HIST 405 Discussion 2: Confederation and Constitution

Sample Answer for HIST 405 Discussion 2: Confederation and Constitution Included After Question

Initial Post

For the initial post, address the following:

  • Pick two (2) issues of the Articles of Confederation and describe the main problems that the United States was faced with under the Federation government.
  • Analyze two major debates (see textbook Section 7.4) by which the Constitution was created in the summer of 1787.

Then, address one (1) of the following to your initial post:

  • Discuss the ratification process of the Constitution of 1787.
  • How did ratification lead to the formation of America’s first two political parties, the Federalists and Anti-Federalist?
  • What were the major differences between the Federalist and Anti-Federalist, and who were the best-known members of each party?

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: HIST 405 Discussion 2: Confederation and Constitution

Title: HIST 405 Discussion 2: Confederation and Constitution

The articles of the Confederation had several issues including in inability to impose a tax or regulate foreign commerce and each state had one representative or vote regardless of the size or population.  Any issue required to be settled needed 9 out of 13 majority votes to pass leaving it almost impossible to get anything done.  This led to two ideals or parties emerging as the need for a balanced government was recognized the people did not want to be under the same conditions as having a King. This led to the ratification of the Constitution. U.S History (2014)

Alexander Hamilton was a well-known federalist that lobbied for more government power and oversight over the states. Samuel Adams was an anti-federalist who believed the government the federalist wanted would be too strong and not consider the needs of the people such as the farmers.  

https://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-articles-of-confederation/the-great-debateLinks to an external site.

U.S History (2014) Retrieved from https://openstax.org/books/us-history/Links to an external site.


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A Sample Answer 2 For the Assignment: HIST 405 Discussion 2: Confederation and Constitution

Title: HIST 405 Discussion 2: Confederation and Constitution

I also talked about how Congress couldn’t impose a tax on the individual states. This made it almost impossible to pay back the debt the American people owed from the war. Some members of congress wanted to put a 5% tax on imported goods to pay off the debt, but the states did not all unanimously agree so they could not do this. The other issue I talked about was that Congress could pass laws, but each state could decide if they wanted to follow them or not. This made other countries wary of signing agreements with the United States because each state could decide not to honor it (Articles of Confederation, 1995).

I think it is so weird that when they were trying to ratify the articles of confederation, they decided that only every 3 out of 5 slaves would be counted for tax purposes. Like either a person should count or not, not only 3/5ths of the time. Congress had a long road ahead of them and the Articles of Confederation and Constitution were just the first step on a long journey of creating a new government. I enjoyed responding to your post today.

Articles of Confederation. (1995, July 4). Retrieved from https://www.ushistory.org/documents/confederation.htmLinks to an external site. U.S. History. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://openstax.org/books/us-history/pages/3-3-english-settlements-in-americaLinks to an external site.

A Sample Answer 3 For the Assignment: HIST 405 Discussion 2: Confederation and Constitution

Title: HIST 405 Discussion 2: Confederation and Constitution

The Articles of Confederation was the document formed by Congress for the new United States of America. When the articles of confederation were drafted in 1777, the states actually didn’t ratify it for nearly 4 years (Farris, Michael).However, the Articles did not form a national government, but instead formed a strong friendship among the states. There was no formal executive to enforce laws, and congress didn’t have the right to tax either (Mintz, Steven). A constitutional experiment was drafted, allowing all states to draft of their own constitutions. The differences between the two is that a militia was formed as a safety to all states and it also protected national liberties such as trial by jury, freedom of press and freedom of religion.

The Ratification of the constitution took place on June 21st,1788. The Philadelphia Convention of 1787, which is also known as the constitutional convention, began on May 5th, 1787; this convention consisted of the finalization of the drafting process of the constitution of the United States. The constitution was finalized on September 17th, 1787(Articles of Confederation). The most significant obstacle from the list in terms of the ratification of the constitution was “the demand for a Bill of rights was popular among Anti-Federalists, “since only once this was added were most people accepting of the document as a whole.

The ratification process stated when the congress turned the constitution over to the state legislatures for consideration through specially elected state conventions of the people. Five state conventions voted to approve the constitution almost immediately (December 1787 to January 1787) and in all of them the vote was ( Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia) or lopsided ( Pennsylvania, Connecticut) (Articles of Confederation ).Clearly, the well-organized Federalists began the contest in strong shape as they rapidly secured five of the nine states needed to make the constitution law.

However, a closer look at who ratified the constitution in these early states and how it was done indicates that the contest was much closer than might appear at first glance. Four of five states to first ratify were small states that stood to benefit from a strong national government that could restrain abuses by their larger states (Articles of Confederation).

The process in Pennsylvania, the one large early ratifier, was nothing less than corrupt. The Pennsylvania State assembly was about to end, and had begun to consider calling a special convention on the constitution, even before congress had forwarded it to the states. Antifederalists in the state’s assembly tried to block this move by refusing to attend the last two days of the session, since without them there would not be enough members present for the state legislature to make a biding legal decision.

As a result, extraordinarily coercive measures were taken to force Antifederalists to attend. Antifederalists were found at their boarding house and then dragged through the streets of Philadelphia and deposited in the Pennsylvania State House with the doors locked behind them. The required number of members to allow a special convention to be called in the state, which eventually voted 46 to 23 to accept the constitution (Mintz, Steven)The first real test of the constitution in an influential state with both sides prepared for the contest came in Massachusetts in January 1788.

Here influential older patriots like Governor John Hancock and Sam Adams led the Antifederalists. Further, the rural western part of the state, where Shay’s Rebellion had occurred the previous year, was an Antifederalist stronghold. A bitterly divided month-long debate ensued that ended with a close vote (187-168) in favor of the constitution (Farris, Michael). Crucial to this narrow victory was the strong support of artisans who favored the new commercial powers of the proposed central government that might raise tariffs (taxes) on cheap British imports that threatened their livelihood.

The federalists’ narrow victory in Massachusetts rested on a cross-class alliance between elite nationalists and urban workingmen (Farris, Michael). The Massachusetts vote also included an innovation with broad significance. John Hancock who shifted his initial opposition to the constitution led the move toward ratification. Satisfied individual rights were going to be considered by the first new congress that would meet should the constitution become law. This compromise helped carry the narrow victory in Massachusetts and was adopted by every subsequent state convention to ratify (except Maryland).


     “Articles of Confederation.” National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, 2018, www.archives.gov/historical-docs/articles-of-confederationLinks to an external site.

         Mintz, Steven. “The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.” Historical Context: The Survival of the US Constitution | Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, 2018, www.gilderlehrman.org/history-resources/teaching-resource/historical-context-survival-us-constitutionLinks to an external site..

        Farris, Michael. Defying Conventional Wisdom: The Constitution Was Not the … 1 Jan. 2017, www.thefreelibrary.com/Defying conventional wisdom: The Constitution was not the product of…-a0494741848.