It is often said that what the anti federalists were for pdf is written by the victor. Since the Federalists were able to get the all thirteen states to ratify their proposed Constitution, it only makes sense that their justifications for ratification were made easily and publicly available. But what did their opponents have to say?
There are always two sides to every story. American people, Philanthropos argued that ratification of the Constitution will actually cause it. Perhaps most revealingly, the Federal Farmer thought that a consolidation of the states would inevitably create a hegemonic two-party system . One of the biggest contentions between the Federalists and their Anti-Federalist opponents was the preferability of a confederacy over that of a federated republic.
Centinel points out that the Articles of Confederation failed because there was no enforcement for the collection of impost taxes . Candidus proposed a 7 point plan in amending the Articles, which he claimed would negate the necessity for a Constitution in the first place . Cato judged that limited government must also be geographically small, thus negating the utility of a consolidated federal republic . Constitution , and neither did Leonidas . From these remarks, I think it is evident, that the grand convention hath dexterously provided for the removal of every thing that hath ever operated as a restraint upon government in any place or age of the world.
But perhaps some weak heads may think that the constitution itself will be a check upon the new congress. Alfred urged everyone to read their respective state constitutions, which he, like Philanthropos, thought sufficiently defended their liberties . To round out this mere sample of oppositions to a consolidated government, Amicus plead for the power of a popular recall against elected legislators . Unfortunately, Cato and A Georgian thought that representation should only be apportioned by the number of free inhabitants in a community, or by the states themselves, respectively . Having just secured their Liberty by defeating the British Empire victoriously during the American Revolutionary War for Independence, the colonists were still very much cognizant of the dangers accompanying a standing army. Brutus asserted that since the Congress is not subject to removal by the various state legislatures, and the requirement for raising such a standing army is much less stringent than under the Articles of Confederation, then this provision of the Constitution enabled too much power to the Congress and thus was inimical to the principles of Liberty .
Philadelphiensis expressed a deep suspicion that the President was in effect an elective King of the very worst sort, in that the most decrepit traits of both kinds of government agents are present without the benefits of either. Since he is the Commander-in-Chief of a standing army, the President’s power is not limited, thus contradicting the very foundation of republicanism itself . Americans had a deep and abiding hatred of taxes and government intervention in the free market throughout the revolutionary period. Revolution as this might yet cause another rebellion . Virginians would ever live to see the day where a government, other than the Virginian General Assembly, would ever impose a direct tax in Virginia . Agrippa argued that the Interstate Commerce clause was in fact an unlimited power of Congress .
Converting the many and sundry local militia units into a standing army was an alarming worry for the Anti-Federalists. Similarly, A Federal Republican stated the obvious that standing armies, such as consolidated militias, would be used to stifle revolts . A Farmer argued that such a bill of rights would limit the amount that congressmen would be able to borrow on the credit of the United States . Brutus suggested that the lack of a bill of rights, which would enumerate limits on government power against individual citizens, might very well be indicative of a massive power grab by the Federalists . If the principles of liberty are not firmly fixed and established in the present constitution, in vain may we hope for retrieving them hereafter. The greater the abuse of power, the more obstinately is it always persisted in.
Unmitigated reverence for the Constitution should be tempered by the incredible powers granted unto it. I think our current situation would, more likely than not, be much worse than it already is without that finger in the dike. Of course, it shouldn’t be forgotten that the Bill of Rights only protects your liberty so long as the judicial branch happens to agree with you, which is not too often these days. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account.
President and Hamilton’s nemesis Aaron Burr in an attempt to swing New York into an independent confederation with the New England states, greatly expanding the powers of the federal government. Nor does it always act right when it knows. The new President was a loner, jefferson told the Baptists of Connecticut there should be a “wall of separation” between church and state. In the South; where he became a citizen and married the daughter of Governor Clinton. Many Federalists held to the belief that this was the end of the United States and that the experiment they had begun had ended in failure.