Federalist Vs Anti Federalists Dbq Essay

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As the country’s first president, George Washington supplied a national sense of unity for eight years. When Washington retired, the people split into two political parties, the Federalists and Republicans, and they started the first party system in our country’s history. The national government was strengthened because the Federalists were so involved in shaping the new U.S. Constitution. However, the Antifederalists disapproved the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Their victory was in forcing the first Congress under the new Constitution to establish a bill of rights (Berkin, Carol) (“Federalist vs. Anti-Federalists” video). In the mid-1790s, two political parties emerged. They both accused the other of betraying the principles …show more content…

In June 1812, with ongoing assaults on American shipping, Madison asked Congress to declare war against Britain. He declared American nationality was at stake (text, 244). At first, the war led to a revival of Federalist fortunes. With an antiwar attitude at its highest in 1812, Madison was reelected by the limited margin of 128 electoral votes to 89 over his Federalist opponent, DeWitt Clinton of New York. However, in December 1814, a group of New England Federalists gathered in Hartford, Connecticut, to give voice to their party’s drawn out injustices, especially the domination of the federal government by Virginia presidents and their own region’s declining influence as new western states entered the Union. Conflicting with later myth, the Hartford Convention did not call for secession or disunion. However, it affirmed the right of a state to intervene its authority if the federal government violated the Constitution. The Federalists could not free themselves of the charge of lacking patriotism. Within a few years, their party no longer existed (text, …show more content…

The Republican Press publicized their meetings and toasted to French and American liberty. Federalists saw the societies as yet another example of how liberty was getting out of control. Washington declared that the government, not “self-created societies,” was the authentic voice of the American people. The societies were forced to justify their existence, so they created a defense of the right of the people to debate political issues and organize to affect public policy (text, 227). “Freedom of thought, and a free communication of opinions by speech through the medium of the press, are the safeguards of our Liberties. . . . By the freedom of opinion, cannot be meant the right of thinking merely; for of this right the greatest Tyrant cannot deprive his meanest slave; but it is freedom in the communication of sentiments [by] speech or through the press” (Voices of Freedom, Chapter

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