The anti-Federalists Essay
Republicans. These were people who were strongly opposed to the United States Constitution. They wanted a strong state government instead of a strong central government. To them if the central government was too strong then it would threaten the people’s liberties and right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The anti-Federalists were made up of anyone who was poor and not a big landowner, anyone tired of being controlled, anyone who wanted the people’s votes to directly count and anyone who wanted to protect their rights. The anti-Federalists were made up of all different types of people, while the Federalists were mainly upper class. The anti-Federalists represented the United States population as a whole better than the Federalists.
When it came to the way the government was run the anti-Federalists wanted the complete opposite of the Federalists. The anti-Federalists wanted their power in the legislature, mainly the lower house where every state has one vote. They wanted the terms of office to be shorter, with limits on how many terms you could serve. These officials were not to be elected by representatives but directly by the people of the United States.
The only way the anti-Federalists would ever even consider helping to ratify the Constitution was if it contained a Bill of Rights, which they thought was “essential for preserving the individual liberties” (www.consitutioncenter.org) of the people. Without this document the government could control every one like a tyranny. To them the Constitution without the Bill of Rights was just a weapon of the upper class against the poor.
The figurehead of the anti-Federalists was Thomas Jefferson who later became President of The United States. The funny thing about Jefferson was for a long time he would not choose sides between the Federalists and the anti-Federalists, he was totally against political parties. He was for a strong central government, which was more of a Federalist’s view. What made Jefferson come to his senses was Alexander Hamilton and his “implied powers” Implied powers were powers which were not stated directly in the Constitution (http://www.constitutionfacts.com/gbody.shtml), in other words powers that were assumed by the government. Jefferson was totally against this, he believed that the Constitution could do the things which the Constitution states it can and nothing should be assumed. This was the start of a great feud between Hamilton and Jefferson, the first real battle of political parties for election in office.
In the fight between Federalists and anti-Federalists propaganda played a large role on both sides. It first started in speeches and local newspapers when three Federalists wrote in to share their opinions. The anti-Federalists followed suit and read their own speeche