Patrick Henry

FRQ #1, Concept Application.


Read the following scenario and answer the questions that follow.

“Have they said, We, the states? Have they made a proposal of a compact between states? If they had, this would be a confederation. It is otherwise most clearly a consolidated government. The question turns, sir, on that poor little thing — the expression, We, the people, instead of the states, of America. I need not take much pains to show that the principles of this system are extremely pernicious, impolitic, and dangerous.

It is radical in this transition; our rights and privileges are endangered, and the sovereignty of the states will be relinquished: and cannot we plainly see that this is actually the case? The rights of conscience, trial by jury, liberty of the press, all your immunities and franchises, all pretensions to human rights and privileges, are rendered insecure, if not lost, by this change, so loudly talked of by some, and inconsiderately by others.

—Patrick Henry, Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788


After reading the above news report, respond to A, B, and C below:

(A) Describe how the Virginia Ratifying Convention could address Patrick Henry’s comments outlined above.

(B) In the context of this scenario, explain how your response in Part A would affect the course of the United States’ government.

(C) Identify and counter one of Henry’s arguments while citing one or more provisions in the proposed Constitution.