The Anti-Federalists

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The Federalists were the group of people who supported the ratification of the Constitution. They believed that the Constitution gave nearly equal rights and powers to the State and National governments. Federalists also argued that the Constitution had precautions written in it to limit the power of the federal government, such as the separation of powers between the three branches, and checks and balances between the branches as well. Eighty-five essays were written in support of the ratification of the Constitution, these became known as the Federalist Papers. The leader of the Federalists, Alexander Hamilton, helped write these papers, as well as James Madison and John Jay under the alias “Publius.” The essays concentrated on the apprehensions being caused by the shift of power from a weak to a strong government. Federalists …show more content…
They felt it gave the federal government too much power, and did not protect the citizen’s rights and liberties. The Anti-Federalists saw the Constitution’s strong central government as similar to the government in Britain, a prospect they disapproved of. There are many notable Anti-Federalists, to include Patrick Henry and James Monroe, a future United States president. Edmund Randolph, George Mason, and Elbridge Gerry became known as the “Three Dissenters” after they refused to sign the newly written Constitution. In contrast to the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers were written. Pseudonyms were used such as “Cato” and “The Federal Farmer”, George Clinton’s and Richard Henry Lee’s aliases respectively. While the Anti-Federalists eventually lost and the Constitution was ratified, they did leave behind The Bill of Rights. Before ratifying the Constitution some states required that a Bill of Rights be added. James Madison, a Federalist, composed the Bill of Rights and ten out of twelve of his amendments were added to the