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The Anti-Federalist Papers

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  381 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
The arguments against ratification appeared in various forms, by various authors, most of whom used a pseudonym. Collectively, these writings have become known as the Anti-Federalist Papers. They contain warnings of dangers from tyranny that weaknesses in the proposed Constitution did not adequately provide against, and while some of those weaknesses were corrected by adop ...more
Paperback, 190 pages
Published June 14th 2010 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published January 1st 2004)
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Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Having now read both the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist papers, I can get a glimpse of the full debate which took place between the end of the Constitutional Convention and the eventual ratification. Many of the concerns of the Anti-Federalists were included in the first ten amendments, known today as the Bill of Rights. The writer of the Anti-Federalist Papers shared many common concerns: a general mistrust of ceding power to a national government, a fear of an all encompassing judic ...more
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prophetic and disturbing

I haven't read The Federalist papers yet, but I find the arguments here against the Constitution to be disturbingly prophetic.

Had not the bill of rights been ratified, most of these concerns would certainly have come to fruition.
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One must read the Anti Federalist Papers to get the rest of the story of America. From these readings one begins to understand why we have the division we have in our society. Most people skip reading (if they are even aware of this source)and never get the complete story. Although I keep this book in my archives (Kindle) I do pull it up from time to time to refresh my memory.
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, all, ebook
It is said that history is written by the victors. This is true, as federalist arguments are predictably pounded into the head of every American until they leave State schooling, and of course in most cases, afterwards as well.

However, in this case, we have preserved the written opposition to the victors of history. And is it appalling to see how accurate and well-founded their arguments were.

While the original bill of rights were passed as a palliative to the several of the concerns of the opp
John Yelverton
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As amazing as "The Federalist Papers" are, the "Anti-Federalist Papers" are just as amazing in not just their concerns for the States losing their sovereignty, but the accuracy in many of their predictions as well.
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"hydra made its way from the dark conclave into the open light."

That sums up what I learned while reading. The fact that not one section, not one quote from this is generally taught in high school is very telling. Americans are meant to be ignorant to the interworkings of their government and even their own history in how the Constitution was debated before being adopted. Anyone who has not read this in part or in whole, cannot begin to speak in matters of American politics with any true underst
Richard Thompson
Unlike the Federalist Papers, which express a consistent and coherent point of view in favor of the Constitution expounded by Hamilton and Madison, the Anti Federalist Papers are a collection of a diverse group of essays from a variety of authors with different points of view, who had some common themes, but who are generally only united by opposition. The quality of the writing and persuasiveness of the arguments vary greatly. The Federalist Farmer was the best of the bunch, both as to the qual ...more
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This collection had nearly tragically been lost to history.

Most people don't remember anything about the Articles of Confederation or the debates surrounding the ratification of the US Constitution. Most of us are aware that the Federalist Papers exist and serve as the anonymous voice in support of the Constitution. Well, here's the other side of the coin—the argument that the Articles of Confederation were all that was necessary to the government of a free people in the absence of the strong Fe
Michael Stumborg
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The Supreme Court
When I wrote Hillary Clinton's Village , I noted that those in opposition to the new Constitution – the Anti-Federalists – deserve an equal share of the credit for the final form of our Constitution. The Federalists would have to win over the Anti-Federalists, or refute their objections to the new Constitution, if they had any hope of seeing it ratified by the States. No doubt then, that the “loyal opposition” put forward in the The Anti-Federalist Papers made the protections in our Constitut ...more
Paul B Norton
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anti-Federalist Papers are a blueprint on Nullification

Anti-Federalist Papers are a blueprint on how to nullify the freedoms of the U. S. Constitution and at the same time use power of the constitutional national government to create an absolute central government. Understandably not studied in public school as the Federalist papers are. All the political ills of 21th century America is predicted by these Anti-Federalists who with pedantic and accurate understanding of human nature (and not dist
Jack Haefner
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very important work. Even a casual reader will see how the Federalist and Anti-Federalist arguments survive to this day with a number of Anti-Federalist arguments were incorporated in the final US Constitution (most notably, in the Bill of Rights).

The Federalists have the distinct advantage of both coherence of argument and assembly of the documents. Since I read the Anti-Federalists after the Federalist Papers, I had difficulty following the arguments and logic train of Anti-Federalists for t
Nov 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Anti-Federalist Papers provide a look at the opposition to the ratification of the United States Constitution. Anti-Federalists like George Clinton, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, and Robert Yates were skeptical about the increased power of the federal government under the new Constitution and the lack of a Bill of Rights. This a great read for history lovers and anyone who wants to understand the debates over federal government verses state government powers or civil liberties.
Because of goodreads' lamentable and unwise intertwining with, the edition of The Anti-Federalist Papers that I read, is not included in goodreads' list of books. So I somewhat arbitrarily selected this book as the one I "read," when in fact it was a different edition, invisible to the narrow eyes of goodreads' amazon collaborators.
Connor Copeland
Jun 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everything up till the presidency was great.

I thought many of the points made on the legislative branch, taxation, and the balance of power between the federal and state governments were well founded. The attacks on the judiciary and presidency not as much.
It was not this book but I don't see a book for the composed anti-fed papers. I often liked Brutus said. More often I did not understand much of Hamilton on the Federalist side. I realize it would take more re-reading but can't imagine I will go here again.
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Required reading as part of a graduate Political Science Seminar during the mid 90s. Probably had as much to do with my conversation away from being a conservative republican as any experience I've ever had.
Dan Traina
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Again, this is a must read
Royce Ratterman
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read for personal research - found this book's contents helpful and inspiring.
A good book for the researcher and enthusiast.
Richard A, Roemer
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  • Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 Reported by James Madison
  • The Debate on the Constitution: Federalist and Antifederalist Speeches, Articles, and Letters During the Struggle over Ratification : Part One, September 1787-February 1788 (Library of America)
  • The Nature of the Judicial Process
  • The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates
  • Conceived in Liberty (4 Volume Set)
  • 1999: Victory Without War
  • The Path of the Law (Little Books of Wisdom)
  • Theodore Roosevelt: Letters and Speeches
  • Contempt of Court: The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching That Launched a Hundred Years of Federalism
  • No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority
  • The Great Decision: Jefferson, Adams, Marshall, and the Battle for the Supreme Court
  • Magna Carta
  • Mothers of the Prophets
  • The Tempting of America
  • Great Speeches / Abraham Lincoln: with Historical Notes by John Grafton
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • Our Enemy, the State
  • The U.S. Constitution: A Reader
The term Founding Fathers of the United States of America refers broadly to the individuals of the Thirteen British Colonies in North America who led the American Revolution against the authority of the British Crown and established the United States of America. It is also used more narrowly, referring specifically to those who either signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 or who were dele ...more
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“It is to be lamented that the interested and designing have availed themselves so successfully of the present crisis, and under the specious pretence of having discovered a panacea for all the ills of the people, they are about establishing a system of government, that will prove more destructive to them than the wooden horse filled with soldiers did in ancient times to the city of Troy. This horse was introduced by their hostile enemy the Grecians, by a prostitution of the sacred rites of their religion; in like manner, my fellow citizens, are aspiring despots among
yourselves prostituting the name of a Washington to cloak their designs upon your liberties.”
“I have either read or heard this truth, which the Americans should never forget: That the silence of historians is the surest record of the happiness of a people. The Swiss have been four hundred years the envy of mankind, and there is yet scarcely an history of their nation. What is history, but a disgusting and painful detail of the butcheries of conquerors, and the woeful calamities of the conquered?” 6 likes
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