Timeline of the Federalist-Antifederalist Debate

Timeline of the Federalist-Antifederalist Debate

The Federalist-Antifederalist Debate is usually conceived of as having taken place after the release of the Constitution in September, 1787, and continuing up to its ratification in 1788. The debate, waged between editorialists – some name and most under pen-names – began before the Constitutional Convention had formally convened, and picked up pace by August, 1787. Most initial essays, printed in newspapers across the states, were from opponents to a new government; however, as time passed and the Federalist authors began producing their work from New York, other Federalist-aligned authors joined the effort, even if there was virtually no coordination between them. What follows are essays from both those who supported and opposed the new constitution, from across the country, from Spring 1787 through the closing days of 1788.


May 1787

  • May 16, 1787: Z. (Pennsylvania)

August 1787

September 1787

October 1787

November 1787

December 1787


Month Unknown

January 1788

February 1788

March 1788

April 1788

May 1788

June 1788

July 1788

August 1788

December 1788