1. “Ultimately, the debate over ratification of the Constitution came down to competing economic interests.” In what ways do you find this contention persuasive? In what ways not? Illustrate your analysis with examples from the text
Constitution is a written document that sets forth the fundamental rules and certain regulations by which society is administrated. The United States of America is one of the states which have had a constitution which governs its individual’s ways of life. Throughout the development of history, the United States has lived under two Constitutions ever since the British-American colonies affirmed their independence from Great Britain in the year 1776 which are Articles of Confederation (1789-1789) and the Constitution of United States of America (1789 to present). Ratification of the constitution is a process of confirming the constitution which is normally done through voting which works to validate the proposed law of the land. The nine states are known to have been ratified by the end of June 21, 1788. Ratification is a process that is known to have begun immediately after the convention. The debate is a formal discussion which was done on the ratification of the constitution in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward.
In the United States of America, there has been a huge debate for a long period of time which has it that the ratification of the constitution was due to the economic interest of some leaders (Russ Castronovo, 2001). The members of the United States of America, who were supporting the ratification of the constitution, were actually the Federalist as opposed to those who were against this common idea forming the Anti-Federalists. There are different ideas which work to support and others to oppose this idea that ratification of the Constitution is due to economic interests.
There are some of the arguments which support the debate that ratification of the Constitution is due to economic interests. Federalists were supporting the idea of ratification of the constitution for it had many benefits to the society and country as a whole. The supporters of ratification of the constitution had the idea that this process would result in energies being built which would make such countries act together and be stronger than before especially financially. Federalist, who was led by Alexander Hamilton, argued that there were many barriers which were making citizens not to be in a position to act together hence ratification would make them be similar due to the ability to be similar. “To generate support, Hamilton, Madison and Jay composed a series of eighty-five essay that appeared in newspapers under the penname Publius and were gathered as a book The Federalist, in 1788.” (Give Me Liberty, 263) Ratification was for economic interests for it made states start using a common currency which actually promoted trade among various states hence leading to growth in the economic matters. The energy and authority which was gathered after the constitution was ratified lead to permitting and promoting trading among various countries hence making the entire process to be due to economic gains.
Ratification of the constitution helped to avoid cases which were ever existing between various countries due to national disputes making sure that such cases were eradicated hence peace prevailed among such states. The prevailing of the peace among states actually acted for the common objective of trading together as friendly states hence economic interests were attained. The unity which had been destroyed in various states was restored when the ratification of the constitution was attained in various states hence making the countries be unified again “If men were angels no government would be necessary.” (Voices of Freedom, 123)The unification of these nations acted as the common factor which promoted them to go back to their old ways of trading hence growing economically.
Opposing ideas are also in existence which goes against the common debate that ratification of the Constitution is due to economic interests. Anti-Federalists had the arguments that the ratification of the Constitution was not due to economic interests but due to other reasons which were not beneficial hence were fighting it. They argued that ratification of the Constitution would actually have new schemes which were for threatening liberties and failed to protect individual rights hence several vices would arise (Simone, 2009). Anti-Federalists argued that stronger government threatened the sovereignty of the states, and they would be this opportunity to take advantage of them for their common good.
Anti-Federalists argued that the new system of government which would be formed after the ratification of the Constitution would result to the threatening of their personal liberties hence they would be free no more. Anti-Federalists argued that ratification of the Constitution was the worst decision to take because it would be the delegates in Philadelphia represented would only represent their own special interests which would not favor the common interest of the members of the states. Also, the Anti-Federalists believed that ratification of the Constitution would give too much power to the central government at the outlay of the states and that a symbolic government could not manage a democracy this large.
In conclusions, ratification of the United States of America constitution had varied impacts on the members of the community with some being positive while others are negative. The argument that caused the debate over the ratification of the Constitution to begun was the idea that only some of the states and their citizens will benefit out of the process while others were to suffer terribly (Wolf, 2008). Federalists are the members of the United States which were supporting the idea of the ratification of the constitution. Anti-Federalists were against ratifying the constitution. Hence, these differing opinions led to a highly heated debate to arise. Since the Anti-Federalists were less optimistic compared to the Federalists, the Anti-Federalists had to lose the debate resulting to the ratification of the constitution.
Russ Castronovo. (2001). Necro citizenship: Death, eroticism, and the public sphere in the nineteenth-century United States. Duke University Press.
Simone, M. A. (2009). Give me liberty and give me surveillance: a case study of the US Government’s discourse of surveillance. Critical Discourse Studies, 6(1), 1-14.
Wolf, N. (2008). Give me liberty: A handbook for American Revolutionaries. Simon and Schuster.
Foner, Eric. “Chapter 2.” Give Me Liberty!: An American History. 4th ed. Vol. 1. New York: W.W. Norton, 2014. 213-241. Print.
Foner, Eric. “Chapter 2.” Voices of Freedom: A Documentary History. 4th ed. Vol. 1. New York: W.W. Norton, 2014. 115. Print.
Teacher Notes: Grade 86%
– Anti-slavery groups opposed the constitution because it provided national protections for the institution. GIVE ME LIBERTY – Articles of Confederation – gave states a lot of autonomy, federal government had very limited powers including no authority to tax the states. Congress established land ordinances under the Articles which provided for some income. Even though the terms were generous many settlers squatted on land without title – Financial problems after the war were difficult to deal with under the Articles. Congress was in debt to numerous creditors, but could not raise revenue. – So were the states. States took economic measures into their own hands, raising taxes, printing currency, enacting tariffs. – Some state assemblies passed debt relief measures much to the consternation of creditors and money lenders. – In Massachusetts debates over debt collection erupted into violence in the Western Counties – Shays Rebellion led by war veterans who were poor and unable to pay these new taxes, potentially having their farms foreclosed. Anti-federalists were also mean of property and means. They understood the document would encourage economic growth and stability but feared the excess power it put in the hands of the Federal Government. Discussion of liberty rather than economic issues was their emphasis Overall this is a solid essay that could use some improvement. You favor one side of the argument over the other – in this case the Constitution and its ratification favoring economic elites. However concerns, other than naked economic ones, informed opposition to the Constitution. Some areas where you could create better balance in your answer include: What was specifically wrong with the Article of Confederation? How did its problems set the stage this debate? Anti-Federalists concerns about the size of the new government and its consolidation of power. Also concern for individual liberties by anti-federalists led to enactment of Bill of Rights. Also consider slavery not only as an economic system but a political and social system as well. How does the debate around slavery’s protection inform support and opposition to the document? VOICES OF FREEDOM Document #39 – Petition of Inhabitants West of Ohio. Want Congress under the articles to give liberal and generous land terms to small farmers and poor tenants. They don’t want Congress to favor land speculators or land companies, who would jack up the price and take the best land.
Gregory Peek , Feb 27 at 6:35pm