Anti Federalists vs Federalists: A Continuing Clash - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-09-14
Anti Federalists vs Federalists: A Continuing Clash - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Political science Federalism
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1641 words
14 min read


The federalists consist of people who supported one united and robust central Government that has power over all the other states. On the other hand, the Anti federalists are the people who oppose the formation of a strong central government. They proposed that every state is at liberty to create its laws(Yalaman& Gumus 272). The Anti federalists were uncomfortable with the constitution as if vested overwhelming powers to the president and the congress.

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The Anti federalists had a firm conviction that the states should manage their revenues. They argued that states should be free agents to utilize their resources in any way that they deemed fit. However, the federalists opposed independent budgeting and believed that different monetary policies were likely to weaken the economy. During the declaration of American independence, the federalists consisted of wealthy business people. They opined that a centralized financial management policy would strengthen the economy.

The prominent Anti-federalists like Thomas Jefferson, opposed the constitution and fought for the inclusion of the Bill of rights. In 1791 the first ten amendments that constituted the Bill of rights were passed(Russomanno 58). On the same divergent views on the constitution, Federalists leader Hamilton opined that the constitution should be interpreted loosely to give discretion to the president to govern the way he deemed fit. The Anti federalists believed that the constitution should be followed strictly.

The Anti Federalists wanted Bill of Rights so that it could safeguard the fundamental human rights of the people. With the creation of a strong federal government by the constitution, Various liberties had to be guaranteed in the same instrument. An example is the fourth amendment that was meant to protect the citizen from unreasonable intrusion in their homes. They saw the freedom to speak and worship as natural liberties.

If the Amendments were not made, the United States would not fully enjoy the fruits of democracy and human rights. Today there is absolute the freedom of speech and worship. Today it would not be possible to check on the excesses of the Government considering the immense powers vested on it by the constitution. Lastly, if the Bill of Rights was not passed, the people would not get fair trials that include reasonable bail terms.

Pros and Cons of Federalism

In a Federal Government, there are transparent systems and structures of diffusing the power between the two levels of Government. Power-sharing brings about the decentralization of function where various organs have clear responsibilities(Owen 177). The power is distributed among the arms of Government. As such, there are checks and balances on the execution of functions of different organs. Consequently, a misdeed of one individual cannot impact the entire Government.

Secondly, federalism prevents dictatorship in administration. When power is centralized, there arises a very powerful head of Government and weak states or regional Government. In such circumstances, the Government is run by whims. In a federal system, all the organs are independent but not wholly autonomous. They require one another to perform their function effectively. Federalism is good as no single organ can overrun the other or act in extra-constitutional means.

In addition to that, federalism is an efficient system of governance. The State Governments are able to make some independent decisions based on powers vested on them. States’ individual problems may be solved by their internal legislative mechanisms instead of involving Congress on petty issues. In an expansive and populous state like the United States, various states have different problems. Therefore, devolution of power helps states to make regulations and policies which are not necessarily applicable elsewhere.

Cons of Federalism

On the other hand, Federalism leads to dictatorship by the majority. At all-time, some sections of the population that constitutes the majority can push through their agenda even when it is detrimental to the minority(Gagnon 12). In such a case, the will of the majority becomes the will of the entire society. This structure is responsible for rampant slavery and segregation until the late 20th century. Additionally, Federalism grants leeway for the state to make unnecessary laws. Due to the authority vested on states, they lack legislative restraint and end up making ridiculous laws. For example, in Hawaii, it is illegal to place a coin in your ear. Further, Federalism allows the state government to arm-twist the national Government. State Governments are blinded by their delegated authority and could at times, undermine the authority of a federal government. Such friction could derail the government agenda.

Federalism serves the interests of the people of the United states well. There is democracy and accountability, as power is equally distributed between various Organs. States Government are closer to the people hence can easily understand their problems and solve them. Lastly there are checks and balances between arms of Government.

Differences between Conservatism, Liberalism and Libertarianism and Socialism

Conservatism is the political inclination that advocates for free enterprise, Private ownership of property, among other ideas that are socially conservative. It supports the creation of individual wealth. It used to be fiscal Conservation. After Reagan, its meaning has bent towards favoring financial policies and taxation measures in aid of the wealthy businessmen instead of focusing such budgets to the needy and the social programs(Middendorp 102). Conservatisms hold on to traditional views are a stumbling block to innovation and change.

Liberalism is a political philosophy that supports the autonomy of people by giving civil and political freedom. This theory connotes that Government should be run according to the will of the people and that power should not be exercised arbitrarily on any person(Klosko 47). Unlike Conservatism., Liberalism supports social programs to help people with taxes being focused on individual assistance as opposed to businesses. While conservatism supports the enlargement of the defense budget, Liberalism calls for responsibility on allocation and utilization of the same.

Socialism is a political and economic philosophy that the community at large should own the factors of production and all that is produced is for the benefit of the community at large. It works against the ownership of property by individuals. Viewed in the Marxist approach, it was meant to Bridge the gap between capitalism and communism. The European prism of socialism is that the Government should collect resources and offer essential services to all people. Unlike conservatism, it aims at focusing the factors of production for the general good of the people and not unequal distribution to the wealthy or corporation. Lastly, Libertarianism is a political philosophy that values individual freedom. It stands for individual life to live without coercion to do something so long as they do not affect others. These include the right of Homosexuals.

Role of interest groups in American Politics.

Interest groups are organizations and persons who participate in the politics of a given country with the aim of influencing outcomes and driving particular agendas. The pressure groups include but not limited to businesses, labour, and professional organizations. Many of them focus on accountability and ethics in governance(Sørensen et al 89). They attempt to offer solutions to certain problems that affect society through political lobbying. Below is a discussion on the role of interest groups in American politics.

Provides Link between the Public and the Government

Interest groups have a critical role in that they provide a medium through which the citizen can air their grievances. Sovereign power in any country belongs to the people. The views of the common man and the marginalize must reach the political players. People make their concerns known to the Government through various pressure groups that exist in society. A classic example is the workers who give their views on the betterment of employment policies through the labour unions(Hershey 37). The labour unions can make such grievances known to the leaders. Consequently, they are addressed by the Government due to the pressure mounted on the leaders.

The pressure groups are keen to bring the Government into account over their action. These groups ensure that the government exercises authority in a manner provided in law. They check on the excess of the administration where the other arms of Government have failed to deliver. They ensure strict observance of the code of ethics for public officers. They also mount pressure to ensure that the candidate who vies for political positions undertake to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms once in office. In addition to that, they regularly inform the public on the misdeeds of the administration. As such, they are critical to ensures that the country is administered in the best interests of the people. Common cause, a special interest group in the United States, is one of the organizations that ensure there is accountability in leadership.

Although they encounter may challenge, the interest groups have been critical to our society. They ensure that the Government is accountable to the people. They check both the federal and state Government to ensure that they act within their mandates. They are keen to remind the political players that the public interest is paramount.

Work Cited

Yalaman, G. O., & Gumus, E. (2017). Development Levels of Countries and Driving Forces of the Shadow Economy: Empirical Evidence from Panel Data. International Journal of Economic Perspectives, 11(1).

Russomanno, Joseph. "The Right and the Duty: Jefferson, Sedition and the Birth of the First Amendment's Central Meaning." Communication Law and Policy 23.1 (2018): 49-90.

Owen, Dave. "Cooperative subfederalism." UC Irvine L. Rev. 9 (2018): 177.

Gagnon, Alain-G. "Multinational federalism: challenges, shortcomings and promises." Regional & Federal Studies (2020): 1-16.

Middendorp, Cees P. Progressiveness and Conservatism: The Fundamental Dimensions of Ideological Controversy and Their Relationship to the Social Class. Vol. 25. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG, 2019.

Klosko, George. The transformation of American liberalism. Oxford University Press, 2017.

Sørensen, Kristine, et al. "Health literacy and social change: exploring networks and interests groups shaping the rising global health literacy movement." Global health promotion 25.4 (2018): 89-92.

Hershey, Marjorie Randon. Party politics in America. Taylor & Francis, 2017.

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