The Federalist Papers were collection of 85 essays by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Published in New York newspapers and in two bound volumes distributed during the ratification debate, these essays were signed with the pseudonym Publius.
The Federalist Papers communicates the central ideas of the Federalists: the benefits of a Union between the states; the problems with the confederation as it stood at the time; the importance of an energetic, effective federal government; and a defense of the republicanism of the proposed Constitution.
The Federalist Papers makes a persuasive case for the necessity of federal government in preserving order and securing the liberty of a large republic. In doing so, it asserts that a weak union of the states will make the country more vulnerable to internal and external dissension, including civil war and invasion from foreign powers.
The Federalist, number 10, by James Madison., Madison addressed the issue of whether or not the republican government created by the Constitution can protect the liberties of its citizens., The problem that Madison saw as most destructive of popular government is what he called faction. A faction, according to Madison, is "a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community." Factions, Madison added, become especially dangerous when they form a majority of the population., Madison divided popular government into two types, democratic and republican, and preferred the latter. In a democracy, all citizens participate directly in the decisions of government. In a republic, representatives elected by the people make the decisions of government., Madison contended that a republican government of the kind envisioned by the U.S. Constitution can best solve the problem of faction not by "removing its causes"—which only tyranny can do—but by "controlling its effects." Madison proposed that elected representatives, as opposed to the people as a whole, will be more disposed to consider the national interest ahead of a particular factional interest., He also argued that the nature of an "extensive," or large, republic such as the United States will naturally frustrate the ability of a single faction to advance its own interests ahead of the interests of other citizens. With the huge variety of parties and interests in an extended republic, it becomes "less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens." Thus, Madison, in contrast to the Anti-Federalists, saw the large size of the United States as a help rather than a hindrance to the cause of liberty.
Federalists were mainly individulas who lived in urban areas and tended to come from the wealthier class of merchants and plantation owners.
The Federalists were led by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Geroge Washington and Benjamin Franklin.
The Federalists favored the creation of a strong federal government that would more closely unite the states as one large, continental nation.
Federalists had been instrumental in the creation of the Constitution, arguing that it was a necessary improvement on the Articles of Confederation, the country's first attempt at unifying the states in a national political arrangement.
The Antifederalists were led by signifigant figures of the Revolution. Patrick Henry, George Mason and Thomas Jefferson.
Antifederalists were mainly people who lived in rural farming communities as farmers or tradesmen. They were not apart of a welathy elite ruling class.
The Antifederalists opposed the ratification of the Constitution and the creatio of a national government that would reing over the states.
Anti-Federalists believed in a type of government that has been described as agrarian republicanism. Such a government is centered on a society of landowning farmers who participate in local politics.
Antifederalists believed the virtues of democratic freedom were best nurtured in an agrarian, or agricultural, society, and that with increasing urbanization, commercialization, and centralization of power would come a decline in political society and eventual tyranny.
Some still believed that the Articles of Confederation could be amended in such a way that they would provide a workable confederation.
Some wanted the Union to break up and re-form into three or four different confederacies.
Others were even ready to accept the Constitution if it were amended in such a way that the rights of citizens and states would be more fully protected.