Free «Federalist vs. Anti-federalist Perspectives on the Constitution» Essay Sample

The American Constitution or the Constitution of the United States is the main law of the country. Not everyone knows that the adoption of this document was made after many complex discussions and arguments. Last four Articles of the American Constitution were the Articles that describe the principles of federalism. The best examples of federalism thoughts were presented by Brutus I and James Madison.

All in all, the discussions and theoretical argumentations can be separated into two main thoughts – Federalist and Anti-Federalist. The main principle of such a division was elementary the different size of the republic. Robert Yates or Brutus, as he was called, insisted on the small republic, stating that there could not be an independent country on such a big land as the United States are on. Yates said that if someone needs to see what would happen, one should remember the situation among Roman and Greek republics that after all years of trying still ended up in tyranny. He also insisted on people, not just representatives, to decide whether the Constitution is needed to be declared or not. Brutus also was arguing from authority that representatives should not be given so much power, because if that would happen the most of American would simply lose their liberties. His wish was that all states were united under one goal in the confederation. Most of the thoughts and proposals that were made by Brutus are opposite to what was planned by the Constitution of the United States. Moreover, Yates was also against the Judiciary Branch and its immense legislative powers as he thought with the declaration of the Constitution would be extended. Brutus insisted on that Judiciary Branch had to be always checked and took in control. Although after all anti-federalists did not fully succeed to retrieve their thoughts in reality, still they did have their impact on the federal system that was took into consideration eventually. Anti-federalists were afraid that American citizens would after all have to pay not only for the resources that they were getting, but also for their liberty. As the result of their principals and arguments later the Bill of Rights was declared.

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In the opposite of Brutus’s arguments about a small republic, James Madison in his turn was fighting for a large republic. In his well-known essay, Federalist 10, Madison was telling all of his principles and goals. He also said that only a well-constructed federal union of states would solve all the problems. Madison argued that all political fraction are the main dangers to the union, not the rejection of liberties. However Madison stated that it is too hard to please every American citizen equally and in the same time if that would be done, the fractions’ problem would be immediately solved. Despite Brutus’ statement against the representatives, Madison in his turn thought that the role of representatives in the whole republic system is the major one. The only thing about representatives that Madison insisted on was their membership and union under fractions. In this way and with the help of his essays, James Madison was considered as the first pluralist. He was also considered as one of the most influential politics of those times, the one who was also arguing the most about the declaration of the Constitution. Moreover, his Federalist 10 was accepted by the fathers-founding. This collection of essays are teaching mostly how to protect one from fractions or how to oppose some groups, communities of people, whose interests are the opposites to the interests of the whole American society. On the contrary to Brutus’s thoughts, Madison stated that exactly with the large and strong republic the whole community or every state individually could be protected only if they all would be united. In his turn, Brutus in his Anti-Federalist essay 10 gave the opposite documents, saying that only a small republic could defend itself in a proper way. He also said in his essay that armies of the future republic should not be too big, so it would not happen in the way it happened once with the Roman Empire. As the conclusion of both these documents, one must admit that there was a thick political tension between federalists and anti-federalists in those times. So were also the discussions of the constitution. It seemed that for Brutus, the declaration of this Constitution and later a declaration of the large united American republic, would mean just the concentration of the immense power and wealth of all citizens in the hands of a few. He also thought that people with great powers are in most cases very self-centered men with no dignity after all. He stated in his Anti-Federalist 10 essay that it is a normal thing for the republic to stay small, like then it is more probably that no one would have an intention to invade it.

After all, both of these men were right. With the extending of the United States, citizens’ needs and dreams were lost. Some of these needs and demands were turned into sacrifices in the name of the general will, while others were turned into a fight. In the end, this conflict between interests and power became a real battle. The politics, who were sitting in the chairs in the Parliament, occupying their high positions, eventually had their own wills, needs and changes satisfied, while the natural, truly needed needs were to citizens to satisfy themselves. Federalists have always been arguing with Anti-Federalists and even nowadays this fact, as it seems, will never change.

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