The Federalists And The AntiFederalists


The Federalists And The Anti-Federalists Essay, Research Paper

When comparing and contrasting Anti-Federalist views on the ratification of the United

States Constitution with those of the Federalists, there is the relationship that represents

their views upon principles, problems and solutions, which really looks at which side best

reflects or departs from the original principles set forth for the Declaration. It can be

argued that the two sides are quite contrary in their distinct perceptions, which each group

believing that its views are the right ones.

The debate raged on between the Anti-Federalists and the Federalists as to what

ratification should be brought out with regard to the Constitution. This period of conflict

lasted from the moment the first draft was written in 1787 until such ratification was

imposed in 1789. As a result, this was a time of intense debate between the

Anti-Federalists and the Federalists. There were papers that were created from both sides

declaring to the fact that the ratification should either take place or should not, depending

upon which group one supported. As a collective work, each side gave significant points

that clearly illustrated their ideas. The Federalists, however, were the group that really

seemed to have influenced the minds of the citizens not only because their attempts

seemed to be more organized, but possibly more so because the Anti-Federalists failed to

really prove that small republics were better able to have individual liberties than were

large republics.

The Anti-Federalists were strongly opposed to any ratification of the Constitution.

Supporting this view were several different authors who composed strict papers that

reflected the Anti-Federalist belief. Within these works was found the reasoning behind

why the Anti-Federalists were against ratifying the Constitution. It focused upon the

dangers of tyranny and how it would weaken the essence of the Constitution. It was

argued that the Constitution was not well equipped to deal with a monarchy to which

England was in the habit of. Even though it was established that the Bill of Rights was

effective enough to correct some of those weaknesses, there still existed a lot of

considerations to cause the Anti-Federalists to continue opposing the Constitutional


The Federalists, on the other hand, supported the ratification. Some people which

wanted this were James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, who were

responsible for composing the collection of writings that came to be known as The

Federalist Papers. Basing their argument on the fact that the United States Constitution

was fundamentally created as a reflection of human attributes , the men pointed to such

examples as separation of powers and other warnings against the concept of

totalitarianism. They argued that any such actions only focused on the pessimistic side of


Madison’s arguement asked if government was not the most significant of all human

reflection. He stated that if humanity consisted of angels, there wouldn t be any

government control at all. His point, as well as the point of other Federalists who

supported ratification, stated that there has to be control. They declared that the

Constitution was constructed so as to maintain a system of checks and balances in order to

vanish tyranny about which the Anti-Federalists were so concerned of.

Madison, Hamilton, and Jay made serious attempts to demonstrate how ratification

was a necessary evil in establishing the best Constitutional representation possible. While

arguing this issue of leadership, Madison stated that the educated and compassionate

citizens wouldn t always be the top. This fact was reason enough for the Constitution to

address such issues by limiting any harm done by the wrong leaders. Hamilton effectively

defended the Federalist viewpoint when he remarked that the country’s laws cannot be so

much that it confuses the people. He said that if they are hard to understand, then the

people wouldn t be able to intrepert them.

The Anti-Federalists had many concerns. They were concerned about the power of

taxation that the central government would have. They feared that outrageous taxes

would be forced upon the country’s inhabitants for everything from imports to land and

goods “at their sovereign pleasure.”

The Federalists saw the need for the power to tax by the national government.

Because the government under the Articles of the Confederation was quite inadequate in

producing revenues necessary to carry out its purposes they saw it necessary for the

national government to have the power to tax. Hamilton argued that the states unified

would be more likely to levy strong taxes than would the national government. In fact, as

a unified nation, there would be free trade among the states, which would help the national

economy. The power to levy taxes would be in the hands of the people’s representatives,

who could be trusted to act with what the common people wished, and if this was not so,

then new representatives could be elected.

The Anti-Federalists also raised uproar over the “necessary and proper” clause,

which empowered the government to make all laws judged “necessary and proper”; and

the “supreme law of the land” clause, which declared that all laws passed and all treaties

signed by the government were to be “the supreme law of the land; any thing in the

constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” They believed these

clauses would allow the local governments to be destroyed and individual liberties to be

eliminated. The Federalists, mainly Hamilton, dismissed these views as misrepresentation.

These backers were firm believers in the institution of “concurrent jurisdiction,” in which

the national government would have means in which to levy necessary taxes, while the

states retained their ability to tax too.

The Anti-Federalists saw many wrong ideas in the formation of a union, mainly in

the ones respect to the proposed Constitution. As far as the Senate was concerned, the

Anti-Federalists held the opinion that “the senate . . . is constituted on the most unequal

principles,” where as each state has equal representation in this body. Another argument

followed that the possibility of the President promoting the uprising of continuing the

corruption within the senate and construction of an aristocracy is too great and will lead to

the development of a government which can be described as the farthest thing from


The Federalists sought out mostly to unite the states under this Constitution. In fact,

Madison carried out his promise to make the provisions for amendment and was key in

drafting the Bill of Rights.

The proposed structure of the judiciary was not as controversial as other elements

of the Constitution. Balancing the governmental powers, the judiciary was to remain

truly distinct from both the legislative and executive branches of the government, and it

was to act as a check on both. The federal courts would have jurisdiction and authority to

overrule state laws that were contrary to the Constitution, to facilitate interpretation of

national laws, and in regard to foreign citizens. Also, the federal courts would have

jurisdiction in conflicts between the states. The Anti-Federalists held objection to the lack

of provision for trial-by-jury. Hamilton argued that this did not mean that the right was

entirely abolished, and pointed out that the laws and constitutions of the various states did

not uphold a uniform standard in regard to this issue. Regarding the issue of the Court’s

ability to invalidate acts of Congress, much debate has arisen over the years, and the issue

remains a topic of the argument.

It was obvious to all parties that the constitution was not perfect. However, the

Federalists argued that it should be accepted as it was without any alteration, as provision

had been made for amending it later. Under the circumstances, they argued that it was the

best plan set forth thus far. The Anti-Federalists did not seem to be able to answer the

arguments of the Federalists such that the new plan would be false, and thus since a

majority was not willing to discard the the strengths of the proposed constitution, the

document was ratified. Those arguments were answered quickly as the first ten

amendments, or Bill of Rights, was appended to the Constitution shortly after its

ratification. The Anti-Federalists held many valuable and impactful arguments in

opposition to the formation of the union under the new constitution. However, idea that

carried the proposition was far too strong for this opposition to fight with. They simply

could not prove that the government at that time was more superior than the one

described. This failure may have caused the evolution of one of the greatest democratic

republics the world has ever seen.


Додати в блог або на сайт

Цей текст може містити помилки.

A Free essays | Essay
13.7кб. | download | скачати

Related works:
Federalists Vs AntiFederalists
AntiFederalists Vs Federalists
Federalists Vs Antifederalists
Comparing And Contrasting Federalists And Antifederalists
Federalists Vs AntiFederalists And Their Common Arguments
Federalists Vs Anti Federalists
Federalist Vs Antifederalists
© Усі права захищені
написати до нас