Final Project -- The Second Constitutional Convention
In this lesson, we have studied how the ideas that shaped the Constitution were discussed, debated, and modified to fit the needs of a new nation. We have also seen how the individual leaders of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists clarified those ideas by applying them to the issues of ratification and the National Bank. In particular, we have seen how the debate over federalism, civil liberties, and republicanism influenced the formation of the first political parties, and how those parties promoted not just their ideas but their leaders in pursuing their political agendas. Indeed, if it were not for people like Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and George Washington, we might not be able to so easily understand the differences in political thinking during the Constitutional era.
Directions: Working in pairs or small groups assigned by your teacher, complete the following three (3) parts of this project. You will need to do work offline, so be sure to have your social studies book with you. Be sure to check with your teacher to see when each part of this project is due.
Part 1 -- The New Convention: Federalists or Anti-Federalist?
Imagine that you and your classmates are preparing for
a new Constitutional Convention, to be held during the first week of next
month. The new convention is being called by members of Congress from
around the country who are interested in answering the following questions:
Write a 3 to 5 sentence response to each question, in which you thoughtfully consider all sides of the question and provide a clear and direct opinion. Once you have written all three responses, look back over your notes from the lesson regarding the Federalist and Anti-Federalists. Decide whether your answers would make you a Federalist or an Anti-Federalist. You will choose one of these labels for the next activity, so be prepared to defend your decision.
Part 2 -- Forming A New Political Party: The Legacy of the “Founding Fathers”
Find three (3) other students who have decided that they
belong to your same party. Read your journal answers to each other and
decide on five (5) opinions that you have in common based on those answers.
Make a separate list of those opinions. Then, using your arts and crafts
resources and materials from the classroom, make a collage that clearly
shows each of those opinions. Be sure to label where each opinion is illustrated,
as well as any other ideas you may want to make clear for other observers.
Part 3 -- Different Ideas About the Same Thing
Now, walk around the class and see which other groups chose
your same “founding father.” See if all of your ideas are
similar, and make note of those which are especially different. Also look
to see if another group put an idea similar to your own with another historical