Monday, March 17, 2014

The Anti-Federalist............

In between the drafting of the Constitution in 1787 and its ratification in 1789, there was a great debate - much of it fairly literate.  The pros and cons were well laid out in essays, now collected as The Anti-Federalist Papers and The Federalist.  This list of 50 "core documents"  includes the essay Brutus I.  Brutus was the pen name for Robert Yates:

He opens:
The first question that presents itself on the subject is, whether a confederated government be the best for the United States or not? Or in other words, whether the thirteen United States should be reduced to one great republic, governed by one legislature, and under the direction of one executive and judicial; or whether they should continue thirteen confederated republics, under the direction and controul of a supreme federal head for certain defined national purposes only?

He closes:
These are some of the reasons by which it appears, that a free republic cannot long subsist over a country of the great extent of these states. If then this new constitution is calculated to consolidate the thirteen states into one, as it evidently is, it ought not to be adopted.

You can read the whole essay here.

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