The Federalist-Antifederalist debates raged from 1787-1788, as the Constitution was considered for ratification, and eventually adopted in by the requisite number of states in 1788. The debates themselves, and the issues and positions staked out, are far larger in scope and meaningful to the modern student of American history and politics than might seem at first glance. Learn about why the Antifederalists feared a strong central government, extensive powers of taxation by a distant Congress, and were distrustful of any system that did not explicitly state rights to be protected, and consider the Federalists’ responses to these concerns. In doing so, you’ll engage with topics of debate that have been relevant throughout American history, as we continue our experiment in constitutional self-government.
Discussion Leader: Dr. Scott Yenor
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