Sample Essay On Federalists Versus Anti-Federalists
Federalists versus Anti-Federalists; The protection of liberty and the need for a Bill of Rights
The primary and main focus of this essay lies in the Federalists No. 84 and Anti-Federalist No. 84 that dealt with the protection of liberty and debated on the need for a Bill of Rights.
In Federalist No. 84 Alexander Hamilton made a passionate argument against the need for the inclusion of the Bill into the Constitution. The reasons provided for this stand were many and varied including that the Constitution already had the provisions that secured the rights of the citizens including the writs of habeas corpus and the banning of the titles of nobility and the ex-facto laws. He argued that these provided greater securities of republicanism and liberty than the bill of right could provide. Furthermore, he also raised the question, if there were limitless rights where would that leave the other “limitable” rights.
The Antifederalist No. 84 was a seemingly direct rebuttal to the Federalist No.84 and presumably authored by Robert Yates, a strong proponent for the inclusion of the aforementioned bill to the constitution. The paper relies heavily on metaphors to drive the message across that in the creation and formation of governments some rights are surrendered to permit and facilitate the government in carrying out its functions. However, the paper emphasizes that there are rights that cannot be surrendered. In addition, the paper also pointed out that the bill of rights would protect the state governments through restrictions laid upon the central government by the bill of rights.
It is paramount to note that the key theme in these papers was the power and regulation of the central government in regard to the States governments. Hamilton sought to take as much power from the central government as possible. Yates also insists on less powerful central government. In conclusion, the papers were less about the rights of the people and more about the rights of the states.