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Approving Our Constitution

             In 1787, political leaders met at the Constitutional Congress in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation. Instead, they wrote the United States Constitution, an entirely new plan of government. Under this new plan the states would retain a number of important powers. The national government however became the supreme law of the land. Some other things that would be changed was that it would give us a president, it gave each citizen equal rights in all states, lets the supreme court have full authority to decide all questions and disputes in regard to the powers of the government, and it gave Congress control of foreign commerce, full power to raise money by taxation, and control of all public owned territory and land. .
             The Federalists and Anti-Federalists debated this new plan of action for months.
             The Federalists were supporters of the Constitution. They believed in a strong central government. They defended the Constitution as vital to the nation's survival. They thought that a large republic with an effective national government offered far better protection against tyranny than the state governments would, where it was far easier to form a permanent majority. John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison wrote a series of essays and published them as The Federalist Papers. They provided the argument for a central federal government, with separate executive legislative and judicial branches that checked and balanced one another. Their strategy was to portray America in crisis. The point to a stagnant American economy, potential for revolt and social anarchy, and to the contempt other nations showed towards this new nation. They argued that the Constitution could preserve the republican ideals far better than the Articles of Confederation. .
             The Anti-Federalists opposed the ratification of the Constitution; they feared that a strong central government would be used as an instrument of tyranny.

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