The Federalist and Anti-Federalist The Voices of Reason Persuasion and Advantages
THE DEBATE BEGINS • Ratification: The U.S. Constitution states that 9 states must ratify a document for it to become the official law of the land. • Federalists argue that a federal government would maintain state unity. States without a strong government would lead to competition over land and commerce and there would be no state unity for the common defense of the United States. • Anti-Federalists feared that a strong central government would lead to the loss of individual liberties. Supported a Bill of Rights.
THE FEDERALIST PAPERS • John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison will write 85 essays • It is political propaganda and explains American political thought of the day • It is written to appeal to the Anti-Federalists that it is important to ratify the U.S. Constitution
THE FEDERALIST PAPERS • The essays will be written under the fake name of Pulbius • Alexander Hamilton will write most of the essays and they will be published in newspapers • Hamilton believes that the Articles of Confederation will lead to anarchy
The Federalists Papers • John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison wrote the Federalist Papers to get support for the Constitution. Papers addressed issues such as representation, rights of individuals and majority rule. • The Anti-Federalists respond in the “Objections to the Constitution of Government formed by the Convention”, which argued the fear of a strong executive branch and the absence of a Bill of Rights.
FEDERALIST #10 • Madison argues that our nation is large with many groups who would keep each other in check and would prevent certain groups from being in power • Creditors and debtors, rich and poor, merchants and land owners
FEDERALIST #15 • Hamilton points out the Articles of Confederation has many weaknesses • “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”
FEDERALIST #51 • Madison explains the system of “checks and balances”, each branch has powers that limits the influence of the other branches of government • Federal Judges are appointed for life to be free from political pressure
JAMES MADISON • Writes The Federalist papers because he supports a strong central government • Writes the first 10 amendments to the Constitution
ALEXANDER HAMILTON • Alexander Hamilton a lawyer co-writes several The Federalist essays • Supports a strong national government and ratification of the Constitution
Patrick Henry • Active leader during the Revolution who demanded that the British “give me liberty, or give me death!" • He is against the Constitution because it reduced states rights and had no Bill of Rights
George Mason • Anti-Federalist, a Virginian Plantation owner • Wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights which becomes the model for the Bill of Rights • He refused to sign the Constitution until a Bill of Rights was included
The Federalist and Anti-Federalist • Federalists are supported the Constitution and tended to be supported by merchants and urban areas • Anti-Federalist did not want the Constitution passed and are supported by small farmers and rural settlers
Federalists argued for Wanted a strong national government Three branches of government filled with men of “reputation” Wanted a president to lead executive branch No Bill of Rights Antifederalists argued States should have power Wanted legislative branch to be strongest branch of government Feared a strong president in office A Bill of Rights would protect the rights of Americans DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW
An Unfair Advantage? • The Federalists publish their essays in New York newspapers and pamphlets in 1787-1789 • Newspapers support the Federalist side and publish more Federalist writings than Anti-Federalist writings!