Ratification of the Constitution In 1787 the Constitution was written and submitted to the states for ratification, this leading to months of fierce debate. Some states welcomed the new Constitution but others were fearful of it. They were afraid that this would be just like being under the control of Great Britain, which they just broke free from. But the rest of the states saw this as a good thing and very necessary for America to strive. In Document 1, we find a newspaper editor from the Massachusetts Sentinel supporting the ratification of the Constitution.
He says that America is a mess now and by ratifying the Constitution; all that is wrong will be fixed. It will strengthen trade and protect American name and character. In Document 3, we see an excerpt from a letter John ay wrote to George Washington. He said that in the Articles of Confederation there were errors that need to be addressed and corrected. The colonies were disunited and in need of a strong central government. Thomas Jefferson also believed that the Constitution should be ratified, and in order to protect the rights of the people a Bill of Rights must be made.
He says this in a letter to James Madison in Document 6. Alexander Hamilton, a Federalist like John Jay and Madison, also agrees that ratification of the constitution should be agreed on. He says in document 7 that as long as the federal government fulfills the two duties of preservation of public peace and regulation of commerce than the Constitution should be approved and welcomed. As we see, there were many supporters of the Constitution, but there were also many opponents.
People didnt want a Constitution and believed that things were just fine the way they were and everything should be left alone. In Document 2 we see that Mercy Otis Warren was an opponent. He had fear that the Constitution would threaten the rights of conscience and liberty of press. Patrick Henry was also against ratifying the Constitution. In Document 4, he says that a Constitution would endanger the rights and privileges that the people had and they would lose sovereignty, the freedom from an external control.
In Document 5, Amos Singletree also opposed the ratification of the Constitution. But he doesn’t only fear the possible threat of people’s rights, he, being poor, was afraid that only rich learned men would be able to have power, and will have total rule over the poor people. This conflict caused the ratification to be pushed off for months. Back and forth the states debated and tried to prove their point. Whether it was trying to show that everything was great now, why change it.
And that people don’t want their rights taken away. Or saying that there were many problems with the unity of the states and the Articles of Confederation weren’t strong enough and a new strong government was needed. By 1788, nine out of thirteen states voted for approval of the Constitution, the two states that didn’t vote were Virginia and New York. The Federalists; John Jay, Hamilton and Madison, wrote the federalist papers in New York, defending the constitution.
In the end, both Virginia and New York approved the Constitution, as long as there would be a Bill of Rights protecting the people’s rights. Although many states were against the Constitution, most states were able to realize how good the Constitution would be for them. The opposing states feared the loss of certain rights and didn’t want to be under another group of power, like Great Britain. In the end most states saw that this was the only way they would be able to be strong as a whole. The Constitution led to the way America is until today.