Arguments of Fedrealists V. Anti-Federalists

Topics: Separation of powers, United States Constitution, Law Pages: 3 (1099 words) Published: November 7, 2005
When the members of the Constitutional Convention, after several months of vigorous debating, finally finished their work, many of the members still objected to this document. The Federalists were the group of people who desired to get the finished new constitution ratified and the Anti-Federalists were the group of people who disliked the new constitution and believed it shouldn't be ratified because it was missing several key parts. The Anti-Federalists formulated arguments based on the weaknesses they found in the new constitution and used them against the Federalists in order to gain support, while the Federalists convinced citizens of the righteousness of the new constitution in order to gain their support.

The Anti-Federalists were led by George Mason, Elbridge Gerry, Richard Henry Lee, Patrick Henry, Mercy Otis Warren, Luther Martin, Robert Yeates, and George Clinton. The biggest flaw the Anti-Federalists found in the new constitution was that it did not include a Bill of Rights. The House of Representatives was the only group of governmental officials elected directly by the people and the Anti-Federalists believed the government is too far removed from the people to care for the people it's representing. Another concern of the Anti Federalists was how the government's powers were so vague and general that can give almost an infinite amount of power. The "necessary and proper" clause was one example of the government's vague powers, which gives the legislative body the ability to make all laws "necessary and proper." The new constitution did not include anything about how to stop the government from infringing on the rights it did not mention. This meant that the government could violate the freedom of speech, religion, assembly, or press because they were not specifically mentioned in the new constitution. According to the beliefs of the Anti-Federalists, if a bill of rights was created, it would diminish the fears of the federal government...
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