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Research Papers that Analyze the Anti-Federalist Argument

When we read about The Federalist papers, some of the most important of the early documents in our political founding and which still retain their paramount importance today. There was, however, another side of the story, the Anti-Federalists, one that we rarely hear. Those opposed to the ratification of the Constitution had much to say (indeed, there were 85 papers in both sets of arguments). An interesting research paper topic is to examine one of the most famous ones, Anti-Federalist 17. The arguments of this paper are quite revealing and prescients his fear that the necessary and proper clause would be abused (i.e. expanded at the states expense) is borne out. His fear that the states would disappear is not as clear as well. The Federalist 51 has some good arguments as to why this last point is true, according to USHISTORY.org.

For your research paper on analyzing the Anti-Federalist argument, you will need to turn in a research paper with two elements:

  1. A summary of the main arguments of Anti-Federalist 17
  2. An analysis of these validity of the arguments in Anti-Federalist 17

How to Write a Research Paper that Analyzes the Anti-Federalist Argument

Be sure to read Federalist papers #10 and #51, and, of course, Anti-Federalist paper #17. (Paper Masters suggests printing it out first and then answering the following questions.)

Be sure to evaluate the arguments in the two Federalist papers mentioned above (especially 51). Then answer the following questions in your research paper:

  1. What are the main points of #17? Be detailed in your summary, covering all of the major arguments. Ask yourself this:
    1. what is he criticizing?
    2. What does he fear? He is quite specific in the essay.
  2. How accurate was "Brutus" in his analysis of the consequences of Article 1, section 8? Base your analysis on our reading The Federalist Papers # 10 and #51.
    1. Was Brutus completely right?
    2. Completely wrong? Be sure to show where you think he was right and where you think he was wrong.

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