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This is a question asked for We, the People National Competition 2009 as a Unit 2 question. I am in Unit 2 and will answer to the best of my ability: Civil discourse WAS important in the constitution in three ways: 1. In the discussions over different issues at the Philadelphia Convention. Different rules were set up that allowed for free and open debate to occur. Some issues were debated for in excess of five days, such as debate over executive powers. 2. In the compromises made. Without civil discourse, the delegates could never have come to agreement to form "a more perfect union." Without civil discourse, the Connecticut Compromise would never have happened. 3. In the ratification of the Constitution. During this process you had some of the greatest political writings emerge in the form of the Federalist Papers and the responding Anti-Federalists critiques. These documents formed civil discourse that enlightened the American public and allowed them to have access to all information about the Constitution they were to ratify. Civil discourse IS important in the constitution in the following ways: 1. It helps to bring about awareness of injustice. For example, the women's suffrage movement alerted the American people to the lack of a women's vote, so much so that the 19th Amendment was passed, enfranchising women. Similarly, the Civil Rights Movement prompted such rulings as Brown v. Board which ruled segregation unconstitutional, in part due to the civil discourse of the protestors and civil rights activists. 2. It helps to create better legislation. By having civil discourse on the floor of state and national Senate, better compromises can be effected and the American people will benefit. 3. Civil discourse allows all voices to be heard, a principle ingrained in our ideals as a nation. By maintaining respect for other people, even if you disagree with their opinions, we will be able to unite and come to a better understanding of each other and our Constitution.

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Q: How is civil discourse important in the constitution?
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