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The Ratification of the Constitution

Newspapers everywhere published a copy of the Constitution. Debates and discussions over the document dominated all other news. Reaction was mixed among the population. Some were angry and others approved, but all were shocked and startled by what had emerged from the convention. This was far from what they expected. This was no mere amendment of the Articles of Confederation! It appeared to be far beyond what had been requested by the states and was, for that reason, quite controversial.

Opponents quickly published their critiques and the friends of the Constitution answered. A series of articles defending the Constitution was begun in the papers of New York signed by Publius - these would become known as The Federalist Papers. They were widely read and hotly debated - not only by the leaders of communities but by farmers and milkmaids as well. The Federalists were answered by the Anti-Federalists who sought to show their arguments wrong-headed and dangerous. The entire country was in an uproar.