Using Deliberative Techniques to Teach United States History

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

5. Ratification

INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES
Students will be able to:
Understand the issues involved in the ratification of the Constitution
Assess the arguments of Federalists and Anti-Federalists during the ratification debates

DESCRIPTION
Students will hold a news conference in which Federalists and Anti-Federalists explain their positions to a group of reporters who will question them.
TIME
60 minutes
MATERIALS
Anti-Federalists (copy for each student)Federalists (copy for each student)Federalists v. Anti-Federalists (copy for each student)Ratification Pro and Con (copy for each student) optional
CLASS LAYOUT AND GROUPING OF STUDENTS
Students will work in groups in preparation for the debate. During the news conference, theFederalists and Anti-Federalists will sit at desks facing the reporters.
PROCUEDURE
1. Explain that the debates surrounding ratification were intense and split American leaders into two camps: Federalists and Anti-Federalists. Federalists supported a strong national government. They argued that the Constitution would provide the stability and unity missing under the Articles of Confederation, and would facilitate the economic, political, and diplomatic growth of the nation. Anti-Federalists argued that the strong government under the Constitution did not protect basic rights and could lead to tyranny. Anti-Federalists wanted power to reside with the states, whose governments were closer to the people.
2. Tell the class that they will role-play the debate over ratification. Federalists and AntiFederalists will debate the issue before a group of reporters, who will then ask each side questions.

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