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The Liberalism Lecture notes discuss the first stage of liberalism referred to as “Classical Liberalism”. If you examine the debate over the ratification of the Constitution, you can see that this reflects the first division in classical liberal thinking. Both the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists did not agree on the type of government to create to protect an individual’s life, liberty, and property. In framing the Constitution, the Federalists were very careful to address the concerns put forth by the Anti-Federalists.

Taking the aforementioned into account, please address the following questions (yes, you must answer/incorporate all three questions below in your essay):

How (or in what ways) does the Constitution reflect a compromise between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists? (i.e., How does the Constitution reflect the willingness of the Federalists to address the concerns of the Anti-federalists?) Why did we need a new constitution? What were the concerns of the Anti-Federalists? What were the concerns of the Federalists? What plans were involved in this compromise? Which part of the Constitution reflects the interests of the Federalists/Anti-Federalists? (Be Specific–you should list at least 4 examples here; maybe more!) How does it differ from the Articles of Confederation?
What are the core principles of the Constitution? Why has the Constitution endured for over 200 years? (Please use the lecture notes in Canvas). How is the nature of federalism influenced by the early debate between these two groups?
Conclusion–What can you conclude about the debate between the Federalist/Anti-Federalist and its impact on the framing of the Constitution? Do you think the Constitution needs to be amended? Why or why not? (Cite an example and find a current event (from a national newspaper/news source) to support your answer –either way, you should support your argument with the current event). CITE CURRENT EVENT IN YOUR CONCLUSION.

You should provide a thesis in this essay. A thesis is a statement (based on observation and supported by factual evidence) that ties your essay together and presents the central argument that you will be supporting in your essay. (Hint: your thesis should be in response to the question “how does the Constitution reflect a compromise between the Federalist/Anti-Federalist?”).


Important terms—Classical Liberalism, Social Contract, Natural Rights, Locke, Virginia Plan, NJ Plan, Conn Plan, 3/5 compromise, Tyranny, Articles of Confederation, Constitutional Convention, Bicameral/Unicameral, The Sectional Compromise, Brutus, Federalist, Anti-Federalist, Articles I, II, III, Article IV (full faith and credit clause), Article VI (supremacy clause), Bill of Rights, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Mercy Otis Warren, Republic, Federalist #10/faction, Amendment Process (Articles V, VII), Civil liberties, States rights, Shay’s Rebellion, police powers (10th A), etc. Any other terms from the class are of course welcome!


DON’T FORGET TO CITE SOURCES IN THE TEXT OF YOUR PAPER (OR FOOTNOTE) or you will automatically lose 20 points off the essay.

The essay is worth 100 pts. For information on Federalists & Anti federalist read this

What Is Ethical Judgment?

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