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Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist Essay

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Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist

The road to accepting the Constitution of the United
States was neither easy nor predetermined. In fact during and after its drafting a wide-ranging debate was held between those who supported the Constitution, the
Federalists, and those who were against it, the
Anti-Federalists. The basis of this debate regarded the kind of government the Constitution was proposing, a centralized republic. Included in the debate over a centralized government were issues concerning the affect the
Constitution would have on state power, the power of the different branches of government that the Constitution would create, and the issue of a standing army. One of the most important concerns of the
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46, James Madison addresses these concerns about the well being of the state governments under the Constitution. Madison argues that the interests of the states will not be lost in Congress, because the loyalty of the legislator will be first to the people of his district and then secondly to the benefit of the whole country. Madison says that the "members of the Federal
Legislature will be likely to attach themselves too much to local objects"(Madison 239). Madison tried to alleviate the concerns of the Anti-Federalist concerning what type of recourse the states would have against Federal legislation by saying that the states would have powerful means of opposition to any unfavorable or unwarranted legislation.
The powerful means of opposition Madison talks about is the displeasure of the people, whom Madison believes to be the fountain from which the Federal government draws its power.
The second major concern of the Anti-Federalists was the power of Congress. It worried the Anti-Federalists a great deal that the Constitution would grant Congress the power to tax in "necessary and proper" circumstances (Main 122). Not only could Congress pass new taxes without the consent of the people or state governments, the Anti-Federalist also felt that the Congress would have control over the judiciary branch. If Congress had influence over the judicial system, what recourse would the state have against unfair legislation? The
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