The federalist called for a strong central government, a federal bank and an army. They proposed a new constitution, while the Anti-federalist wanted to remain under the Articles of Confederation. The Anti-federalist planned for the almost unavoidable corruption of a powerful central government. They wanted true federalism, a much better plan for our country long term. The federalist believed that the current system of government could be improved. Strengthening the central government would help protect the government from tyranny. Federalist No. 1 stated, “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. ”
A federalist government, they believed, would give the authority layers and makes it easier to establish a checks and balances system, thus allowing the government to control itself. The Article of Confederation provided for congress to make laws however it didn’t provide a means of enforcing these laws, and as Federalist No. 4 stated, “For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why for instance, should it be said, that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? ” The Anti-federalist wanted to the U. S. under the Articles of Confederation, just edit it a little. They wanted the states to hold the supreme power rather than the national government. Most feared that the constitution would turn our government into a monarchy.
Brutus I made the statement, “And are by this clause invested with the power of making all laws, proper and necessary, for carrying all these into execution; and they may so exercise this power as entirely to annihilate all the state governments, and reduce this country to one single government. ” The name Anti-federalist is actually misleading, they were actually more for federalism than the federalist, as they wanted the power more separated to the states. Their thoughts were that a government under the constitution would lead to corruption as the power hungry federal government would become corrupt and try to consolidate all of the power.
In the new Constitution, the President and Senate have all the executive, and two thirds of the legislative power. In some weighty instances, (as making all kinds of treaties, which are to be the laws of the land,) they have the whole legislative and executive powers. They, jointly, appoint all officers, civil and military; and they (the Senate) try all impeachments, either of their own members or of the officers appointed by themselves. ” -Richard Henry Lee The Federalist were very wrong. It may not sound very American to say, but the constitution has it’s flaws.
The checks and balances of the federal government are only as strong as the integrity of the officials in the three branches. A group with similar ideas can take over all three and make deals amongst themselves. The state governments need more power to keep a check on the National government. Another issue with a strong centra government is that people in different states have vastly different beleifs and ideologies, and many of them even if held by an entire state, may not make it to the federal government.
Richard Henry Lee said “In this congressional legislature, a bare majority of votes can enact commercial laws; so that the representatives of the seven Northern States, as they will have a majority, can, by law, create the most oppressive monopoly upon the five Southern States, whose circumstances and productions are essentially different from those of theirs, although not a single man of these voters are the representatives of, or amenable to, the people of the Southern States. ” And that was just with differences in opinion between the limited number of states that existed them.
Now, with 50 states and an ever rising population, there are more differences than ever. A stronger state government would result in more diversity between states, laws more fitting to the beliefs of individual states opinion. Then the small federal government would make sure that these differences did not result in severe injustice of fighting amongst the states. The purpose of government is a trade, protection for freedom. The people decide how much freedom their willing to give up for how much protection.
There is no way the small group of representatives in the federal government can speak for everyone. A stronger state government, while it still might not make everyone happy, will give more people the chance to only give up as much freedom as they are willing to. We should not for a government under this constitution, nor should we be under the Articles, both have proved to be flawed in some way. We need a government centered on the state governments, but with a small national government to maintain order between the states.