Federalists v Antifederalists

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Some key issues and positions regarding the ratification of the US Constitution

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Federalists v Antifederalists

  1. 1. Federalists v. Antifederalists Debate Debrief
  2. 2. Necessary & Proper Clause  Article I, sec. 8, paragraph 18: “To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.”  Also known as the Elastic Clause  This part of the Constitution gives Congress what are considered “implied powers” (those that are assumed to be true without being specifically stated).
  3. 3. Necessary & Proper Clause ⁇ How would the Federalists and Antifederalists feel about the Necessary and Proper Clause? Explain.
  4. 4. Necessary & Proper Clause Federalists  favored a loose interpretation of the Constitution  supported the “elastic clause”  believed the government would need to adapt to unforeseen circumstances Antifederalists  favored a strict interpretation of the Constitution  opposed the “elastic clause”  feared a government that could expand its powers would be more likely to abuse its power
  5. 5. States’ Rights  Regarding power of the states, how did the Federalists feel about states having the majority of the power?  Regarding power of the central government, how did the Antifederalists feel about the central government having too much power?
  6. 6. States’ Rights Federalists  Believed a strong central government was necessary to make sure that the states would follow laws and work together  A true central government would create consistency throughout all of the states Antifederalists  States viewed themselves as independent and had just fought a war to get rid of a strong central government  Feared a strong central government would take power and autonomy away from the states
  7. 7. Protecting Rights  What did the Federalists think about the rights of the people being protected?  What did the Antifederalists think about the rights of the people being violated?
  8. 8. Protecting Rights Federalists  Checks & Balances would protect the people from an abusive government  State Constitutions already had bills of rights that protected the people Antifederalists  Feared a strong central government would be more likely to abuse its power and violate the rights of the people and the states  In the Constitution, Article I, sec. 9 had a few protections:  Habeas Corpus  No Bills of Attainder  No Titles of Nobility
  9. 9. Protecting Rights Federalists  creating a list of EVERY right would not be possible, and by listing rights, any that would not be included may not be protected Antifederalists  only by adding a bill of rights could the people and the states be guaranteed the central government would not violate those rights
  10. 10. Protecting Rights  Habeas Corpus  protection against the government arresting a person without a LEGAL reason  Bill of Attainder  a law that allows a person to be convicted WITHOUT a trial  Titles of Nobility  a granting of special privilege by the government to a person by setting them above all others in society  for example, in England there were knights, lords, dukes, etc.

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