We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution, Level 3
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Unit 2 Primary Sources

The Fallacies of the Freeman Detected by a [Pennsylvania] Farmer

A discussion arguing that the proposed constitution does not form a federal government but a consolidated one, and questioning whether the benefits of the proposed constitution are worth surrendering states' rights.

The Federalist Papers

A collection of eighty-five essays advocating the ratification of the constitution proposed at the Philadelphia Convention, properly called The Federalist, written between October, 1787 and May, 1788 by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay.

Alexander Hamilton's Letter to George Washington, July 3, 1787

Hamilton's thoughts on the convention and his perceived fears that the Constitutional Convention would not go far enough in creating a stable government.

Alexander Hamilton, The Examination #12

Hamilton's thoughts on Article 3, Section 1 of the Constitution: "The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."

An Old Whig No. 2

Anti-Federalist paper questioning the power that the necessary and proper clause gives to the federal government under the proposed constitution.

Annapolis Convention Report

The report of the Annapolis Convention of 1786, noting that delegates were unable to make sufficient progress toward a resolution, and called for a meeting the following May, which would be known as the Philadelphia Convention.

Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation were, in effect, the first constitution of the United States. Drafted in 1777 by the same Continental Congress that passed the Declaration of Independence, the articles established a "firm league of friendship" between and among the 13 states.

Benjamin Franklin's Speech to the Constitutional Convention

Franklin's speech, delivered by James Wilson, in favor of the new Constitution, despite its possible faults.

Bill of Rights (1791): The original 12 proposed amendments

James Madison originally submitted 17 amendments to become the Bill of RIghts. All were passed by the House of Representatives, but only 12 were passed by the Senate and the states ratified 10 of them.

Brutus No. 1

Anti-Federalist argument for a federal republic with authority resting in the state governments.

Brutus No. 2

An Anti-Federalist paper arguing in favor of a bill of rights.

Brutus No. 7

An argument against a strong national government in favor of more power resting in the states. Brutus speaks specifically to the idea of taxation and government debt to fund protection and defense.

Centinel No. 11

Anti-Federalist paper published in the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer and Philadelphia Freeman's Journal, arguing that people a fear or anarchy is not enough reason to justify ratifying the Constitution.

Centinel No. 5

Anti-Federalist paper questioning the power that the necessary and proper clause gives to the federal government under the proposed constitution.

Constitution of the Iroquois League

The Iroquois nations' political union and democratic government has been credited as one of the influences on the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution.

Credentials of the Members of the Federal Convention : State of New Hampshire; June 27, 1787

The act appointing New Hampshire's delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

Credentials of the Members of the Federal Convention. Commonwealth of Massachusetts; April 9, 1787

An act for appointing Massachusetts delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

Credentials of the State of Connecticut 1787

An act for appointing Connecticut's delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

Daniel Shays to Selectment of South Hadley, October 23, 1786

Shays's notice to his troops to be ready to fight within a minute's notice.

Federal Farmer No. 11

Anti-Federalist paper suggesting improvements to the proposed organization of the legislative branch to increase representation and representativeness.

Federal Farmer No. 15

Anti-Federalist paper suggesting improvements to the proposed organization of the judicial branch.

Federal Farmer No. 17

An argument for a federal republic over what the author calls "consolidated government." The Federal Farmer claims that the proposed constitution would make all citizens subjects of the legislature.

Federal Farmer No. 18

An Anti-Federalist paper addressing the powers of state militias and federal armed forces, the relationship between bankruptcy and government seizures of property, and of a town that houses the government but is not part of any of the 13 states.

Federal Farmer No. 4

Anti-Federalist paper questioning the proposed constitution in the areas of the necessary and proper clause, taxation, the office of the vice president, popular sovereignty and the need for a bill of rights.

Federal Farmer No. 7

An Anti-Federalist essay, criticizing the proposed constitution and outlining the Federal Farmer's goals for future letters.

Federal Farmer No. 8

An Anti-Federalist argument for a federal republic with authority resting in the state governments.

Federalist No. 1

From WIkipedia: Federalist No. 1 is an essay by Alexander Hamilton and the first of the Federalist Papers, a preface in broad terms of the forthcoming arguments in favor of the proposed constitution.

Federalist No. 10

From Wikipedia: Federalist No. 10 is an essay by James Madison arguing for the ratification of the United States Constitution. It addresses the question of how to guard against "factions" with interests contrary to the rights of others or the interests of the whole community.

Federalist No. 10

Federalist No. 10, written by James Madison and continuing a theme begun in Hamilton's Federalist No. 9, is the most famous of Federalist Papers. It examines how best to eliminate or minimize the effect of factionalism.

Federalist No. 14

From Wikipedia: Federalist No. 14 is an essay titled, "Objections to the Proposed Constitution From Extent of Territory Answered" by James Madison addressing a major objection of the Anti-Federalists to the proposed Constitution: that the sheer size of the United States would make it impossible to govern justly as a single country.

Federalist No. 33

Hamilton's arguments in favor of the necessary and proper clause and the supremacy clause.

Federalist No. 34

From Wikipedia: Hamilton's aim is to demonstrate that a government must have unlimited power of taxation for such circumstances as war and natural disaster.

Federalist No. 37

From Wikipedia: Federalist No. 37 is an essay by James Madison, published on January 11, 1788 discussing some of the political questions raised at the Constitutional Convention, such as the question of the authority of the state versus the liberty of the people.

Federalist No. 39

From Wikipedia: In No. 39, James Madison argues that the operation of the government will be republican but the principles of that operation will be democratic.

Federalist No. 42

From Wikipedia: Federalist No. 42 is an essay by James Madison, contending that the grant of specific powers to the federal government actually operates to limit the power of the federal government to act with respect to the states.

Federalist No. 43

Federalist No. 43, written by James Madison and titled, ""The Same Subject Continued: The Powers Conferred by the Constitution Further Considered," continues Federalist No. 42 on ratification.

Federalist No. 45

Federalist No. 45 was written by James Madison and published January 26, 1788 and addresses the concern of balancing the power between federal and state governments.

Federalist No. 47

From Wikipedia: Like the other Federalist Papers, No. 47 advocated the ratification the United States Constitution. In No. 47, Madison addressed criticisms that the Constitution did not create a sufficient separation of powers among the executive, judiciary, and legislature.

Federalist No. 47

Federalist No. 47 was written by James Madison and addresses concerns that the proposed constitution did not provide enough separation of powers.

Federalist No. 48

From Wikipedia: Federalist No. 48 is an essay by James Madison, building on Federalist No. 47 in which Madison argued for separation of powers; in this one he argues that the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government must not be totally divided.

Federalist No. 51

From Wikipedia: Federalist No. 51 is an essay by James Madison, published on February 6, 1788. No. 51 addresses means by which appropriate checks and balances can be created in government.

Federalist No. 68

Federalist No. 68 was written by Alexander Hamilton and discusses the process of electing the president and vice president.

Federalist No. 70

Federalist No. 70 was written by Alexander Hamilton and examines the question of a plural executive, arguing that having multiple presidents introduces conflict and difference of opinion.

Federalist No. 71

From Wikipedia: Federalist No. 71 is an essay by Alexander Hamilton, titled, "The Duration in Office of the Executive," published on March 18, 1788. It is the fifth in a series of 11 essays discussing the powers and limitations of the executive branch.

Federalist No. 78

From Wikipedia: The essay was published May 28, 1788 and was written to explicate and justify the structure of the judiciary under the proposed Constitution; it is the first of six essays by Hamilton on this issue. In particular, it addresses concerns by the Anti-Federalists over the scope and power of the federal judiciary, which would have comprised unelected, politically insulated judges that would be appointed for life.

Federalist No. 8

From Wikipedia: In this paper, Hamilton argues for the utility of the Union to the well-being of Americans, specifically addressing the negative consequences if the Union were to collapse and conflict arise between the states. It is titled, "Consequences of Hostilities Between the States."

Federalist No. 84

From Wikipedia: Federalist No. 84, titled, "Certain General and Miscellaneous Objections to the Constitution Considered and Answered," was written by Alexander Hamilton and asserted that the Bill of RIghts was not a necessary component of the proposed constitution.

Fisher Ames, Speech at the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention

At the Massachusetts state convention of 1788, Ames's persuasive oratory was influential in obtaining ratification of the federal Constitution.

Franklin's Plan of 1775

Franklin's Plan of July 1775

Governor Bowdoin's Proclamation, 1786

Governor Bowdoin issued this strongly worded proclamation after hundreds of Regulators prevented the Court of Common Pleas from opening in Northampton on August 29, 1786.

Great Compromise of 1787

From Wikipedia: The Connecticut Compromise, also known as the Great Compromise, was an agreement between large and small states reached during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 that resulted in a bicameral legislature.

Hamilton Plan for a National Government

Alexander Hamilton introduced a plan for a national government at the Philadelphia Convention on June 18, 1787. Hamilton's plan consisted of eleven resolutions. It advocated three branches for the national government: the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The Convention adjourned without discussion of his plan.

James Madison's Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787

Madison's day-by-day journals on the proceedings at the Constitutional Convention.

James Madison's Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787

Madison's notes on the debate over properly representing states in the proposed legislature.

James Madison's Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787

Madison's notes on the debate over bicameralism in the proposed legislature.

James Madison's Original 17 Amendments

James Madison originally submitted 17 amendments to become the Bill of RIghts. All were passed by the House of Representatives, but only 12 were passed by the Senate and the states ratified 10 of them.

James Madison's speech to Congress, June 8, 1789

Madison's thoughts on including a Bill of Rights in the Constitution

Jefferson's letter to James Madison on January 30, 1787

Jefferson's letter to James Madison on January 30, 1787, expressing aloofness and justification for the series of protests led by Daniel Shays and a group of 1,200 farmers.

Land Ordinance of 1785

The goal of this ordinance was to raise money by selling land in the western part of the continent and to organize this area politically.

Luther Martin's Speech to the Maryland House of Delegates 1789

Martin's argument that it is against the Articles of Confederation to create a new government.

Luther Martin: Address No. 4

Martin's letter to the citizens of Maryland warning of entrusting too much power to the government.

Luther Martin: Genuine Information No. 12 (1788)

Martin's extensive criticism of the Philadelphia Convention, its methods and its work.

Madison's Letter to Washington, April 16, 1787

James Madison's thoughts on federal versus consolidated government, relative voting power of states, national supremacy and the executive.

New Jersey Plan (1787)

The New Jersey Plan was presented by William Paterson of New Jersey to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on June 15, 1787. It called for a one-house national legislature, in which each state would have equal representation. This arrangement would favor small states. The New Jersey Plan followed the framework of the Articles of Confederation and favored a weak national government.

Notes of Ancient and Modern Confederacies

One of the documents James Madison wrote in preparation for the Constitutional Convention.

Patrick Henry's Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Committee

Patrick Henry's warning to the Virginia ratifying committee against voting in favor of the proposed constitution.

Ratification of the Constitution by the state of North Carolina

The North Carolina Convention met from July 21 through August 4, 1788, but after debate agreed only to neither ratify or reject the Constitution, but did adopt a resolution containing a Declaration of Rights and a list of proposed Amendments to the Constitution on August 2, 1788. After the Constitution had been ratified by a sufficient number of states, the members of the convention reconvened and, apparently without further debate, ratified the Constitution November 21, 1789, and announced the linked declaration, which includes the resolution of August 2, 1788.

The constitution of the Pennsylvania Society, for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and the Relief of Free Negroes, Unlawfully Held in Bondage

The guiding document of what is now commonly called the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, the first such society in the nation's history.

The Statistical Abstract of the United States

The Statistical Abstract of the United States is an annual publication of the U.S. Census Bureau, describing social and economic aspects of the United States.

The Text of Pinckney

The Text of Pinckney's Plan

The Virginia Plan (1787)

The Virginia Plan was presented by Virginia delegate Edmund Randolph to the Philadelphia Convention on May 29, 1787. It provided for a national government composed of three branches. It proposed a Congress of two houses, both of which would be based on proportional representation. The Virginia Plan favored a strong national government.at the Philadelphia Convention that provided for a national government composed of three branches. It proposed a Congress of two houses, both of which would be based on proportional representation. The Virginia Plan favored a strong national government.

Treaty of Paris

From Wikipedia: The Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783, ratified by the Congress of the Confederation on January 14, 1784 and by the King of Great Britain on April 9, 1784, formally ended the American Revolutionary War.

United States Bill of Rights

From Wikipedia: In the United States, the Bill of Rights is the name by which the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution are known. They were introduced by James Madison to the First United States Congress in 1789 as a series of articles, and came into effect on December 15, 1791, when they had been ratified by three quarters of the states.

United States Constitution

From Wikipedia: The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the United States. It is the foundation and source of the legal authority underlying the existence of the United States of America and the federal government of the United States.

Vices of the Political System of the United States—James Madison, 1787

Madison's working paper outlining an agenda for the Constitutional Convention.

Unit 2      Primary Sources
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