As you have read in your book, the debate over the Constitution was one that divided the country and ultimately created political parties.  After reading the book, as well as the Federalists Papers, which do you think you would have been; A Federalists with Hamilton, Jay and Madison or an Anti Federalists with Jefferson, S. Adams and Patrick Henry?  Also, do you see any of the concersn the Anti Federalists had playing out in 2011?  Why or why not? 


Dylan Rupert
01/31/2011 06:48

I believe I would have been a Federalist, but I would have been moderate. While it's important for the individual States to have their own powers, the central government should have more power. If the states had more power they would have to manage not just the citizens, but the central government too. They would be overwhelmed. The Central government would manage the states and the states would manage the people. We see this tree work in business as well as the modern school system. If teachers had to manage the students as well as make sure to predside over the office, it'd be too much for them to handle.

Mackenzie Church
01/31/2011 09:35

I would be a Federalist. I feel that there needs to be a strong central government to make important decisions that affect all states. If the states held the most control, there would be too many differences for the country to function as a whole. Although the states need to have some role in the government, the federal government needs to be in place to unite the states, like Dylan said. The Anti-Federalists would not be pleased with the national health care. I believe they would feel that it is not the role of the federal government to put it in place.

01/31/2011 20:26

I also believe I would have been a Federalist. I agree with Rupert in the sense that the federal government should manage the states, and the states should manage the people. His comparison of that to how the modern school system works is a good way of looking at it. There needs to be a strong central government, especially at the time, to unite the states because it was such a new nation. If each state had control of their own government it would get confusing because one would go from state to state and encounter new currency and things of that nature. With the stronger federal government the states would be united, and the nation would grow to be a stronger nation. If the United States had not been united in that way we may not have grown to be the world super power we are today.

Yes, I do see these same concerns playing out in today's society. Like Mackenzie said about health care. Anti-federalist would be outraged at the idea of nationalized health care, arguing that that is under the responsibility of the individual state. Also, this applies to any instance where the federal government has tried to increase its scope, whether that be the health care law or the no child left behind act. With any action like this the Anti-federalists would have been in opposition.

While I said I would be a Federalist, I also think it is important to remember that there is a limit on either side. There needs to be a balance of state and federal powers for any nation to succeed.

11/01/2012 15:11

i agree....good job Jennifer :)

Austin Mincey
02/01/2011 06:34

I would have to go against the grain (of course) and say I would have been an Anti-Federalist. I am one who usually disagrees with the central government due to common disconnection. This meaning the central government often implements policies that are not beneficial to me; sometimes they are detrimental (such as education laws, health care policies, etc.). I feel as though most government should be conducted on a smaller scale, for the more local government, including state and city governments, are more aware of their citizens' needs; therefore, more local government is more efficient.

In accord with the above statements, the issue on health care and other major issues that are currently affecting the United States would have deeply disturbed the Anti-Federalists. Dictating such things clearly give the United States Government too much power.

Kathryn Auten
02/01/2011 06:41

I think I would be an anti-federalist, but more similar to Thomas Jefferson's moderate views. Jefferson primarily disagreed with the Constitution because he wanted natural rights to be included. I am all for a strong central government to unify the country, but I also do not want the federal government to become to strong and completely overpower state government.

The anti-federalists might be concerned with the elite leading the country as they were the underclass compared to the wealthy landowners that held positions before the American Revolution.

I personally disagree with national health care and I am sure that other anti0federalists would disagree as mentioned in Mackenzie's and Jennifer's comments.

I completely agree with Jennifer. BAlance is essential!!

Korri Sassman
02/01/2011 12:40

I would have been a Federalist. A strong central government is essential in developing a strong country. It is important for states to have some power, however if each state had too much say and power, there would be too many differences between them. This would cause even more tension between the Anti-federalists and the Federalists. I would have to agree with everyone when they say the Anti-federalists would not be pleased with the health care plan. The states get to make the “left-over” decisions which, by the anti-federalists standards wasn't enough. The anti-federalists would probably argue that health care plans should be decided by the states.

Kelsie Gibson
02/01/2011 15:39

I completely agree with what Kathryn said. I would have probably been a moderate Anti-Federalist.

I believe that we need a central government to keep us 50 states united, but I do believe the central government should not have an excessive amount of power. States should be able to govern themselves in the manner they best see fit. Not each state is the same size and not each state has the same people, so one law for one state may not work the same for another.

But I do believe that in times of war on our nation as a whole, or in times of crisis a central government is crucial to getting things done in a timely manner.

While healthcare would have been a big concern with the Anti-Federalists I also think that gun-control might have been another. The central government is currently trying to put limits on gun control for all states, but like I previously mentioned not all states are the same. In places such as Montana, there is a bigger need for guns because a lot of people hunt, it is wrong for the central government to limit each state the same, when each state has different needs.

Dylan Rupert
02/01/2011 18:18

I agree with everyone who agreed with me that a strong centeral government is necessary.

Bob Jones
10/26/2013 12:36

YES! I agree

Michael Church
02/01/2011 19:10

I would have also been a moderate anti federalist because I believe in each state being able to govern themselves. I agree with kelsie in which certain states needs are different. The government should be able to make laws pertaining to every state. Today, the anti federalist would have things to debate about such as abortion. The anti federalist would have argued that each state should be able to make their own laws pertaining to whats best for their state.

Prayer Jackson
02/01/2011 23:01

I believe that I would fall into the Anti Federalist group along with Jefferson, Adams, and Henry. As an Anti Federalist, I realize that a strong central government is necessary, but a strong state government is more important. Relating it to the government today, our governor affects us more in our day-to-day lives than our president. Although his role is essential, the stat is capable of the balance of freedom and rule necessary to an efficient government. As Kathryn mentioned “The anti-federalists might be concerned with the elite leading the country as they were the underclass...” Many have the same wonder as the middle class fears being overruled by wealthy politicians in government. Their voice matters and Anti Federalist ensured they would be heard by making a stand. As we enter 2011, the concerns the Anti Federalist had are becoming large issues. For example, we can observe the gun control issues again; we must realize the freedom to bear arms was included in the Bill of Rights as fought for by the Anti Federalist. Their worry of the government limiting their personal rights is being shared my many Americans today as many object to laws further limiting gun control. Thanks to their fight, the second amendment now protects this controversial freedom.

Hannah Love
02/02/2011 09:37

Although I am typically more in support of a strong national government for today’s nation, I imagine that I would have been an anti-federalist in that time period. Each of the states had operated separately and fairly successfully up to that point, and I doubt I would have seen a point to “fixing a system that wasn’t broken”. Furthermore, communication was much more limited in those times, and a national government would have seemed incredibly inefficient. Also, after coming directly out of a monarchy, the last thing I would have wanted was the threat of another ruling elite. As far as what Dylan said about the necessity of a strong central government, I do agree with him in modern times. However, the times of Jefferson and Madison were very different. The sheer amount of time that it took rulings to get from one city to the next made the law making process far too slow, and it was virtually impossible to maintain truly universal enforcement of laws.

Briana m.v. Murray
02/02/2011 18:41

If I had to choose a side, I think that I would have sided with the Federalist because they believed in a strong central government. If a strong central government was in effect, then I think that the nation as a whole would be more beneficial. For example, the anti-federalist believed that states should have more power. However, I disagree with this. If states had more power than the central government, then this would lead to many problems. This can be proven by looking back when the Articles of Confederation were in place. When they were in place, the states had too much power, and the central government could do little to help out, and shays rebellion can prove this. Moreover, I agree with korri. Yes states should have their own power, but if they are given too much then their different views can cause serious problems to rise. Also there is the concern of one state becoming too powerful. I also agree with everyone stating that the anti-federalist would disagree with health care and how it is being carried out today.

Jacquesea Williamson
02/02/2011 19:01

Even to my disbelief, the arguments that are listed above and the facts presented in the book lead me to the conclusion that I would have been an antifederalist (not an extremist), although if the question was asked in present day terms I would be a federalist. The reason I would have been an antifederalist is due to the fact that the Constitution didn't have the Bill of Rights, just as Prayer stated above. The Bill of Rights assured so many freedoms to the people in those days. Coming from under Britain's rule, the assurance of individual liberties was a necessity. The people didn't want to be persecuted for their freedom of speech, press, or religion. They had just escaped that. So in agreement with some things they stood for I would have been on their side. Also agreeing with Hannah's argument, the communication was so faulty that it wouldn't have been very reliable and efficient enough. The states would have been better off governing themselves as far as some issues. But when it came down to things such as national protection, the states needed to be in accordance with each other. Some concerns the antifederalist would have today would be issues like healthcare, the increasing debate on guns, and freedom of the press. Although I do believe they would take a different stance on freedom of the press and how far the the media should be allowed to go.

Joseph Coca
02/02/2011 20:15

Anti Federalist. I would imagine the Constitution sort of hid threat to the rights of the Anti. I would have not been against the adoption of the Constitution however unless there were certain changes favoring the general, overall people. As far as I know, at the time there was nothing that guaranteed the rights. However like Jaja stated, If it were today then that would be a different view than before. Again then, all the states were very differnt from another and.. to have one documented law at that time would be.. well.. not taken the same.

April Grimes
02/03/2011 06:09

I believe I would have been a Federalist, because I think a strong central government is necessary to maintaining a nation. While the states deserve some poower, too much power would overwhelm them. There would be many disputes between states about who has the right to do what. Like Dylan said, the Central Government should control the states and the states control the people. Also like most people stated above me, Anti-Federalists would have been outraged at the thought of the health care plan, like Mackenzie said, the Anti-Federalist would say that the health plan is not the federal governments role to put in place.

Lynnsey Coffey
02/03/2011 06:34

After researching and reading about the Anti-Federalists and Federalists, I believe I would've been a Anti-Federalist at first because the Bill of Rights were not added yet. I would probably be a moderate Federalist after the addition of them because civil liberties would be the most important aspect of the whole thing. Another reason I would end up being a Federalist is that I agree that the central government would have to very strong and stable to make a platform for the states to grow off of, like April was saying.

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