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 the anti-federalists' movement, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams and Thomas Jefferson purported that the constitution of the United Stated should not be ratified. The basis of their argument was contingent upon, in their opinion, ratification gave too much power to the national government; pre-empting state authority; there was no bill of rights; the executive branch would be too powerful; congress, due to the "necessary and proper clause" provided too much power, and the national government could maintain an…… [Read More]
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 faith in and respect among Antifederalists for legislative power and it was their belief that "bicameralism and the separation of powers" was the appropriate means for checking the system. The Federalists viewed these checks and balance devices as merely checks on the power of the legislature and a tool in driving the power of the executive and judicial branches of government. Concerns of the Antifederalists included concerns over taxation of citizens and the possible enslavement of citizens to the government in…… [Read More]
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 Federalist viewpoint decidedly won and played a far more influential role in the shaping of the country -- especially in contemporary times -- than that of Anti-Federalists.
Federalists favored a strong centralized government largely because of what was perceived as the inefficacy of a decentralized government in which individual states had a great degree of authority and independence from one another. The Articles of Confederation was one of the major impetuses for the Federalist viewpoint. The Articles provisioned states…… [Read More]
Limits of Power
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…… [Read More]
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 of the Anti-Federalist Papers (Brutus No.2 and Brutus No. 5)
Anti-federalist articles published under the penname of 'Brutus' in New York Journal editions voice a number of concerns about, and protests against, the fresh Constitution. hile numerous Constitutional adversaries composed and published Anti-Federalist essays, those composed by 'Brutus' are considered the most effective in resisting the Constitution. The second article under the false name studies individual rights connected with the social compact model put forward by Locke, in addition…… [Read More]
Some of these ideas recurred after the establishment of the Constitution, yet the political unity began to fade. In 1800, the first anti-Federalist president was elected through Thomas Jefferson. Still, the issue of slavery became a matter for increasing tensions. At the moment of the Louisiana Purchase, the question over slave states and abolitionist ones became inevitable. In this context, the aspect related to the powers of the central government reemerged taking into account the fact that in the current conditions of the representative spectrum, some states, depending on the population, would acquire more influence in the legislative body.
At the same time, the Jefferson administration represented an essential point for the 19th century history and for the Anti-Federalists because his abuse of power and of the Constitution in the Louisiana Purchase pointed out the danger the country could face in the conditions of a strong central government. Still, even…… [Read More]
Federalist and Anti-Federalist Beliefs
The objective of this study is to determine if the beliefs of the Federalists were more convincing than those of the Anti-Federalists and if so then why they were more effective. The arguments of the anti-federalist is that liberty cannot be secured when it is held by a government that is one that holds a great deal of power and is distant from the population and that decentralization is a requirement for freedom to exist. (Wilson and Diluli, p. 41)The Federalists favored the establishment of a strong central government on the basis of the Constitution while Anti-federalists were opposed to this due to their concern that the influence of the states would be lost with the national government's power. The Federalists favored state power being limited while the Anti-Federalists supported the states in their acquiring and maintaining power and influence. The Anti-Federalists held that the Bill…… [Read More]
Anti-Federalist & ill of Rights
The Anti-federalist vs. Federalist argument is one of the most heated political debates the United States has ever seen. Though the length of the actual debate was relatively short, lasting from October of 1787, when the final version of the constitution was approved by the first congressional convention to June of 1788 when Virginia was the first to ratify the constitution of the United States. The concepts ideas and standards that were set forth by both the anti-federalists and the federalists as well as other more moderate politicians are expressed throughout the foundational documentation of the United States.
Most notably the ill of Rights, or the first ten amendments of the United States Constitution are a reflective example of the compromises and victories of both sides but this can be seen elsewhere in the foundational documentation as well. Knowing this and being able to demonstrate…… [Read More]
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 between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists was all about what kind of government the United States would have. The Federalists wanted to ratify the Constitution (which we have today) because it defined the ways in which states would be subject to a federal government and the ways in which they would be free to act on their own. The view of the Federalists was that the Constitution would protect the states from "domestic factions and convulsions" and provide unity…… [Read More]
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 Anti-Federalists, the American federal government wouldn’t be able to adequately represent its citizens owing to the size of the nation and its population which deemed it impossible for federal branches to locally respond to citizens’ concerns (Lewis, 1967; Amar, 1993). Moreover, they were concerned about the absence of the provision of criminal jury trials, besides the absence of a bill of rights within the Constitution, and desired guaranteed protection of a few fundamental freedoms for citizens, including freedom…… [Read More]
Project Title: Ratifying the U.S. Constitution
I chose this topic because I feel that our country went from being a loose union of individual states to being a nation with a central government when the Constitution was ratified. This was more important than the War for Independence, because it dictated the type of government we would have. The Federalists, led by Hamilton, wanted a strong central government. The Anti-Federalists wanted every state to be its own government. The guiding question for me is: Should the U.S. have ratified the Constitution or stayed a loose confederation?
I found most of my research online, using Google to help me with my web browsing. For primary sources, I was able to locate all the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers at Constitution.org and Yale.edu. This gave me a sense of what the actual debate was about at the time. For modern day perspective, I found…… [Read More]
ratification of the U.S. Constitution pushed the nation to extremes: on the one hand were the Federalists, led by men like Alexander Hamilton and James Madison -- men who promoted the idea of a central government (the reasons for which they enumerated at length in their "Federalist" papers); on the other hand were the Anti-Federalists, led by men like obert Yates and George Clinton (Yates being the presumptive author of the pseudonymously penned Anti-Federalist papers under the name of "Brutus"). Each side had its own view, not just of government, but of humanity and the way in which political society should be organized. This paper will present the underlying fundamental perspective of each side and show why I would have sided with the Anti-Federalists.
The Federalist plan to organize the federal government was to make it capable of overriding the individual autonomy and authority of the individual states, which the…… [Read More]
Primary Source Analysis
On September 17, 1787 the Constitution of the United States was signed by 39 delegates from 12 states in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after spending the summer debating the final form in the first Constitutional Convention. The Constitution represented in part an attempt to prevent the dissolution of the confederacy of states formed by the shared goal of independence, by forming a strong federal government (hodenhamel, 1987, p. 6).
Once the Constitution had been signed it had to be ratified by at least nine states before the federal government could be formed. To urge the states to ratify, a series of influential essays were published in New York newspapers by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, under the pseudonym Publius (hodenhamel, 1987, p. 45). This collection of essays was called The Federalist Papers (Genovese, 2009).
Historians have since recognized that the most influential of…… [Read More]
Madison's Relevance Today: Modern Echoes of Federalist No.
The Federalist Papers penned by James Madison, John Jay, and others in defense of the Constitution during the hotly contested period of its ratification remain some of the most significant documents in American political history to this date. Detailing the arguments of some of the men who helped to frame and influence the composition of the foundational body of laws and structure of government of what is now the most powerful nation on Earth, reading the Federalist Papers is akin to reading the minds of those that have helped to shape global politics and political ideals. At the same time, the fact that so many of the arguments made in these documents are now foregone conclusions, and that the rights and reasons invoked (not to mention the language in which they are invoked) seem so antiquated can make the Federalist…… [Read More]
Federalist Papers are important to any analysis of the U.S. Constitution because they provided the philosophical and socio-political justification for the adoption of the Constitution. Prior to the ratification of the Constitution, the states were loosely united under the Articles of Confederation. However, Alexander Hamilton and his group of elites did not like that they could not be part of a federal/central government that oversaw and wielded power over the rest of the states. Thus, Hamilton penned many of the Federalist Papers (including Federalist no. 1) in order to combat the ideas expressed by the Anti-Federalists who condemned the Constitution as an attempt to subjugate states' rights.
The Federalist Papers may be read therefore as a series of a letters and arguments meant to sway the reader as to why the U.S. should adopt the Constitution in place of the Articles of Confederation. It is a body of writing that…… [Read More]
European Federalism: Historical Analysis
Fascism is considered to be a political belief and concept, which is based on the principle that social, economic and cultural and traditional beliefs of a country must be used in order to increase nationalism. In Europe, fascist movements had emerged in twentieth century. The goal of these fascist movements was to promote fundamentalist and fanatic beliefs in order to deal with the social and political turmoil that occurred in the European region after the end of World War I. Federalism is considered to be the theory, which is based on the principles of federation, which seeks to create a balance of power by dividing it among the member of the same institution. The aim of this paper is to historically analyze the rise of European Union from 1918 to the end of World War II in the lights of broad and diverse academic resources. Furthermore,…… [Read More]
Anti-Federalists and the Constitution in the Development of Political Parties
The Development of Political Parties
The Constitution and Political Parties
The Changing Ideology of Political Parties
Even before the adoption of the Constitution, political parties were beginning to form. Those who favored the Constitution were called Federalists, and were led by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. Another group, led by Thomas Jefferson, opposed the adoption of the Constitution and was known as Antifederalists. The Antifederalists broke up after the Constitution was ratified, but they set the stage for the development of other political parties, resulting in the two party system that we have today.
The Development of Political Parties
The debate over the Constitution split people into two groups. Those who favored ratification believed that a strong federal government that would dominate the individual states. Hamilton particularly argued that the future of the country depended on the development of a…… [Read More]
Baltimore Advertiser, 18 Mar 1788)
(2) the second class was reported as comprised by "those descriptions of men who are certainly more numerous with us than in any other part of the globe. First, those men who are so wise as to discover that their ancestors and indeed all the rest of mankind were and are fools. We have a vast overproportion of these great men, who, when you tell them that from the earliest period at which mankind devoted their attention to social happiness, it has been their uniform judgment, that a government over governments cannot exist - that is two governments operating on the same individual - assume the smile of confidence, and tell you of two people travelling the same road - of a perfect and precise division of the duties of the individual." (No. 10 -- on the Preservation of Parties, Public Liberty Depends, 18 Mar…… [Read More]
45, for instance, where he argues that "the State governments may be regarded as constituent and essential parts of the federal government; whilst the latter is nowise essential to the operation or organization of the former. ithout the intervention of the State legislatures, the President of the United States cannot be elected at all." (Rossiter, 287) This is a position which suggests not only that the Federalists felt that significant power had already been entrusted to leaders at the state level, but also that this power is seen primarily as a function of the power of the federal government. Thus, we are given further confirmation that the Constitution was inherently a federal document.
In key segments of the debate such as that shown in the Anti-Federalist Paper No. 17, we can see that those who stood in opposition to the empowerment of federal authority derived from the Constitution were a…… [Read More]
America went from being a loose union of individual states to being a nation with a central government when the Constitution was ratified. This was more important than the War for Independence, because it dictated the type of government we would have. The Federalists, led by Hamilton, wanted a strong central government. The Anti-Federalists wanted every state to be its own government. The guiding question of this essay is: Should the U.S. have ratified the Constitution or stayed a loose confederation? This paper will show why the U.S. was better off not ratifying the Constitution and remaining a loose confederation of states.
An interesting article at Mises Institute by Gary Galles argued that history has proven that the Anti-Federalists were right in their fears of what would happen should a central government be founded. As Galles notes, the Anti-Federalists were opposed to the ratification of the U.S. Constitution because they…… [Read More]
Thomas Abraham Clark was born into extreme wealth in an urban area, he is an Anti-Federalist. He corresponds with some of the most influential Anti-Federalists, sees centralized government as a curse, and has prospered under the Articles of Confederation.
Because his economic interests are threatened by an unstable currency as well as high tariffs imposed by other states, Josiah Bartlett can be considered to be a Federalist. Federalism would impose a single, stable currency and remove state tariffs and taxes.
Anti-Federalists generally believed in an agrarian republicanism, where the local wealthy landowners would represent the masses in political issues. Because Edward Heyward is a member of the landed aristocracy it would be logical to assume that he is an Anti-Federalist. However, his view of a united effort against the Indians may be an overriding factor as Federalism proposes a united national government. Therefore I am undecided.
As the "voice of…… [Read More]
Federalists, Anti-Federalists and the Constitution
The ratification of the US Constitution was an issue that essentially divided the thirteen colonies in two: on the one hand was the push by the Federalists for ratification. Their argument was that the thirteen colonies needed a centralized, federal government to ensure that the colonies themselves did not get into any trouble (either through in-fighting or through foreign wars). The Anti-Federalists, on the other hand, saw the Constitution as a gateway to the exact type of authoritarianism that the Revolutionaries had just opposed in the Revolutionary War. The Anti-Federalists wanted each individual state to mind its own affairs and, at best, for there to be a loose confederation among the states so that no one, single entity could assert itself over them all. This paper will examine the writings of the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists in light of their historical context of the late…… [Read More]
CONFEDEATION & CONSTITUION
Confederation & Constitution
The author of this report is charged with answering several questions relating to the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. The original Constitution was hard enough to pull off but the Articles of Confederation were also a challenge and were in response to the economic challenges of that day. Different issues and weaknesses that came up were the Western problem, the slave vs. slave states, eastern vs. western states, Sherman's Plan, the Great Compromise and so forth. The debates that raged with the Federalists and the anti-Federalists will be covered as well as how the Bill of ights debate developed. Finally, the relative success of the Bill of ights will be summarized. While no single constitutional document is going to placate all sources and address all problems that could come to pass, the compromises and debates that raged about these two major parts of…… [Read More]
My political ideology is based on my reading of the early Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers. When I read these papers I realized that the way our country works today was really shaped by events back then during the days of the founding of the country's constitution. I used to be a Constitutionalist and identify with the libertarians led by on Paul, who pushes to uphold the Constitution. But after reading the Anti-Federalist Papers, I realized that the Constitution itself was never really a good thing: it was essentially designed to take power away from the states and place it in the hands of a central government, an idea promoted by Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers (Federalist No. 6, n.d.). The Anti-Federalists viewed this as a violation of the freedom and autonomy they had just won from England in the evolutionary War (Brutus No. 1, 1787). If the…… [Read More]
Moreover, they saw religious faith as critical to promoting moral stability in the community (Breslin, 2004). Here we see how federalists adhere in the idea of liberalism by siding with sovereign nation-states where a central type of government is a political strategy. Moreover, Federalists side with the Hobbesian doctrine of liberalism where no religious power should be exercised among people as Anti-Federalists argued that religious faith is crucial is the stability of communities. For Federalists, political rule is the only legitimate rule of power, at least in the socio-political sense.
Berkowitz, P. (1996). Intellectual History of Classical Liberalism. etrieved from www.dailyrepublican.com/liberalhistory.html. onMarch 12.
Breslin, B. (2004). The Communitarian Constitution. etrieved from www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/lpbr/subpages/reviews/breslin904.htm. onMarch 12.
Moseley, a. (2006). Political Philosophy. etrieved at http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/p/polphil.htm#SH3aonMarch 12, 2009.
Mount, S. (2007). Constitutional Topic: The Federalists and Anti-Federalists. etrieved at http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_faf.html. onMarch 12, 2009.
New World Encyclopedia. (2008). Age of Enlightenment. etrieved from www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Age_of_EnlightenmentonMarch…… [Read More]
Henderson the Rain King
Saul Bellow was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976 for, among other things, the ability to give values a place side by side with facts in literature, unlike realism. The import of his work was seen as creating awareness that only the right values can give human kind freedom and responsibility, necessary foundations for building of faith in the future and a desire for action. Bellow's work was also recognized for its unique mixture of philosophy, cultural analysis and deep insights into human consciousness (The Nobel Foundation eb site).
Henderson the Rain King is an archetypical Bellow work bearing all the aforesaid characteristics. Henderson, the novel's principal character sets out on a journey ostensibly to Africa but primarily in search of himself. Bellow's portrayal of the unhappy, discontented middle-aged American millionaire has been widely interpreted as a caricature of Americans in the…… [Read More]
Delegates' top priorities include the following. First, the delegates set out to revise the Articles of Confederation to weaken the power of the state legislatures and increase the powers of the central government. Delegates also sought changes in the ways states were represented in the federal government and introduced the concept of separation of powers to create a system of checks and balances. Debates between federalism and republicanism brewed during the Constitutional Convention, as delegates like Alexander Hamilton favored an exceedingly strong executive branch whereas traditional republicans hoped for term limits for elected officials. Compromise was a must and the Constitution of the United States reflects the confluence of republican and federalist values.
Second, the delegates heatedly debated the question of how to deal with slavery. An abolitionist movement had taken root in Europe and delegates were forced to address concerns about the international and inter-state slave trade. Once again,…… [Read More]
In fact, during the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Slonim notes that the need for a bill of rights was not even a topic of discussion until Virginian delegate George Mason raised the issue just several days before the Convention was scheduled to rise on September 17; Mason suggested that a bill of rights "would give great quiet to the people." Following this assertion, Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts moved that the Convention add a bill of rights to the Constitution and Mason seconded his motion to no avail: "The Convention unanimously rejected the proposal by a vote of 10 to 0, with one state absent. Failure to heed Mason's counsel was to plague the Federalists throughout the ratification campaign" (emphasis added).
The first major confrontation concerning the ratification of the Constitution involving the need for a bill of rights occurred in Pennsylvania several weeks after the close of the Constitutional Convention; at…… [Read More]
gaining their independence, what were the principal concerns Americans had about constructing a frame of government, and how were these concerns addressed in the structure of the Constitution?
After Americans gained their independence from England the next step was to structure the frame of a new government. In 1787 it was determined that the Articles of Confederation would be tossed out and an entirely new government frame would be constructed which would reflect the new views of the nation. he delegates from each state argued and debated behind closed doors about what the framework of the new government would include (he Constitution of the United States (http://www.archives.gov/exhibit_hall/charters_of_freedom/constitution/constitution.html).here were several chief points of concern to those who were developing the frame. One of the most important aspects of the debate was how much power each state should be allowed to have. his included debates on how many members each state should…… [Read More]
It separates the various forms of government and does not allow one to become more powerful than another, and it ensures that laws are created fairly, that justice is fair, and that the President does not gain too much power. Essentially, it is the backbone of our Democracy, and that assures our freedom and the public good.
Critics of the Constitution and its support of the public good believe that the laws can promote gridlock in legislation, and that it can make it easier for government leaders to not take responsibility for problems. However, the framers of the Constitution had the citizens in mind, and they formed it to create a Democratic country with the good of the public as a foremost concern.
The Virginia Plan was a plan favored by James Madison, and it had three branches, legislative, executive, and judicial. The legislature chose the executive and judicial branches,…… [Read More]
Hamilton's Arguments in Favor of the Debt and the Bank
Jefferson would have no position against witch to argue had not Hamilton made the argument for the national debt so eloquently and so forcefully. Essentially, Hamilton and Jefferson entirely disagreed on the proper course to put the nation on a prosperous track. The greatest issue was whether the multitudinous colonial debts piled up by the individual colonies during and since the war with England should, in the spirit of e pluribus unum, be taken on by the federal government.
Hamilton postulated that the assumption of these colonies' - now states' - debts was essential to make the nation a credible, operating reality, deserving of trust in seeking credit from other countries. Also, Hamilton felt that "monied men" - those wealthy Americans who had made the loans to the state governments and how had in many instances not been paid yet…… [Read More]
" It seems as if Madison was as concerned as the 'anti-federalists' of the time concerning the structure of the new government and wished to alleviate those concerns by allowing each branch control over its own destiny, while at the same time giving the other two branches the authority to step in if something were to go seriously wrong. He was especially concerned of the legislature. He states; "If, therefore, the legislature assumes executive and judiciary powers, no opposition is likely to be made." (pg 308) He wished to ensure that event would not happen. He also states that the executive, similar to the legislative, branch could also be usurped and that there should be no elective despotism, whether that despotism was one man in the executive office, or a group of despots in the legislative, either situation would be unacceptable.
One of the reasons why Madison was worried about…… [Read More]
Articles of Confederation: The Articles of Confederation were approved in November, 1777 and were the basic format for what would become the Constitution and Bill of ights for the United States. There were, of course, deficiencies in the document, this was a new experiment and getting the delegates to agree in kind to pass any sort of document was challenging at best. The Articles did allow a semblance of unity, the further impetus to remain at war with the British, and the conclusion that there would be some sort of Federal government. The Articles, however, failed to require individual States to help fund the Federal (National) government, a template for an Executive and National Judicial Branch, or the issuance of paper money and a central banking system. In essence, the largest failure was the Articles' inability to allow a Federal government to regulate commerce, tax, or impose laws upon the…… [Read More]
The presidents that served between 1789 and 1840 helped shape the nation during its formative years. During this critical period in American history, statesmen laid the foundations for political culture, philosophy, and institutions. Although all the presidents during this fifty-year period had some influence on the early republic, several left a more outstanding mark and legacy. As a Founding Father and author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson undoubtedly deserves recognition as one of the most important presidents in the entire history of the country. As a slave owner who believed in a small central government, Jefferson also set a precedent for what would become a series of contentious compromises between Americans who supported racism and the slave trade and those who recognized the ways slavery contradicted the underlying principles of the democracy. Likewise, James Monroe carried on the American legacy of compromise, and is remembered most by the…… [Read More]
colonists - now they are calling themselves Americans -- have won their war for independence and that they are now making their own laws. That was what they were fighting for. They complained in the Declaration of Independence that they did not have any representation when the English were in control. They were unhappy that they had to pay taxes and obey laws that they had no hand in creating. It is funny to me, but not in a comical way. They do not consider that we are in the same position as they were. Did they not write, "All men are created equal?" Why does that only apply to the white people? They think they can now control us like the English controlled them. They will take from us our land and they will make us abide by their laws or else they will wipe us out. Yet, you…… [Read More]
nation's "first constitution," the Articles of Confederation, provided a framework and blueprint for American politics and government (Kernell, Jacobson, Kousser and Vavreck 24). Far more anti-federalist in nature than the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation provided only for a loose confederation of states. States had the power to override almost any federal law. Moreover, the states appoint federal officials rather than reverting to citizen voters to elect national leaders and lawmakers. The Articles of Confederation lacked the balance of powers embedded in the future Constitution, and for which the Constitution is renowned. ithout an executive branch in the federal government, and without a federal judiciary, the new nation seemed precariously weak under the Articles. Federalists affirmed the need for stronger centralization, particularly to bolster the American position vis-a-vis its European counterparts. Although the anti-Federalists retained some of the core principles of states' rights in the Constitution, ultimately the federalists gained…… [Read More]
The colonists' most revered military institution was the militia, a model inherited from their forebears in England. The philosophical underpinnings of the militia model are easy to understand: "fear of a standing army," (Millet and Maslowski 1). A standing army can turn against its people, staging what now would be called military coups one after the other. During and especially after Independence, the validity, effectiveness, efficiency, and relevance of the militia model was called into question. This is why the United States Constitution eventually included the provisions for federalized systems of national security. Naturally, the existence of a standing army to "provide for the common defense" would be required. Independence required an organized military strategy against a powerful Empire; to protect the new nation, it was certain that the military would be necessary to preserve all that hard work. The Constitution therefore enabled the creation and maintenance of standing…… [Read More]
19th century, the federalist/anti-federalist schism dominated political discourse in the United States. The so-called "first party system" became less relevant as increasing numbers of citizens became politically active, leading to a greater plurality of voices and opinions. Even then, political parties had not yet become fully formed. Most elections had candidates running independently. However, the anti-federalists had become the Democratic-Republicans and they emerged as a dominant presence in the controversial 1824 presidential election. When he was defeated in that election by John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson and his supporters started the Democratic Party as an opposition group. In response, John Quincy Adams and his Secretary of State Henry Clay rebranded the Democratic-Republican Party the National Republicans.
Jackson's Democratic party grew in popularity during his presidency. An opposition party, the Whig party, emerged in response in the 1830s. For the next several decades, the Democrats and the Whigs were the primary…… [Read More]
Conclusion: The Benefits of a Third-Party Friendly System
hile both proponents and those in opposition to a two-party system have well-founded arguments, the third-party friendly system is the system that most makes sense in today's modern democracy. As presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama have made clear, the American people are ready for change. They are tired of the same old formula Republicans and Democrats, and they want to be represented by candidates whom they can truly feel represented by. A coalition government consisting of third parties would accomplish that change. Although this government may take longer to arrive at decisions, it would ultimately come up with the decisions that the majority of the Americans want, while still including the opinions of the minority. These coalitions would pass laws that were more representative of what America wants. Instead of retreating into the old, tired formula of choice a or…… [Read More]
At the time the U.S. Constitution was ratified, the new America of the 19th century saw its indigenes with varied political opinions. Those in favor of a powerful central government and therefore, a restraint of the powers the states possessed were part of the Federalist Party; those with the belief that interpretation should be given to the Constitution in order to reduce the powers the national government wields, which would further empower the states, became part of the epublican PartyTherefore, The Federalists adopted a nationalistic opinion; the epublicans, although they would not refute the efficiency of the central government, held the opinion that certain rights ought to be kept for the states. Thus, this essay will explore the aforementioned idea (Writer Thoughts). It will examine how the Federalist philosophy and ideas shaped modern American Society.
Supporters of the Constitution
The proposed American Constitution's advocates labeled themselves as "Federalists."…… [Read More]
DUAL FEDEALISM PHASE
The Dual Federalism is the reflection of the ideology that stressed over the balance of powers between the national and state governments, and considers both the governments as 'equal partners with separate and distinct spheres of authority' (Sergio, 2005). Previously, the 'federal or national government was limited in its authority to those powers enumerated in the Constitution', and it was evident that there was partial understanding and correspondence between the national and stat. There existed little collaboration between the national and state governments, which resulted in the 'occasional tensions over the nature of the union and the doctrine of nullification and state sovereignty'.
In 1789, the Constitution was approved by the States; ratification of the conventions convened took place. The period from 1789 to 1801 has been regarded as the Federalist Perios, 'the period takes its name from the dominant political party of the time, which believed…… [Read More]
American History from the Origins of the evolution to the Close of War of 1812
In the 16th century, America, in its development as a new nation, had been colonized by the British government, and for a decade, Americans had shown little resistance against the British colonizers. However, a decade after their conquest, the British forces and government in America had met resistance from the people, and these acts of resistance were triggered by a number of events and policies that further illustrated the growing inequality and injustices of the British to the Americans. As the American evolution became successful, and America had finally achieved independence, the War of 1812 broke out, pitting the country once again against the British forces. The War of 1812 had also encountered problems that had happened before and during the development of the said war. These conflicts and major problems are essential to the…… [Read More]
ig vs. Small Government
The problem of government and public administration in the U.S. today is one that affects many people. The trend in politics in recent years is for voters to voice their anger and frustration with government by voting for outsiders, such as Rand Paul, Donald Trump and ernie Sanders -- candidates who challenge the status quo, overreach of big government, lack of accountability and lack of representation. However, what representatives like Ron Paul assert is that government is too big and that smaller government, according to the Constitution as it was initially devised, needs to be adhered to in order to protect citizens from big government.
The main point of this study is to understand whether the common citizen is in favor of big government or small government and what their perception of the role of government is in today's world.
This study uses relevant literature on…… [Read More]
James Morone's By the People: Debating American Government addresses the meaty topics of federalism and nationalism. These trends in American political discourse have shaped much of American history, and it is crucial to engage in intelligent debates on these topics. Morone does an excellent job of presenting all sides of the debate and allowing readers to make decisions accordingly.
First, Morone presents an overview and definitions of terms, starting with the question, why federalism? The author responds to the prevailing federalist and anti-federalist beliefs by showing why a strong federal government might have been appealing to early American statesmen. In particular, Morone notes that the fragmented colonial governments needed to reconcile their interests in national security and free trade. Federalism arose largely out of practical matters. Choosing federalism often involves making calculated compromises between local self-interests and the resources that can only be generated on a larger scale. However, Morone…… [Read More]
Both large states with a great population, they did not want to lose influence or power to a federal government. In particular, there was great debate in New York as existing political leaders feared a lose of power. The Federalists were those who supported the Constitution and include James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. They were the Federalist Papers that were published in New York and not only helped the Constitution to be ratified, but guided the direction of the new American nation. Those who opposed a strong government were the anti-federalists and they feared America would turn into a corrupt nation like Great Britain.
George Washington, who would be the first President, was a federalist and had great influence and therefore helped the country to go in that direction. A Bill of Rights quelled further fears about the oppression of the federal government. In 1788 the Constitution went into effect.…… [Read More]
As a Secretary of State was the next path to Monroe's political career with whom President Madison appointed him in 1811. Monroe tried to prevent the war with Great ritain but was unable to do so because of unavoidable reasons. Monroe became the intelligence of the war and later acquired the position Secretary of War while maintaining his responsibilities as a Secretary of State (History Central Online, 2000).
Monroe as a President of the United States
Monroe won the 1816 presidential election because of his anti-Federalist actions and with the support of President Madison. He had good strategic choices for his Cabinet members, favoring Southerners, Northerners, and Westerners for his Cabinet. However, due to a contradiction from Henry Clay, Monroe was not able to elect a Westerner in his Cabinet (iography of James Monroe).
Monroe's presidency was termed as an "era of good feeling" because of political talent and skills.…… [Read More]
Hence, while ratifying the U.S. Constitution, the Virginia convention passed a resolution specifying: "That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state;"
It is, therefore, clear that the central issue that led to the adoption of the Second Amendment, as part of the Bill of Rights -- ratified in 1791, was the concern that the powers granted in the U.S. Constitution to the Congress over the militia and a national army may be used to abrogate state sovereignty and power, rather than a desire to recognize the right for bearing arms by individual citizens. Nowhere in the background and history of the introduction of the Second Amendment in the U.S. Constitution do we find the issue of personal use of weapons, for purposes…… [Read More]
She believes that the leadership, order, and willingness to follow someone else that make military campaigns successful are also what make political campaigns successful, though she acknowledges that, at least for the individuals involved, the direct and immediate consequences of failing to follow the leader are less severe in a military campaign. Modern political campaigns frequently follow the military model, but Jackson's campaign was the first to really do so. In fact, the 1828 campaign differed significantly from prior candidacies. Jackson's campaign featured coordinated media, fund-raising, rallies, political polls, paraphernalia, and ethnic voting blocks, image-making, smear tactics, dirty tricks, and opposition research. (Parsons, 2009, p.133). Jackson's supporters introduced many of these tactics. However, Parsons makes it clear that they were not doing something unethical when they did so. On the contrary, Jackson and his supporters had to deal with a dramatically expanding electorate. One of the conclusions that these campaigners…… [Read More]
Constitution of the United States was a highly important and significant document that was adopted on September 17, 1787, and ratified by conventions.
Eleven states participated in the ratification, and the Constitution officially went into effect on March 4, 1789.
The Constitution of the United States is important for many reasons, including keeping order and law and guaranteeing basic freedoms for the American people. Without the Constitution, it would be much easier for lawmakers to make changes that might not have value to the people of the country and that could cause them harm by taking away some or all of the rights that they have come to expect. Overall, the U.S. Constitution is a document that can be changed and adjusted but that does include guarantees for specific rights that will not be lost even if those changes and adjustments are made.
The U.S. Constitution was written by Governor…… [Read More]
.....controversy of establishing a court system at the creation of the U.S. Constitution centered on the power struggle between states and the creation of a federal, central government with its own court and ability to overrule state court decisions. The Constitution pitted Federalists against Anti-Federalists. The former wanted a central government that acted as the top force over all the states; the latter wanted no central government -- because, after all, the Revolutionaries had just fought a war against a king -- why should they turn around and elect a new one? The idea of sovereign states was such that each state was its own master and local citizens could have more say in their government at a localized, grassroots level. The passing of the Constitution essentially tipped the scales towards the centralized federal government having power over all the states (Brutus No. 1, 1787).
UNIT 1 DISCUSSION (2)
Feld's…… [Read More]
17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1913. It altered the way in which Senators of the Congress were elected. Previously, under Article 1 of the Constitution, it was the state legislature's responsibility to elect senators to Congress. ith the 17th Amendment, however, the voting power was placed directly into the hands of the public. The Amendment also provided a way for states to allow governors to fill vacancies in their state's appointed seats in Congress by temporarily appointing a senator until a time in which a special election could be conducted.
The text of the Amendment states specifically that "two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years" shall be the manner in which senators are now voted into office. This effectively made the process of electing senators more democratic and less representational, in the sense that that the voting public had the…… [Read More]
American Revolutionary War is responsible for much change happening during the 1780s and it made it possible for Americans to acknowledge that they needed to adapt to a system that differed largely from the ones that they were accustomed with. What was surprising about the American Revolution was that it did not change the American society suddenly. It gradually enabled people to understand that they actually needed change and that they needed to get actively involved in assisting their community as it experienced reform from several points-of-view. In spite of the fact that the government achieved a great deal of objectives during this period, it was also limited as a result of the fact that the masses had trouble understanding what change actually meant and the role that they needed to play in the new society that was developing.
The political and social structure largely remained the same in spite…… [Read More]
The Civil War was one of the most defining events in the nation’s history, and at the time was the most important event since the American Revolution. Whereas the Revolution embodied the ideals, values, and principles of the new nation, setting it apart from the British Crown and forever altering the geopolitical landscape, the Civil War revealed the persistent hypocrisy that continues to plague American society. Unresolved conflicts left brewing in the American psyche led to built-up tensions, exposing fissures in the society along the lines of culture, ethnicity, religion, race, gender, and socioeconomic class. The causes of the Civil War can be traced in fact to the inability of the original framers to take a firm stance on slavery, and to divest too much of the federal government’s power to the states. At the same time, protecting states’ rights was critical in the late eighteenth century when the nation…… [Read More]
The criticisms that de Tocqueville levels against American society, and especially against some of the particulars of its governance, continue in his discussion of the potential tyranny of the majority. Americans regard the majority much as Europeans viewed their king, according to de Tocqueville: it can do no wrong, and any wrong it does do is only due to bad advice or information. This subservience, according to de Tocqueville, creates the potential for a majority to rob a minority of its rights through legal means. While this danger certainly exists, however, de Tocqueville fails to demonstrate how it is worse than the tyranny of a monarch.
In addition to the arguments and political observation that de Tocqueville makes, there are other key features of Democracy in America that stand out to the modern reader as interesting tidbits of information, and aspects of American history that have perhaps not been fully…… [Read More]
arbary Pirates and U.S. Navy
As early as the American Revolution, the establishment of an official U.S. navy was a matter of debate for the newly formed Continental Congress. Supporters of the idea of a naval service argued that the United States needed sea power to defend the coast and make it easier to seek support from foreign countries by becoming part of the international seafaring group. Detractors pointed out that, at the time, Great ritain's Royal Navy was the preeminent naval power, and the new country had neither the funds nor expertise to match ritish naval might (Palmer 2004). Of course, once the war was over and the United States began to assert itself into world trade affairs the issue of protecting American merchant ships became an important part of international commerce. This actually came to a head in the area near present day Libya, the southwest Mediterranean with…… [Read More]
Revolution, Constitution and Enlightenment
The American Revolution and the ensuing U.S. Constitution put forward by the Federalists were both products of and directly informed by the European Enlightenment. The Founding Fathers were considerably influenced by thinkers like Locke, Voltaire, Rousseau and Montesquieu (whose separation of powers served as the model of the three-branched government of the U.S.). This paper will explain how the European Enlightenment set the stage for the American Revolution and U.S. Constitution by putting out the ideas that the Americans would use as the basis of the political and social foundation.
The Enlightenment aka the Age of Reason was an Age in which natural philosophy assumed the vaulted position of guiding light over the preceding Age of Faith, which had served as the socio-political basis in Europe for centuries. The Reformation had upended the Age of Faith and introduced secularization into the political realm (Laux), particularly via…… [Read More]
Bill of ights
Two of the most renowned authors in American history, Amar and Levy attempt to rejuvenate Bill of ights, by interpreting its usage for this century. While one takes a liberal view of the Bill, the other takes a very detailed interpretation of the connotation of the law prevalent at the time. Leonard W. Levy in his Origins of the Bill of ights argues that the Bill of ights is not only a militarized document but also it is also a document for the purpose of the ruling class. On the other hand Akhil eed Amar in his The Bill of ights argues that the rights of the individuals is incorporated in the Bill but it needs further interpretation for proper application.
The United States' Bill of ights is not only an ambiguous document but its interpretation has not generated the kind of application it needs in today's…… [Read More]
4th Amendment's evolution and history, together with the "search and seizure" law.
4th Amendment Background
People's rights of being secure in personal effects, papers, houses and persons, against unreasonable seizures and searches, may not be breached, nor shall any warrants be issued, but in case of probable cause, which is supported by affirmation or oath, and describes, particularly, the place that must be searched, or the things or individuals that should be seized, under the 4th Amendment. Like most fields in U.S. law, the English common law forms the principal basis of the 4th Amendment. Broadly, it was created for limiting governmental powers and their capacity of enforcing legal actions upon citizens (4th Amendment - constitution -- Laws.com). Amendment IV was implemented in immediate reaction to the historical writ of assistance's abuse. This writ was a sort of general governmental search warrant employed in the American evolution's era. Amendment IV…… [Read More]
The question of whether or not abortion should be legal depends entirely on who is asked, and what type of moral reasoning is being used. Likewise, the question of whether abortion should be legal or not depends on the definition of abortion -- which stage the abortion can or should take place. Perhaps more importantly, the answer to the abortion question relates to one's definition of a fetus. The answer to the question also depends whether abortion legality is maintained at the state as well as the federal level. These are some of the many factors influencing the abortion debate in the United States. Abortion has become a central political topic, not just in the United States, but in other countries as well. In the United States is the added dimension of states' rights, and whether states should be allowed to determine their own abortion policies. The arguments presented…… [Read More]
Sensibility and the American evolution
The book Sensibility and the American evolution" by Sarah Knott is a look at the idea of sensibility as a movement and its relationship to United States history. The author follows the growth of the sensibility movement in America, defines the movement and its goals, and offers up rationale why it existed and grew in popularity.
The author calls this movement a "sentimental project" (Knott 2009, 29), which helped create a societal acceptance and of personal change, which helped lead to unparalleled social reform. She writes, "Man's sensibility to the world around him was deemed a natural basis for social action, a means of healthy self-formation and social connectedness" (Knott 2009, 1). She also believed society was linked to the self and that it was a "sympathetic means of cohesion" (Knott 2009, 1). Many people think of the literary form of sensibility when they hear…… [Read More]