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Anti-Federalists Essay examples
"PHILANTHROPOS," (an anonymous Virginia Anti-federalist) appeared in The Virginia Journal and Alexandria Advertiser, December 6, 1787, writing his version of history under the proposed new Constitution.
Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist #59, addresses this same topic from anopposing viewpoint. This essay was written anonymously by VOX POPULI, and appeared in The Massachusetts Gazette on October 30, 1787.
Hamilton andthe Federalists had laid their plans well.
Specifically, the XYZ affair will be discussed as an example of the tense relations between the countries and a catalyst for the Federalist support used to gain an upper hand over the Republicans, and the Alien and Sedition Acts will be examined as an example of Federalist legislation passed against the Republicans....
The Jeffersonian Republicans were focused on giving power to the people and maintaining a pastoral economy, while the Federalists supported the control of the government by the elite class, and maintaining “positive” democracy.
Anti-Federalist No. 40 is a compilation of articles.
This [new] government is to possess absolute and uncontrollable powers,legislative, executive and judicial, with respect to every object to which itextends, for by the last clause of section eighth, article first, it isdeclared, that the Congress shall have power "to make all laws which shallbe necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, andall other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the UnitedStates, or in any department or office thereof. " And by the sixth article,it is declared, "that this Constitution, and the laws of the United States,which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and the treaties made, or which shallbe made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law ofthe land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any thing in theConstitution or law of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. " Itappears from these articles, that there is no need of any intervention of theState governments, between the Congress and the people, to execute any one powervested in the general government, and that the Constitution and laws of everyState are nullified and declared void, so far as they are or shall beinconsistent with this Constitution, or the laws made in pursuance of it, orwith treaties made under the authority of the United States. The government,then, so far as it extends, is a complete one, and not a confederation. It isas much one complete government as that of New York or Massachusetts; has asabsolute and perfect powers to make and execute all laws, to appoint officers,institute courts, declare offenses, and annex penalties, with respect to everyobject to which it extends, as any other in the world. So far, therefore, asits powers reach, all ideas of confederation are given up and lost. It is truethis government is limited to certain objects, or to speak more properly, somesmall degree of power is still left to the States; but a little attention to thepowers vested in the general government, will convince every candid man, that ifit is capable of being executed, all that is reserved for the individual Statesmust very soon be annihilated, except so far as they are barely necessary to theorganization of the general government. The powers of the general legislatureextend to every case that is of the least importance - there is nothing valuableto human nature, nothing dear to freemen, but what is within its power. It hasthe authority to make laws which will affect the lives, the liberty, andproperty of every man in the United States; nor can the Constitution or laws ofany State, in any way prevent or impede the full and complete execution of everypower given. The legislative power is competent to lay taxes, duties, imposts,and excises; there is no limitation to this power, unless it be said that theclause which directs the use to which those taxes and duties shall be applied,may be said to be a limitation. But this is no restriction of the power at all,for by this clause they are to be applied to pay the debts and provide for thecommon defense and general welfare of the United States; but the legislaturehave authority to contract debts at their discretion; they are the sole judgesof what is necessary to provide for the common defense, and they only are todetermine what is for the general welfare. This power, therefore, is neithermore nor less than a power to lay and collect taxes, imposts, and excises, attheir pleasure; not only the power to lay taxes unlimited as to the amount theymay require, but it is perfect and absolute to raise ;hem in any mode theyplease. No State legislature, or any power in the State governments, have anymore to do in carrying this into effect than the authority of one State has todo with that of another. In the business, therefore, of laying and collectingtaxes, the idea of confederation is totally lost, and that of one entirerepublic is embraced. It is proper here to remark, that the authority to layand collect taxes is the most important of any power that can be granted; itconnects with it almost all other powers, or at least will in process of timedraw all others after it; it is the great mean of protection, security, anddefense, in a good government, and the great engine of oppression and tyranny ina bad one. This cannot fail of being the case, if we consider the contractedlimits which are set by this Constitution, to the State governments, on thisarticle of raising money. No State can emit paper money, lay any duties orimposts, on imports, or exports, but by consent of the Congress; and then thenet produce shall be for the benefit of the United States. The only means,therefore, left for any State to support its government and discharge its debts,is by direct taxation; and the United States have also power to lay and collecttaxes, in any way they please. Everyone who has thought on the subject, must beconvinced that but small sums of money can he collected in any country, bydirect tax; when the federal government begins to exercise the right of taxationin all its parts, the legislatures of the several states will find it impossibleto raise monies to support their governments. Without money they cannot besupported, and they must dwindle away, and, as before observed, their powers beabsorbed in that of the general government.
It is beyond a doubt that the new federal constitution, if adopted, will ina great measure destroy, if it does not totally annihilate, the separategovernments of the several states. We shall, in effect, become one greatrepublic. Every measure of any importance will be continental. What will bethe consequence of this? One thing is evident - that no republic of so greatmagnitude ever did or ever can exist. But a few years elapsed, from the time inwhich ancient Rome extended her dominions beyond the bounds of Italy, until thedownfall of her republic. And all political writers agree, that a republicangovernment can exist only in a narrow territory. But a confederacy of differentrepublics has, in many instances, existed and flourished for a long timetogether. The celebrated Helvetian league, which exists at this moment in fullvigor, and with unimpaired strength, while its origin may be traced to theconfines of antiquity, is one among many examples on this head; and at the sametime furnishes an eminent proof of how much less importance it is, that theconstituent parts of a confederacy of republics may be rightly framed, than itis that the confederacy itself should be rightly organized. For hardly any twoof the Swiss cantons have the same form of government, and they are almostequally divided in their religious principles, which have so often rent asunderthe firmest establishments. A confederacy of republics must be theestablishment in America, or we must cease altogether to retain the republicanform of government. From the moment we become one great republic, either inform or substance, the period is very shortly removed when we shall sink firstinto monarchy, and then into despotism. . . . If the men who at different timeshave been entrusted to form plans of government for the world, had been reallyactuated by no other motives than the public good, the condition of human naturein all ages would have been widely different from that which has been exhibitedto us in history. In this country perhaps we are possessed of more than ourshare of political virtue. If we will exercise a little patience and bestow ourbest endeavors on the business, I do not think it impossible, that we may yetform a federal constitution much superior to any form of government which hasever existed in the world. But whenever this important work shall beaccomplished, I venture to pronounce that it will not be done without a carefulattention to the Framing of a bill of rights. . . .
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Anti-Federalist Papers: "Brutus" - Constitution Society
"CINCINNATUS" is an Anti-Federalist writer. In this essay, from anAddress to a Meeting of the Citizens of Philadelphia, the writer responds toJames Wilson's statements about Congress' powers to tax under the Constitution. It appeared in the November 29 and December 6, 1787, New-York Journal, asreprinted from a Philadelphia newspaper.
Anti-Federalist Papers - Wikipedia
"The requisition of a five per cent impost, made on the 3d of February,1781, has not yet been complied with by the state of Rhode Island, but as thereis reason to believe, that their compliance is not far off, this revenue may beconsidered as already granted. It will, however, be very inadequate to thepurposes intended. If goods be imported, and prizes introduced to the amount oftwelve millions annually, the five per cent would be six hundred thousand, fromwhich at least one sixth must be deducted, as well for the cost of collection asfor the various defalcations which will necessarily happen, and which it isunnecessary to enumerate. It is not safe therefore, to estimate this revenue atmore than half a million of dollars; for though it may produce more, yetprobably it will not produce so much. It was in consequence of this, that onthe 27th day of February last, I took the liberty to submit the propriety ofasking the states for a land tax of one dollar for every hundred acres of land a poll-tax of one dollar on all freemen, and all male slaves, between sixteen and sixty, excepting such as are in the federal army, or by wounds or otherwiserendered unfit for service - and an excise of one eighth of a dollar, on alldistilled spiritous liquors. Each of these may be estimated at half a million;and should the product be equal to the estimation, the sum total of revenues forfunding the public debts, would be equal to two millions. "
Brutus (Antifederalist) - Wikipedia
The other specter that has been raised to terrify and alarm the people outof the exercise of their judgment on this great occasion, is the dread of oursplitting into separate confederacies or republics, that might become rivalpowers and consequently liable to mutual wars from the usual motives ofcontention. This is an event still more improbable than the foregoing. It is apresumption unwarranted, either by the situation of affairs, or the sentimentsof the people; no disposition leading to it exists; the advocates of the newconstitution seem to view such a separation with horror, and its opponents arestrenuously contending for a confederation that shall embrace all America underits comprehensive and salutary protection. This hobgoblin appears to havesprung from the deranged brain of Publius, [The Federalist] a New York writer,who, mistaking sound for argument, has with Herculean labor accumulated myriadsof unmeaning sentences, and mechanically endeavored to force conviction by atorrent of misplaced words. He might have spared his readers the fatigue ofwading through his long-winded disquisitions on the direful effects of thecontentions of inimical states, as totally inapplicable to the subject he wasprofessedly treating; this writer has devoted much time, and wasted more paperin combating chimeras of his own creation.
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