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Essays Urging Ratification Constitution

These are a series of eighty-five letters written to newspapers in 1787-1788 by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, urging ratification of the Constitution.After a new Constitution, intended to replace the ineffectual Articles of Confederation, had been hammered out at the Philadelphia Convention, it was agreed that it would go into effect when nine of the thirteen states had approved it in ratifying conventions. There ensued a nationwide debate over constitutional principles, and the press was inundated with letters condemning or praising the document, among them these articles, signed “Publius.”The three men—chief among them Hamilton, who wrote about two-thirds of the essays—addressed the objections of opponents, who feared a tyrannical central government that would supersede states’ rights and encroach on individual liberties. All strong nationalists, the essayists argued that, most important, the proposed system would preserve the Union, now in danger of breaking apart, and empower the federal government to act firmly and coherently in the national interest. Conflicting economic and political interests would be reconciled through a representative Congress, whose legislation would be subject to presidential veto and judicial review.

This system of checks and balances and the Constitution’s clear delineation of the powers of the federal government—few, limited, and defined, as Madison put it—would protect states’ rights and, as they saw it, individual rights. The ultimate protection of individual liberties had to wait for later passage of the Bill of Rights, for these men, as their arguments made plain, distrusted what Madison called “the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.” Many of the constitutional provisions they praised were intended precisely to dampen democratic “excesses.”The articles, written in the spirit both of propaganda and of logical argument, probably had little influence on public opinion of the day. Nevertheless, the essays, published in book form as The Federalist in 1788, have through the years been widely read and respected for their masterly analysis and interpretation of the Constitution and the principles upon which the government of the United States was established.

The Reader’s Companion to American History. Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, Editors. Copyright © 1991 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

constitutional scavenger hunt

Father of the Constitution?
Essays urging ratification during NY ratification debates?
Two author of the Federalist Papers?
John Jay and Alexander Hamilton
How many states had to ratify the constitution to make it go into effect?
Nine (Article I Section 2)
Last 2 states to ratify after the Constitution went in aeffect?
How often is the number of congressional districts per state determined?
Every 10 years (Article 1 Section 2)
How were slaves to be counted when determining the number of congressional districts?
3/5ths of a person (Article 1 Section 2)
Who has the sole power of impeachment?
House of Reps. (Article I Section 3)
Who has the power to try officials who have been impeached?
Senate (Article I Section 3)
When the president is impeached who presides at the trial?
Chief of Justice (Article I Section 3)
A writ of habeas corpus may not be suspended except when?
Cases of rebellion/ invasion of public safety (Article I Section 9)
Name one limit on the States
States can not coin money (Article I Section 10)
Name 2 congressional limits on the President.
impeachment and 2/3 votes overrules veto (Article I Section 7 & 9)
Which article of the Constitution defines the powers of the President?
What office mentioned in the Constitution must a person be a natural-born citizen?
President (Article II Section I)
Name 3 powers of the president as stated in the Constitution
Commander in Chief, make treaties, appoint ambassadors (Article II Section 2)
What branch(es) of the federal government are responsible for est. lower federal courts?
Legislative Branch (Article I Section 8)
What is the Vice-President's only constitutional responsibility?
President of the Senate (Article I Section 3)
What is the condition concerning the nature of state governments as stated in the Constitution?
Must be republican form of Government (Article IV Section 4)
What is the only crime defined by the Constitution?
Treason ( Article III Section 3)
What is required to convict a person for treason?
Testimony of 2 witnesses of the same act or open confession in court (Article III Section 3)
How does article VI resolve possible conflicts between state and federal laws?
State laws must follow Federal laws (Article VI Section 3)
What does article VI say about giving religious tests to candidates for public office?
Religious test are unconstitutional (Article VI Section 3)
When is it possible for another constitutional convention like the Convention of 1789?
When 2/3 of congress and 3/4 of the states agree. (Article V Section 5)
Can the president introduce, ratify, or veto a constitutional amendment?
What are the first 10 amendments called?
Name three of the 5 basic right in the 1st Amendment
Freedom of speech, press, and assembly
Name 5 rights guaranteed to all citizens in the Bill of Rights
To keep and bear arms,freedom from search and seizure, trial by jury, speedy trial, no cruel or unusual punishment
What does the 10th Amendment say about the delegation of power to the states?
Powers not delegated to the U.S. nor prohibited too the states, are reserved to the states.
Which Amendment est. a federal income tax?
the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote passed in what year?
People who fought for the passage of the 19th Amendment were called?
20th Amendment states that if the President-elect dies before the beginning of their term, who becomes president?
The Vice President-elect (section 3)
Name the only Amendment the repeals another Amendment
What is the purpose of the most recent Amendment?
Amendment 21: give compensation to legislature
The argument "anyone old enough to fight for this country is old enough to vote" secured the passage for what amendment?
What is the term served by a member of the House of Reps.?
2 years (Article I Section 2)
What is the term served by a member of the Senate?
6 years (Article I Section 3)

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