This paper contends that “great man” historiography does an injustice to patriots who took a stand during the constitutional convention and ratification debates from 1787 through 1790 to develop a constitution capable of providing the governance necessary to preserve the new union. The introduction sets the stage for examination of the contributions of the original seven Anti-Federalists. Chapter 1 defines the unprecedented challenges that faced the delegates of the Constitutional Convention. Chapter 2 discusses the semantic issues surrounding the names “Federalist” and “Anti-Federalist.” Chapters 3 – 8 explore each of the original seven Anti-Federalists and the roles they played at the convention and in the ensuing debates. Chapter 9 explores the impact of the Anti-Federalist movement. The conclusion explains that the peaceful transition of power from a confederation to a consolidated government was possible because the losers of the debate, the Anti-Federalists, were willing to accept the will of the people.
September 26, 2014
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