Anti Federalist

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLISCI 203
Professor
Roberto Alejandro
Semester
Fall

Description
Brutus I “The first question that presents itself on the subject is, whether a confederated government be the best for the United States or not? Or in other words, whether the thirteen United States should be reduced to one great republic, governed by one legislature, and under the direction of one executive and judicial; or whether they should continue thirteen confederated republics, under the direction and control of a supreme federal head for certain defined national purposes only?” The powers of congress is too dominant and therefore can interfere with the rights of the people. [Against Section VIII Article 1] “There is no need of any intervention of the state governments, between the Congress and the people, to execute any one power vested in the general government, and that the constitution and laws of every state are nullified and declared void, so far as they are or shall be inconsistent with this constitution, or the laws made in pursuance of it, or with treaties made under the authority of the United States.” “There is nothing valuable to human nature, nothing dear to freemen, but what is within its power.” “Not only [is] the power to lay taxes unlimited, as to the amount they may require, but it is perfect and absolute to raise them in any mode they please.” “This clause [Necessary and Proper Clause] invested with the power of making all laws, proper and necessary, for carrying all these into execution; and they may so exercise this power as entirely to annihilate all the state governments, and reduce this country to one single government. [Quoting Montesquieu] "It is natural to a republic to have only a small territory, otherwise it cannot long subsist. In a large republic there are men of large fortunes, and consequently of less moderation; there are trusts too great to be placed in any single subject; he has interest of his own; he soon begins to think that he may be happy, great and glorious, by oppressing his fellow citizens; and that he may raise himself to grandeur on the ruins of his country. In a large republic, the public good is sacrificed to a thousand views; it is subordinate to exceptions, and depends on accidents. In a small one, the interest of the public is easier perceived, better understood, and more within the reach of every citizen; abuses are of less extent, and of course are less protected. “Democracy is better held within individual small states. The State power should never be undermined and the country must remain a confederation. “If the people are to give their assent to the laws, by persons chosen and appointed by them, the manner of the choice and the number chosen, must be such, as to possess, be disposed, and consequently qualified to declare the sentiments of the people; for if they do not know, or are not disposed to speak the sentiments of the people, the people do not govern, but the sovereignty is in a few. Now, in a large extended country, it is impossible to have a representation, possessing the sentiments, and of integrity, to declare the minds of the people, without having it so numerous and unwieldy, as to be subject in great measure to the inconveniency of a democratic government.” If the Republic is too big, the will of all the people will be hard to represent, and also will be slow. “In a republic, the manners, sentiments, and interests of the people should be similar. If this be not the case, there will be a constant clashing of opinions; and the representatives of one part will be continually striving against those of the other.” States all have their own interests, therefore, representatives will all have their own interests, thus which could lead to unending contention between the factions. Brutus II *[Human Nature] “If we may collect the sentiments of the people of America, from their own most solemn declarations, they hold this truth as self-evident, that all men are by nature free. No one man, therefore, or any class of men, have a right, by the law of nature, or of God, to assume or exercise authority over their fellows. The origin of society then is to be sought, not in any natural right which one man has to exercise authority over another, but in the united consent of those who associate.” “In a state of nature every individual pursues his own interest; in this pursuit it frequently happened, that the possessions or enjoyments of one were sacrificed to the views and designs of another; thus the weak were a prey to the strong, the simple and unwary were subject to impositions from those who were more crafty and designing. In this state of things, every individual was insecure; common interest therefore directed, that government should be established, in which the force of the whole community should be collected, and under such directions, as to protect and defend everyone who composed it.” Humans naturally want to pursue their own successes, even at the cost of others, so the government’s responsibility is to regulate it and protect the weak. “To effect this end, it was necessary that a certain portion of natural liberty should be surrendered.” However, “Some are of such a nature that they cannot be surrendered. Of this kind are the rights of conscience, the right of enjoying and defending life, etc.” [Bill of Rights Proponent] [Due to Human nature, and the potential for a corrupt ruler] “It is therefore as proper that bounds should be set to their authority, as that government should have at first been instituted to restrain private injuries.” Brutus III "In a free state.’ says the celebrated Montesquieu, ‘every man who is supposed to be a free agent, ought to be concerned in his own government. Therefore the legislature should reside in the whole body of the people, or their representatives.’ But it has never been alleged that those who are not free agents, can, upon any rational principle, have anything to do in government, either by themselves or others. If they have no share in government, why is the number of members in the assembly, to be increased on their account?” People who are involved in government, or represented, are the only ones that should have say. Slaves and “people in bondage”, who contribute nothing to government, should not be represented. This will also allow states that support slavery to gain more power in congress. “On every principle of equity, and propriety, representation in a government should be in exact proportion to the numbers, or the aids afforded by the persons represented. How unreasonable, and unjust then is it. That Delaware should have a representation in the senate, equal to Massachusetts, or Virginia?” The Senate is also faulty, due to the inequality between state population and state senators. “The house of assembly, which is intended as a representation of the people of America, will not, nor cannot, in the nature of things, be a proper one — sixty-five men cannot be found in the United States, who hold the sentiments, possess the feelings, or are acquainted with the wants and interests of this vast country. This extensive continent is made up of a number of different classes of people; and to have a proper representation of them. Each class ought to have an opportunity of choosing their best informed men for the purpose; but this cannot possibly be the case in so small a number. “In this assembly, the farmer, merchant, mechanic, and other various orders of people, ought to be represented according to their respective weight and numbers; and the representatives ought to be intimately acquainted with the wants, understand the interests of the several orders in the society, and feel a proper sense and becoming zeal to promote their prosperity.” Representation should not be determined by the number of people, but by the number of factions and the certain wants and needs of each faction. “In a state of nature every individual pursues his own interest; in this pursuit it frequently happened, that the possessions or enjoyments of one were sacrificed to the views and designs of another; thus the weak were a prey to the strong, the simple and unwary were subject to impositions from those who were more crafty and designing. In this state of things, every individual was insecure; common interest therefore directed, that government should be established, in which the force of the whole community should be collected, and under such directions, as to protect and defend everyone who composed it.” Humans naturally want to pursue their own successes, even at the cost of others, so the government’s responsibility is to regulate it and protect the weak. “This branch of the legislature will not only be an imperfect representation, but there will be no security in so small a body, against bribery, and corruption — It will consist at first, of sixty-five, and can never exceed one for every
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