Should Delegates to the Constitutional Convention Ratify the Constitution?
Delegates at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 debated the pros and cons of the new Constitution. In the end, at least 9 of the 13 states had to ratify the document.
Task: Read the options below. Then, you decide.
Patrick Henry Opposes Ratifying the Constitution
“I review. . . the subject . . . and . . . the dangers . . . in this new plan of government, and compare . . . my poor abilities to secure our rights, it will take much more time to traverse the objectionable parts of it. . . . [T]he change is dangerous . . .
and the experiment ought not be made. . . .”
—Patrick Henry, June 9, 1788
Alexander Hamilton Favors Ratifying the Constitution
“The establishment of a Constitution, by the voluntary consent of a whole people, is a prodigy, to the completion
of which I look forward. . . . I dread . . . the consequences of new attempts, because I know that powerful individuals,
in this and other states, are enemies to a general national government in every possible shape.”
—Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
1. Why did Henry oppose ratifying the Constitution?
2. Why did Hamilton favor ratifying the Constitution?
3. What decision would you have made?