In early American government there were two emerging political views that were blatantly obvious in the new states; federalists and anti-federalists. In this paper two main topics of interest for each of the parties will be discussed, the role that government should have according to the differing views and the subject of foreign policy.
The role of government as a according to the Federalists They support a stronger federal government. They felt that people can't govern themselves and that a nation must have a way to get rid of debts.
Federalists also believed that only a strong central government can ensure states participation in general good. Therefore representation is distributed more equally a single executive can govern better than multiple executives. They felt federal government provides common defense, raises revenue in time of war, and deals with other nations more effectively than a confederation.
Federalists were respectable and embraced the cultured and propertied groups. They lived in settled areas along the seaboard, not in the raw backcountry. They were in outlook rather closely akin to the conservative Loyalist group of Revolutionary days. But by remaining Loyalists it assisted them in the ratification.
Federalists strongly supported the Constitution. Anti-federalists were alarmed by the absence of a bill of rights. Federalists assured them it would be added by amendment. Federalists believed that the three branches of government-legislative, judicial and executive- effectively represent the people.
Anti-federalists, on the other hand, opposed the stronger federal government. The felt states had rights, which the central government threatened to trample. In their eyes the constitution is a tyrannical document without a Bill of Rights. The constitution granted too much power over taxation to the Federal government.
The anti-federalists has strong opinions when it came to the branches on the federal government. Congress should not have the power to meddle in the commerce of the states. The federal legislature is designed as an aristocratic institution, determined to steal the political prerogative of the people.
The Anti-federalists consisted primarily, though not only, of the states' rights devotees, the back-country dwellers, the one-horse farmers, the work-soiled artisans, the ill educated and illiterate-in general the poorer classes. They were worried that a potent central government would force them to pay off all their debts. They did not want to do this.
Anti-federalists suspected that the conniving upper crust were pulling off a sinister plot against the lowly common folk. They argued that the Constitution had been drawn up by the aristocratic elements and hence was antidemocratic. They charged that the sovereignty of the states was being submerged and that the individuals freedoms were at risk by the absence of a bill of rights....