Who Were Some Famous Anti-Federalists?
Some famous anti-federalists include George Mason, James Winthrop, Melancton Smith, Patrick Henry, George Clinton, Samuel Adams and John Quincy Adams, among others. The anti-federalists were a group of people from all over the country that opposed the ratification of the Constitution. They claimed that the ratification gave too much power to the national government.
Although they were less organized than the federalists, the group featured some of the known people in state politics. The anti-federalists were also concerned about the protection of human rights. They believed that the greatest threat to the American future was the government’s plan to secure more power, which in the long run could lead to increased corruption. One of the powers that the anti-federalists opposed was the president’s ability to annul the decisions of people’s representatives in the legislature. According to the anti-federalists, the central court system seemed likely to interfere with the activities of the local courts.
There were a range of objections which were raised by the anti-federalists to the national government. George Mason, a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention, argued that the power of the national government was intended to obliterate the state governments. The most powerful objection by the anti-federalists was the lack of protection of individual rights in the Constitution.