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Federalists and Anti-Federalists Essay

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The Constitution, when first introduced, set the stage for much controversy in the United States. The two major parties in this battle were the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. The Federalists, such as James Madison, were in favor of ratifying the Constitution. On the other hand, the Anti-Federalists, such as Patrick Henry and Richard Henry Lee, were against ratification. Each party has their own beliefs on why or why not this document should or should not be passed. These beliefs are displayed in the following articles: Patrick Henry's "Virginia Should Reject the Constitution," Richard Henry Lee's "The Constitution Will Encourage Aristocracy," James Madison's "Federalist Paper No. 10," and "The Letters to Brutus." In these documents, many aspects of the Constitution, good and bad, are discussed. Although the Federalists and Anti-Federalists had very conflicting views, many common principals are discussed throughout their essays. The preservation of liberty and the effects of human nature are two aspects of these similarities. Although the similarities exist, they represent and support either the views of the Federalists or the Anti-Federalists.

Patrick Henry makes his views very clear in his Letter. He is obviously against ratifying the Constitution. His main argument's consists of the sovereignty of the states, the system of checks and balances and the senate, the leaning towards a monarchy, and absolute power. Henry thinks that the uniting of all the states under one government would take away the sovereignty of the states. He states that, "Here is a resolution as radical as that which separated us from Great Britain. It is radical in this transition; our rights and privileges are endangered, and the sove...


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...he other hand, Madison discusses the topic of liberty in that it is what fuels factions. He says that removing liberty is one of the only ways to destroy a faction. He proceeds to state that this is not probable, and that factions can not be destroyed, but we must control their consequences in order to have a stable government. Madison believes that the Constitution preserves man's liberty by fairly representing them in a central government.

All of the topics discussed in these essays are very relevant to their respective causes. They are all backed up with valid information and examples. These essay's were written by very respectable men and show much insight on the subject of whether or not the Constitution should be ratified. The Federalists and Anti-Federalists had very opposing views, but used some of the same topics to support their point of views.


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