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Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist

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1 Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist
The Never Ending Debate

2 The Ratification Process
The drafting of the new United States Constitution was only the beginning of the process to make it the law of the land. In order for this to happen, at least nine of the thirteen states would have to ratify the Constitution. The debate over ratification would split the political leaders of the time. People who supported ratification of the Constitution were Federalists, and those who opposed the new Constitution were Anti-Federalists. The debate over ratification of the Constitution would take place on the pages of the many newspapers and pamphlets that circulated in the country.

3 The Federalists Alexander Hamilton Federalists supported ratification of the Constitution. James Madison, who had been a key figure in drafting of the Constitution, along with Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and others answered criticisms of the new Constitution. These men wanted to push the ratification of the Constitution and to influence future interpretations of the Constitution. John Jay James Madison CICERO © 2007

4 The Anti-Federalists Anti-Federalists opposed ratification of the Constitution. They argued that although the Articles of Confederation needed to be improved, the proposed Constitution granted too much power to the national government. Some of the more famous Anti-Federalists included Patrick Henry, George Mason, George Clinton, and Thomas Paine. Other Anti-Federalists preferred to remain anonymous and used pseudonyms such as Centinel, Brutus, and Republicus. Patrick Henry George Mason Thomas Paine CICERO © 2007

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

6 The Federalists The Federalist, was a series of eighty-five articles written and published between September 1787 and August The articles presented arguments in favor of the new Constitution. Although all of the articles are signed Publius, it was well known the main authors were Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Hamilton wrote the first essay in response to a series of Anti-Federalist articles criticizing the Constitution. Most of these essays were published in The New York Packet and The Independent Journal. CICERO © 2007

7 The Anti-Federalists The Anti-Federalist papers were a series of editorials critical of the Constitution. The primary argument of the Anti-Federalists was that the new government was too powerful and threatened the rights of the states and their citizens. While most of the Anti-Federalist papers were written anonymously, historians are confident they have identified several of these writers. George Clinton “Cato” Richard Henry Lee “Federal Farmer” Robert Yates “Brutus” and “Sydney” Mercy Otis Warren “Columbian Patriot” CICERO © 2007

8 An Unfair Advantage? The Federalists publish their essays in New York newspapers and pamphlets in Newspapers support the Federalist side and publish more Federalist writings than Anti-Federalist writings!

9 Compromise: Ratification and a Bill of Rights
Overall, the Federalists were more organized in their efforts and ultimately succeeded – but not before compromising with the Anti-Federalists on the issue of a Bill of Rights. Five states ratified the Constitution quickly and relatively easily: Delaware (30-0), Pennsylvania (46-23), New Jersey (38-0), Georgia (26-0), and Connecticut (128-40). Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia remained and would be crucial in terms of population stature for the new government to succeed. Debates in Massachusetts were very heated, with impassioned speeches from those on both sides of the issue. Massachusetts was finally won, , but only after assurances to opponents that the Constitution could have a bill of rights added to it. Subsequently, Maryland (63-11) and South Carolina (149-73) agreed and New Hampshire (57-47) cast the deciding vote to reach the required nine states. The votes in Virginia (89-79) and New York (30-27) were hard-won, and close. Confidence was now high that the new government would succeed. Making good on their promise, a number of amendments were passed by Congress, allying the fears of the holdout states. North Carolina (194-77) and finally Rhode Island (34-32) relented and ratified well over a year after the Constitution took effect.

10 Winning over the States

11 Factions The debate resulting from ratification of the Constitution split Americans between those who favored a strong central government and those who wanted power to reside with the states. Although President George Washington warned of political factions in his farewell address, the divisions that had begun in 1787 led to the formation of the first political parties in the United States: The Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party. CICERO © 2007

12 The Result Both sides in the debate between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists won. The Federalists won when the Constitution finally was ratified and became the law of the land. The Constitution established the federal government as the central authority. The Ant-Federalists won because the Bill of Rights would guarantee the rights of citizens. James Madison presents the Bill of Rights to Congress. While twelve amendments were originally proposed, only ten were sent to the states for ratification. CICERO © 2007

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