anti federalist vs federalist
The Revolution has been fought and won at great cost. The United States has
survived with a federal government that has few powers and many
weaknesses. Now a new Constitution is being offered to the American people for
The delegates to the Constitutional Convention have produced a bombshell of a
document that for some Americans who will become known as Anti-Federalists,
seems to go against every ideal that the American Revolution stood for. Patrick
Henry speaks to these fears in one of the primary documents assigned and argues
against ratifying the new Constitution.
Yet others who call themselves Federalists, point to the fact that the Articles of
Confederation by which the United States has been governed since the Revolution
has been almost a complete failure. The proposed Constitution may not be perfect
but it is far superior to the Articles and gives the young country a chance to
survive in a very hostile world. Their arguments are illustrated in James
Madison’s primary document in support of the ratification of the new Constitution.
I am one of the many Americans who is listening to both sides and making up my
mind about whether to support this new Constitution. I understand the weaknesses
of the Articles of Confederation but at the same time am concerned about the
power that this new Constitution appears to give to the federal government. Will
my hard-won rights as an American be threatened by a new, powerful central
authority? Or is this paranoia on my part?
You need to put yourself into the skin of a Federalist or Anti-Federalist who is
trying to convince me to either accept or reject this new Constitution. I do not
want to simply have you regurgitate the text chapter or primary documents. Use
the words “I”, “We” and “You”. If you think about the issues Americans were
debating at this time, you might be surprised as to how relevant they still seem to
be in today’s political environment.
It is 1788 and the debate is raging. What say you?
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