second paper - 17 November 2015 Second Paper How does...

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17 November 2015 Second Paper How does Anti-Federalist arguments on representation compare to the Federalist arguments on the same subject? In a series of published essays and letters, the Anti-Federalist encourage strong opposition against ideologies depicted the newly written Constitution. In the essay Brutus I , an unnamed author claims, “History furnishes no example of a free republic, anything like the extent of the United States. [The Grecian and Roman republics] extended their conquests over large territories of country…their governments were changed from that of free governments to those of the most tyrannical…” In a republic form of government, representatives are supposed to know the minds of their constituents, and possess the integrity to pursue these opinions. The Anti-Federalist argue in such a large country, conveying such interests would be impossible because the interests will be too “numerous and unwieldy”. In addition the people’s interests in a large republic would be too diverse, and representatives would constantly argue against each other and prevent reaching conclusions. Thus the legislative process becomes inefficient, and the public good is not determined. The Anti-Federalist also argue in Letters to Agrippa I , that representatives will not know what is best for the welfare of their people. Many representatives live between 200 to 500 miles from their district, so they could not possibly be well acquainted with their constituent’s best interests. On the contrary the Federalists do not see the divergence of interests as an issue, as long as the interests of a representative’s constituents are adequately shown in the legislative 1
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process. They claim it is the representative’s job to know their constituents minds, and such representatives will have the moral authority to pursue such interests. The Anti-Federalist also has an issue with blindly trusting the leaders of government. Proponents for the constitution argue only wise men possessing the utmost integrity and morals will be voted into positions of power. The Anti-Federalists argue that people will not trust their government officials because, in such a large republic, most will not have the opportunity to be acquainted with their leaders. If the people are not confident in their leaders, they will not support the laws they pass, and they government will be inefficient. Another Anti-Federalist argument against single-subject representation stems from the notion of human nature that men act in pursuance of their own self-interests. Any man in power, from the national to state levels, will pursue his own self-interests and raise his own status. In a large republic, great officers would rise above the people’s control, and further his own wealth and power. The Federalist claim electing officials with integrity would fix this issue, but the Anti-Federalists, basing arguments off of Cato’s idea of human nature, disagree.
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