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Anti-Federalists were politicians who were part of the movement that was opposed to the creation of the United States’ federal government. Subsequently, that same coalition opposed the ratification of the 1787 Constitution.
See the fact file below for more information on the Anti-Federalists or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Anti-Federalist worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
MEMBERS OF THE GROUP
- The coalition was led by Patrick Henry from Virginia. The group worried that the establishment of a president in a national government might lead to monarchism.
- Anti-Federalists were composed of political elites like James Winthrop, Melancton Smith, and George Mason, who came respectively from Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia.
- Other famous Anti-Federalists included Samuel Adams, Richard Henry Lee, Mercy Otis Warren, Arthur Fenner, and Thomas Jefferson.
- Both political elites and ordinary Americans including yeomen farmers joined the group.
- The Anti-Federalists were opposed to the Constitution. They feared the power of a national government, the loss of control of local issues, and insufficient separation of powers.
- They believed that the national and centralized government might threaten the sovereignty of the states and of individuals, hence they believed this might lead to the formation of a despotic monarchy.
- Furthermore, the Anti-Federalists believed in the insufficiency, or weakness, of the Articles of Confederation.
- The Anti-Federalists used pseudonyms and published local speeches and news articles opposing the government.
- One of the Anti-Federalists was Patrick Henry from the state of Virginia. Henry and the coalition argued that the government might be a threat to individuals and that the president might declare himself a king.
- The group produced a series of writings declaring their opposition to the government. Historians compiled them together and they are now known as Anti-Federalist Papers.
- Several states opposed the Constitution. On July 4, 1788, a civil war almost broke out in Rhode Island, where Judge William West and over a thousand protesters marched into Providence.
- Five states ratified the constitution. However, in Massachusetts a compromise was agreed upon after a series of debates were held in order for the Constitution to be ratified.
- Several states shared the same prerequisites in ratifying the constitution during the Massachusetts Compromise. Thus, when the Constitution was approved in 1789, twelve amendments were included, and from these the Bill of Rights was produced.
- Even though the Anti-Federalists were not successful, they were an important group amongst the founding fathers of the United States, as they influenced those who sought to ratify the Constitution.
- Some Anti-Federalists joined the Anti-Administration Party of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, opposed to following the policies of Alexander Hamilton, the Treasury Secretary. The party eventually became the Democratic-Republican Party.
- Like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution was written in the Pennsylvania State House, now called Independence Hall.
- Signed on September 17, 1787, the Constitution was only ratified by nine states a year after.
- The first ten amendments was called the Bill of Rights.
- During the Constitutional Convention, 39 out of 55 delegates signed, 3 dissented, and two of the Founding Fathers declined to sign – Thomas Jefferson was in France and John Adams in Great Britain.
- Compared to other national constitutions, the US Constitution is the oldest and shortest ever written with only 4,400 words.
- Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey was the youngest signer of the document at the age of 26, while Benjamin Franklin, at 81, was the oldest.
- James Madison was known as the Father of the Constitution. George Washington and Madison were the only US presidents who signed the Constitution.
- Daniel Webster of Massachusetts became known as the Expounder of the Constitution.
- Aside from English, Latin was used in various parts of the Constitution.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Anti-Federalists across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Anti-Federalist worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Anti-Federalists which were politicians who were part of the movement that was opposed to the creation of the United States’ federal government. Subsequently, that same coalition opposed the ratification of the 1787 Constitution.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Anti-Federalist Facts
- Notable Anti-Federalists
- Opposing Views
- Anti-Federalist Acrostic
- The Preamble
- Similar Cases
- The Truth!
- Ratifying the Constitution
- Constitution Matters
- Branches of Government
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Link will appear as Anti-Federalist Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 16, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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