A New NAtIoN 149 was a rallying point for opponents.
Many of the Anti-Federalists argued that American citizens risked losing their liberty if they didn't have a guarantee of specific rights.
The pro-ratification Federalists argued that including a bill of rights was redundant and could limit future citizens from adding new rights.
The first crucial vote took place in Massachusetts.
After weeks of debate, delegates at the Massachusetts convention changed their votes to approve the Constitution.
The proposed amendments were to be submitted to the first Congress.
ratifying the Constitution but attaching proposed amendments was followed by other state conventions.
James Madison, Edmund Randolph, and John Marshall squared off against Patrick Henry and George Mason at the most high-profile convention in Virginia in June of 1787.
Virginia was America's most populous state, it produced some of the country's highest-profile leaders, and the success of the new government rested on its cooperation.
After nearly a month of debate, Virginia voted 89 to 79 in favor of the constitution.
This didn't mean the debates were over.
AntiFederalists still argued that the Constitution would lead to tyranny despite the fact that North Carolina, New York, and Rhode Island had not completed their convention.
After George Washington was inaugurated as president, Rhode Island would vote to approve the Constitution by two votes.
Washington's election as president solidified the Constitution's authority.
The debates produced a piece of the Constitution that is still relevant today.
There were ten amendments added.
The Bill of Rights is constituted by them.
James Madison supported the amendments as an act of political compromise and necessity.
He was elected to the House of Representatives because he promised his Virginia constituents a list of rights.
The Bill of Rights didn't cover everything.
There was no guarantee of a voice in government for women.
Men who owned a lot of property were the only ones who were restricted from voting.
Slavery was protected by the Constitution.
The compromise over the slave trade is the most important of the compromises that formed the Constitution.
The slave trade was thought to be more violent and immoral by Americans.
Many people opposed it on moral grounds.
Allowing southern states to import more Africans would increase their political power.
In districts with many slaves, the white voters had more sway because the Constitution counted each black individual as three fifths of a person.
The Upper South welcomed a ban on the Atlantic trade because they had a surplus of slaves.
Slave owners in Virginia and Maryland were able to get higher prices for their slaves when they sold them to states that were dependent on the slave trade.
The Deep South and New England agreed to a "dirty compromise" at the Constitutional Convention in 1787.
South Carolina and Georgia agreed to support a constitutional clause that made it easier for Congress to pass commercial legislation in exchange for New England agreeing to include a constitutional provision that protected the foreign slave trade for twenty years.
The Atlantic slave trade was banned for three reasons.
The United States did not want to concede moral superiority to Britain, which was outlawing the slave trade in 1807.
The Haitian Revolution, a successful slave revolt against French colonial rule in the West Indies, changed the stakes in the debate.
White Americans were terrified by the image of black revolutionaries.
The United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from the French at a fire-sale price.
The question of slavery's expansion was put at the top of the national agenda by this massive new territory.
Many white Americans, including President Thomas Jefferson, believed that the abolition of the slave trade would keep the United States a white man's republic.
Alexander Hamilton saw measures and funding for the slave trade ban.
The act left the fate of illegally imported Africans to the individual states and many of those as a metropolitan, commercial, state.
The logic of property ownership in human beings was preserved by the ban.
Slavery was protected by the new federal government as much as it was by Thomas Jefferson's nation of small privileges for white men.
Both men had the ear of the President.
Humans were driven to accumulate property by their self-interest.
The government had important roles to play.
Private property should be protected from theft.
Hamilton said that the state should use human "passions" and make them subservient to the public good.
A wise government would harness its citizens' desire for property so that both private individuals and the state would benefit.
Hamilton did not believe that the state should ensure an equal distribution of property.
Hamilton saw no reason why inequality should change.
Hamilton wanted to tie the economic interests of wealthy Americans to the federal government's financial health.
Hamilton believed that the federal government should be a repository of the rights of the wealthy.
He was the nation's first secretary of the treasury and proposed an ambitious financial plan to achieve that.
The federal "assumption" of state debts was the first part of Hamilton's plan.
The states owe the federal government about $25 million.
The Bank of the United States was proposed by Hamilton.
The goal was to link federal power with the economy.
People who owned state bonds or promissory notes would be given new federal notes of the same face value under the proposal.
Hamilton believed that these bonds would act as an instrument of industry and commerce.
This part of his plan was controversial for two reasons.
Many taxpayers objected to paying the full face value on old notes, which had fallen in market value.
The current holders would often purchase them from the original creditor for pennies on the dollar.
It would mean rewarding speculators at taxpayer expense to pay them at full face value.
The citizens would lose their trust in the government if debts were not honored in full.