Federalists vs. Anti-federalists

Essay by hahaha May 2002

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Federalists vs. Anti-federalists

After fighting the revolutionary war in order to get independence many Americans didn't want to give any power to the central government. They feared that it might become another monarchy. This is where the anti-federalists came from. Other people thought that there needs to be a strong central government. These people were federalists. In order to protect itself, collect taxes, and have fewer problems with commerce the U.S. definitely needs a strong federal government.

To start out with, the U.S. needs to be able to protect itself. In order to do this all of the states need to help each other out. If one state is attacked then the others must help defend that state. John Adams once said," Winning the revolutionary war was like making thirteen clocks strike at once." If each state fought their own wars then they would easily be defeated. For this reason the central government needs to be able to raise an army and to do this it needs power.

The anti-federalists didn't want to give any power to the central government. They wanted a laize-faire government and all the power to go to the states. Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Sam Adams, and Patrick Henry were all anti-federalists. Federalists included Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and John Jay. They were all for a strong central government. Hamilton, Adams, and Jay wrote the Federalist Papers in order to convince people that the U.S. needs a strong central government.

Another thing that the central government needs to be able to do is tax. Under the Articles of Confederation the national government wasn't allowed to demand taxes. It gave hardly any power to the national government. The real power was given to the states. All the national government could do was ask the states...