Main Difference Between Federalist And Anti-Federalist Assignments

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The differences between the Federalists and the Antifederalists are vast and at times complex. Federalists’ beliefs could be better described as nationalist. The Federalists were instrumental in 1787 in shaping the new US Constitution, which strengthened the national government at the expense, according to the Antifederalists, of the states and the people. The Antifederalists opposed the ratification of the US Constitution, but they never organized efficiently across all thirteen states, and so had to fight the ratification at every state convention. Their great success was in forcing the first Congress under the new Constitution to establish a bill of rights to ensure the liberties that the Antifederalists felt the Constitution violated.

Sources consulted:
Berkin, Carol. "Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists." The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History video.
Wood, Gordon S. Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2009.

View this infographic as a downloadable PDF.


Questions for Discussion

  1. Were state senators who supported the Constitution wealthier or poorer than opponents of the Constitution?
  2. What conclusion might you draw about support for and opposition to the Constitution?
  3. Which occupational groups were most likely to support ratification of the Constitution?
  4. Which occupational groups were least likely to support ratification?

Federalists Vs Anti federalists

Opposed to a strong central government; saw undemocratic tendencies in the Constitution and insisted on the inclusion of the Bill of Rights. Included Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and Patrick Henry.
supporters of the constitution during the debate over its ratification; favored a strong national government
A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power
Anti federalists bill of rights
It is needed because if the statement is not in the constitution, it is too easily ignored
Anti federalists fear of strong national government
local and closely linked with the will of the people, taking rights away, replacing people in key positions often
Interest groups arising from the unequal distribution of property or wealth that James Madison attacked in Federalist Paper No. 10. Today's parties or interest groups are what Madison had in mind when he warned of the instability in government caused by factions.
notion that democracy depended on unselfish commitment to the public good
the branch of the United States government that has the power of legislating, The legislative branch creates the laws. There are two houses in it. One is the Senators. There are two senators per state. There is also a House of represenitives. The amount of people per state depends on how big the population is.
the branch of the United States government that is responsible for carrying out the laws
the branch of government, including the fedral court system, that interprets the nation's laws
The division of a central government into two or more branches, each having its own responsibilites and authorities.
Anti-federalist argument against Ratification
It gave too much power to the national government at the expense of the powers of the state governments, it did not include the bill of rights
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