The Anti-Federalist Papers; and, the Constitutional Convention Debates - Chapters 35-38 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 35: Amendments Proposed by the Anti-Federalists

Anti-Federalist proposals arise to correct the flaws they see in the Constitution. Massachusetts, Virginia, New York and North Carolina all propose bills of rights, as does Rhode Island before it ratifies in 1790. Some of the amendments are reproduced here. Massachusetts proposes something like the current 10th amendment; they recommend restrictions on taxation power, among other things. The Virginia convention proposes an amendment that would explicitly recognize the natural rights of citizens, including life, liberty and property, and that individuals have a right of resistance. In general, the Virginia amendments are quite radical restrictions and checks of federal power. The Rhode Island convention proposes to give states the right of appointment over all of their politicians, they reject restrictions on suffrage to landholders, and restrict the power of direct taxation somewhat. They also ban standing armies in peacetime...

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