The debate between federalists and anti-federalists was very intense during the time the constitution was ratified. The anti-federalists wished to prevent a surplus of power in the national government by giving states the supreme power. Federalists wanted a larger central government for a good military and law enforcement. The anti-federalists had the most liberty under their form of government. One problem the federalists had with their form of government was that it would allow the majority to infringe of the rights of the individuals. James Madison explained this in the federalist papers, “A pure democracy can admit no cure for the mischiefs of faction. If the views of the faction become the will of the majority of people, there is nothing to stop them from trampling on the rights of those who have different views. A common passion or interest will be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party.” One thing that the anti-federalists wanted to prevent was people’s rights being taken by groups of special interests. Another problem with the federalists is that they didn’t want the states to have the right to secede. Hamilton explains it this way, “All men of sense will agree in the necessity of an energetic executive … The ingredients which constitute energy in the executive are unity; duration; an adequate provision for its support; and competent powers.” So Hamilton wanted a strong executive branch to unite the states rather than allow them greater independence. The anti-federalists had a heavy stance on natural rights and didn’t like to take someone’s right to see a judge without being incarcerated. This was a good law according to them, “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” Another thing the anti-federalists really liked was guaranteeing everyone a fair trial.
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