In this week’s episode of Constitutionally Speaking, Jay and Luke continue their discussion of the Anti-Federalists. While many agreed that the powers of the central government had to be expanded, they generally worried that adopting the Constitution was hasty, imprudent, and an overreaction to the problems of the day. Many of them argued that the Constitution was too complex to be properly understood. Patrick Henry, chief among them, warned that a constitution must be “like a beacon,” a clear signal of public purpose, and that the proposed document, with its complicated system of checks and balances, was inscrutable. Many Anti-Federalists also warned that the Constitution was the product of an aristocratic plot to undermine civic virtue, defraud the people of their rights, and turn the republic into a commercial and military empire.
- Centinel, First Essay
- Pennsylvania Farmer, The Fallacies of a Freedman Detected By A Farmer
- Patrick Henry, Speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1788