Even the antifederalists recognized that “…a government without the power to raise money is one only in name.” (Brutus, No.5) A political group emerged in favor of a new constitution and wrote of their ideas in the federalist papers. The new constitution would strengthen the central government but allow for its power to be checked while protecting the rights of the people. These papers were written by James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton and published in the late 1780’s at the same time as the anti-federalist papers published by a somewhat unknown “Brutus.” The federalists supported ratifying the new constitution while the antifederalists were mostly concerned with protecting the rights of the people and preventing the government from abusing power. A protection from abuse of power, established in the Constitution, is “the separation of power” which Madison writes about in Federalist Paper No. 51. Since the powers of the central government are separated into 3 branches, the executive, legislative, and judicial, no one branch can become too powerful without being checked by another. This protection is called “checks and balances.” In addition, the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to protect the rights of the people, prevent governmental abuse, and to satisfy the antifederalists. Once both groups agreed, The Constitution was signed in
While the Federalists believe in a strong, central government, the Anti-Federalists believe in the shared power of state and national governments to maintain the rights of all Americans .The Anti-Federalist favored a confederated government were the state and national governments could share power ,protect citizen’s freedom ,and independence. The Anti-Federalists found many problems in the Constitution. Many were concerned the central government take was all individual rights. Anti-Federalist primarily consisted of farmers and tradesmen and was less likely to be a part of the wealthy elite than were members of their rival the Federalist. Many Anti-federalists were local politicians who feared losing power should the Constitution be ratified and argued that senators that served for too long and represented excessively large territories would cause senators to forget what their responsibilities were for that state. They argued that the Constitution would give the country an entirely new and unknown form of government and saw no reason in throwing out the current government. Instead, they believed that the Federalists had over-stated the current problems of the country and wanted improved characterization of power allowable to the states. They also maintained that the Framers of the Constitution had met as a discriminatory group under an order of secrecy and had violated the stipulations of the Articles of Confederation in the hopes for the for ratification of the Constitution. The Anti-Federalist were sure that the Constitution would take away the rights of the American citizens and fought hard to stop the ratification on the
They felt that a strong powerful central government was necessary especially after the failed Articles of Confederation. “The framers of constitution, the federalists, argued that the common people were self-interested and passionate creatures who should not be entrusted with all reins of government.” (By the People, page 10) Federalists did not agree with antifederalists and argued that they were just thinking of themselves and not the entire nation. They also believed that antifederalists were being fearful for no reason as national government had powers granted by the constitution which prohibited them from any sort of corruption. It was a limited government where federal government cannot do whatever they wanted, they had limitations under constitution. They also highlighted the fact that the constitution separated basic powers of government into three equal branches. This separation of power gave balance and limited the chances of tyranny. They also mentioned the benefits of checks and balances. They argued that central government would not be able to misuse it’s power as each branch could check or limit the other branches. They also responded to Antifederalists fear of strong federal court by saying that federal courts had limited jurisdiction as some power was shared with local courts. They believed that strong federal court was a necessity so judicial branch of government could do it’s part of checks and balances on executive and legislative branches of government. Federalists provided all their arguments by writing federalists papers. These papers are written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay supporting their beliefs and arguments through 85 articles and essays. These federalists papers were very influential as they were able to gain support to ratify the constitution. Even though other states pro constitution North Carolina and Rhode Island held out until Bill of Rights
The Federalist and Antifederalist viewpoints are what stemmed the whole mess of differences that made them so resistent to each other. The Federalist favored the establishing of the Constitution while the Anti Federalists opposed it. The differences in what these two groups wanted was mindboggler. Because of the sharp differences they had difference in the support size, who supported them, and what they exactly wanted in the Constitution.
The Bill of Rights changed the lives of not only the men who crafted it, but it also improved the lives of all those around them who were proud to call themselves Americans. Without the Bill of Rights people would not have had the basic rights that are required in order for a nation to call themselves a democracy.The Bill of Rights was truly necessary because it amended many flaws in the Constitution, limited the government, and ensured unalienable rights.
A primary document, it was a message for the Federalists and to the American public in general. Although they did not fully support the Articles of Confederation, they did not want a new Constitution to be written. These people were concerned about how little freedom they would have if the federal government got more power. Because of this, they are against the beliefs of the Federalists. The Anti-Federalists are also concerned about how the national government could abuse its power if given a higher authoritative role in the revised Constitution. In order to show the concern, the authors write, “the legislative power is competent to lay taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; there is no limitation to this power..." The Anti-Federalists were afraid that allowing the national government to have so much power would be like living under Britain 's authority all over again. This would render the American Revolution pointless, they believed. They supported the state governments in having authority to tax, govern, and to have independence from the central government in doing so. They believe that if the central government starts taxing the people, the state governments would not be able to raise money
The formation of the United States and the adoption of a uniform Constitution for the United States have a history that deserves a mention. This was the period when the federalists and anti-federalists them came into existence. Anti-federalism was the name given to two different political movements in the late eighteenth century in the United States: The first anti-federalist movement of the 1780s, opposed the creation of a stronger national government, such as allowed the Constitution and tried to keep it as it was established in the Articles of Confederation in 1777. The second anti-federalist movement was formed in response to the tax laws of Alexander Hamilton in the first term of George Washington. This movement is sometimes called the
Federalists strongly supported the Constitution. Anti-federalists were alarmed by the absence of a bill of rights. Federalists assured them it would be added by amendment. Federalists believed that the three branches of government-legislative, judicial and executive- effectively represent the people.
The Federalist generally consisted of a wealthier class of people who tended to have more readily available resources which enabled them to campaign more effectively than the Anti-Federalists. The Federalist desired the creation of a strong federal government, the desired to maintain order. Federalists supported the Constitution and attempted to convince the states to ratify it. They did not believe the Constitution needed a Bill of Rights, they felt it would limit the rights of the people instead of protecting them.
James Madison once said,” All men having power ought to be distrusted.” Through these words, Madison made the statement that not all government officials use their authority for good; some abuse that power and use it to gain more for themselves rather than vesting it within the people. This issue may lead to tyranny. Tyranny is when all powers belong to only one person or group. In May of 1787, the Constitutional Convention was held in Philadelphia to draft a better constitution. One of the topics that concerned many was how the constitution would guard against tyranny. Madison and the other delegates wanted a Constitution that would be strong enough to unite the states and the people together without letting there be one person or group gain too much power. They achieved this in several ways. Today, the U.S. Constitution guards against tyranny by including a separation of powers, federalism, and the fair representation of states.
From 1787-1790 the development of the American Constitution was a battle between two opposing political philosophies. America’s best political minds gathered in Philadelphia and other cities in the Northeast in order to find common ground in a governmental structure. The Federalists and the Anti-Federalists had both some political thoughts that agreed as well as some political thoughts that disagreed. However, both parties would compromise and ultimately come together.
During the late 18th century the Antifederalists argued against the constitution on the grounds that it did not contain a bill of rights. They believed that without a list of personal freedoms, the new national government might abuse its powers and that the states would be immersed by an all to dominant and influential national government. The Antifederalists worried that the limits on direct voting and the long terms of the president and senators, supplied by the constitution, would create a population of elites and aristocrats, which in turn would eventually take away power from the people. They also feared that the president might become another monarch. In other words, the Antifederalists ultimately felt that the new Constitution was undemocratic.
Our powerpoint states that the Federalists were led by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. The Anti-Federalists on the other hand, did not agree. The powerpoint mentions that they attacked every area of the Constitution, but two of its features attracted the most criticism. One was the extremely increased powers of the central government. The second included the lack of “bill of rights” that would have provided necessary liberties including freedom of speech and religion.
Some historical circumstances surrounding the issue of the ratification of the Constitution was weakness of the new government under the Articles of Confederation which led to the Constitutional Convention. Members of Congress believed that the Articles of Confederation, the first government of the United States, needed to be altered while others did not want change. This desired Constitution created a huge dispute and argument between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. The people who supported the new Constitution, the Federalists, began to publish articles supporting ratification. As stated in document 2 John Jay (Federalist) had many arguments to support ratification of the Constitution. One argument John Jay used was, with the ratification of the Constitution, he says, “…Our people free, contented and united…” The Antifederalists had numerous arguments they used to oppose the ratification of the Constitution. The Antifederalists believed that a free republic wouldn’t be able to long exist over a country of the great extent of these states.
During the construction of the new Constitution, many of the most prominent and experienced political members of America’s society provided a framework on the future of the new country; they had in mind, because of the failures of the Articles of Confederation, a new kind of government where the national or Federal government would be the sovereign power, not the states. Because of the increased power of the national government over the individual states, many Americans feared it would hinder their ability to exercise their individual freedoms. Assuring the people, both Alexander Hamilton and James Madison insisted the new government under the constitution was “an expression of freedom, not its enemy,” declaring “the Constitution made political tyranny almost impossible.” (Foner, pg. 227) The checks and balances introduced under the new and more powerful national government would not allow the tyranny caused by a king under the Parliament system in Britain. They insisted that in order achieve a greater amount of freedom, a national government was needed to avoid the civil unrest during the system under the Articles of Confederation. Claiming that the new national government would be a “perfect balance between liberty and power,” it would avoid the disruption that liberty [civil unrest] and power [king’s abuse of power in England] caused. The “lackluster leadership” of the critics of the new constitution claimed that a large land area such as America could not work for such a diverse nation.