Custom «Federalist vs. Anti-federalist Perspectives» Essay Paper Sample
In the making of the American Constitution, there were a number of discussions and theoretical argumentation held on some contentious issues. Generally, there were two distinct school of thought; Federalist and Anti-Federalist. One of the major issues that divided these two opposing sides over the ratification of the Constitution was the size of republics. Brutus, an essay written by Robert Yates stressed on the small republic (Storing 35-7). He argued that, there was no possibility of a free republic in a huge territory such as the United States. As an example, he used the Roman and Greek republics that eventually grew to be tyrannical with a large territory.
Brutus also argued that a free republic should be from the people and not their representatives. With the size of the United States, people will not be represented well at the federal assembly. Brutus argues from authority with the view that, the immense power given to the federal government by the constitution will cause many American citizens to lose their liberties. Moreover, the congress had too much power to exercise over the states (Storing 78-9). He argued for a confederation that would bring different states together with a common goal, however, they should be left to manage their own affairs internally and locally. With the ratification of the constitution, the federal government would amass a lot of unchecked powers that would be subject to abuse. As an experienced judge, Brutus.
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Most of Brutus' ideas were in opposition to the introductory part of the U.S. Constitution. In his opposition to the Judiciary Branch, he opposed their ability to declare the powers of the legislature. He suggested that it would lead to the extension of their legislative powers as the Supreme Court can interpret the constitution basing on its spirit and reason. The provision that it would not be bound by words alone would be disastrous. He was also cautious with the fact that the Judiciary had the ability to override the state judiciaries. This would eventually make state legislation to appear unimportant and trifling. He proposed that the judiciary should face more checks and balances.
In a number of ways, the perspective held by Brutus appears to be correct. Though the Antifederalists lost in that debate, they were not automatically wrong since their views have greatly helped shape the current federal system. This group feared that Americans would pay in both resources and liberty to the federal government under the new constitution. It is important to note that the Bill of Rights came about as a result of their objections. Though they seem to have been a forgotten lot, their predictions have turned out to be true in every aspect with a few exceptions.
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While Madison advances the argument for a large republic in Federalist 10, he rejects virtue and homogeneity as the basis for a republic. According to Madison, factions are what cause problems in politics. He proposes that the problem of factions will be solved by a federal union that is well-constructed (Epstein 57). The federal Union will tend to break, as well as, control the violence caused by factions. He considers factions to be amongst the greatest dangers affecting a free society such as the United States. Madison also blames the human nature to be among the causes of faction. According to him, it was virtually impossible to offer every citizen the same interest and the same passion. However, if this was to be done, then the causes of faction would have been solved. He holds the view that there is little to be done in the elimination of factions. This is because of the human nature to hold self-opinions, which are usually different from the rest.
The representative plays a major role in Madison's solution to the "problem of factions". It is important to note that, Madison acknowledges that representatives are more divorced from the issues being brought up by factions and better placed to come up with a just legislation for the common good.
Madison is sometimes referred to as the "first pluralist" political scientist due to the influential essays he wrote. He is highly regarded in most political wings as he was among the first to argue for the ratification of the United States Constitution (Epstein 65). In addition to this, the article he wrote known as Federalist No. 10 was applied by the founding fathers. A number of his arguments have been used by judges and other campaigners.
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There are some commentators on American political thought who argue that the American political tradition is an inter-play between the Federalist and Anti-federalist perspectives. In my view, this statement refers to the fact that there is a juggle between those who support federalism and those who do not. Notably, Federalism is the system of government that is decentralized. Anti-federalists have always been on the forefront while defending state rights, which is the real meaning of federalism, while Federalists have been described as Nationalists.
In conclusion, the anti-Federalists had always argued for more powers to be vested in state governments while Federalists thought of a strong and credible federal government. It is also important to note that, Federalism, which has shaped American politics for quite some time, has radically changed (Wills 34). Recent times have seen more powers given back to the states as the states continue to exert power over the daily lives of Americans. Despite the fact that the Federalists carried the day in that debate, their counterparts had a lot to offer also as some of their views became pillars to a number of constitutional changes.