Analyze the reasons for the Anti-Federalists opposition to ratify the Constitution.
The Anti-Federalists were a diverse coalition of people who opposed the ratification of the Constitution. The Anti-Federalists criticized the Constitution for having been drafted in secrecy. They further argued that the Constitution took important powers from the states, and the fact that they could not print money under the Constitution. The Anti-Federalists’ strongest argument, however, was that the Constitution lacked a Bill of Rights.
The Anti-Federalists warned that without a Bill of Rights, a strong national government might take away the human rights won in the Revolution. They had great apprehension about the potential loss of sovereignty through the power given to the national government in the proposed Constitution and the resulting horrific effects that such a loss would have on the nation and the people as a whole. The Anti-Federalist belief was that through the integrity of state sovereignty, effective restraints would be in place to keep the national government from deteriorating into a despotic government thus protecting the liberties and freedoms of the people.
Anti-Federalist felt that the Constitution gave more power to central government and less to the states. They also argued that the constitution would become too weak because the central government wouldn’t be able to run all states as a result of being too distant and removed from interest of common citizens and farmers. They feared that the Federalists' new government would be too similar to the harsh regimes of Europe which held great power and thus repressed the people. Anti-Feds were extremely scared of a strong central government and the fact that under the new Constitution, the federal government was more powerful than individual states.
Another argument was that the states could not print money under the Constitution. The federal government does, indeed, print paper money. This fiat currency,...