Using Deliberative Techniques to Teach United States History

By Eleanora Von Dehsen; Nancy Claxton | Go to book overview

RESOURCE SHEET
Ratification Pro and Con
Anti-Federalist (con)Federalists (pro)
The Confederation served us well. It is strong, having seen us through a war with the most powerful nation on Earth.The Confederation is weak. Without a strong government, instability and anarchy are always a threat. We have seen this in recent events such as Shays’ Rebellion, in the increasing disputes between states, and in the economic problems caused by the lack of a strong government.
The Constitution has established a consolidated government, not a federal one. The vast powers given to the central government weaken state governments by stripping them of many powers. Because republics can exist only in small, homogenous territories, the United States must maintain its confederate structure, where the states are the dominant powers. The United States is too large for a federal system.The Constitution has established a federal, not a consolidated government, in which the states and a central authority share power.
A centralized republic will not work in a large country with so many varied interests. Citizens cannot keep a watchful eye on their representatives.A large federal republic is better able to resist factionalism that may endanger the rights of a minority. With so many interests, it will be difficult to develop a majority united in a purpose that might endanger a minority.

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