The Anti-Federalist Papers; and, the Constitutional Convention Debates - Study Guide Chapters 39-42 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 39: Letters from the Federal Farmer (October 8th and 9th, 1787)

"Federal Farmer" is another pseudonym for an anti-federalist writer. The author historians now believe is a New York anti-federalist Melancton Smith. He produces a systematic series of letters that together compose a detailed critique of the Constitution. The first two letters are reprinted.

Federal Farmer agrees that some federal government is necessary, but we must figure out whether the current Constitution creates the right government. He argues that people had from the ratification of the Articles complained of its weakness and that those who wrote the Constitution secretly want to abolish the states altogether. He thinks that the Constitution produced will result in this outcome in the end. For now it simply leans to "aristocracy." Federal Farmer proposes an alternative of "partial consolidation" which he does not see in the current Constitution.

The...

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