Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists: The differences between Federalists and Anti-Federalists after America broke away from GB.

Essay by ginaaamarieeeCollege, UndergraduateB+, December 2005

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After America finally broke away from Great Britain, a new system of government was needed to maintain order and protect the rights of the people. Naturally, not everyone agreed on how this should be done, and two groups arose with opposing points of view on how the new American government should be run. These groups were the Federalists and Anti-federalists. The Federalists were in favor of a strong central (federal) government, while the Anti-federalists believed in strong state governments. Although their views were divergent, their motive was still basically the same. Both were venturing out to find a way to preserve the liberty, independence, and security of the people.

The Federalists wanted power to be concentrated in the central government. They felt that this was the most effective way to keep order, while at the same time protecting the rights of citizens. The Federalists thought that if too much power was given to state governments, it would backfire.

The nation would not be unified, and people's rights could easily become infringed upon. They believed that having the same set of rules and regulations for all states was a much safer route then having each state makes its own rules. The Federalists wanted to get rid of the Articles of Confederation completely; they felt a new Constitution was necessary.

The Anti-federalists had their own idea on how the new government should be run. They disagreed with the Federalist idea of a strong central government. They thought that state governments should be the most powerful. To the Anti-federalists, a small republic was the most effective way to preserve personal rights, and for common interest groups to be formed. They did not feel that a new constitution was needed; they simply wanted to amend and strengthen the Articles of Confederation. They...