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The Federalist/ Anti-Federalist Debate

The Federalist/ Anti-Federalist Debate

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The Federalist/ Anti-Federalist Debate

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  1. The Federalist/ Anti-Federalist Debate An examination of Federalist No. 10 & 51 and selected Anti-Federalist letters

  2. Problem within a State: Factions • Faction according to Madison: a group of people who gather together to push for their economic and political interests • Madison states that as long as people have these differences in opinion, as well as different levels of wealth, there will always be factions • State Governments have not been successful @ solving this problem • If a republic was set up there would be a number of economic, geographic, social, religious, and sectional interests • by checking each other, would prevent American society from being divided into the clashing armies of the rich and the poor • There would be more factions, but they would be weaker Federalist No. 10

  3. Problem within a State: Loss of Liberty due to excessive governmental powers • "if men were angels, no government would be necessary“ • Separation of Powers and Check & Balances • Each branch is independent and has a check on the power of the other branches • In most governments, the Legislative branch has the most power • Bicameral system in which elections are done in different ways…divides power further • Concern: Majority abuse minority • Powerful government to prevent • “Community Will” Federalist No. 51

  4. Richard Henry Lee • Current government has “prepared many honest men for changes” • Is it possible that the states can be consolidated into one unit based on free principles • Need a Bill of Rights so that the peoples liberties are secure • New Government=Power transferred from the many to the few • Common person caught in between two factions: • “Levelers” or “Shayites” and the “Aristocrats”

  5. Luther Martin • States created the Articles of Confederation, why can individuals destroy the document? • Federalist are demagogues attempting to appeal to the people and weakening the state governments • Time wasted (that could be used in fixing the Articles of Confederation) in trying to consolidate power by the Federalists and attempting to prevent it by the Anti-Federalists • “I hold it sacredly my duty to dash the cup of poison, if possible, from the hand of a state or an individual, however anxious the one or the other might be to swallow it”

  6. William Findley, Robert Whitehill & John Smilie • Document created in “haste” • Such a large area can’t be managed by one, centralized government without infringing upon freedoms • Will create “an iron-handed despotism” • Will create an omnipotent, over powering government • Needs a Bill of Rights to protect the peoples liberty