Essay on The Anti-Federalists’ Representation of People

Essay on The Anti-Federalists’ Representation of People

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The Anti-Federalists had many views that were different than those of the Federalists. One the differences that seems to be important, is who they view as “The people”. The Anti-Federalists believed that common people should be able to be active participants of their government; this involvement includes having a say in the laws that are made and the protection of everyday working class people. This common man involvement is reinforced by the fact that the Anti-Federalists wanted to keep government more local, by having strong state governments. Using Rogers Smith’s Civic Ideals as a foundation, this essay illustrates that the view of the Anti-Federalists is that the United States of America is combined of many different people, and that representation should be based on these differences rather than just the elite population.
In the late 1780s there where a variety of men that would need to be represented by the government. These men included everyone from aristocratic land owners, to merchants, to hard laborers. The Anti-Federalists knew that all of these men needed to be represented in the government so that there were no laws made with the intention to harm a certain group’s way of life. In Federal Farmer Letter VII it is said that “Each order must have a share in the business of legislation actually and efficiently” (Hammond 559). By each class of men having an active role in their government, a process is created to able to prevent one class from overruling others for their own benefit. This is important to the Anti-Federalists because they think that each type of man should be considered equal. This hunger for equality leads us to see that the Anti-Federalists believe that all men should be able to be part of government wit...

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...wer] need a people that imagines itself in ways that make leadership by those aspirants appropriate” (6). It is apparent that the elite class of men would not represent all classes of men in an appropriate matter. The Federalists’ solution to this was to only have the elites be able to elect representative; the Anti-Federalists saw the need to point out that this representation would not be for the common good of the country and its citizens. The works of the Anti-Federalists shows that they were interested in the idea of having all types of men be represented in government.

Works Cited

Smith, Rogers M. Civic Ideals: Conflicting Visions of Citizenship in U.S. History. New Haven:
Yale UP, 1997. Print.
Hammond, Scott J., Kevin R. Hardwick, and Howard L. Lubert, eds. Classics of American
Political and Constitutional Thought. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 2007. Print.

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