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Comparing and contrasting anti federalist views on the ratification of the us constitution

This Topic Page concerns the Federalists versus the Anti-Federalists and the struggle for ratification. Generally speaking, the federalists were in favor of ratification of the Constitution, and the Anti-Federalists were opposed. Note the the Anti-Federalists are often referred to as just Antifederalists without the hyphen.

Either form is generally acceptable. Other pages of interest would include: After the Constitutional Conventionthe fight for the Constitution had just begun. According to Article 7conventions in nine states had to ratify the Constitution before it would become effective. Some states were highly in favor of the new Constitution, and within three months, three states, Delaware with a vote of 30-0Pennsylvania 46-23and New Jersey 38-0had ratified it.

Georgia 26-0 and Connecticut 128-40 quickly followed in January, 1788 for the exact dates of ratification, see The Timeline. More than half-way there in four months, one might think that the battle was nearly won. Comparing and contrasting anti federalist views on the ratification of the us constitution the problem was not with the states that ratified quickly, but with the key states in which ratification was not as certain.

Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia were key states, both in terms of population and stature. Debates in Massachusetts were very heated, with impassioned speeches from those on both sides of the issue. Massachusetts was finally won, 187-168, but only after assurances to opponents that the Constitution could have a bill of rights added to it. After Massachusetts, the remaining states required for ratification did so within a few months, with Maryland 63-11 and South Carolina 149-73 falling in line, and New Hampshire 57-47 casting the deciding vote to reach the required nine states.

New York and Virginia still remained, however, and many doubted that the new Constitution could survive without these states. New York and Virginia Early in the ratification process, the proponents of the Constitution took the name "Federalists. They did not feel that a republican form of government could work on a national scale. They also did not feel that the rights of the individual were properly or sufficiently protected by the new Constitution.

They saw themselves as the true heirs of the spirit of the Revolution. There were some true philosophical differences between the two camps.

In many instances, though, there was also a lot of personal animosity.

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In addition, many letters were written to newspapers under various pseudonyms, like "The Federal Farmer," "Cato," "Brutus," and "Cincinnatus. John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison coordinated their efforts and wrote a series of 85 letters under the name "Publius.

Perhaps of far greater importance were the Federalist stances of George Washington and Ben Franklin, very prominent men both in their day and today. Their opinions carried great weight. The votes in Virginia and New York were hard-won, and close. Virginia voted 89-79, and New Yorka month later, voted 30-27 to ratify. With all the major states now having ratified, confidence was high that the United States under the Constitution would be a success, or, at least, have a fighting chance.

The new Congress met, and George Washington became the first President. As suggested by many of the ratifying conventions, one of the first tasks tackled was the writing of a Bill of Rights to be attached to the Constitution. The Bill, Amendments 1-10, eased the minds of many hold-outs.

Differences between Federalists and Antifederalists

Shortly thereafter, North Carolina ratified 194-77and lone hold-out, Rhode Islandfinally relented and ratified on a close 34-32 vote. Aftermath The Federalists were successful in their effort to get the Constitution ratified by all 13 states.

The Federalists later established a party known as the Federalist Party. The party backed the views of Hamilton and was a strong force in the early United States. The party, however, was short-lived, dead by 1824. The Anti-Federalists generally gravitated toward the views of Thomas Jefferson, coalescing into the Republican Party, later known as the Democratic Republicans, the precursor to today's Democratic Party.

The Arguments One of the most succinct enumeration of the arguments of the Anti-Federalists against the Constitution is found in a letter commonly known as Anti-Federalist number 44. The author anonymously signed the letter "Deliberator. Most of the points made by Deliberator have actually proven true over time. For example, Freeman argued that the federal government could not train the militia — our modern National Guard, the descendant of their militia, is trained by the federal government.

Freeman also noted that the federal government would not be permitted to inspect "the produce of the country", but our modern system of inspection of everything from food to drugs to cars has shown Freeman to be wrong and Deliberator to be right. The bulk of Deliberator's letter is not a refutation of Freeman's letter, though, but a list of the features of the Constitution that Deliberator, and many other Anti-Federalists, objected to.

These, along with commentary, are shown below. Today's modern military would probably alarm even the most strident Federalist, but our military evolved with time and most Americans cannot imagine the world without a strong national military.

The Anti-Federalist concern about billeting, however, is addressed in the 3rd Amendment. History has shown some of this concern to be true — for example, when the governor of Arkansas refused to implement a Supreme Court decision regarding school desegregation, President Dwight Eisenhower sent in federal troops and federalized the Arkansas National Guard to enforce the ruling.

The soldiers, however, were not unpaid, though they were subject to military discipline. This is true — but the Congress has never imposed a direct capitation tax, and with the ratification of the 16th Amendmentthere seems to be little need to be concerned with this point.

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The Congress banned the importation of slaves as soon as it was constitutionally able to do so, in 1808. No state was required to allow slaves contrary to their own laws or constitutions, but the outcome of the Dred Scott case illustrates that this concern was real. This was a real concern, especially considering the Stamp Act that the British has imposed on the colonies. However, no such tax was ever implemented and with the ratification of the 1st Amendmentsuch a tax probably would have been found unconstitutional by the courts.

And after a few years they may prohibit altogether, not only the emigration of foreigners into our country, but also that of our own citizens to any other country. Congress could effectively close the borders to immigration, and as a matter of policy has strictly regulated the immigration of people from certain countries for centuries — limitations that continue today.

Federalist VS. AntiFederalist ( Venn Diagram)

It is unlikely that a ban on emigration would be upheld by the courts, however, given the unenumerated right to travel. The Constitution requires that the Congress keep journals and publish them "from time to time.

Thus, in Pennsylvania, they may order the elections to be held in the middle of winter, at the city of Philadelphia; by which means the inhabitants of nine-tenths of the state will be effectually tho' constitutionally deprived of the exercise of their right of suffrage. Congress does have the power to alter state plans for time, place, and manner of election, but the Congress does not micro-manage elections in this way, though it has set a national date for elections.

  • They saw themselves as the true heirs of the spirit of the Revolution;
  • A crime committed at Fort Pitt may be tried by a jury of the citizens of Philadelphia;
  • Aftermath The Federalists were successful in their effort to get the Constitution ratified by all 13 states;
  • By contrast, Anti-Federalist philosophy stressed that small self-governing republics served as natural fonts of virtue, and the abundance of virtue would exert sufficient control on individuals.

It is still possible that the Congress could flex its muscle in this way, though it seems unlikely. A crime committed at Fort Pitt may be tried by a jury of the citizens of Philadelphia.

These concerns were addressed by the 6th and 7th Amendments. Such establishments have been thought necessary, and have accordingly taken place in almost all the other countries in the world, and will no doubt be thought equally necessary in this. This concern was addressed by the 1st Amendment. For though no state can emit bills of credit, or pass any law impairing the obligation of contracts, yet the Congress themselves are under no constitutional restraints on these points.

The federal government does, indeed, print paper money. This fiat currency, money which has no intrinsic value in and of itself, is a concern of many even today. However, relying on a gold or silver standard was not a viable economic solution either. While it cannot be said that we have evolved the best possible system of economics and monetary policy, the system in place today does lead to a stable currency and economy.

Congress, however, have no power to increase the number of representatives, but may reduce it even to one fifth part of the present arrangement.