HISTORY and the HIGHWAY with Stan Ellsworth
# 6 The Fight for Federalism: Arguments For & Against Ratification of the Constitution
Q: How many months did it take to create our new form of government as outlined in the U.S. Constitution?
A: Four months.
Q: What did the “Federalists” believe?
A: They believed in having a strong central government and wanted Americans to ratify the U.S. Constitution “as is”.
Q: Who were the three men that wrote “The Federalist Papers”?
A: Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison
Q: What are “The Federalist Papers” about?
A: “The Federalist Papers” are a series of essays that explain the importance of each article of the Constitution and how each article should be interpreted. These essays encouraged the American people to ratify the Constitution.
Q: What did the “anti-Federalists” believe?
A: They were against having a strong central government (like the one they had just fought against in the Revolutionary War) without including a Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution to protect States’ rights AND our rights as individuals.
Q: Who were some of the main men who advocated for a Bill of Rights to be written and added to the U.S. Constitution?
A: Patrick Henry, George Mason, and Thomas Jefferson
Q: Which one of these three men wrote the Virginia Bill of Rights?
A: George Mason
Q: What are the essays called that these men wrote which counter the arguments in “The Federalist Papers”?
A: “The Anti-Federalist Papers”
Q: Did both sides have excellent points?
Q: Why did George Washington lean towards the point of view of the Federalists supporting having a strong central government?
A: He had experienced firsthand the imbalance of each individual state having more power than the central government (and not paying their share to feed, clothe, and arm the Continental Army) and acting like individual countries rather than each state working together as one nation (such as Maryland and Virginia not working together to dig a canal).
Q: Who wrote from France that he was not sure if he could ratify the U.S. Constitution without a Bill of Rights to protect the rights of each citizen from being overpowered by a strong central government?
A: Thomas Jefferson
Q: Which Federalist pledged to write a Bill of Rights to be added to the U.S. Constitution?
A: James Madison
Q: By which year did every state in the union ratify the U.S. Constitution?
Q: Who was the first president to serve in our new form of government as outlined by the newly ratified U.S. Constitution?
A: George Washington