The Debate Over Ratification

The Debate Over Ratification– The ratification debate was contested in newspapers, pamphlets, and on the floor of state conventions, where the votes were frequently close. Those who supported the Constitution’s strong national government were known as Federalists, while those who opposed it were known as Antifederalists.

The Anti-Federalists are a group of people that oppose the

The Antifederalists argued that the Constitution granted the federal government too much power while leaving the states with too little. They vehemently attacked the exclusion of a bill of rights, which was incorporated in many state constitutions, as strong proponents of individual liberty. Because amending the Articles of Confederation needed unanimous permission from the states, some believed the ratification process itself to be illegitimate.

The Federalists are a group of people that believe in the federal

A series of newspaper articles authored by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, collectively known as The Federalist Papers, effectively stated the case for the Constitution. The Federalists argued that the new government would not be controlled by any one group, and that enough safeguards would be in place to protect individuals and states.

New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the Constitution on June 21, 1788. During the next month, two critical states — Virginia and New York — granted their consent. The Federalists’ promise to add a bill of rights after ratification was a key factor in convincing the state conventions.

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