Write a speech telling why the NY convention should or should not ratify the Constitution (in 1788).
use your knowledge of 1781-1788. Justify your decison and refute the opposing side
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We cannot actually write you a speech on this site, but I can give you some ideas. I think that you have to decide for yourself whether to support or not -- here are some ideas for each side:
- If you want to vote to ratify, talk about how bad off the country was under the Articles of Confederation. Talk about how the economy was falling apart because state governments were doing things like issuing stay laws. This is the main Federalist argument -- there is a need for a strong federal government to help improve the state of the economy,
- If you want to vote against ratification, emphasize rights. Talk about how a centralized government is going to be like Britain's. It will be some distant government that will abuse the rights of citizens whereas a state government would be closer to the people.
Some information for your speech might be found in The Framing of the Constitution of the United States by Max Farrand, in The American Constitution, For and Against by J.R. Pole. And others. Maybe your school librarian can borrow a suitable book for your project through Interlibrary Loan. Or maybe you can visit a nearby university library.
Some of the issues that were debated:
1) Whether members of the House of Representatives should be elected from small districts so that every voter would know who he was voting for, or whether it was good to have large districts so that representatives who were so capable that their reputation was well known over a wide area would be elected.
2) Whether the federal government should be able to get all the money it wanted by taxing citizens directly or whether the federal government should have to get all of its money by requesting grants from the state governments; in the latter case, the states would place limits upon how much the federal government could spend.
3)Whether federal courts should be able to rule on all kinds of cases and overturn the rulings of state courts, or whether federal courts should be able to rule only upon cases that the federal government was a party to and all other cases should be held in state courts, and the federal courts should not be able to overrule state courts.
4) Whether the Constitution gave so much power to the federal government, that whoever held the reigns of power in the federal government would be virtually a tyrant and the people would not be free, or whether the Constitution so much limited what the federal government could do that it could never be a threat to freedom.
5) Whether the Constitution effectively abolished the state governments and placed all governmentmental power in the federal government, or whether the state governments retained the most of their powers and only a few powers were assigned to the federal government (such as war and diplomacy).
And so on.
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