Which Side Has Best Earned the Right to Say “I Told You So”, the Federalists or the Anti-Federalists? Essay Example

Over the course of history, the Federalists have earned the right to say ‘I told you so.’ They succeeded in influencing the government to assume the state and national debts, create a central bank, and pass tax regulation laws that undoubtedly saved the democracy from going into poverty and dismantling during the establishment of the society and deciding on foreign policy. The Federalist beliefs have always remained that their diligent support of a strong central government control over the states would be better for America. The start of the much heated and talked about debate began during the ratification of the U.S Constitution. There were several speeches and articles written in the newspapers of the issue. Under the pseudonym “Publis”, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison wrote some of the most popular propaganda in influencing and interpreting the Constitution.

All the essays that were written were collected and published together to be known as The Federalist Papers. These three main not only were significant influencers in their day but also had a hand in later history. The Federalists Papers argued emphatically about the importance of the government as illustrated mostly in their arguments for Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances. In Federalist Paper 47, James Madison wrote on the need for separation of powers within the three branches of government in the Constitution. Attributing to the argument to Montesquieu where the government would be tyrannical if the control was solely in one branch of government. “It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part.”(Volkomer, 2010) By levying control to the three branches with the participation of the state governments then the government would be able to function with a system of checks and balances which he expounded on in Federalist Paper 51. In Federalist Paper 51, Madison discussed that they system of checks and balances was essential in separating powers between the three branches in order to protect from usurpation and “to form a more correct judgment of the principles and structure of the government planned by the Constitutional Convention.” (Yale Law, 2011) The anti-federalists however countered those arguments by believing that the states were able to govern themselves without the need for the national government interference. They argued for envisioned country that operated as a federation where the states would remain sovereign, and each individual (man) would be in control of his property. However, the Federalists were right in deciding on a stronger government where power was separated with the establishment of the House of Representatives and the Senate that were chosen by the people and state legislatures.

Within the Supreme Court,  today, the problems exist between the power of the State Government versus the role of the Federal Government, in debating Obama Care, where the executive branch passed a law where is currently being reviewed by the judicial branch in its legality. “Future trends in the nation’s federal system—whether toward greater centralization or devolution of power to the states and cities; whether continued growth of federal spending or the imposition of effective restraints on government—will depend on a number of factors.” (Volkomer, 2010) Other cases include Gay Marriage, Abortion Rights, and other pertinent issues where all three branches have clashed on their roles. Currently from the creation of the 17th amendment from the Federalist argument for Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances, there is issue, to repeal the amendment that would favor more state powers, and reduce the power of the central government due to the appointments of the Senate members by the Governor. The Supreme Court is flooded with controversial issues, where in some instances many feel that they have too much power in issuing judgment on central cases where individual rights are at stake.


Kochan, Donald J. (2003). “State Laws and the Independent Judiciary: An Analysis of the Effects of the Seventeenth Amendment on the Number of Supreme Court Cases Holding State Laws Unconstitutional”. Albany Law Review 66.

Lloyd, Gordan. (n.d). “Introduction to the Antifederalists.” Federalists and Anti-Federalists Debates. Retrieved from http://teachingamericanhistory.org/fed-antifed/antifederalist/

“The Federalist Party.” (n.d). PBS. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/duel/peopleevents/pande05.html

“The Federalist Papers: No. 47.” (2008). Yale Law. Retrieved from http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed47.asp

“The Federalist Papers: No. 51.” (2008). Yale Law. Retrieved from http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed51.asp

Volkomoer, Walter. (2010). American Government. Longman. Pearson Education.