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The Anti-Federalist Papers; and, the Constitutional Convention Debates Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 38 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Anti-Federalist Papers; and, the Constitutional Convention Debates.
This section contains 1,473 words
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Purchase our The Anti-Federalist Papers; and, the Constitutional Convention Debates Study Guide

Themes

Safeguarding Liberty

While the entire book is composed of debates between federalists and anti-federalists, or various delegates to the Constitutional Convention, all the characters in the book agree on one thing: liberty is the primary end of government. A legitimate government must preserve the liberty of the individual and the community to rule itself. All are interested in explicitly designing institutions that safeguard that liberty and prevent it from being destroyed by forces outside and inside of government.

The debates in the book focus around how best to accomplish this goal. There are several dimensions along which debate proceeds:

(1) States vs. People

(2) Federation vs. Republic

(3) Virtue vs. Institutional Checks and Balances

(4) Aristocracy vs. Popular Democracy

Perhaps the primary debate was around whether the Constitution should represent the states as the primary political unit it was composed of or the individual people of each state. Debates raged over whether states...

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This section contains 1,473 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Anti-Federalist Papers; and, the Constitutional Convention Debates Study Guide
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The Anti-Federalist Papers; and, the Constitutional Convention Debates from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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