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.Learn More
The Antifederalists wanted a Bill of Rights to prevent the federal government from becoming too powerful, eventually robbing the citizens of their individual rights and making them no better off than they had been under England's rule. The Antifederalists feared a large federal government that had the potential of becoming tyrannical.Full Answer >
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 >
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 >
When writing "Common Sense," Paine wanted to show the common man why the United States should be independent of England. He also wanted to show these people that they had the resources needed to build a navy.Full Answer >