Patrick Henry And James Madison: Two Key Roles In The Development Of The Constitution

Good Essays
In America’s most important document, Patrick Henry and James Madison played two key roles in the development of the Constitution. These two men had different views on how America should be governed. Patrick Henry who was against the new Constitution and sided with the Anti-Federalists. James Madison was the architect of the Constitution and felt a powerful government was needed in order for the colonies to not fall apart. After the Revolutionary War the colonies needed some help with the low imports from Britain since they were cut off from the war and the debt was increasing. As the Federalists and Anti-federalists argued on whether the Constitution should be formed, a conclusion was generated in 1788. Patrick Henry was born in 1736. His …show more content…
While growing up he was given a good education and taught that he should always have control. Madison also studied law. After school he was elected in the Virginia legislature and allied himself with Patrick Henry on the religious tolerance issues. After the term was up, Madison lost his bid and was not elected back into office. Madison returned home to take duties of a planter. Two years later he was elected in to the Continental Congress where he was recognized for his power. James Madison knew the Articles of Confederation were flawed and feared the government would not be able to win the war. He believed a stronger government could protect the United States. As he attended conventions, he took the lead for the Federalist on arguing why a constitution should be …show more content…
Henry argued that the constitution would jeopardize state sovereignty and the rights of the people. He also did not support it because it did not contain a Bill of Rights. Other arguments made by Henry were that Congress may destroy suffrage and elections will soon not matter and those in Congress would not follow same laws that the citizens would have to follow. Henry stated, “ If you make citizens of this country agree to become subjects of one great consolidated empire of America, your government will not have sufficient energy to keep them together.” James Madison argued back with popular opinions because states were ready for a change. He argued that an army was necessary, and argued taxes was not for the direct taxation but for tariffs and indirect taxes. Madison said the national government could not turn into a tyranny because the power would come from state government and the people not just the national government. As the debate continued, the Federalists continued to convince the remaining states to ratify. Once they agreed to add a Bill of Rights, the decision was

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    He does not believe that the collection of taxes is necessary because it was not specifically stated in the Constitution. Jefferson’s point of view is that he thinks that the Federalists are making claims that are not in the Constitution and he thinks their power is useless. “…Cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government…” (Document C). In George Washington’s Farewell Address, he claimed that the government should try its best to not develop political parties. He warned that overtime it would hurt the government because they would not be able to make decisions.…

    • 1488 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    It gave them a chance to start a new form of government without a king. The only problem was Hamilton and Jefferson did not have the same idea of the type of government they wanted to accomplish for their new nation. Hamilton wanted to accomplish a strong central government. He wanted a government that would be able to control the people’s behavior. He understood that “sometimes good people do bad things and bad people do good things”, this gave Hamilton an advantage because Jefferson did not recognize this.…

    • 829 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Confederation and the Constitution In the mid 1780’s following the Revolutionary War depression struck our new nation. Faced with such economic troubles the question arose regarding the stability of American democracy. There was a strong need for change and many believed it needed to start with a more centralized government. While the opposition believed that having a strong centralized government would lead to the same oppression and tyranny that America had fought to overcome. In order to be truly unified as a strong country the states needed to agree on a set of laws that all would follow.…

    • 1258 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    His fears that the government would assert too much power and infringe upon the rights of the people in the United States fueled the measures taken to draft the actual Bill of Rights. The current version of the Constitution alarmed George Mason, and he believed that the U.S. government would soon become corrupt and aristocratic. Also, the Bill of Rights drafted by James Madison was heavily inspired by Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights (“Bill of Rights of the United States of America…

    • 1282 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The American Revolution was fought to escape the hand of an overpowering monarch. Many Democratic - Republicans were afraid of a powerful federal government because they did not want to be at the mercy of a monarchy again. Jefferson deemed the country too large for a single government, and also believed that a single government would lead to corruption. In general, the federal government was oppressive in his opinion, and it gained power at the expense of the people. Jefferson wanted states to be independent within themselves, but united when dealing with foreign affairs.…

    • 1205 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    After the American War for Independence, the Americans were under the control of the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation set up a weak national government. This system was highly ineffective because the creators of it did not want to restrict the rights of the people as the tyrannical British leaders had in the past. Certain events, such as Shays’ Rebellions, stressed the need for a stronger centralized government. In place of the Articles of Confederation was the US Constitution, the supporters of the Constitution were called the Federalists and the people against it were called the Anti-Federalists.…

    • 747 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He was not in favor for the Constitution because it allowed the federal government too much power and it did not have a bill of rights. His opposition helped the bill of rights become drafted and the first 10 amendments to be added d. Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson was a politician, statesman, diplomat, intellectual, writer, scientist, and philosopher and is best known in writing the Declaration of Independence. He had an impact to improve the protection of civil liberties and minority rights of the common people. He believed people could be motivated through elections to provide direction in the republic 's development.…

    • 883 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The Articles tried to put power away from the government and congress, which sounds good on paper, but it left the government with too little power to enforce anything. Here are some examples. No federal courts, all laws enforced by state courts, no taxing power given to congress, amended only by approval of all states, and only state government can act directly on the people (Comparison of Constitution and Articles of Confederation). What’s listed here isn’t necessarily bad, but it left the government vulnerable and weak. Yes, they were trying to be different than the British government, but the government needs to have a certain amount of power to be able to enforce the laws it puts out.…

    • 1565 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    America could not grow as a country as seen through its economy and foreign affairs, but it really was impossible to get anything done within the Articles due to its restrictions because disunity would never allow for decisions to be made. For example, In the letter from Rhode Island Assembly to Congress, national taxes are being argued against because it would be wrong to impose power on all of the states, but they say that the tax would be unequal in being much harder on the more commercial states. All of the states had their own interests, and this made passing any national laws relatively impossible due to the unanimous vote that it would have taken to change anything worthwhile. The tariffs might have been workable within less commercial states and they might have allowed or supported it, but because the commercial states did not agree with it, it was never passed. This reigned true for all interstate matters.…

    • 1316 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    During the framing of the United States Constitution it had causes that spark each plan and draft and various outcomes after it was published. Following the American Revolution, the United States was in a position where they were free from England’s laws and rules. The need for a set of rules and regulations needed drafted but one that would not keep them in the strictness of the English rule they just got rid of. The Articles of Confederation gave the framers the first shot at loose manner of rule based on each state verses a single general and ridged document. Without a strong central government states governed themselves.…

    • 767 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays