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 ?
Madison is not, however, sympathetic to the package of hobbles on the national government that the Anti-Federalists were offering under the label of their "Bill of Rights," nor to AntiFederalists' use of minor rights as an excuse to defeat the new national government as a whole.
Thus, anti-federalists immediately used federal countries like Venezuela, Iraq or Pakistan as their best example of how the Philippines would fail if we made this shift toward a federal form of government.
Interestingly, Country Whiggism reemerged in a strictly American context in arguments against ratifying the Constitution, which suggests a certain quality of populism to the Anti-Federalists.
The framers of the US Constitution faced the same intellectual battle, which were represented by the Alexander Hampton-led federalists and the Thomas Jefferson led anti-federalists.
The Anti-Federalists and the Reasonableness and Warrant
If this enlargement fails to restrain congressional power, perhaps, Watkins suggests, we need to divide the country complying with Montesquieu's "small-republic thesis" adhered to by anti-Federalists in 1787-1788.
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.
known as the Anti-Federalists. (225) Especially dangerous,
They claimed that the legislature should hold the pardon power, because in cases of treason, "the connivance of the chief magistrate (ie, the president) ought not to be entirely excluded." 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.
(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.