Government Name Mr. Grossman, Room 216 Period Number

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Government Name _______________________________
Mr. Grossman, Room 216 Period Number ________________________

Viewpoints of the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists

Below are quotations taken from the Federalist Papers and a document written by Anti-Federalists. Difficult words are underlined and the definitions are provided on the back page. After reading each quote, answer the question(s) that follows to help prepare you for your BCR on Federalism.

Section 1: Select quotations from Federalist No. 10, entitled The Union as a Safeguard against Domestic Faction and Insurrection and an additional summary, written on November 23, 1787 by James Madison.

“Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. […]By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.”

Madison feared that factions (groups or cliques) would gain too much power and harm the founding ideas in the Constitution. Think of factions that you know of at Blair. List two of them here:

1. ___________________________________________________________________________________

2. ___________________________________________________________________________________

“The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society. A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. […] But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property.”

“Liberty is to faction what air is to fire.”

Does Madison think that the desire to be in factions is something that all people are born with, or that they are learned behaviors? Underline the sentence above that tells you the answer to this question.

Madison lists many reasons why factions may arise. List three of them below, using your own words:

1. ___________________________________________________________________________________
2. ___________________________________________________________________________________
3. ___________________________________________________________________________________

What does Madison mean when he says: “Liberty is to faction what air is to fire?”


Madison goes on to articulate why the new U.S. government should be able to cut down on harm caused by factions. To learn his strategy, read more:

“The smaller the society, the fewer the distinct parties and interests, and the more frequently they will be a majority. The smaller the number of individuals composing a majority and the smaller the area they inhabit, the more easily they will combine and execute their plans of oppression. Expanding the size adds a greater variety of parties and interests. It becomes less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens.”

Why did Madison think that having government over a larger group of citizens is better than with a smaller society?


Thinking about the quote above, what does the U.S. Constitution do to help keep factions from gaining too much power?


Section 2: Select quotations from Federalist No. 51, entitled The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances between the Different Departments, written on February 8, 1788 by Alexander Hamilton or James Madison

“In order to lay a due foundation for that separate and distinct exercise of the different powers of government, which to a certain extent is admitted on all hands to be essential to the preservation of liberty, it is evident that each department should have a will of its own; and consequently should be so constituted that the members of each should have as little agency as possible in the appointment of the members of the others.”

In your own words, what characteristic about the federal government listed above is said to be “essential to the preservation of liberty?”


“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. 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.”

The authors above noted that since people are not perfect, government is needed to maintain order. From this quote, what two groups must the government control so that order is maintained?

1. ___________________________________________________________________________________
2. ___________________________________________________________________________________

“But it is not possible to give to each department an equal power of self-defense. In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates. The remedy for this inconveniency is to divide the legislature into different branches; and to render them, by different modes of election and different principles of action, as little connected with each other as the nature of their common functions and their common dependence on the society will admit.”

The writers of this paper believed that the legislature (Congress) was the most powerful branch of government. How do the authors suggest ensuring that Congress does not become too powerful?


Section 3: Select quotations from Anti-Federalists, from a document entitled The Address and Reasons of Dissent of the Minority of the Convention of Pennsylvania to their Constituents, written December 18, 1787 by the minority of the convention of Pennsylvania

“We dissent, first, because it is the opinion of the most celebrated writers on government, and confirmed by uniform experience, that a very extensive territory cannot be governed on the principles of freedom, otherwise than by a confederation of republics, possessing all the powers of internal government; but united in the management of their general and foreign concerns...”

Summarize the first reason the Anti-Federalists did not support the Constitution. Use your own words.


“We dissent, secondly, because […] the powers of Congress under the new constitution, are complete and unlimited over the purse and the sword, and are perfectly independent of, and supreme over, the state governments; whose intervention in these great points is entirely destroyed by virtue of their taxation.”

The Anti-Federalists, like the authors of the Federalist Papers, believed that Congress may become too powerful. In particular, the Anti-Federalists mention two things that Congress has control over: the purse and the sword. What do you think these two things are?

The purse symbolizes _________________________________________________________________.

The sword symbolizes _________________________________________________________________.

“The first consideration that this review suggests, is the omission of a BILL of RIGHTS, ascertaining and fundamentally establishing those unalienable and personal rights of men, without the full, free, and secure enjoyment of which there can be no liberty, and over which it is not necessary for a good government to have the control. […] The stipulations heretofore made in favor of them in the state constitutions, are entirely superseded by this constitution.”

One recommendation the Anti-Federalists made is that the Bill of Rights should be left out of the U.S. Constitution. Instead, they believed that the states should determine how to govern rights. Do you agree with the federalist decision to include a Bill of Rights in the Constitution, or do you think they would be better fit in each state’s constitution? Pick only one side and tell why you made this decision. Write a 3-4 sentence response. (To read the Bill of Rights, go to your Textbook in pages 771-773; the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution are the Bill of Rights.)


Definition of difficult terms

Actuated: Excited by, started up by

Adversed: Against, opposed to
Ambitiously: Strongly desiring
Animosity: Strongly disliking
Contending: In the running for, striving for
Dissent: Disagree, go against
Distinct: Separate, different, individual
Distribution: Dividing something up and giving it out to various groups or people
Extensive: Large, vast
Faction: A group within a larger group, generally desiring to break away or rebel
Inhabit: Live
Speculation: Drawing conclusions about something when the facts are not all present
Superseded: Replaced
Omission: Leaving out, not including, avoiding
Pre-eminence: Above others
Tendency: A natural habit or inclination to act in a particular way
Unalienable: Unable to be sold or given to someone else
Vex: To torment, annoy
Zeal: Passion, desire

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