What Were the Main Arguments Used by the Anti-Federalists?
The main arguments used by the Anti-Federalists in the debate for the U.S. Constitution were the fact that the Constitution gave too much power to the federal government and that the rights of the people were not guaranteed through a Bill of Rights. They did not want to ratify the Constitution, and they had a significant impact in the creation and implementation of the Bill of Rights.
The Constitutional Convention of 1787 marked the transition from the Articles of Confederation to the U.S. Constitution. The ratification debate led to disagreements between the Federalists, who wanted to ratify the Constitution, and Anti-Federalists, who opposed the document. The latter believed that the new system imposed by the Constitution failed to protect the individual rights of citizens and threatened liberties.
Many of the Anti-Federalists wrote articles against the ratification under pseudonyms such as Centinel, Brutus and Federal Farmer. Some of them came forward publicly against the ratification, an example being Patrick Henry. The efforts of the Anti-Federalists were not enough to prevent the ratification of the Constitution of the United States, but they managed to push for the creation and implementation of the Bill of Rights, which guaranteed protection for the rights of all citizens.