Anti-Federalists

Anti-Federalists,

in American history, opponents of the adoption of the federal Constitution. Leading Anti-Federalists included George MasonMason, James,
1909–84, British stage and film actor. Mason, trained at Cambridge as an architect, became a leading man in British films in the 1940s and thereafter an international star.
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, Elbridge GerryGerry, Elbridge
, 1744–1814, American statesman, Vice President of the United States, b. Marblehead, Mass. He was elected (1772) to the Massachusetts General Court, where he became a follower of Samuel Adams, who enlisted him in the colonial activities preceding the
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, Patrick HenryHenry, Patrick,
1736–99, political leader in the American Revolution, b. Hanover co., Va. Largely self-educated, he became a prominent trial lawyer. Henry bitterly denounced (1765) the Stamp Act and in the years that followed helped fan the fires of revolt in the South.
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, and George ClintonClinton, George,
1739–1812, American statesman, vice president of the United States (1805–1812), b. Little Britain, N.Y. Before he was 20 he served on a privateer and, in the French and Indian War, accompanied the regiment of his father, Charles Clinton, in the
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. Later, many of the Anti-Federalists opposed the policies of the Federalist partyFederalist party,
in U.S. history, the political faction that favored a strong federal government. Origins and Members

In the later years of the Articles of Confederation there was much agitation for a stronger federal union, which was crowned with success when the
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 and of Alexander HamiltonHamilton, Alexander,
1755–1804, American statesman, b. Nevis, in the West Indies. Early Career

He was the illegitimate son of James Hamilton (of a prominent Scottish family) and Rachel Faucett Lavien (daughter of a doctor-planter on Nevis and the estranged
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.

Bibliography

See M. Borden, ed., The Antifederalist Papers (1965); C. M. Kenyon, ed., The Antifederalists (1966).

References in periodicals archive ?
Then there are the anti-federalists, those who deeply believe in the 1987 Constitution and fear that any charter change process will be hijacked by traditional politicians, vested interests and, even worse, dictators-in-the-making, who are eager to remove constitutional safeguards against autocratic rule.
85," Hamilton discussed the amendment procedure, which helped to sway many Anti-Federalists who wanted--and soon got--a bill of rights.
Anti-Federalists often focused their criticisms on the lack of
In other words, the Anti-Federalists seemed to argue that the president should not have the pardon power because he might pardon himself and his co-conspirators in a plot to commit treason.
Madison's Method, it is argued, reached its pinnacle with the defeat of Patrick Henry and the Anti-Federalists at Virginia's Ratification Convention in June 1788.
5) The defeated proponents of the 1783 impost in New York became the Federalists in favor of the Constitution in 1788, and the party that had defeated the 1783 impost remained intact to become the Anti-Federalists in opposition to the Constitution in 1788.
other Anti-Federalists did not object to massive changes or a new
In opposition, the National Gazette (1791-1793), as the voice for the Republicans or Anti-Federalists, promoted a populist form of government.
Although Anti-Federalist resistance to centralized power helped produce the Bill of Rights, Gerstle says that rights were still insecure because Anti-Federalists were devoted to majoritarianism at the state level.
48) The Federalists had taken New York (Manhattan), Kings (Brooklyn), Richmond (Staten Island), and Westchester Counties; the Anti-Federalists had won the rest.
The Anti-Federalist Papers were written by leading Anti-Federalists and provided a counter to the Federalist Papers.