Internet for scholarly articles on the debate surrounding the composition and
ratification of the Constitution. These can be primary or secondary sources but
should come from academic sources. Recommended sites include: state constitutions
drafted after the American Revolution; correspondence from significant colonial
figures (e.g., John Dickinson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and others);
the Virginia and/or New Jersey Plan; the Federalist Papers, and so on. These
entries will provide a valuable resource for your first historical essay.
Write a 4-6 sentence description of a URL on the specified
assignments should include an
introduction to the site and a description, and/or evaluation, of it. Be specific. The key is that someone should
be able to read your entry and know whether this site is what they might be
relevant to their research. See the examples below for good descriptions.
Do not duplicate
entries. It might be to your advantage to post early. Otherwise one of your classmates may beat you
to the wonderful site you’ve discovered
How to Post
When you go to the Webliography tab and click on it, you’ll
see “add new entry,” on the left, just above the heading. When you click on it,
you’ll go to a page that will have fields for you to fill in. It will include
the title of the site, the category, the URL, the description, the site author,
and the date it was last modified.
Pennsylvania State Constitution of 1776. (2008)
The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 (ratified September 28, 1776)
has been described as the most democratic in America and was drafted by Robert
Whitehill, Timothy Matlack, Dr. Thomas Young, George Bryan, James Cannon, and Benjamin
Franklin. The Constitution provides for a unicameral legislature, a Supreme
Executive Council, a President elected by an Assembly and Council together, and
a Council of Censors. The constitution was later copied by revolutionaries of
Vermont as a basis for their constitution. This site is useful as it gives us
an insight into the debate over constitutional government that would culminate
entry is from an academic or literary source.
have included a helpful description of at least 4-6 sentences that tells
us what we’ll find on the site.
description is grammatically and mechanically correct.
URL is correct.
have not duplicated an entry.
URL is NOT from Wikipedia or
other wiki or social media sites
Essay #1: Confederation and Constitution
depression struck the new nation in the mid-1780s, new questions arose about
the nature of American democracy. Many conservatives believed that the answer
lay in a stronger national government. Most radicals believed it was up to
the states to relieve the financial burden of the people. These sentiments
fostered a movement for a new constitution. Political differences soon
stimulated the creation of political parties.
and contrast the Articles of Confederation with the new Constitution of 1787.
What were the strengths and weaknesses of the Articles vis-à-vis the Constitution?
Give specific instances that demonstrate the weakness of the Articles (such
as the Western problem).
analyze the drafting of the Constitution, using specific details to show how
the various states (slave vs. free, east vs. west) compromised in order to
effectively draft a constitution. Pay particular attention to Roger
Sherman’s plan, the Great Compromise, which broke a stalemate that could
have been fatal to the development of the new Constitution.
compare and contrast the debate over ratification between the Federalists and
the Anti-Federalists. Make sure you cite specific examples from the Federalist
Papers to support the Federalist position and contrast it with leading
proponents of the opposition (such as John Hancock). Analyze how the
debate over a bill of rights illustrates the differences between the two
parties. Evaluate the relative success of the Bill of Rights in achieving an
effective balance between national and states’ interests.
paper must be four to five double-spaced pages in length (not including the
References page) and utilize no less than four academic quality
sources. Margins should be no more than one inch (right and left) and
the essay should be composed in an appropriate font and size. Sources must be documented
and cited using APA format.