The Federalists and AntiFederalists

What did they stand for?

The Federalist Leaders

The Federalist Stance

1. Strong Central Government

The Federalists believed in a strong central government that would be able to manage many aspects of the nation. The Federalists believed a strong central government would improve the United States' ability to act on the international level, with the ability to recruit an army and collect money from the states. They also wanted to be able to recover and prevent further debt in the country, as well as make more unified decisions that wouldn't be objected to by the states. A strong government was especially desired because of the failure of the weak and extremely ineffective Articles of Confederation, which presided before the Constitutional Convention.

2. A Weak State Government

The Federalist stance on the power of the state was to have the state power be weaker than that of the central government. They believed their proposed plan where each state gets representatives in congress is sufficient enough representation for the states. The plan included that in the House of Representatives, population would decide how many representatives each state gets and in the Senate, each state would get the same amount of senators. This stance on the state power comes from the frustration with the states because of the fact that the stats mostly opposed to any decisions made by the Congress, during the time of the Articles of Confederation.

3. A Strong Army and Navy

The Federalists believed that a strong army and navy would benefit the country. The Federalists saw that without a good standing army and navy, their decisions on the international level would not be as accepted since they don't have the manpower to enforce their decisions. Furthermore, they believed a strong army would protect the people of their nation more effectively, and a strong navy would protect their oversea trade and international interests.

4. No Bill of Rights

The Federalists believed a bill of rights was not necessary for the protection of the citizens of the United States. The believed that a bill of rights could never list all of the rights a person had, and could undermine the rights not listed in the bill of rights. They believed the Constitution would give the government more power, but not enough to cause tyranny.

Quotes of the federalist Papers

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself."( James Madison, February 8 1788, Federalist Papers No. 51)

"Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint." (Alexander Hamilton, December 1, 1787, Federalist Papers No. 15)

"It is too true, however disgraceful it may be to human nature, that the nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it, nay that absolute monarchs, will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it, but for purposes and objects merely personal." (John Jay, November 7 1787, Federalist Papers No. 4)

The Anti-Federalist Leaders

The Anti-Federalist Stance

1. Weak Central Government

The Anti-Federalist believed in weak central government because of one reason. They were afraid that they would same treatment they received from the British Government. They believed that a strong central government would take too much power away from the people, and then the people wouldn't be able to protect their rights. Anti-Federalists thought that a strong government would continue to ask for more power which would eventually lead to infringement on the rights of the people and the states.

2. A Strong State Government.

The Anti-Federalist believed that a strong state government was the best way for the people to keep power to closer to themselves while still making sure the local government is effective. They believed a division of power between the states would prevent any one power from becoming too intrusive on peoples rights. They also believed that a state with a local government would address the needs of the specific population of the state more effectively.They believed the decisions of the state should hold more weight than the decision of the central government, and that the state shouldn't be required to to give money or men to the central government.

3. A Smaller Army and Navy

The Anti-Federalists believed that a government does not require a large standing army and navy during times of peace. They felt that this force is unnecessary, and could even be used against them. They thought that a large army and navy could be used to suppress the people and infringe on their given rights. ?In short, they were afraid of history repeating itself and afraid of a situation like that of which they just escaped from.

4. A Bill Of Rights

The Anti-Federalists saw that a bill of rights was the best way to protect the rights of people. The Anti-Federalists wanted to make sure that the government would not be able to attack the rights of people. They wanted written proof that their rights would not be broken. They were afraid that if left to interpretation, the government could manipulate the law and make decisions that destroy what the United States have gained.

Quotes of the Anti-Federalist Papers

“It is to be lamented that the interested and designing have availed themselves so successfully of the present crisis, and under the specious pretense of having discovered a panacea for all the ills of the people, they are about establishing a system of government, that will prove more destructive to them than the wooden horse filled with soldiers did in ancient times to the city of Troy. This horse was introduced by their hostile enemy the Grecians, by a prostitution of the sacred rites of their religion; in like manner, my fellow citizens, are aspiring despots among yourselves prostituting the name of a Washington to cloak their designs upon your liberties.” (Samuel Bryan, Anti-Federalist Papers)
“Compulsive or treacherous measures to establish any government whatever, will always excite jealousy among a free people: better remain single and alone, than blindly adopt whatever a few individuals shall demand, be they ever so wise. I had rather be a free citizen of the small republic of Massachusetts, than an oppressed subject of the great American empire.” (George Clinton, Robert Yates, Samuel Bryan, Anti-Federalist Papers)
“The new constitution in its present form is calculated to produce despotism, thraldom and confusion, and if the United States do swallow it, they will find it a bolus, that will create convulsions to their utmost extremities. Were they mine enemies, the worst imprecation I could devise would be, may they adopt it. For tyranny, where it has been chained (as for a few years past) is always more cursed, and sticks its teeth in deeper than before.” (George Clinton, Robert Yates, Samuel Bryan, Anti-Federalist Papers)


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