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Federalist and Anti-Federalists

Liberalism and republicanism were both involved in the creation of the American government and the development of the Constitution that would be the framework for that government, and the two approaches were discussed, compared, and argued in the debate between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. The basic issue both faced was the ratification of the Constitution, with the Federalists supporting this document and the federal form of government it would represent and the Anti-Federalists opposing the document and the underlying philosophy. Yet, ultimately, both points of view were represented in some degree in the final document and in the government it created. The Federalist Papers were written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison as a defense of the developing Constitution. Madison and Hamilton were clearly allies in this endeavor, but they diverged on a number of points concerning their philosophies of government and what they wanted to see in the Constitution. Over the next several years, they diverged even more on the issue of centralization. Both advocated a strong national government at the time of ratification, but Hamilton wanted an even stronger central government, while Madison favored a middle course between centralization and states' rights. The differences between the two constitute a debate that has continued to this day over federal power and states' rights.

A republic in strictest terms is a form of government in which the people exercise their power through elected representatives, while democracy is a form of government in which the people exercise their power directly or through elected representatives. The men who gathered in Philadelphia to consider the formation of a new government had a largely shared education in ancient history, with varied education in the histories of Britain and Europe, and these men also shared a knowledge of jurisprudence, the law of nations, the law of cont...

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Federalist and Anti-Federalists. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:01, November 29, 2021, from