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the armed forces. A key element was separation of
powers and checks and balances.
- Then there was the whole should we count slaves
dilemma…naturally Southern states wanted them
counted for representation purposes and Northern states
only wanted them counted for taxation purposes. In the
end a slave was declared to be 3/5th of a person. Also,
inherent protections of slavery were worked in to the
Constitution (slave trade couldn’t end for 20 years,
fugitive slave laws, etc.)
- Anyhow, the CC had its last session on September 17,
1787 and only then was the Constitution made public. All
that was left was ratification…
*Opposition and Ratification*
- Later in September the CC submitted the Constitution
to the states but didn’t formally recommend its approval.
The ratification clause of the Constitution stated that it
58 would be approved by special conventions in at least 9
states (delegates were to be qualified voters – so it was
directly based on popular authority.)
- As states began electing delegates, two distinct camps
formed: Federalists – the Federalists supported the
Constitution and stuck by the virtuous, selfsacrificing republic led by a merit-based
aristocracy idea. Since leaders were to be
virtuous, there was no need to fear a strong
central gov’t. Besides, there was the separation of
powers. Antifederalists – the Antifederalists felt that
weakening the states would lead to the onset of
arbitrary and oppressive gov’t power (based on
Real Whig ideology.) Antifederalists were
generally old hard core revolutionaries (Tom
Paine, Sam Adams, etc.) and small farmers.
- One thing that was big on the Antis agenda was the
idea of a Bill of Rights (why doesn’t the Constitution have
one?), best expressed in the major Anti pamphlet,
Letters of a Federal Farmer.
- Anyhow, the Federalists won out (duh), partially b/c of
the publication of The Federalist and partially b/c of the
promise to add a bill of rights. Ratification was
(prematurely, it turns out) celebrated on July 4, 1788.
The Early Republic (1789 – 1800)
*Creating a Workable Government Structure* 59 - The First Congress, which first met in April 1789, was
mostly controlled by the...
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- Fall '10