Federalists and Anti-Federalists were the first two political parties in the United States. The Federalists supported a strong national government to promote and protect trade, while the Anti-Federalists were against it because of their fear of a large strong government taking advantage of their power. These parties opposed each other in issues like the writing of the Constitution, ratifying the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, national debt and banking, and foreign policies.
As early as the 1780s, political parties started to form in America. These parties were mostly divided by the peoples’ occupations. The Federalists lived in cities, having industrial or business-like jobs. The Anti-Federalists, or Democrat-Republicans, lived in more rural areas of the country, like the South and West, and held agricultural jobs. Big-business owners also tended to be Democrat-Republicans, because they did not want a government imposing on their business.
THE WRITING OF THE CONSTITUTION
The Federalists wanted to abolish the Articles of Confederation and create a Constitution for a national government, while the Democrat-Republicans wanted more local and states’ rights. The two parties truly began to form after the Constitutional Convention. Members from twelve states, (Rhode Island did not send delegates because it wanted to control its own trade,) sent fifty-five delegates to meet in Philadelphia on May 25th, 1787 to form this Convention. These delegates met in the Pennsylvania State House, or what is now called Independence Hall. Their main goal was to preserve the Union of the United States.
The Virginian delegates introduced The Virginia Plan to the convention, calling for a federal government, with a separation of powers between then states and national government. It called for a bicameral congressional system with representation in both chambers based on population, a president, and a judicial court. People found flaws in this plan, however. Smaller...