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Ratifying the Constitution

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  1. Ratifying the Constitution Chapter 3 Section 3

  2. Do Now • What is the purpose of government? • Consider why governments are put in place and what society would be like without a government.

  3. Introduction • As the Convention ended in Philadelphia, delegates rushed home to begin the campaign for ratification. • Each state elected a convention to vote on the constitution. • Nine states had vote for document to ratify it. • Americans debated in state legislatures, in mass meetings, newspapers, and in everyday conversations.

  4. Federalists vs. Anti-federalist • Federalists – supported Constitutional ratification • Name emphasized that the constitution would create a federal system • Believed power should be divide among central and state governments. • They hoped smaller states would understand that each state would keep some power • Included large landowners, merchants, and artisans • The wanted government protection and taxes on imports • Farmers along the coast supported the Constitution which would regulate trade and protect prices.

  5. Anti-Federalists • Misleading name – not against federalism • Accepted the need for a national gov. • Real issued was if central or state governments would have more power. • Prominent Anti-Federalists included John Hancock, Patrick Henry, of Virginia, and George Clinton, gov. of New York, (Edmund Randolph and George Mason believed constitution should include a bill of rights) • Sam Adams believe it impinged on the rights of the states • Many were western farmers living far from coast, self sufficient, and believed it may foreclose their farms

  6. The Federalist (Essays) • Several factors worked against the Anti-federalists • They complained but did not offer a solution • Federalists were also better organized • Federalists offered ideas in pamphlets, speeches and debates in state conventions. • The Federalist – 85 essays written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay (under the pen name Publius) • Published New York Newspapers before publishing them as the Federalist book • Explained how the new US Constitution worked and why it was needed • Even today judges, lawyers, legislators, and historians read the Federalist to help them interpret the Constitution

  7. Battle for Ratification • Federalist knew they had clear majorities in some states, but that larger states like New York would be more difficult to convince. • Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Conneticut quickly ratified the Constitution.

  8. The Debate in Massachussetts • Opponents of the Constitution held a clear majority at first (including John Hancock and Samuel Adams- both had signed Dec. of Ind.) • Sam Adams said constitution must never infringe on liberty of press, right to own arms, support search and seizure without a warrant • As a result federalists agreed to attach a bill of rights to the Constitution once it was ratified • Agreed to add amendment that would support state rights • This persuaded Adams to support the Constitution • Hancock and supporters joined in because they said they would nominate him for president • Final vote – 187 for and 168 against

  9. The Debate in Virginia • By the end of June 1788 Maryland, South Carolina and New Hampshire had ratified the Constitution. • Federalists had reached the nine states needed to ratify the constitution. • New York and Virginia had not yet ratified • Without the support of these two states many felt the Constitution would fail. • George Mason and Patrick Henry argued strongly against ratification • George Washington and James Madison presented the arguments for ratification to Virginia – the Governor agreed • Virginia did narrowly supported the New Constitution

  10. New York Votes to Ratify • 2/3 of the elected legislature were Anti-Federalists, including governor Clinton • Federalist led by Hamilton and John Jay tried to assure others that the Constitution would not infringe on state rights • Hamilton explained it had been specifically designed to limit tyranny. • Federalists managed to delay the vote until New Hampshire and Virginia ratified the Constitution and the new federal gov. was now in effect • City of New York warned state government that it would secede from NY and join the United States independently if Constitution was not ratified

  11. NY Votes to Ratify Cont… • Some states did not initially ratify the Constitution • We will discuss the reasons during class.

  12. First Presidential Election • George Washington was elected unopposed • Swilling the voters? • Federalist candidates for VP • John Adams, former Minister to Great Britain from Massachusetts • John Jay, U.S. Secretary of Foreign Affairs from New York • John Rutledge, former Governor of South Carolina • John Hancock, Governor of Massachusetts • Samuel Hutington, Governor of Connecticut • Benjamin Lincoln, former U.S. Secretary of War from Massachusetts

  13. Washington’s Cabinet • As the first president of the United States, George Washington established the precedent of appointing a cabinet. • Neither required by law nor the Constitution, the cabinet consisted of political advisors to the president. • Washington wisely selected • John Adams (VP) • Thomas Jefferson (Sec. of State) • Hamilson (Sec. of Treasury) • Edmund Randolph (Attorney General) • Successive presidents have continued the tradition of selecting a cabinet, though scholars debate its usefulness.

  14. What cabinet position is missing?