Scenario: New York State’s ratifying convention is set to take place next month (summer of 1788).Tags: Science Technology And Innovation Working Together EssayAp Us History Great Depression EssayIb English Extended Essay QuestionsUsc Supplement Essay PromptWhy Are Parents So Strict Thesis StatementDisaster Recovery And Business Continuity PlanningDrugs At School EssayEssay Questions For Hotel RwandaEgg PsychosynthesisBeowulf Translations Essay
This lesson is designed to impress upon students that the Constitution, a document so revered today, was hotly debated at its inception.
The lesson also asks students to consider what may have shaped the differing viewpoints on the Constitution.
Rivalries were intense; delays in setting up the first elections under the new Constitution were inevitable.
New Jersey, for example, chose direct elections, but neglected to set a time for closing the polls, which stayed open for three weeks.
In New York, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay combined to produce a remarkable series of written arguments for the Constitution -- The Federalist Papers -- and won a narrow vote for approval on July 26. Rhode Island held out until 1790, when its position as a small and weak state hedged in by a large and powerful republic became untenable.
The process of organizing the government began soon after ratification by Virginia and New York.Approval was given by comfortable majorities in Pennsylvania and Connecticut. That state finally conditioned its ratification on the addition of 10 amendments guaranteeing certain fundamental rights, including freedom of religion, speech, press and assembly; a militia instead of a standing army; the right to trial by jury; and the prohibition of unreasonable searches or arrests.(A number of other states added similar provisos, and the 10 amendments -- now known as the Bill of Rights -- were incorporated into the Constitution in 1791.) By late June 1788, Maryland, South Carolina and New Hampshire had given their assent, satisfying the requirement for ratification by nine states. But two powerful and pivotal states -- New York and Virginia -- remained undecided, as did the two smaller states of North Carolina and Rhode Island.Under the Constitution, each state legislature had the power to decide how presidential electors, as well as representatives and senators, would be chosen.Some states opted for direct elections by the people, others for election by the legislature, and a few for a combination of the two.The way was now set for the arduous process of ratification, that is, acceptance by at least nine states.Delaware was the first to act, followed swiftly by New Jersey and Georgia.According to the Constitution, nine of the thirteen states needed to ratify the document before it could go into effect (although most acknowledged that without the support of all the states, the government would struggle with legitimacy).It would take almost three years for all thirteen states to ratify the Constitution. But some of the most powerful states including Massachusetts, Virginia, and New York, became battlegrounds between those who supported ratification of the Constitution, the Federalists, and those who opposed it, the Anti-Federalists.Each group of students will take on an identity and prepare the character’s position on the ratification of the Constitution.At the town hall meeting, each group will work together and argue his/her position in an effort to persuade the delegate.