¶ … Limits of Power "It is a very important objection to this government, that the representation consists of so few; too few to resist the influence of corruption, and the temptation to treachery."
As detailed in Federalist Paper No. 67, although the executive power of the new American republic had certain absolute executive privileges, such as the ability to fill vacancies in the Senate, most significant powers were either checked by Congress or balanced out by the other two branches of government. For example, Congress had the power to declare war, not the president. The independence of the judicial branch was also an argument that no branch could grow more powerful than the other two. Hamilton argued in Federalist Paper No.77 that: "the answer to this question has been anticipated in the investigation of its other characteristics, and is satisfactorily deducible from these circumstances; from the election of the President once in four years by persons immediately chosen by the people for that purpose; and from his being at all times liable to impeachment, trial, dismission from office, incapacity to serve in any other, and to forfeiture of life and estate by subsequent prosecution in the common course of law." The anti-federalists in papers such as Cato in No.5, expressed anxiety that a national representative government with so few members would begin to serve its own, rather than the ...
However, while concerns about the Constitution's ratification have long been settled, the question about the degree to which individuals in a republic truly represent their constituents remain. Today, the expense of running a campaign often means that wealthy donors and special interest groups have more influence upon representatives than ordinary citizens. Even the Supreme Court has been criticized for being overly beholden to business interests in rulings such as Citizen's United.
Cato. No 5. (1787). New York Journal. Retrieved from:
Hamilton, A. (1788). No. 77. The Federalist Papers. Retrieved from:
Question 2: The safety of the people
One of the arguments by the anti-federalists was that the new structure of the government would not truly allow the people to 'govern by consent.' As detailed in Cato No. 5, the anti-federalists asserted that so small a government would automatically be prone to corruption, given relatively few individuals were representing the interests of the many: "can it be asserted with truth, that six men can be a…
"It is a very important objection to this government, that the representation consists of so few; too few to resist the influence of corruption, and the temptation to treachery."
Federalists & Anti-Federalists Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists The contextual framework of the historic debate between federalists and anti-federalists involved major institutional expansion and reform as well as the political sphere. Although both groups of leaders embraced popular accountability as the standard of government legitimacy, their respective approaches differed quite significantly; reflecting different perspectives on the perils of citizen participation, concentrated power, and the need for effective and energetic government (Borowiak, 2007). The leaders of
It is interesting to note the statement of Semonche that Antifederalists tended to live inland where small farming operations were located while Federalists preferred to live along the coastlines in high commercial growth areas of the country. The Federalists view of the Constitution was one that questioned the compromises required in ratification of the Constitution as compared to the provisions of the 'Articles of Confederation'. However, there was more
Federalist/anti-Federali In many ways, the initial political parties in the fledgling nation of the United States were the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. As the names of these partisans indicate, many of their ideals and objectives were diametrically opposed to one another. For the most part, Federalists were in favor of a strong centralized government, while Anti-Federalists were more committed to states rights and autonomy. As history indicates, in the end the
Introduction The penning of the American Constitution during the 1787 Philadelphia convention was followed by its ratification. This formal process delineated within Article 7 necessitated at least 9 states’ agreement to implement the Constitution, prior to actually enacting it (Pole, 1987). Whilst the Federalists supported ratification, Anti-Federalists were against it. Those opposed to the constitution’s ratification claimed that it accorded disproportionate power to federal authorities, whilst robbing local and state bodies of their power, excessively. According to
The Federalists advocated a strong central government while the Anti-Federalists advocated state governments. The former feared that division would lead to fighting and instability. The latter feared that centralized power would lead to the kind of totalitarianism that the American Revolutionaries had just victoriously opposed in the War for Independence. This paper will describe why I would align myself with the Anti-Federalists because of their aversion for centralized power. The difference
Anti-Federalist Papers The historic Anti-Federalist Papers were essays composed against the 1787 U.S. Constitution's ratification. They represented diverse opposition-related aspects, and focused on various criticisms of the newly formulated constitution. The articles appeared under a fictitious name "Brutus." The general belief is that Brutus was actually Robert Yates; others claim the author of those articles was Melancton Smith or Thomas Tredwell. All the articles were directed at New York's inhabitants. Summary/Analysis