After the Constitution was written, the new born nation was immediately split into two political sides, the federalists and the anti-federalists, over the ratification. Federalists, southern planters or people that tended to hold interest in trade, advocated a strong executive. On the other hand, anti-federalists, back country people or people involved in business but not in the mercantile economy, opposed the ratification of the constitution. The two sides, after much debate, were able to come to a compromise after the Bill of Rights was included into the Constitution. When the new Constitution was drafted, the ratification, the official approval by the people of the United States, sparked a national debate.
Alexander Hamilton 's Federalist Paper #15 called The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union was a primary document that showed the problems with the Articles of Confederation and how it was detrimental to the United States. He is warning the American people that their country could begin to crumble if some issues weren 't addressed. Most of what Hamilton writes about was already popular among the Americans, and he acknowledges this when he writes about how his piece may be "tedious or irksome." Under the Articles, the government did not have enough authority over the states to properly govern. The national government could merely recommend laws, but the states had the final say.
Now that I had the chance to understand both points of views, I see why the Anti-Federalists were not thrilled to be pushed aside by the new constitution. There were illegal actions taken, leaving many people wondering if the Federalists were the best group of people to decide what laws the states had to follow. James Madison and other’s changed the constitution for the better. The Federalists were right in creating a new constitution because the nation needed and still needs a central government for each state to respond too and keep the
The Anti-Federalists preferred a strong local government. Most Americans felt a sense of loyalty to their home state and trusted decisions would be made in their best interests. They did not want their rights taken away by a powerful federal government, which is what they thought the Constitution would do. Once the citizens saw the wording of the Constitution, they immediately demanded a Bill of Rights to protect their liberties. There was a lot of opposition to the Constitution.
One argument that the Anti-Federalists had against the forming of a new constitution was that they claimed it would “lead to a new consolidation system of government” and the leaders of Philadelphia intended “such a system and that the consolidated system would in the end destroy republican government and individual liberty as well as the independence of the states.” (Lewis 2) The Federalists feared that the government would have so much power it would be abused. They were constantly speculating about what would happen to the Unit... ... middle of paper ... ...but decided they should use it to divide themselves more clearly from the Federalists. The Federalists and the Anti-Federalists were at a constant war. The Anti-Federalists wanted a smaller government, and to keep the Articles of Confederation, and just add on to it, while the Federalists wanted a whole new government, which would make the national government more powerful. The Anti-Federalists were the most Federal in their beliefs.
Washington did not like the idea of the country being divided into “factions,” as he called them. But the problem was that this was happening within his own cabinet, with Thomas Jefferson on one side and Alexander Hamilton and John Adams on the other (Davis 86). I agree with Washington that the country should be united as one. However, I do feel that you need two sides to solve a problem and come to a compromise when it involves the lives and fate of the people of an entire nation. Jefferson, secretary of state, and Hamilton, secretary of the treasury, had different ideas on almost every topic.
Some of the issues were the excise tax and sedition act. Issues, such as these, caused division among the people and states of the United States of America. Political parties were formed in the United States because of a feud between Hamilton and Jefferson, people disagreed on controversial issues, and George Washington's farewell speech was ignored; ultimately leading to the American people dividing themselves into parties. The feud between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson help cause the creation of political parties. Hamilton and Jefferson rarely agreed with each other, even though they were both in George Washington's cabinet.
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. Anti-federalists, on the other hand, opposed the stronger federal government. The felt states had rights, which the central government threatened to trample.
The Anti-Federalists were not in favor of ratifying the new Constitution. Some Anti-Federalists wanted to keep the Articles of Confederation, others wanted to add some things and change some things in the new Constitution before they agreed to ratify it. Some very important Anti-Federalist’s were Patrick Henry, George Mason, and Richard Henry Lee. Anti-Federalists tended to be poorer and in lower classes than the Federalists. These people feared a central government and were afraid that the government proposed by the new Constitution could easily turn into a tyranny.
By 1787, people perceived that their constitution represented what the people desired the U.S. to be; well at least the Federalists presumed this. The Anti-Federalists watched for signs that threatened their "republican principals" for which they so recently had fought the American Revolution. After winning the war the unity and optimism among Americans did not translate easily or smoothly into the creation of a strong central government. The Federalists and Anti-Feds were very opposed to eachother's views. By the late 1700's and early 1800's, a deep political division had occurred amongst the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists.