The Ratification Debate
Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists
People had many different opinions on the ratification of the Constitution. There were Federalists and Anti-Federalists that debated on many topics of the Constitution. The main reasons were: what type of government the United States of America should have, the people controlling our government, and some of the powers they should have. The Federalists were the ones who wanted change. They wanted to make changes to the government that was originally proposed. The Federalists wanted the government to protect the people, but not abuse their powers. They wanted to have the powers divided between the national and the state governments. The Constitution also stated that the government would be divided into three branches: legislative, judicial, and executive. In contrast, the Anti-Federalists wanted the original government that was placed under the Articles of Confederation. The people that debated over these different forms of government wrote about it in what is known as, “The Federalist Papers.” There were many authors that wrote about this debate, but the main ones were: James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton. One of the main points of argument was that they wanted to eliminate the power of factions. (Fed 10) Factions are people with the same interests that want the government to run their way. One of the ways that they could do this was to have a large republic. By having this type of large government, it would allow the people to have different opinions. This would be a good thing because you couldn’t have groups of people always having control over the government, it would change throughout time. Another main point of the papers was to either split up the government or to keep it all in one area. This was a problem because the people that were farther away wouldn’t have that big of a say in what their government is doing. (Fed 10) The small republics were scared that they were going...
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