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Answering Questons - Book Report/Review Example

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BOOK REVIEW Name University Course Instructor Date 1. What was the political situation in New York State immediately following the drafting of the Constitution? Why did ratification face such a struggle in that state? What political leaders and interest groups criticized or opposed the Constitution?…
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Download file to see previous pages They were the major critics of the new federal system unless the constitution was amended before its ratification. They were more concerned with the preservation of the rights of individuals to govern themselves and be protected from despotic power. Political leaders and interest groups among the federalists – Richard Morris (New York City delegate), Alexander Hamilton – argued that revolutionary zeal had become predominant and excessive though it was essential in the war against Britain. Hence, the need for a guarantee of security from the government, a commitment to liberty coupled with strength and stability in the governmental organization and vigor in its operations. They accused antifederalists such as Melancton Smith, Richard Henry Lee from Virginia of seeking public support by presenting the desire for an efficient national government as a drive for despotism and hostility to liberty. 2. What were the major issues being debated during the New York State ratifying convention during the summer of 1788? Why were the questions of representation and taxation so central to the debate? Who were the most important supporters and critics of the Constitution? Liberty, a preservation of freedom for ordinary citizens was a major subject during the convention. Advocacy of middle class interests was largely advanced by men who had risen above their middle class origin. New York voters chose forty-six antifederalists and only thirteen federalists to the state convention. The federalists had their way on the view that failure to ratify would result into political and economic chaos and possible secession of pro-federalist counties. The house of representatives was voted to be made a more democratic body and have powers to recall senators. Amendments by the various state counties and those adopted by the New York state convention sought to restrict congressional control over federal elections, the regulation of state militias and the establishment of federal courts. Taxation to import duties and direct taxation based on state failure to pay assigned quotas was debated and voted for by five state conventions. Tax was also a central debate due to its sharing between the central government and the states for power balance. Opposition of constitution led by a diverse group of politicians who defy simple categorization – wealthy planters in Virginia and middle class origin spearheaded it in Pennsylvania. Melancton Smith, George Clinton, and Abraham Yates Jr. were three most important Antifederalist leaders in New York. 3. How does the author explain the difference between moderate and radical Antifederalists? How did Melancton Smith and Abraham Yates typify certain Antifederalist views? What was George Clinton an important figure in the convention? What stance did he take? The moderate antifederalists could be swayed and advocate for the federalist views as compromise whereas the radical Antifederalists were of the view of constitutional amendment before its ratification. Melanchthon Smith and Abraham Yates were of the view that the federal government could exercise legitimate authority as long as it acted as a council representing independent and sovereign states. Yates believed allegiance could only be for one side – either the state legislature or the Congress; one cannot serve two masters with competing interests. George Clinton was the governor of New York who attempted to maintain ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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