Debating the Constitution

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cover page to the Federalist Papers

Today we'll be looking at the ratification debates--a vital element of defining the often vague concepts of the Constitution, especially for those who consider "original intent" important. This class has probably the longest reading of the term, but it's critical material, so please budget your time accordingly.


bullet Hall, Major Problems, chapter 5.
bullet Bailyn, To Begin the World Anew, pp. 100-130.
bullet James Wilson, Pennsylvania ratifying debate, speech on behalf of ratification
bullet James Madison, Federalist no. 10
bullet Alexander Hamilton, Federalist no. 78
bullet Letter from a Federal Farmer, numbers 1 and 2