Q:

What did the anti-Federalists want to protect?

A:

Anti-Federalists wanted to protect states' and individuals' rights. They opposed the adoption of the U.S. Constitution because they feared the strong central government created by the Constitution could become corrupt and tyrannical.

Anti-Federalists admitted that the Articles of Confederation needed to be changed, but they believed the Constitution, as it was written at the time, threatened to create political corruption and make the federal government too powerful. Their concerns and agitations helped force the addition of the Bill of Rights.

Perhaps the most powerful arguments raised by the anti-Federalists were those about the lack of protection of individual liberties present in the Constitution before the addition of the Bill of Rights. Most state constitutions of the time had followed the model set by Virginia and had explicitly detailed what individual rights could not be taken away by the government. Many people of the time thought this was a great improvement over the British constitution, which relied on unwritten protections. Anti-Federalists believed the delegates of the Philadelphia Convention had not included a bill of rights in the Constitution because they wanted to take away what ordinary people had gained in the Revolution.

A diverse group of people considered themselves anti-Federalist. Well-known proponents of the movement included Patrick Henry, George Mason, James Winthrop, Samuel Adams and Thomas Paine.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Are the Democratic-Republicans the same as the Anti-Federalists?

    A:

    The Anti-Federalists and Democratic-Republicans were not the same parties. The Anti-Federalists opposed the adoption of the United States Constitution prior to its ratification in 1788. Democratic-Republicans formed during George Washington's first presidential term in 1792 and built on many of the ideologies expressed by the Anti-Federalists. After the ratification of the Constitution, the Anti-Federalists dissolved, but fear of an elite ruling class persisted until the Democratic-Republicans were created.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What was the basic belief of the Declaration of Independence?

    A:

    The underlying belief of the Declaration of Independence is that men have God-given natural rights and that government exists to protect those rights. The premise of this doctrine came from John Locke, who believed that if the government no longer serves to protect the needs of its citizens, then those citizens have the right to alter or abolish the government.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What did the nativists want to do?

    A:

    Throughout history, there have been a number of nativist movements, and nativists have wanted to do different things depending on their historical, national and cultural needs. Nativists are groups of native inhabitants who want to protect their countries against immigrants. In the United States, nativist groups were not typically comprised of Native Americans who wanted to stop immigration. Rather, they were descendants of earlier immigrants protesting current waves of immigration.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why did Europeans want a new route to Asia?

    A:

    Europeans wanted a new route to Asia via the sea because traveling over land routes was dangerous and required more resources to undertake. Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama was the first European to sail around Africa and land in Asia (India) during his journey from 1497 to 1499.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore