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Federalists vs Antifederalists To amend the Articles of Confederation unanimous approval by all thirteen colonies was a necessity Instead of reforming the preexisting document it was decided that once approved by nine states a newly written document would become the supreme law of the land Framers of the constitution were voted on by the individual colonies to amend the existing law the Articles of Confederation but instead created something entirely different altogether They wrote the new document and gave it to the people who were amazed and frightened at the new piece of legislation Because of the introduction of such a radical change conflict sprouted throughout the country over views of how government should be and the rights that it should grant the people People who were against a strong federal government were the antifederalists They were in opposition of the federalists who supported the constitution and a strong central government The antifederalists consisted mostly of the poorer classes those who were poorly educated backcountry dwellers single-horse farmers etc Along with them were debtors who feared that a strong central government would force them to pay off their debts Antifederalists suspected that the aristocrats were up to something sinister and trying to somehow trick them Federalists were more respectable and cultured people They mostly owned property and lived in settled areas unlike the antifederalists who lived in the backcountry Many of them were former loyalists who had a conservative attitude Antifederalists voiced strong objections about the constitution It had been drawn up by the aristocrats and therefore was believed to be undemocratic They spoke out about the loss of sovereignty of the states and how the freedoms of individuals were in jeopardy because of an absence of a bill of rights They criticized that there would no longer be annual elections for congressional representatives the creating of a standing army the exclusion of any reference to God and how only two thirds of the states
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