summarize the concerns of the anti federalists

This week, you have examined the debates over the new the nation. After reading the historical documents for this week, compose a short essay in which you:

1. Summarize the concerns of the Anti-federalists (100-150 words).

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2. Summarize the reasons that the Federalists believed there were advantages to a stronger, central government (100-150 words).

3. Very briefly, take a side and explain why you favor one position over the other (100-150 words).

You are expected to pull evidence from the documents. NO OUTSIDE SOURCES ARE ALLOWED.You may draw from the lectures and the textbook reading to help provide context BUT your post should draw evidence primarily from the historical readings for evidence.

In your post, be sure to:

  1. State a clear thesis
  1. Use evidence from the historical documents to support your claims

300-400 words

Boyer. America: A Very Short Introduction. 2012. 9780195389142

Read Boyer, pp 15-29*

Holton. Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia. 1999. 9780807847848

Holt. The Fate of Their Country: Politicians, Slavery Extension, and Coming of the Civil War. 9780809044399

Founding Principles

Did you know that every American is a citizen of two governments? As the United States was created, the founders sought to find a balance between the centralized authority of a unitary government as well as factious division found in divided confederation. The founders had seen the weakness of both, the former in the centralization and tyranny seen under England and the latter seen in the geographic divisions and factions seen in the Articles of Confederation.

In part, because the founders had to work with the pre-existing political divisions of the colonies, the Constitution set up a system of Federalism; a structure of government where there is a central or united government that operates simultaneously with regional governments; what we tend to call the National or Federal government and the State government. Because of these different sources of authority, the founders recognized that jurisdiction could not be the same for both. Thus, by dividing the power based upon governments purposes, the founders set up a system of federalism with shared concurrent powers, as well as reserved powers to each authority.

Recognizing that the Constitution is a delegation of limited power to the National government, While there are some things clearly forbidden to the National government such as making ex post facto laws, giving titles of nobility, and taxing interstate commerce, this does not mean they can do anything that is not forbidden. Rather, the constitution presumes that only those powers delegated may be exercised by the National government; this is made explicitly clear in the 10th amendment. Some of those powers delegated to the National, or Federal, the government are exclusive powers. This means that States have no jurisdiction to constitutionally create laws in these areas. These areas are mostly found in Article I.8 of the Constitution and tend to be issues that would require consorted effort such as national defense, declaration of war, treaties, immigration and naturalization policies, post offices and roads, inter-state commerce, and coining money. As you can see, these tend to center on the relationship of the United States to other countries and between states.

In addition, there are areas where both the National government and the individual state governments have jurisdiction. We call these area concurrent areas of jurisdiction since either or sometimes both, authorities can create laws and policies. These tend to focus on domestic issues such as taxation, protection of intellectual property, punishment of crime (though states can only punish for violations of state laws and federal government can only punish for violation of federal laws… but an individual can be punished in either or both state and federal court for the same action if it violates laws in both). Both the National government and the State government can create laws regarding these issues.

Finally, there are those powers that are reserved to the States and the people. These are not specifically mentioned in the constitution because they are to entail every other right that was not given to the Federal government or forbidden to the states. Article 1.10 lays out some of the things forbidden to the states. But, as the 10th amendment makes clear “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” This means, virtually any area of proper political authority is held within the realm of the states. This tends to include as education, health and safety regulations (think of cleanliness standards at the local restaurant), and even protection of certain fundmental rights.

This policy of both shared and exclusive jurisdiction was deigned to protect limited government and the rights of the people while still providing the resources and tools for unity and safety. It was recognized that local govermnet would have a better understanding of the needs of the citizens than a government at a far distance, and thus power was separated. This division of power is often called dual federalism. Of course, as is common to human nature, both governments pushed the bourndries and attempted to gain control and power from the other. Over time the lines began to blur, and the division became mixed, called cooperative federalism. Thus, history of the United States can be seen, in part, as a history of the relationship between the state and National governments.