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  • Checks and Balances
  • The delegates to the convention created a system of checks and balances in addition to separating the powers of the government into three branches. The check and balances was created to prevent any one of the three branches from becoming too powerful. With this system, each branch has some ablility to limit the power of the other branches.
  • As soon as the Convention ended, delegates rushed home to begin the campaign for ratification of the new constitution. Nine states had to vote for the constitution to put it into effect. As the Americans learned about the Constitution they argued with it should be ratified and quickly took sides.
  • Ratification-1788
  • The ratification process began when the Congress turned the Constitution over to the state legislatures for consideration through specially elected state conventions of the people. Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut all quickly ratified the Constitution. Now they just needed the bigger states to ratified the new Constitution.
  • Federalists
  • John Adams
  • Supporters of the Constitution called themselves Federalists. They believed that power should be divided between a central government and regional governments. Supporters of Federalists and the new Constitution included large landowners, merchants, and artisans.
  • Alexander Hamilton
  • John Jay
  • Anti-Federalists
  • John Hancock
  • Opponents of the Constitution were called Anti-Federalists. The issue for these people was whether the national government or the state governments would be supreme. They believed that the Constitution endangered the independence of the states.
  • Patrick Henry
  • Sam Adams
  • Ratifying the Constitution
  • Federalists promised to attach a Bill of Rights to the Constitution once it was ratified because of all the objections that were brought up at the Convention in Massachusetts. By the end of June 1788, Maryland, South Carolina, and New Hampshire had ratified the Constitution. Now they just needed the support of Virginia and New York.
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