- ›› Coverage Organizations : Democratic-Republicans
Historians are generally agreed that if the Constitution had been put before the electorate for an up-and-down vote—a plebescite, in effect—it would not have been ratified. This essay considers how three large groups—African Americans, artisans, and small farmers—viewed the Constitution, and examines why these groups had deep reservations about its ability to steer the nation forward without compromising the founding principles of the American Revolution.
Glossary Term – Person
James Madison (1751–1836) was born in Port Conway, Virginia. He graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in two years rather than the usual four with concentrations in theology, history, and law. In 1776, he drafted Virginia’s first constitution and bill of rights, which later became a model for the Bill of Rights amendments to the US Constitution. Madison supported religious toleration and the separation of church and state. He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1779 and the Constitutional Convention in...
The presidential election of 1800 provided Alexander Hamilton, former secretary of the treasury, with a dilemma: a tie between Thomas Jefferson, a man whose principles were in direct opposition to Hamilton's own, and Aaron Burr, a man Hamilton believed to have no principles at all.