Review of the Anti-Federalist Papers

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Constitutional Convention Debates
  • The Anti-Federalist Papers


The Anti-Federalist Papers is a very interesting book about the government development of USA and the disagreements with its first documents by Ralph Ketchum. The introduction of the book is written by Ketchum, however, the resources in it was published in the period 1787-1788 in Philadelphia after the Constitution Agreement. The introduction gives us a brief understanding and background about the development of Constitution from the time of Stamp Act to Declaration of Independence. Many of the rejected forms of tradition and authority required a different thought or changes which were already weak in the New World, and the independence gave much realistic information which appeared to work. Furthermore Ketchum explains the description of these experiments in the last colonies, which tell us what Founders meant by democracy and monarchy. Then the internal conflicts caused by the diversity of the regions, and problems faced by the Founders about not being able to work with the traditional feud like bishops are discussed. Additionaly Ketchum shows us a trailer about the contents of the book; about the debates on Constitution and the efforts, Federalists Papers, for example, made to resolve it, and the Anti-Federalist Papers in response to them. The main idea of the introduction is based on Federalists Papers and Anti-Federalist Papers.

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The Constitutional Convention Debates

While the book begins with a letter sent to George Washington by James Madison, the part one of the book is about the Constitutional Convention debates. Here we see a number of ideas, some rejected others not, for the federal government. As we read introduction we come to realize that Virginia undermines the actions in start, going beyond changing the Article of Confederation by coming up with new constitution. No doubt there were some people who wanted stronger national government and tried by removing the state governments. As one continues to read, one will find more better attitude in the picture of debates than that of modern politics, with open gates for common people to be in involved in state affairs which is expressed by many representatives. The huge effort that was put in to finding out the right number of representatives stands out. The concern that representatives have about what politicians will do in terms of power and interests is lacking today. One also finds that money interests back then would have power over the state affairs as it is now. The finding and creating of a good government was well recognized, but not easy for the founders. There was extensive range of offers given to the executive division, as break was given to them by experienced founders on creating strong executive. Having that happened there would have been more than one President of USA, and maybe he or she might not have been getting salary, or duties other than just implementing laws. Just as it’s done in much democratic system, choosing from the Congress the President, which would have given different results, was almost implemented near the end of Convention. Among the delegates, mass democracy is plain just as support for majority rule. To resolve the many different positions on the election of executive, a system was created called Electoral College. The very interesting part of the Constitutional Convention is when the judges take consideration which talks more about the separation of power, because hardly anyone of them knew how this branch would become most powerful as it has. This kind of concern is usually raised by the executive branches. It was more focused that judged be given the executive rejection power, but the power was actually given to Marbury Madison in 1803, and this can help understand one why there very little fighting to it. Looking at the side of immigration and citizenship, the reader will encounter debates on having a share in the society, but rejection of the right to vote in political elections is not clear. Paying taxes, having a property or any kind of attachment to a community government so that one can have a representation in that has been missing. The conclusion of the first half of the book is the doubt of three delegates by George Mason, most of which tell the Anti-Federalist.

The Anti-Federalist Papers

The part two of the book looks at the effort made, mainly from the Anti-Federalist side, to approve the Constitution. The case anti-federalist argument began by James Wilson’s speech ratification which was. The two essays by John DeWitt start the selection process of Anti-Federalist. The first essay is about the caution he wishes against the people who want to adopt the Constitution rapidly. And the second is a warning about the Constitution being difficult to adjust if it is defective or has problems. Pattrick Henry said he wants liberty otherwise death during the Revolution, but afterwards he became anti-federalist. At Virginia Ratifying Convention Henry reasoned against ratification on date June 5, 1788. His first speech was similar to DeWitt. In the speech he also talked about dangers of armies and militia being charged by the federal government. Henry spoke against the fearmongering then discussed how a state can be troubled or oppressed by the other if a demand is rejected. Furthermore the Bill of Rights is one of the best known of the Anti-Federalist. When one looks at the first ten amendment, it shows support to avoid disorder in the new system. Another is Pennsylvania Anti-Federalists Samuel Brian who’s first of eighteen papers is included in this book based on responsible government. Brian argues that the federal government would trample the state government just like Henrys point of view, however he has more worry about the power of judiciary.

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