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Essay Question 7 Federalists v Anti-Federalists The Constitution of the United States is the system of fundamental laws of the United States of America The Constitution was drawn up by 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787 and ratified by the states in 1788 According to Professor Lowi the Constitution was based on three principles of limitation federalism--the vertical division of power separation of powers-the horizontal division of power and individual rights- the concentric division of power However this ratification did not come without disgruntlement The positions of the Federalists those who supported the Constitution and the anti-Federalists those who opposed it were printed and reprinted by scores of newspapers across the country The Federalists often referred to the need for much more energy stability and efficiency in the national government Reader p7 and the Anti-Federalists were apprehensive about unrestrained power about the great risk of national consolidation rather than a true confederationReader p7 The Anti-Federalists and Federalists agreed on issues like governmental tyranny individual rights and political representation but the opinions of both sides differed as to how those issues are applied to the nation similar to that of todays Democrats and Republicans The ratification debate was in the end a political debate More narrowly it was a debate over the distribution of political power more specifically the threat of tyranny- the unjust rule by the group in power Both sides acknowledged the existence of the individual states and the existence of the wider American republic Just as the Federalists never entertained the notion of abolishing the states the Anti-Federalists never denied the need for some type of unity between the states But how power was to be shared between the two levels and how it was to flow amongst the two formed the basic disagreement between the two sides The Anti-Federalists was worried about the possibility that there will be a tendency of all governments
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