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Fereralist, Anti-Federalist, Whatever

4776

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In a post "We must return to Federalist principals" CaptainCourtesy and I engaged in a (courteous) debate re: his perception that I had misused the term "Federalist" in that I had charecterized them as opposing a strong central government.

The "Federal" system written into the Constitution limited the power of the central government and enumerated (thereby limiting them) its powers but not sufficiently to satisfy the fears of what became known as the Anti-Federalists who fought against its ratification. In a series of compromises during the ratification process those fears were sufficiently addressed by the inclusion of the Bill of Rights.
Extract from Wikipedia :
"........ As a result, once the Constitution became operative in 1789, Congress sent a set of twelve amendments to the states. Ten of these amendments were immediately ratified and became known as the Bill of Rights. Thus, while the Anti-Federalists were unsuccessful in their quest to prevent the adoption of the Constitution, their efforts were not totally in vain. Anti-Federalists thus became recognized as an influential group among the founding fathers of the United States.

With the passage of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the Anti-Federalist movement was exhausted. It was succeeded by the more broadly based Anti-Administration Party, which opposed the fiscal and foreign policies of U.S. President George Washington." In effect the "Anti-Federalists" ceased to exist in 1791.

After the passage of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights the "Federalist" system thus created was embraced by the Nation and it is this (post December 15, 1791) "Federalism" to which I was referring.

Beyond that comparing the "strong central government" feared by the Anti-Federalists to what we have today would be as comparing a firecracker to a stick of dynamite. I'd think most Conservatives would be pleased if we could return to the Fed/State power relationship of 1791. It is a return to a state of affairs more closely akin to 1791 I am and was proposing.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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In a post "We must return to Federalist principals" CaptainCourtesy and I engaged in a (courteous) debate re: his perception that I had misused the term "Federalist" in that I had charecterized them as opposing a strong central government.

The "Federal" system written into the Constitution limited the power of the central government and enumerated (thereby limiting them) its powers but not sufficiently to satisfy the fears of what became known as the Anti-Federalists who fought against its ratification. In a series of compromises during the ratification process those fears were sufficiently addressed by the inclusion of the Bill of Rights.
Extract from Wikipedia :
"........ As a result, once the Constitution became operative in 1789, Congress sent a set of twelve amendments to the states. Ten of these amendments were immediately ratified and became known as the Bill of Rights. Thus, while the Anti-Federalists were unsuccessful in their quest to prevent the adoption of the Constitution, their efforts were not totally in vain. Anti-Federalists thus became recognized as an influential group among the founding fathers of the United States.

With the passage of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the Anti-Federalist movement was exhausted. It was succeeded by the more broadly based Anti-Administration Party, which opposed the fiscal and foreign policies of U.S. President George Washington." In effect the "Anti-Federalists" ceased to exist in 1791.

After the passage of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights the "Federalist" system thus created was embraced by the Nation and it is this (post December 15, 1791) "Federalism" to which I was referring.

Beyond that comparing the "strong central government" feared by the Anti-Federalists to what we have today would be as comparing a firecracker to a stick of dynamite. I'd think most Conservatives would be pleased if we could return to the Fed/State power relationship of 1791. It is a return to a state of affairs more closely akin to 1791 I am and was proposing.
Nice post.
I do think that the "Federalist" system originally created compared to today would be considered more of a confederation.

There needs to be less federalism and more state control.
 

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I think James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and Patrick Henry would all agree that we are far from what was envisioned in the beginning.
 

Goshin

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CC has been overly hung up on semantics and narrow viewpoints lately. Don't know why.
 

4776

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But he is Courteous
 
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My understanding of federalism is the creation and support of a federation of sovereign states; regardless if it's bottom-top or top-bottom. The eroding of sovereignty and representation in this covenant of states is more anti-federalist than confederation is. When people say they are federalist, I know what they mean. They're advocates of state rights in a federal republic. Today the eroding of sovereignty and representation has evolved in such a way where the acknowledgment of this republic being federal is a reminder of our confederation, regardless if the confederation is believed to be historical or legal.
 

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When compared to the Anti-Federalists, the Federalists, who obviously won the day in the end, were in favor of much more centralized authority. The AFs basically wanted to maintain the Articles of Confederation, which provided for a much looser affiliation between the states, and highly decentralized power.

In this sense, the names used, Federalist and Anti-Federalists, are kind of misleading.

There's a great book called What the Anti-Federalists Were For that explains the debate quite well.
 

4776

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When compared to the Anti-Federalists, the Federalists, who obviously won the day in the end, were in favor of much more centralized authority. The AFs basically wanted to maintain the Articles of Confederation, which provided for a much looser affiliation between the states, and highly decentralized power.

In this sense, the names used, Federalist and Anti-Federalists, are kind of misleading.

There's a great book called What the Anti-Federalists Were For that explains the debate quite well.
Here comes Johnny-One-Note again. Those distinctions apply to the period up to the final compromise culminating at the passage of the Bill of Rights.
Beyond that they were all (kind of) Federalists in the general sense and no attempt to change/amend the Constitution, as it pertained to what had been in controversy, was made in the lifetimes of any of the participants in the F/AF fray.
 
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CaptainCourtesy

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CC has been overly hung up on semantics and narrow viewpoints lately. Don't know why.
I have my reasons. Some of it has to do with clarity. In this case, since I've been reading a lot about the founding of our country, lately, and the opposing forces towards how the Constitution was developed, I wanted to show the distinction between the two sides. I don't think either side is really well represented, today, though in a vague sort of way, Anti-Federalists would be closer to the Republican or libertarian position, and Federalists would be closer to the Democrat or liberal position. Very general, of course.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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Nice post.
I do think that the "Federalist" system originally created compared to today would be considered more of a confederation.
This is more of what the anti-federalists wanted. Federalists would have wanted a bit more of what we have today. Of course, if we are discussing a Federalist system, it is a bit more of a compromise.

There needs to be less federalism and more state control.
I prefer the opposite.
 

WilliamJB

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Here comes Johnny-One-Note again. Those distinctions apply to the period up to the final compromise culminating at the passage of the Bill of Rights.
Beyond that they were all (kind of) Federalists in the general sense and no attempt to change/amend the Constitution, as it pertained to what had been in controversy, was made in the lifetimes of any of the participants in the F/AF fray.
Yes, I agree with you, the AF/F distinction became more or less moot after the adoption of the constitution. But it was amended shortly after the major debate was over with the passage of the 11th Amendment in 1795, which most certainly occurred during the lifetime, and tenure, of the founding generation.

Not sure what the one-note you're referring to is, though...
 

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Just like every other debate, the question of states' rights vs. federal power always comes down to politics. If the state in question is more likely to make conservative policy, than conservatives support state's rights. If the state is more likely to make liberal policies, than liberals support states' rights.
 

Aunt Spiker

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I'll reply more in depth tomorrow when I'm fully up to par.

But Anti-Federalists would have opposed our massive military.

Without our massive military system we would have had our asses handed to us during WWI and WWII.

I think that really sums up my view. Anti-Federalists predicted our actual future but their options would have left us hung to dry several times over.
 

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I have my reasons. Some of it has to do with clarity. In this case, since I've been reading a lot about the founding of our country, lately, and the opposing forces towards how the Constitution was developed, I wanted to show the distinction between the two sides. I don't think either side is really well represented, today, though in a vague sort of way, Anti-Federalists would be closer to the Republican or libertarian position, and Federalists would be closer to the Democrat or liberal position. Very general, of course.
I simply can't draw parallels between The Founders and today's pols except to say they are both human, as I would say Golden Labs and roaches are both living things.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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I simply can't draw parallels between The Founders and today's pols except to say they are both human, as I would say Golden Labs and roaches are both living things.
I would agree with you for the most part, but in a vague sense, my comparision is about as accurate as one can be.
 

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I'll reply more in depth tomorrow when I'm fully up to par.
But Anti-Federalists would have opposed our massive military.
Without our massive military system we would have had our asses handed to us during WWI and WWII.
I do not think the AFs would have in any way opposed our involvement in WW2 or the creation of the military necessary to win it. if there was ever a necessary war, one that threatened the very existence of the US, it was WW2.

The worries of the AFs have certainly been borne out.
 

Tucker Case

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I have my reasons. Some of it has to do with clarity. In this case, since I've been reading a lot about the founding of our country, lately, and the opposing forces towards how the Constitution was developed, I wanted to show the distinction between the two sides. I don't think either side is really well represented, today, though in a vague sort of way, Anti-Federalists would be closer to the Republican or libertarian position, and Federalists would be closer to the Democrat or liberal position. Very general, of course.
This is more of what the anti-federalists wanted. Federalists would have wanted a bit more of what we have today. Of course, if we are discussing a Federalist system, it is a bit more of a compromise.



I prefer the opposite.
I've got to make a small correction here, cap.

The Federalists who were more like the modern Democratic party were the ones that were part of the Federalist party founded by Alexander Hamilton.

These Federalists were somewhat different than the "federalists" that supported the ratification of the constitution. James Madison helped write the Federalist papers, but would be closer in spirit to the anti-federalists than the Federalist party, as shown by his joining with Jefferson in opposition to Hamilton's Federalist party.


Essentially, not all of the "federalists" who were in favor of the ratification of the constitution became Federalists as in the Hamiltonian party. Many of them were just slighty less "anti-federalist" than the likes of Patrick Henry and George Mason.

Madison, for example, was a "Federalist" by the standards of 1787, but he most definitely in favor of a confederation and less central government.

I'd also add that neither moden party is anti-federalist in leaning. The modern parties are Hamiltonian and Hamiltonian light.





P.S. If anti-federalism really makes a comeback, I think I should get some credit for being one before it was "cool". :lol:
 
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Goobieman

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I'd also add that neither moden party is anti-federalist in leaning. The modern parties are Hamiltonian and Hamiltonian light.
True... but which is which?
 

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I have my reasons. Some of it has to do with clarity. In this case, since I've been reading a lot about the founding of our country, lately, and the opposing forces towards how the Constitution was developed, I wanted to show the distinction between the two sides. I don't think either side is really well represented, today, though in a vague sort of way, Anti-Federalists would be closer to the Republican or libertarian position, and Federalists would be closer to the Democrat or liberal position. Very general, of course.
Wow, I don't see it that way at all.
 

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I do not think the AFs would have in any way opposed our involvement in WW2 or the creation of the military necessary to win it. if there was ever a necessary war, one that threatened the very existence of the US, it was WW2.

The worries of the AFs have certainly been borne out.
This word is KEY.
 
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