The Reform of the Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights
Federalists and Anti-Federalists both shared some basic understandings:
  • The Anti-Federalists and Federalists both wanted a new government. 
  • They both knew that the Articles of Confederation were failing and a new government was needed. 

The Federalists believed that a Bill of Rights was already implied in the Constitution and that it was not needed, though Anti-Federalists believed that a Bill of Rights was necessary to insure the rights of the people.

The Compromise of the Bill of Rights was not a loss for the Federalists, but rather a compromise and a reform. The Bill of Rights:
  • Allowed the Federalists to ratify the Constitution and insure the rights of the people. 
  • Reformed the nation and allowed it to survive. 
  • Quelled fears that the federal government would become to powerful, just as the Constitution quelled fears that the union would dissolve. 
Together, these documents reformed the American Government, reinvigorating a nation, and creating a system that would stand the test of time.

The Bill of Rights was beneficial to both the Federalists and Anti-Federalists: 
  • It secured ratification for the Federalists (their main goal was to ratify the Constitution and make sure it was widely accepted by the states).
  • It specifically stated personal rights for the Anti-Federalists (their main goal was to secure the individual rights of the people).
The Bill of Rights convinced many Anti-Federalists to ratify the Constitution, for it convinced them that the document would not infringe on the rights of the states or the individual. As seen in the battle for ratification, without the compromise of a Bill of Rights, The Constitution would never have been ratified.

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