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Apush Essay

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During the 1780's and the 1790's two groups with differing ideologies, the anti federalists and the federalist, fought over whether The Constitution should be ratified. The two group's backgrounds helped shape The Constitution and led to many of the ideologies from the articles of confederation being included in The Constitution. At the end the two groups' disagreements lead to some long term legacies, including the idea that even when a people disagree, they can maintain a stable government based on self governing.

The anti federalist came from the backcountry and they did not have a lot of money. They believed that the articles of confederation were governing the country just fine. They were afraid of the constitution and how much power it gave to the federal government. In contrast, the federalist where made up of the rich and the well educated. Their background of education made them believe that they knew what was best for America and that a system of checks and balances could sufficiently control the government. They believed that The Constitution should be ratified.

The anti federalists opposed The Constitution for many reasons. First, they believed the constitution was a bad idea was because it gave too much power to the government. They felt that power might lead to tyranny, which was among their greatest fears. They thought it might lead them back into the same oppressive government they had experienced under England's rule. The background of the anti federalists was uneducated and so many of them did not understand the careful construction of the actual Constitution, but only that it gave power over the states to a federal government. They also feared they would have their rights taken away from them because there was nothing guaranteeing their rights would be kept safe. The anti federalists liked the way things were and they were happy to be governed under The Articles of Confederation, which gave overall power to the state and the local government. This meant that there was a weak central government, and there was no danger of it taking their rights.

However, federalists disagreed and wanted The Constitution to be ratified. They thought The Article of Confederation was flawed and they felt The Constitution corrected those mistakes. One of the mistakes they corrected was that each state had one equal vote, so each state had equal power no matter how large or small its population. In The Constitution provided two houses that had different ways to establish representatives who would vote. In one of the houses each state had two votes, which meant larger, more populous states could not have more control than smaller states. The other house was based solely on population and that made the larger states happy and more fairly represented the national population. The federalists believed that to become a great nation the states would need to be unified, which was not done under The Articles



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