The ratification of the Constitution was hotly debated across the country but nowhere as fiercely as in New York. Students read Federalist and Anti-Federalist positions from the New York State Convention to explore the different sides of the debate and to understand who stood on each side.
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Federalist Paper #10 is one essay in a series of papers written mostly by James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton, fighting for the ratification of the United States Constitution.
Arguments of the Anti-Federalists - Andrew Pinzler
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In spite of the diversity that characterized the Antifederalist opposition, they did share a core view of American politics. They believed that the greatest threat to the future of the United States lay in the government's potential to become corrupt and seize more and more power until its tyrannical rule completely dominated the people. Having just succeeded in rejecting what they saw as the of British power, such threats were seen as a very real part of political life.
Free anti-federalists Essays and Papers - 123HelpMe
The President's vast new powers, especially a veto that could overturn decisions of the people's representatives in the legislature, were especially disturbing. The court system of the national government appeared likely to encroach on local courts. Meanwhile, the proposed lower house of the legislature would have so few members that only elites were likely to be elected. Furthermore, they would represent people from such a large area that they couldn't really know their own constituents. The fifty-five members of the proposed national House of Representatives was quite a bit smaller than most state legislatures in the period. Since the new legislature was to have increased fiscal authority, especially the right to raise taxes, the Antifederalists feared that before long Congress would pass oppressive taxes that they would enforce by creating a standing national army.
Free anti-federalists papers, essays, and research papers.
The most powerful objection raised by the Antifederalists, however, hinged on the lack of protection for in the Constitution. Most of the state constitutions of the era had built on the Virginia model that included an explicit protection of individual rights that could not be intruded upon by the state. This was seen as a central safeguard of people's rights and was considered a major Revolutionary improvement over the unwritten protections of the British constitution.
2.03 The Anti-Federalists by Madison Gordon on Prezi
The "nationalist" label, however, would have been a political liability in the 1780s. Traditional political belief of the Revolutionary Era held that strong centralized authority would inevitably lead to an abuse of power. The Federalists were also aware that that the problems of the country in the 1780s stemmed from the weaknesses of the central government created by the Articles of Confederation.