Chapter 8 Essay

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Arguments Against Ratifying the Constitution Norma D. Johnson Rationale Although the seventh and eighth grade curriculum in United States History is a survey course, I do spend about two weeks on the Constitution. We talk a great deal about the writing and writers of the document, but have spent little, if any, time on ratification. I have been asked why it took so long for the last states to ratify when they only needed nine. I was never quite sure - now I have a better understanding. Many of my seventh grade classes have even used the We the People activity to debate the Federalists against the Anti-Federalists. I have read the prep for the activity and listened to my students defend their side, but still did not have the background to answer questions about why they opposed and who these people were. We have issues in Nevada today that go back to some of the arguments the Anti-Federalists were concerned with then. The time and research I have put into this paper have increased my knowledge and understanding of the issues of ratification. I can understand why they had a fear that their state’s rights would certainly experience change and the uncertainty of how this would affect individual sovereignty. We now, looking back, can see that in ways their apprehension was justified. Looking at history we note the Civil War started, in part, due to states rights and the South seeing their desires put aside by a government they felt did not understand their economic needs. Even today we have movements to press for states’ rights. Do states’ have control over the land within its borders even though it is federal land, Yucca Mountain?? I want the students to realize that not everyone was in favor of the Constitution and then I want them to think about the arguments against and see how good people can disagree, yet unity can be a major concern. There

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