After the Constitution was written in Philadelphia, it was up to the states to ratify. Ratification of the Constitution kicked off a heated debate in the states over the merits of the new Constitution. Anti-Federalists were alarmed about the new Constitution while Federalists tried to convince others of it's merits. After reading this week's primary sources (see the assignment), please answer the following questions in three paragraphs (you may also use the reading questions to guide your writing).
1. Anti-Federalist perspective - explain the ideas about government expressed by Mason and Henry as well as their fears about the new Constitution
2. Federalist perspective - how did Madison attempt to persuade others that the new Constitution would be better for the United States?
3. Personal reflection - Do you agree or disagree with the statements made by the Anti-Federalists and Federalists? Which side do you think you would be on in this debate? Why?
Ratification of the United States Constitution
Anti-federalism refers to a movement that was against the formation of a powerful United Nations federal government. The proponents of the movement led by Henry opposed the ratification of the new constitution because they feared that it would deprive the state government of the power that it had according to the initial constitution. They also claimed that the new constitution wasn’t a good idea because it would introduce a presidency with more powers hence would possibly lead to a monarchy system of the government.
Federalism is a movement that constitutes people who supported the ratification of the new constitution. The federalists pushed for the ratification of the new constitution because they believed that separation of power between the states and the federal government led by a powerful president would protect people and no one would have extreme power over the other.
From a crucial point of view, I think the antifederalist were concerned about the democracy of the United State that they perceived was at risk with the formation of a powerful federal government. Even though I disagree with their opposition to the new constitution, they are entitled to their opinions over the new constitution. I feel that the Federalist’s view of the ratification of the new constitution was the best idea because it would create a powerful federal government with representatives from al, the states. This would even give the united states a strong bargaining power at the international level attributed to a powerful consolidated federal government led by the presidency. I would therefore side with the federalists in the debate.