What Are Some Differences Between Federalists and Anti-Federalists?

The primary difference between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists was their view on the creation of a stronger U.S. Federal Government. These differing views lead the Federalists to support the ratification of the Constitution and the Anti-Federalists to oppose it. According to Reference.com, one of the primary worries of the Anti-Federalists was the position of a president evolving into a monarchy.

Patrick Henry led the Anti-Federalists. They felt that a strong federal government took away from individual rights. One of their chief contributions was their push for the adoption of the Bill of Rights with the ratification of the Constitution.

Both George Washington and John Adams, the first two presidents, were Federalists. Many of the aristocracy of the United States were members of this party. According to About.com, they fought for the new country to focus on the development of industry over agriculture. The Federalists preferred forming an alliance with Great Britain and not France. They gave preference to a strong central government rather than a weakly joined union of states.

The ratification of the Constitution and Bill of Rights exhausted the Anti-Federalists. The Federalists continued until division within the party over the War of 1812 caused its demise. Rufus King was the last Federalist presidential candidate and suffered defeat in 1816.