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Many of us believe that the Founding Father established the constitution in 1787 to safeguard individual rights Yet the freedom of speech the freedom of the press the right to bear arms or the right to be secure in ones home are set forth in the Bill of rights which did not become part of the constitution until 1791 And it was not the Federalist proponents of the Constitution who insisted that it be amended to include these rights so cherished today It was their antifederalist opponents Until the early twentieth century the Founding Fathers were venerated as demigods who were driven by only the most laudable motives In this view the founders realized that the weak central government under the articles of confederation was unable to deal effectively with the numerous threats and dangerous conditions from hostile foreign nations on the countrys periphery to the governments own weak finances As we know that the clash over the constitution reflected a struggle between economic classes On the one side was a wealthy creditor class on the other were small farmers and debtors Backed by a minority of Americans because women blacks Indians and those without sufficient property had no voice the constitution was an undemocratic document created by a propertied elite who sought protection from popular majorities According to Woody Holton one reason that historians have always found Madison such an appealing character is that he himself was something of a bookworm yet one subject seemed to fuel Madison with a limitless energy and to draw him from the tranquility of his study Madisons desperate desire to rein in the thirteen state governments was not born in a contemplative philosophical vacuum it reflected his own day to day experience as a political animal What really alarmed Madison was the specific legislation the assemblies had adopted More than anything else it
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