During British control of the American colonies, the colonists, even with their own legislatures, didn’t have to worry about running their own central government, due to the monarchial rule under George III. However as soon as the British were kicked out, the problem of governmental power emerged, which caused tension among the founding fathers. Those anti-federalists who wanted to keep the Articles of Confederation and those federalists who were for the adoption of the Constitution can categorize the fight of the founding fathers of what to control the majority of governmental power.
Patrick Henry and many in States, such as, Virginia and New York, were strong advocates in keeping the Articles of Confederation. They believed that the governmental power should rest in the states, and the central government should remain weak, which is evident in the seesaw cartoon. A strong central government could cause abuses in power, Henry argued, and that it could cause a “new monarchy”, no better than George III, thus detrimental to the people.
In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison argued that the only way to solve major problems such as: different currencies, individual border tariffs, and international trade disagreements, is to unify the states under a strong central government. This central government is to be divided into three branches: judicial, executive, and legislative with two houses using the principle of checks and balances to prevent abuses in the government, this idea is later outlined in the Tenth Amendment.
Despite the best efforts of the anti-federalists, the federalists won by very small margin in some of the states as seen on the American Pageant chart, establishing the tri-branched government, that was outlined by the Constitution.
The issue of governmental power between those that wanted the individual states to maintain their power and those that wanted the central government to...
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