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Ratification PAT


									                                  The Constitutional Ratification

Author: Edwin R. Esbrandt
Course/Level: 8th Grade U.S. History
Materials: List any materials. Provide citations for documents and other materials as
    Background Essay: “Ratification of the U.S. Constitution: The Federalist – Anti-Federalist
      Background Essay,” an original essay by author.
    “The Ratification Process: The Argument Over Taxes” packet.
    Also includes Federalist No. 31: Concerning the General Power of Taxation (Part 2), an
      Excerpt from the New York Packet. Tuesday, January 1, 1788, by Alexander Hamilton.
    And, Anti-Federalist No. 32: Federal Taxation and the Doctrine of Implied Powers (Part 1),
      an excerpt from The New York Journal, December 13, 1787, by Brutus (probably Robert
    Procedures; BCR Prompt; Precedures.
    Howard County Social Studies Rubric

HCPSS Curriculum Connections
   This activity would be completed during the Unit II, Objective 852.05, “Analyze the Federalist
     and Anti-Federalist arguments for and against the ratification of the Constitution.”
   This activity also focuses on the “Argument Writing Across Content Areas” and Common Core
     requirement to develop a Counterclaim or Counter Argument in Argumentative Writing.
   “Reading Standards Across Content Areas: A Resource for 6-12 Teachers – 2012”
     Sections, I-b, c; II-b; III-a,b.
   State Common Core )PARCC) Standard 1 (W.8.1), Write arguments to support claims with
     clear reasons and relevant evidence.

Learning Outcome(s): Student will be apply their Historical Thinking Skills to the construction of
an effective Counter-Argument.

Task Question: Should the Constitution be ratified, as currently written, by the New York State
Convention based solely on the issue of taxation?

Historical Thinking Skills Assessed: (Sourcing, Close Reading, Contextualizing, Corroborating).
Students will utilize Sourcing, Close Reading and Contextualizing skills in the performance of this

Background for the Teacher
Short (one-two paragraph) description of the historical background needed for the task.
        Students need to have an understanding of the chain of causes and effects that led this nation
during this early period to change in constitutions. First, they would need to generally understand the
conflicts between the English colonists and the Mother Country that led to the separation and how this
fear of authority contributed to creation of an extremely weak national government. More specific
knowledge of the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation that led to the call for amending that
plan; the actions of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that led to the total rejection of the old in
favor of the creation of a new constitution that was sent to the states for ratification. It is, of course
this new constitution whose ratification is the subject of this activity.
        Students need to realize that there was significant opposition to this proposal, especially in the
two largest states, New York and Virginia. A background essay had been included to set the scene for
the final battle to gain ratification. However, it is not an essential part of the activity if you feel that
your students already have sufficient background for this task. Some questions that may serve to
activate student prior knowledge follow the background essay.

Context Setting
This should consist of the materials and a bulleted list of procedures to provide student
motivation and help set the context of this task.

The Hook: (Contextualization)
   All of us want the greatest number of services from our government at the least possible
   Yet, most of us want to pay as little in taxes to the government as possible.
   We all accept that fact that to meet any of the goals stated in the preamble of the
      Constitution the U.S. government needs money. In fact the Sixteenth Amendment ratified
      in February 1913 added a new, substantial source of revenue – the income tax.
   We do to consider other sides to that issue.
   Should the government have unlimited access to our resources in order to provide all
      services our fellow citizens desire or should the ability of the government to raise revenue
      be limited?
   This is a question that every citizen has considered and to which each has searched for an
   In fact, every two years our Constitution allows us to define and redefine our answers
      through Congressional and Presidential elections.
   To help you better understand the debate over taxes you will read and analyze two essays,
      “Federalist No. 31,” by Alexander Hamilton and “Anti-Federalist No. 32,” probably
      authored by Robert Yates, both New Yorkers.
   Keep in mind that Hamilton favored the new constitution as presented to the states for
      ratification while Yates was opposed to parts of it.

      You are to assume you are a delegate at the New York State Constitutional
       Convention in 1788 preparing to vote on the constitution that the convention that
       met last year in Philadelphia reported to the states for ratification.
      There remains one issue that you need to resolve in you own mind before you can
       determine whether to vote for ratification or rejection of the plan. That issue is
      In this BCR you will be counter arguing, or proving that the opposing side is
       incorrect by disproving their points as well as supporting your own.

The Background Essay:

                            Ratification of the U.S Constitution:
           The Federalists and Anti-Federalists Respond to the Issue of Taxation

         When the Constitutional Convention was called to order on May 25, 1787, few present
realized that they would be recommending such radical changes to the nation’s form of
government. After all, the February 21st invitation to the states requesting that each send
delegates merely stated that a meeting be held “…for the purpose of revising the Articles of
Confederation.” The convention was to make, “such alterations and amendments…” that were
“proper and necessary…” to adequately preserve the nation. When the convention in
Philadelphia adjourned on September 17, 1787 and sent an entirely new constitution to the
States for ratification, many citizens were both surprised and miffed. After all, the convention in
Philadelphia appeared to have overstepped its mandate by writing a new constitution instead of
amending the old one, The Articles of Confederation.
         The states convened constitutional conventions for the purpose of considering ratification
of the new constitution. Approval by nine of the thirteen states was needed for adoption.
Debates between those favoring ratification, known as the Federalists, and those opposed, the
Anti-Federalists took place privately within the conventions and publicly in the nation’s
newspapers. By early February 1788, six states had already ended their conventions and ratified
the plan. However, the debate was just beginning to heat up in the two largest states, New York
and Virginia. Their conventions were just beginning. With ratification by the State of New
Hampshire on June 21, 1788, the Constitution of the United States of American became the law of
the land. Yet, four states had still had not ratified the Constitution and without their consent
many felt the nation could hardly be considered a strong union without them.
         In those states the debate raged on. In two states, North Carolina and Rhode Island,
smaller states concerned about the protection of individual freedoms, no action was taken until
after George Washington was elected our first president and the first U.S. Congress sent a series
of amendments to the states for ratification in 1789. Ten of those amendments would become
known as our Bill of Rights. The divisions in New York and Virginia over ratification were
substantial. The New York convention opened with Anti-Federalists holding a 46 to 19
advantage, while in Virginia each side controlled an equal number of delegates. Every aspect of
the proposed constitution was carefully scrutinized, forcing the Federalists to effectively defend
their proposal. In a series of essays first printed in New York newspapers, Alexander Hamilton,
James Madison and John Jay explained why every element of the document was essential to
insure that our new national government could secure the goals of the revolution: equality, “life,
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” These 85 essays would later be compiled into a volume
know as, The Federalist Papers. The Anti-Federalists were a less organized group. Their
arguments were presented in the form of both newspaper essays and speeches. Anti-Federalist
authors included George Clinton, Robert Yates, Samuel Bryan, Melancton Smith, Mercy Otis
Warren, Patrick Henry and several others. Their works were later matched to those of their
counterparts and published as the Anti-Federalist Papers. Virginia and New York ratified the
Constitution on June 25, 1788 and July 26, 1788 respectively.
         The debates that took place as part of the ratification process were not vastly different
then the debates we still hold today everywhere across our nation from our living rooms to the
halls of Congress. How much power must we allow our federal government to be effective while
still limiting its powers? How will the role of states be affected by giving increased powers to our
national government? Are ordinary people capable of putting aside their personal desires in

favor of the greater good of the nation? Will individual rights suffer under a more powerful
government? Are the systems of Check and Balances and Separation of Powers sufficient to keep
any branch of this government from becoming tyrannical? And just like today, major differences
arose over the federal power of taxation. No less the five Federalist and six Anti-Federalist
essays addressed that question. As we know, a government’s strength is, more or less, directly
tied to its ability to raise or borrow revenue. Federalist No. 31 and Anti-Federalist No. 32 present
a portion of each side’s view of the proposed new federal power of taxation.

1. Why did the Second Continental Congress create a government under the Articles of
Confederation that was so weak?
    They had a great fear of a strong central government with a strong chief executive due to
      their experience gained while living under the authority of the English Parliament and
      King George III.
    They were in the midst of fighting a war, making it necessary to create weak government
      that could easily gain the unanimous approval of the states.
    Pressed for time as the War wound down, Americans were unable to explore the possible
      uses of and desire to place controls over the powers that might be exercised by the new
    The Continental Congress was unable to establish an acceptable governmental form
      among a people with vast, regional differences and no recognizable royalty class born to
      take on the task of national leadership.
    Those in power in each of the new states were unwilling to give up much of their newly
      established powers. The states’ legislatures had much greater experience throughout the
      colonial period in voicing the will of the people.

2. What were some of the major weaknesses of the federal government under the Articles of
    The government lacked the authority to regulate trade or standardize currencies among
      the states that made up the new nation.
    The Confederation government was unable to force states to live up to trade agreements
      made by with foreign governments.
    The national government had the authority to create and army and a navy, but was unable
      to raise the revenue needed to pay, train, or equip soldiers or build ships.
    The Articles provided no direct means of raising tax revenues and any effort to correct
      that fatal weakness required the unanimous consent of the 13 states.
    An attempt to rectify this flaw through constitutional amendment fail to pass by a vote of

3. Why do you think the number of states needed to ratification of the new constitution was
changed from unanimous to nine of thirteen?
    Unanimous approval had previously proven that it was nearly impossible to achieve.

4. Why was it important to gain approval of Virginia and New York of the new constitution?
    These were the two larges states.
    As one of the weakest nations on earth, the nation could not afford to be weakened by the
      loss of these two states.

     Geographically, without these two states the United States would have been divided into
      three parts.
   Document Analysis

This should consist of the task documents with citations and a bulleted list of procedures for
teachers to use as they guide their students through comprehension and analysis of the

* Note: The first part of all tasks should consist of the sourcing of evidence, either individually or
in small groups.

For each document, provide a short list of guiding questions, using the framework for historical
reading from the Stanford History Group®. Label which historical thinking skill is targeted by
each question. Especially for first and second quarter units, it is probably better to concentrate
on one or two of the historical thinking skills. Teachers could do this orally with the class or in
written form by the students.

Document #1

FEDERALIST No. 31 Concerning the General Power of Taxation (part 2) an Excerpt from the
New York Packet. Tuesday, January 1, 1788, by Alexander Hamilton
To the People of the State of New York:

       A government ought to contain in itself every power requisite to the full

accomplishment of the objects committed to its care, and to the complete execution of the trusts

for which it is responsible, free from every other control but a regard to the public good and to

the sense of the people.

       As the duties of superintending the national defense and of securing the public peace

against foreign or domestic violence…, the power of making that provision ought to know no

other bounds than the exigencies of the nation and the resources of the community. As

revenue is the essential engine by which the means of answering the national exigencies must

be procured, the power of procuring that article in its full extent must necessarily be

comprehended…. [T]he federal government must of necessity be invested with an unqualified

power of taxation…

                          Analyzing Federalist No. 31 by Alexander Hamilton

Instructions: Based on your reading analysis of this primary source, answer the following

1. Who is the author of this essay and where does he stand on the issue of ratification?

2. Summarize in your own words what the author is saying in
                                                                              1. to contain in itself: to have for
the first paragraph. ___________________________________________________          Itself
__________________________________________________________________________    2. requisite: necessary part of
__________________________________________________________________________        something
__________________________________________________________________________    3. objects: goals of the new
__________________________________________________________________________    4. trusts: the things counted on
__________________________________________________________________________    5. superintending: to run or
                                                                                  control something
3. In that same paragraph, what does Hamilton say is the only                 6. provision: preparing to meet
thing that should determine a government’s ability to meet its                    the needs ahead of time
                                                                              7. bounds: legal or moral
responsibilities? _____________________________________________________           restriction
_________________________________________________________________________     8. exigencies: resources
_________________________________________________________________________         required to meet the nation’s
                                                                              9. revenue: the income of a
4. What two responsibilities does Hamilton state in the                           government through taxation
beginning of the second paragraph and from what source did he                 10. engine: means or source of
and can we find them? ______________________________________________              power
_________________________________________________________________________     11. procure: to obtain by a
                                                                                  predetermined means
                                                                              12. article: at particular item; in
5. What does Hamilton consider to be the most important                           this case taxes
resource to enable a government to meet its obligations? Does                 13. invested: furnished or
he believe that this resource should be limited in any way?                       provided with the power
_________________________________________________________________________     14. unqualified: without any
                                                                                  reservation or limitation

6. What does Hamilton see as the relationship between taxation                 and good government?

7. Do you agree or disagree with Hamilton’s view on the issue of taxation and why?

Document #2
Anti Federalist No. 32, “Federal Taxation and the Doctrine of Implied Powers,” Part 1, an
excerpt from The New York Journal, December 13, 1787, by Brutus (probably Robert

       To detail the particulars comprehended in the general terms, taxes, duties, imposts and

excises, would require a volume, instead of a single piece in a newspaper…for they extend to

every possible way of raising money, whether by direct or indirect taxation…It extends to duties

on all kinds of goods to any amount, to tonnage and poundage on vessels, to duties on written

instruments, newspapers, almanacs, and books… excise on all kinds of liquors, spirits, wines,

cider, beer, etc.,… on every necessary or conveniency of life, whether of foreign or home

growth or manufactory…Not only are these terms very comprehensive, and extend to a vast

number of objects, but the power to lay and collect has great latitude; it will lead to the passing a

vast number of laws, which may affect the personal rights of the citizens of the states, expose

their property to fines and confiscation, and put their lives in jeopardy. It opens a door to the

appointment of a swarm of revenue and excise collectors to prey upon the honest and

industrious part of the community, [and] eat up their substance….

       …If then the objects of this power cannot be comprehended, how is it possible to

understand the extent of that power which can pass all laws which shall be necessary and proper

for carrying it into executions[.] It is truly incomprehensible.

                         Analyzing Anti-Federalist No. 32 by Robert Yates

Instructions: Based on your reading analysis of this primary source, answer the following

1. Who is the author of this essay and where does he stand on the issue of ratification?

2. Summarize in your own words what the author is saying in                   1. particulars: the specific details
the first paragraph.                                                          2. extend: to stretch out or cover
                                                                              3. duties: taxes charged by a
_________________________________________________________________________         government on imports
_________________________________________________________________________     4. written instruments: a legal
_________________________________________________________________________         document
_________________________________________________________________________     5. excise: a tax on particular
                                                                                  good paid by its manufacturer
                                                                              6. conveniency: none necessity;
3. From that first paragraph list the types of taxes and the items                unessential
that the national government, according to Yates, would be able               7. foreign: product produced
to tax if the new constitution was ratified. ________________________             outside the U.S. and imported
_________________________________________________________________________     8. home growth: agricultural
                                                                                 product grown within a country
_________________________________________________________________________     9. manufactory: item produced
_________________________________________________________________________         in a factory – in this case a
                                                                                  U.S. factory
4. What do you think is Yates’ purpose in stating all those                   10. latitude: free from any
various means of raising revenue? ________________________________            11. confiscation: the seizure of
________________________________________________________________________          property by a government
________________________________________________________________________          authority as a penalty
________________________________________________________________________      12. jeopardy: to expose a
                                                                                  person to risk of loss or
                                                                                  property or life
5. Describe in your own words why the author believes that the                13. to prey: to be hunted like an
taxing authority under the Constitution will become a problem                     animal
for U.S. citizens?                                                            14. substance: the essential or
_________________________________________________________________________         critical material needs
                                                                              15. objects: undefined scope or
_________________________________________________________________________         limits
_________________________________________________________________________     15. executions: to fulfill the terms
6. What does Yates see as the relationship between the                        16. incomprehensible:
government’s ability to raise revenue and the elastic clause of                   something that is limitless
                                                                                  or impossible to limit
the Constitution? _____________________________________________________

7. Do you agree or disagree with Yates view on the power of taxation and why?


Corroborating Evidence and Constructing Interpretations -- Close Analysis
This should consist of a bulleted list of recommended steps to help students compare multiple
sources of evidence in order to construct evidence-based interpretations.

    Students will complete a reading analysis of each source by completing the Sourcing for
      each. Of course with these two reading the sourcing is almost provided.
    Then a Close Reading will need to be completed for each source. It is suggested that
      students work individually, then move to small group (2-4) discussions, and finally a brief
      review of the text as a class before moving on.
    Students will then answer the questions that accompany each of the texts.
    If necessary students can then prepare a chart that lists Hamilton’s reasons for giving the
      new government extensive taxing authority and Yates reasons for limiting those powers.

Thoughtful Application
In this part of the activity, students will demonstrate their understanding of the key ideas in this
investigation by applying their knowledge. Activities should be varied. Include the historical
thinking skills rubric or other scoring tool as appropriate.

Students will each write a BCR that addresses the power of Congress to tax citizens
included in the Constitution as an exercise in counter-argument.

Question: Should the Constitution be ratified, as currently written, by the New York State
Convention based solely on the issue of taxation?

In the final response to each of the Close Reading responses you have already determined which
way you will vote on ratification. In one well-constructed paragraph complete the following:

       In simple, direct terms state whether you will vote for or against ratification of the
        proposed constitution.
       Identify the opposing view on taxing authority and state at least one reason for his
       From your supporting source, state at least two reasons presented by its author that
        convinced you to vote in favor or against ratification.

Howard County Social Studies Rubric
        Cognition      Conceptualization Content/              Quality of    Language
                                           Accuracy            Response      Usage
        Powerful       Concepts are        No errors           Complete      Relatively
        evidence of    integrated and well and/or              and           free of
  4     higher order supported             misconceptions      insightful    language
        thinking                                               response      and/or
        skills                                                               format
         Some           Accurate concepts      No interfering Complete       Few
         evidence of    with support           misconceptions Response       language
  3      higher order                                         (May not       and/or
         thinking                                             develop all    format
         skills                                               parts          errors, do
                                                              successfully   not interfere
         Little         Basic Ideas with       Minimal        Acceptable     Language
         evidence of    little or no support   misconceptions response       and/or
  2      higher order                                         with some      format
         thinking                                             key ideas      errors may
         skills                                                              interfere
         No higher      Incomplete or          Significant    Inadequate     Language
         order          fragmented ideas       misconceptions response       and/or
  1      thinking                                                            format
         skills                                                              errors
  0      Blank or       Blank or               Blank or        Blank or      Blank or
         incoherent     incoherent             incoherent      incoherent    incoherent
         response       response               response        response      response


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