Federalist vs Antifederalist Essay
After declaring our country is free from Great Britain, our founding fathers wanted to create a democracy based government where tyranny would essentially be diminished. The founding fathers soon find themselves agree to disagree, divided in different opinion on how the government should be created, so they separated themselves into two political groups: the Federalist and the Antifederalist. The Federalist Party believed in a strong central government.
According to the Federalist point of view, the government should be powerful enough to provide protection against external and internal threats but also is limited enough to prevent tyranny. The Antifederalist favored a strong state government and a weak national government. The Antifederalist was also opponents of the constitution proposed at the American Constitution Convention of 1787. They opposed the Constitution because they thought the constitution would give the country an entirely new and untested form of government.
The fact that our Constitution is still effective function after two hundred years has proven that the Federalist’s beliefs are what is best for the people of the United States. The Articles of Confederations, the Supremacy Clause, and the Fourteen Amendment are some of the few tenets that provide the best examples of why the Federalist is a better party for the people of the United States than the Antifederalist. The Article of Confederation was created in 1777 and it was ratified by all states in 1781.
The Antifederalist heavily favored the document due to fact that the Article of Confederation was primarily concern with setting limits on the central government, while placing majority of the powers into the hand of the States. The Article of Confederation lasted as the US constitution for twelve years. The reasons for the failure of The Articles of Confederation lies within the beliefs of the Antifederalist, since each state was given the right to sovereign and to create its own law, there were no cohesive set of law for the nation.
Our country at the time had a weak national security because of no national military, only state militias. We were also struggled over the balance of power in the government due to the fact that the legislative branch was the only branch of the government. Most of all, the congress did not have the power to regulate interstate commerce or to tax its citizens, thus create a problem of not enough revenue for federal government to effectively operate. After the fall of the Article of Confederation, the Constitution was created.
This time the Constitution stood behind the ideas of the Federalist Party and places more power upon the central government. Article 4 of the Constitution introduced the Supremacy Clause. The Supremacy Clause declares that federal laws to have jurisdictional authority over state laws in the event there is conflict between laws established by two parties as long as the federal government acts constitutionally. In other words the Supremacy establishes the Constitution as supreme law of the land.
It gives power to the judicial branch of the federal government, since the Supreme Court determines what is and what is not constitutional. The case of McCulloch vs. Maryland 1819 is a prime example of the Supremacy Clause. The Supreme Court ruled that the State of Maryland had no legal right to tax the Federal Bank of the United States. The Supreme Court questioned the actions of the State of Maryland. If Maryland were given the right to tax the Federal government, this would allow the State to have more power over the Federal government, which would put the state as the supreme party.
Under the Federalist the U. S government has done more protect its citizens, an example of that would be the Fourteenth Amendment. The Fourteenth Amendment protects citizen from the state and local governments, by declaring: state would not be allowed to abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens, no citizen will be allow to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, and all citizens will be provided of equal protection of the laws. Through defending the U. S citizen, the Fourteenth Amendment furthermore give the federal government the supremacy over the States, by limiting the power of the States in favor of individual rights. This has comeback to support the ideas behind the Federalist, the strong centralize government will hold supremacy over state governments. The Antifederalist’s weakness been exposed through the failure of the Article of the Confederation. They were unsuccessfully formed a government that would provide its citizens a strong national security, a stable economy, and a government with balances in powers.
On the other hand, the Federalist established government based on a strong central government, then built on top of that foundation through passing laws such as the Supremacy Clause. The Federalist also made the protection of its citizens a priority through passing amendments such as Amendment Fourteenth. Most importantly, they formed a government that is balanced in power through diving into branches: Executive, Judicial, and Legislative. By doing this, our leaders have paved the way for the U. S Constitution to be one of oldest written Constitution of any major government in the world.