Ratifying the Constitution in 1787 was not easy

Ratifying the Constitution in 1787 was not easy. There were two sides to the debate: Those who argued in favor of its ratification, the federalists, and those who argued against its ratification, the antifederalists. The antifederalists held that the Constitution granted the central government too much power and left the states with too little. Strong advocates of individual liberty, they fiercely criticized the omission of a bill of rights, which was included in many state constitutions. Some considered the ratification process itself illegal, since unanimous consent from the states was required to amend the Articles of Confederation. The case in favor of the Constitution was cogently presented in a series of newspaper articles that were written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, collectively known as The Federalist Papers. The Federalists argued that the new government would not be dominated by any one group and that there were adequate safeguards to protect individuals and the states.