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The Constitution
Guide: Ratifying the Constitution

These resources demonstrate the compromises that needed to be reached in order for the 13 states to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Use these resources to help students learn about the debates that took place during the Constitutional Convention and helped shape the final document. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Theme Key Understandings

  • Societies need government to promote harmony, reduce conflict, and increase economic productivity
  • Governments come in many forms, including rule by one, rule by a few, and rule by many
  • Philosophical thought often influences a society's form of government
  • New political systems are shaped by emulating and opposing older systems of government
  • Founding documents are a result of compromise and the direct experiences of those drafting them
  • Democratic governments derive their power from the consent of the governed
  • Protection of individual rights and liberties is central to American democracy
  • Democratic governments strike a balance between majority rule and minority rights

Key Questions

  • How does the debate between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists clearly spell out the differences in thinking between the founders as they wrote the Constitution?
  • How did compromise lead to the ratification of the U.S. Constitution?


  1. Overview: Ratifying the Constitution
  2. Visuals: Ratifying the Constitution (Visual)
  3. Outline: Outline
  4. Transcript: Transcript
  5. Lesson: Introduction
  6. Lesson: 1-Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists
  7. Lesson: 2-Making Compromises
  8. Lesson: 3-Ratification Process
  9. Lesson: 4-Key States for Ratification
  10. Lesson: Closing
  11. Photos & Illustrations: Federalist: letter in The Boston Gazette
  12. Reference Articles: Federalist, The
  13. Reference Articles: Federalist Party
  14. Reference Articles: Three-Fifths Clause
  15. Reference Articles: Anti-Federalists
  16. Reference Articles: Constitutional Convention
  17. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: Bill of Rights (1791)
  18. Political, Government & Court Documents: Federalist, The, Nos. 1–8 (1788)
  19. Political, Government & Court Documents: Bill of Rights (1791)
  20. Political, Government & Court Documents: U.S. Constitution (1787)
  21. Letters & Narratives: Jefferson, Thomas: Omission of a Bill of Rights from the Constitution letter
  22. Letters & Narratives: Lee, Richard Henry: Letters from a Federal Farmer (1787)

MLA Citation

"Ratifying the Constitution." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2020, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Support/Content/2156112?cid=256. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

Entry ID: 2156112

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