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Antifederalists and the Constitution

            It is hard to imagine the United States of America with any other form of government than the one that is in use today; however, between the years 1763 and 1788, America was unsure what kind of nation it wanted to be. The Articles of Confederation, which was the government document being used at the time, were ineffective, and they needed to be revised a considerable amount or replaced all together. In 1787, the Constitution was written, and it brought the debate over America's future to the forefront of public discussion. For the Constitution to be used, it first needed to be ratified, but this was not an easy task. Although many people liked the direction the Constitution pointed the United States, others did not. There were two main groups of people in this debate; the Federalists and the Antifederalists. The Federalists wanted the larger and more powerful national government in order to unify the Americans that the Constitution would create, while the Antifederalists feared the problems that could arise from this arrangement.
             The Antifederalists believed that the United States was too big to be governed the way the Constitution directed, because of the differing values and interests. In a large republic, representatives would be unable to personally know those whom they represent nor the issues they faced, and therefore they would be unable to properly represent them. The Antifederalists believed that the territory needed to be divided to have a functional government. They encouraged giving as much power to the states as possible and having a confederacy containing all the states. The confederacy would only need to be given authority over the states when it was required to maintain the union; everything else would be left up to the states. The Federalists were opposed this idea, believing that it would cause conflict between the states. They believed that the Constitution would not give complete power to the national government, but would instead create a government that was partly federal and partly national.

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