Federalist & Anti-Federalist

By Ximena Chavez p. 2

Why were these documents writen ?

During the period from the drafting and proposal of the federal Constitution in September, 1787, to its ratification in 1789 there was an intense debate on ratification.

Important People

Federalists Leaders : John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay,

Anti-Federalists Leaders: Patrick Henry, George Mason,and Thomas Jefferson,

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Their Stance


They believed in a strong central government, reduction of powers of the states and opposed the Bill of Rights. The Federalist also believed that the American Revolutionary war exposed the need for a strong federal government that would levy taxes to protect it’s borders and that could draft people into the Navy and Army. They disagreed with the proposition of a Bill of Rights because a list of rights could never include all rights to be protected.


They opposed a strong central government and believed that states must uphold the balance of power in order to avoid tyranny. The Anti- Federalist promoted a Bill of Rights to protect the inalienable rights of the individual. They also believed that any increase of federal power should be incremental and that allowing the federal government to have power over taxes and military could devalue the authority of each individual state.

The 85 Essays, Brutus and Farmers.

The 85 Essays

The 85 Federalist papers were written in favor of a central government. They begun on October 27, 1787 the Federalist Papers were first published in the New York. The 10th essay states " Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed union, none deserves to be more accurately developed, than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction" ( Madison 42). Madison believed that a major problem in government is the separation in groups. People often choosing faction over the greater good of the people.

Brutus and Farmers

The anti-federalist retaliation to the 85 essays. "It would not be difficult to prove, that anything short of despotism, could not bind so great a country under one government.” ( Farmers). The anti-federalist did not believe a central government was need to rule over them. “A free republic,” Brutus concluded, “cannot long subsist over a country of the great extent of these states.”