Federalism vs. Anti-Federalism Federalism is the division of power between national and state government. Anti-Federalists believe that power should be equal between the nation and state. An example of Federalism in the constitution is in the 10th amendment, which says that the power that the congress doesn’t have is given to the states. This divides power between congress (national government) and the state (local government). The federalists believed that the Articles of Confederation were too weak. They wanted to ratify the constitution. They also wanted a strong central government.
The federalists wrote the Federalist Papers. A few people associated with the Federalists were Jay and Hamilton. They wanted a separation of powers into three independent branches that protect the rights of the people. Each branch would represent a different aspect of people, and no one group can assume control over another because all three branches would be equal. The Federalists think that a listing of right is dangerous. If the national government were to protect specific listed rights, nothing would stop people from violating rights other than the listed ones.
So, they argued that it is better to list no rights at all. Overall, the Federalists had more organized efforts. The Anti-Federalists did not want to ratify the constitution. They just wanted to amend the articles. The Anti-Federalists thought that the constitution gave too much power to the national government at the expense of state governments. It was believed that because of the Necessary and Proper Clause, congress had too much power, and the executive branch also held too much power. Thomas Jefferson was an example of an Anti-Federalist.
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The Anti-Federalists wanted a bill of rights. This was the focus of their campaign against the ratification. The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to added to the constitution to protect liberty. The reason they wanted a bill of rights was because they didn’t want an intimidating nations government taking away the people’s rights again. In an hypothetical election, I would vote for Alexander Hamilton (the federalist) over Thomas Jefferson (the anti-federalist). I choose this because I believe that we should have a strong central government.
Our country is based on the power of the government and if the center of the government is weak, then it will effect the rest of the government little by little. We study the constitution because it is a large part of our government’s history, and we are able to learn how decisions were made about the government in the modern day and how much it has evolved from long ago. We are also able to see differences and learn from things that have happened in the past. It is a part of our country and government that can’t be avoided.
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