This debate ccurred In meeting halls, on streets, and on the printed page. Both sides In the argument had a considerable following. Many of the questions raised remain with us today: What Is the best form of government? What rights must the government protect? Which government powers should be granted to the states, and which to the federal government? The AntlFederalists The Ann-Federallsts found many problems In the Constitution. They argued that the document would give the country an entirely new and untested Instead, they believed that the Federalists had over-stated the current problems of he country.
They also maintained that the Framers of the Constitution had met as an elitist group under a veil of secrecy and had violated the provisions of the Articles of Confederation in the means selected for ratification of the Constitution. In making their arguments, the Ann-Federalists often relied on the rhetoric of the Revolutionary War era, which stressed the virtues of local rule and associated centralized power with a tyrannical monarch. Thus, the Anti-Federalists frequently claimed that the Constitution represented a step away from the democratic goals of he American Revolution and toward the twin evils of monarchy and aristocracy.
The Anti-Federalists feared that the Constitution gave the president too much power and that the proposed Congress would be too aristocratic in nature, with too few representatives for too many people. They also criticized the Constitution for its lack ofa BILL OF RIGHTS of the kind that had been passed in England in 1689 to establish and guarantee certain rights of Parliament and of the English people against the king. Moreover, the Anti-Federalists argued that the Constitution would spell an end o all forms of self-rule in the states.