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History

Constitution Source Documents

The constitution separates powers amongst three arenas:

  • The federal government and state governments
  • The federal government and itself (branches within itself)
  • The federal government and individuals (bill of rights)

The Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776) a source document for the Bill of Rights – Federalists agreed with the Anti-Federalists that if the Constitution was ratified, a bill of rights would be approved at the first Continental Congress.

VICES OF THE POLITICAL SYSTEM OF THE UNITED STATES, James Madison, April 1787 – the first draft of Federalist 10

Vain to say the enlightened statesman will be able to adjust these clashing interests and render them subservient to the public good. Enlightened statesman will not always be a the helm.

James Madison

Constitution was a document that allowed the federal government to act directly with citizens – Articles of Confederation was a treaty that only allowed the federal government to interact with the states.

Land disputes between states? Vermont (14th State) was contested by New York during the ratification of the Constitution

Hamilton’s view of the ideal system was more like the English system of government for stability.

Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates; every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob. – The Federalist 55

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