On Saturday, January 31st, 2015 teachers from multiple school districts convened at Hillsborough Community College to discuss the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Debates with the esteemed Dr. Eric Sands of Berry College providing his scholarly knowledge and guidance.
The Anti-Federalist writings are oft forgotten in history classes mostly due to the fact that “they lost” as Dr. Sands stated, however “The Anti-Federalist writings and warnings, especially of Brutus, seem more relevant today than ever.” The essays of Centinel, Brutus and Federal Farmer expressed concerns that a powerful national government would weaken states rights, representatives in Congress would be too far removed from their constituents to effectively govern on their behalf, and the judicial branch would become too activist. Richard R expressed his thought that the writings were almost prophetic in nature, “almost Nostradamus-like”.
Participants enjoyed spirited discussions and lively debates on a number of issues: the extent of the necessary and proper clause,the proper role of government and the limiting of executive power to name a few.
If you would like to ponder these profound essays yourself, please view selected reading from this seminar below to experience some of the debates:
For additional resources, visit our online exhibit with timelines, biographies and extensive writings on the Federalist – Anti-Federalist Debates created by Dr. Gordon Lloyd.