Constitution

Constitution Sunday: Reply to Wilson’s Speech: “A Democratic Federalist”

Reply to Wilson’s Speech: “A Democratic Federalist” Pennsylvania Herald (Philadelphia), October 17, 1787 Following are excerpts from the article, published in response to James Wilson’s speech:

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Division and Balancing of Political Power

Because the Federalists outmaneuvered the Antifederalists in presenting the Constitution to the American people, the Antifederalists faced a predicament of what to do. As Richard Henry Lee stated, many who wished to change the federal structure of government realized that they had to accept “this or nothing.” Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic: 1776-1787, […]

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War Between the Governors and Governed

The debate surrounding the adoption of the Bill of Rights revealed to many Americans the stark differences between Federalists and Antifederalists. Edmund Pendleton, in the Virginia Convention, stated that opposition to the Constitution “rested on ‘mistaken apprehensions of danger, drawn from observations on government which do not apply to us.’” Gordon Wood, The Creation of the […]

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The Deftness of the Federalists

As the Constitution was being drafted and ratified, opinions ranged on the prospects for it effectively governing America. Some in the Philadelphia Convention believed it was “nothing more than a combination of the peculiarities of two of the State Governments which separately had been found insufficient.” Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic: 1776-1787, 519 quoting Madison, […]

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