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Federalist and antifederalist

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Running Head: Federalist and Anti-Federalist 14-Aug This paperis based on a reading of one Federalist paper and one Anti-Federalist paper and subsequent analysis of the methods, motivations and arguments in the years 1797 to 1800 A. D. The objective of this paper is to understand the arguments of each side and synthesize the thought processes of the writers. The Federalist paper chosen is “ The Federalist Paper No. 1” by Alexander Hamilton and the Anti-Federalist paper chosen is “ The Brutus” by Robert Yates.
If we examine the Federalist paper first, we find that Hamilton was laying out a series of well thought ideas and reasoned arguments for the necessity of having a new Constitution for the United States. The rationale that underpins his argument is that the present Federal Government has proved to be “ inefficient” and hence it is time for the people to decide upon a new Constitution. Hamilton also argues though the arguments for a new Constitution are obvious and to repeat them would be “ superfluous”, nonetheless he exhorts the people of New York to guard against malicious rumors against the same.
The following quote from the Federalist Paper underlines this aspect of Hamilton’s appeal to the people: “ But the fact is, that we already hear it whispered in the private circles of those who oppose the new Constitution, that the thirteen States are of too great extent for any general system, and that we must of necessity resort to separate confederacies of distinct portions of the whole” (Hamilton, 1787). This is the same argument which was also built upon by the Anti-Federalists who pointed out on more than one occasion about the new Federal system being unwieldy and hence there is no need for a Federation per se.
The point here is both sides of the debate were arguing about the necessity or otherwise of the proposed Federation and they were motivated by a strong desire not to accept the new Federation (Anti-Federalists) and an equally strong desire to have the new Federation as a route to all around prosperity (Federalists). While the anti-Federalists warned about the concentration of power in the hands of a few, the Federalists proposed the formation of a new system that would be powerful enough to achieve their objectives of true Republican government.
The motivation of the Federalists is quite clear. They wanted a strong Federation that would balance the needs of the strong as well as the weak and protect the latter from excesses by the majority. However, the Anti-Federalists were quite adamant that such concentration of power would lead to the very excesses that the Federalists were warning against. The following quote from the Anti-Federalist paper illustrates this point: “ In despotic governments, the supreme authority being lodged in one, his will is law, and can be as easily expressed to a large extensive territory as to a small one” (Yates, 1787)
In conclusion, what is clear from the readings is that both sides were essentially arguing the same points but from different sides of the spectrum. Hence, we can discern the common points of debate and the various sides that they were taking. The readings of the papers do suggest the highly illuminated nature of the debate at such a “ critical” point in the history of the United States.
Hamilton, A. (1787). Alexander Hamilton as Publius. Retrieved Aug 14, 2010, from The Library of Congress: http://thomas. loc. gov/home/histdox/fed_01. html
Yates, R. (1787). ” Brutus” No. 1. Retrieved Aug 14, 2010, from Liberty-Page: http://www. liberty-page. com/foundingdocs/antifedpap/brutus/1. htmlc

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