Paper Example on Federalism and Antifederalism

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  750 Words
Date:  2022-04-04

Reasons Why Antifederalist Writers Were Agitated About Aristocracy

Aristocracy is the highest class in the social stratification system. It primarily consists of people whose birth can be traced to noble families with hereditary titles and offices. It is worth noting that the Antifederalist writers were agitated or became anxious about aristocracy since it was perceived to be dangerous based on its recognition of wealthy people in the society charged with the mandate of exercising control on important matters that affected the public. Many Antifederalist writers saw it as a direct threat to democracy. Examples of such writers included Herbert Storing, Murray Dry, John Williams and Robert Yates among others (Cornell, 2).

Why the Federal Government Should Perform Better Than the State Government

Even though each government' (federal and state) are structured in the same way, the federal government is expected to perform better considering that it was granted by the constitution the right to exercise regulations on the interstate commerce programs and collect taxes. It also has the powers of raising an army and offer adjudication towards resolving legal disputes which may exist between the states. Its better performance is, therefore, tied to the powers noted. The states for so many years have tried making alliances to nullify the federal powers without success considering the existing competitions on matters development, powers, and control over the resources. Further to the imaged, the activities of the federal government are aligned to the U.S. Constitution, an issue that makes its performance monitored. The Congress and the Senate play a crucial role in ensuring that the performance of the federal government is one which reflects the face of the nation following the sovereignty provided to it by the constitution which was created in 1787. On the other hand, the performance of the states may not be compared with that of the Federal government considering their limited powers. It was until the late 1960s when President Richard Nixon saw the need for devolution of powers to the states, a situation which has since not yield better performance to that of the state (Faber, 4).

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The sense in which the Federalist thought that the Antifederalist were undermining the foundation of the Republicans as they were saving Revolution:

The Federalists were believed to be nationalists considering their instrumental role in shaping the 1787 U.S. Constitution. They believed they were saving revolution by giving many powers to the government hence building a stronger system which can resist any threat. They also thought that the Antifederalists were undermining the foundation of the Republicans based on their opposition to aristocracy, a kind of government that still defines the Republicans to date.

The Differences Between the Federalists and the Antifederalists

Some of the key differences were noted on the Federalist quest for a strong central government and a weaker state administration whereas the Antifederalists were concerned about the powers being centralized to the states and not the central government. The Federalists also believed in a constitution which would protect the individual rights while the Antifederalists noted that the constitution was not sufficient in protecting the rights of the people. The last key difference was on the people that formed both fronts. The Federalists were made up of Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, George Washington and John Jay among others while the key members of Antifederalists were George Mason, Patrick Henry, John Hancock and Richard Henry Lee among others (Killenbeck, 9).

As a moderate, some of the questions the questions that I have for Federalists and Antifederalists include;

Question to the Federalists

Why they wanted a strong federal government after the long struggle against the British government?

Why were they for an extensive system of taxes after opposing the British taxation?

Why did they want to pass laws such as Sedition and Alien which had great implications for the freedom of the people?

Question to the Antifederalists

Why the needed powers to be centralized at the state level and not to the federal government?

Why were they threatened by aristocracy even after acquiring independence?

Lastly, I would also ask them to mention particular the areas within the constitution that they felt were infringing the rights of the common citizen.

Works Cited

Cornell, Saul. "Constitutional Meaning and Semantic Instability: Federalists and Anti-Federalists on the Nature of Constitutional Language." American Journal of Legal History 56.1 (2016): 21-28.

Faber, Michael J. "The Federal Union Paradigm of 1788: Three Anti-Federalists Who Changed Their Minds." American Political Thought 4.4 (2015): 527-556.

Killenbeck, Mark R. "Crossroads for Liberty: Recovering the Anti-Federalist Values of America's First Constitution." (2017): 413-415.

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