4.Why was the Constitution a controversial document even as it was being written?
The Constitution has and always will bee a controversial document. The Anti-
federalists was the name given to the individuals who opposed the ratification of the
Constitution. According to Mount (2012), the Anti-Federalists are today’s Democrats and
the Federalists are today’s Republicans. Some of the individuals that were considered part
of the anti-federalists group were Patrick Henry, John Hancock and George Mason.
The anti-federalists opposed the Constitution because they believed that it would
support a strong national currency and protect property rights. It was also argued that the
Constitutional did not protect individual rights and they worried that a tyrannical
government would destroy the states (Henretta & Brody, 2010). One of the main issues
that the anti-federalists brought up was the fear of the vote of representation as they
might not know, know of, or believe the same beliefs as the representative for presidency.
They felt that someone they felt was a stranger to them would rule them. Many people
backed these concerns from rural and agricultural areas, debtors and other individuals
who opposed a strong central government. They also believed that one man spending all
his time in office and resembling a King would start to use every means that they could in
order to stay in office.
The Articles of Confederation failed because, during this time many things
happened in the U.S. and the government has significant flaws that were exposed. It has
also been said that the articles were not strong enough. There were many weakness of the
Articles such as; laws required a 9/13 majority to pass in congress, there was no national
court system, there was no executive branch to enforce any acts passed by congress,
congress did not have the power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce, each state
only had one vote in congress regardless of its size, congress did not have the power to
tax and any amendments to the articles required a unanimous vote.
“The need for the Constitution grew out of problems with the Articles of
Confederation, which established a firm league of friendship between the states, and
bested most power in Congress of the Confederation” (White House, 2013).
Before the Constitution was to become the law of the land it was first to be scrutinized
and withstand public debate. On September 28, 1787, congress directed the state
legislatures to call ratification conventions in each state, because Article VII stipulated
that nine states had to ratify the Constitution for it to go into effect. The Constitutional
Convention of 1787 was held with the goal of revising the Articles of Confederation in
mind. The first order of business at the convention was electing George Washington as
president of the convention and establishing the rules. After that a plan for new structure
of government, known as the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan, had been presented.