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Ratification History of the U.S. Constitution

Info: 907 words (4 pages) Essay
Published: 18th Mar 2021 in Politics

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The Article of Confederation was the first forming government in 1777. This government consisted of thirteen sovereigns who introduced to the states all commentaries needing sanction. The government stems its authorities from the states, each state self-regulating. The Articles of Confederation proved to be in executable, giving no power to which brought "The Miracle at Philadelphia: Writing the U.S. Constitution." (Karen O’Connor, 2016). Our Founding Fathers’ sole purpose when implementing the constitution was to revise the current government authorities.

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On February 21, 1787, congress called for a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia sole purpose revising the Article of Confederation. The Constitutional Convention was made up of men and termed “Founding Fathers.”  The attendance consisted of fifty-five delegates who deliberated behind closed doors.  Edmund Randolph and James Madison brought fifteen resolutions to the table the first day of the convention proposing a new government. The resolutions proposed was the Virginia Plan. The plan proposed bicameral legislature, an executive, and a judiciary by the national legislature.  William Patterson of New Jersey sought their proposal to be in violation and proposed the New Jersey Plan. The plan proposed one-house legislature with one vote for each state, a congress with the ability to raise revenue, and a supreme court with members appointed for life. (The Constitution of the United States, n.d.) The proposals received, caused heated debates on the convention's floor. Connecticut looking at finding the middle ground presented having representation in the lower house would determine by population, the upper house given equal vote per state. These heated discussions brought another standstill but ultimately it spawned The Great Compromise and approved by all states in attendance “a two-house legislature, with the lower house elected by the people, with powers divided between the two houses and made national law supreme.” (Karen O’Connor, 2016). The key functions for the separation of powers will distribute the “power between legislative, executive, and judicial branches giving equality and independence to each branch. Checks and balances gives the branches supervision structure and control over the actions of the others.  Federalist paper No. 51, written by James Madison, explains the needs of structure and control with power distribution using the check and balances system and advocates this within the national government. (FEDERALIST PAPERS NO. 51, 2019)

The founding fathers were subjected to negativity throughout and motives were questioned because many feared that a weak decentralized government would harm their economic welfares. The towns people wanted a stable national government who will provide economic stability within the industry and trade to protect private property and ensure payment of the public debt. The question before and during the convention was how much power states would give up to the national government. Under the Article of Confederation experiences, the Founding Fathers needed a stable national government for the homeland's survival. These fears and questions brought the philosophers Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote a collection of 85 essays, which was named The Federalist papers, were published in the New York City newspapers. These essays urged the ratification of the United States Constitution to the readers. They were aimed to convince opponents to ratify it so it would take effect as the nation's fundamental governing document. (Karen O’Connor, 2016)

Federalist paper No. 10, written by James Madison, explored majority rule V. minority rights due to critics arguing that the federal government was too large and would be unresponsive to the people. Madison countered it was precisely the vast number of factions and diversity that would avoid tyranny.  This essay was written to promote national unity by identifying and warn of the dangers of factionalism. He promoted the nation to remain unified through representational democracy or a republican form of government. He writes, “a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction.” (FEDERALIST PAPERS NO. 10, 2019). During the term The Articles of Confederation, our states were not united. Factionalism and sectionalism were boundless. Under the U.S. Constitution, the nation would be more united, diverse, and the potential for factionalism significantly reduced.


  • FEDERALIST PAPERS NO. 10. (2019). Retrieved from Bill of Rights Institute: https://billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/primary-source-documents/the-federalist-papers/federalist-papers-no-10/
  • FEDERALIST PAPERS NO. 51. (2019). Retrieved from Bill of Rights Institute: https://billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/primary-source-documents/the-federalist-papers/federalist-papers-no-51/
  • Karen O’Connor, L. J. (2016). AMERICAN GOVERNMENT, 2014 Elections, and Updates Edition. Pearson Education, Inc., or its affiliates.
  • The Constitution of the United States. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Bill of Rights & All Amendments: https://constitutionus.com/


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