps the government control the people but not necessarily to oppress them, “You must first enable the government to control the governed; in the next place oblige it to control itself” (Madison 2).

The major issues of the debate were federalism and checks and balances between different branches of the government (Foner 266). The federalists held that the constitution would come to help and not to oppress while the antifederalists were opinionated that the ratification will undermine the liberty of the people. Other issues included the slave trade and bill or rights as well as the powers of the president. These issues were the main causes of constitutional debates because the two sides had different opinions. The federalists and anti-federalists mainly disagreed on the issue of the bill of rights as it touched on the liberty of the people.

Student 2: Patrick Henry was an anti-federalist from 1788. He felt the constitution would give too much power to the Federal Government by taking over all the duties of the State Governments. Patrick Henry asked his readers to “Bring forth the Federal allurements, and compare them with the poor contemptible things that the State Legislatures can bring forth … Let the Honorable Gentleman consider all these things and say, whether the State Governments will last as long as the Federal Government” (Henry 3). In reality, this was a valid concern. The constitution did apply laws that gave Congress “the power to raise money without relying on the states [and made it so] states would be prohibited from infringing on the rights of property” (Foner 264). Influenced by Patrick Henry, this became a major argument against the Constitution put forth by Anti-Federalists.

Solution preview for the order on  what major issues or ideological tensions did the debate over the Constitution revealWhat major issues or ideological tensions did the debate over the Constitution reveal


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