In GOPO, there are Foundational Documents which you must absolutely intimately understand for the AP test. Three of those documents are Federalist 10 and 51, trying to convince Americans of the necessity of the new Constitution, as well as Brutus 1 which was the Anti-Federalists attempt to warn Americans of the dangers of the new Constitution. Federalists argued for a strong, central federal government and why Anti-Federalists argued that it would harm the people. We’ll dive deep into all three of these documents and talk about what they mean and why they are important.
Federalist No. 10 Summary
Let’s dive deeper into Federalist No. 10. Madison's main argument was that the power of a large republic would be able to control the “mischiefs of faction”. Madison advocated for a republic where power was broken up between the national and state governments through elected representatives. However, Anti-Federalists argued that Madison’s ideas of a nation with multiple factions was incapable of creating a “perfect union”. Anti-Federalists believed that the states' differing opinions would tear the nation apart. This idea became true during the Civil War.
Brutus No. 1 Summary
In the opposite point of view was Brutus No. 1. This was Anti-Federalist writing and advocated for a small, decentralized republic. Anti-federalists feared that the multiple factions would threaten personal liberties and opinions. They believed that the large, centralized government would not be able to truly represent the people.
Brutus 1 argued that federal power was bad and that the Constitution gives too much power to the federal government. For example, the Necessary and Proper Clause would allow the federal government to make any laws, and the Supremacy Clause that said that federal law supersedes state law would give states no power to disagree with the federal government.
It’s important to remember that America was expanding in this time period.
That’s why Brutus said a representative democracy would only create an elite group of people that lead the country because they would concentrate power. He said that representative democracy wouldn’t work in a large country, and people’s views would be inaccurately represented.
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- What was the purpose of the Federalist Papers?
- What was the main idea of Federalist 51?
- Which document argued that the Constitution shouldn't be ratified?