Essay about Arguments and Opposition to the Constitution

977 Words Apr 4th, 2014 4 Pages
Use your knowledge of the era of 1785-1788 and the documents provided to answer the following question:
What were the major arguments that surfaced in opposition to the new Constitution proposed in 1787? How did supporters of the Constitution counter those arguments?

Previous attempts to change the Articles of Confederation had failed because the approval of every state was required. There was often one or more recalcitrant member of the union. For example, Rhode Island even refused to take part in the framing; opposition to a new constitution was certainly formidable. Consequently, the Convention discarded the provision of unanimous approval and adopted the notion that the new Constitution would pass with only the approval of nine
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They would not agree to ratify such a proposal unless a Bill of Rights was crafted to limit Congress’s powers and protect the rights of the citizens.
Those in favor of the Constitution proposal argued that there must be a prime leader to run things smoothly. They agreed that the leader would not hold too much power, and that his decisions would be in favor of the people. In his paper The Federalist, James Madison advocates the idea of a centralized government. “Extend the sphere,” he writes, “and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests.” The Federalists designed the Constitution so there were no constraints on the ability of the central government to use its military power and its fiscal powers, its taxing and borrowing authority. According to the Federalists, the government's ability to borrow was critical to its ability to act militarily, especially in times of crisis. They also believed that the ability to tax its citizens was crucial for a government to borrow successfully. Taxing powers provided credibility and a means for servicing debt and for repayment. The Federalists argued that the nation, as it was currently, was unprepared for defense should foreign countries be plotting against the United States. They maintained the need for a Union, for credit, and for the ability to borrow money and tax. Federalists believed that their new constitution gave the government
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