Essays of brutus robert yates

The federal Constitution was then created, and between and , it was subjected to the states for review and ratification. In recent times, those against the Constitution at the time, are called anti-federalists, and those in support are called federalists. Both groups, with the intention of influencing public opinion to their favour, wrote a series of papers.

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The antifederalists papers contained a collection of 85 essays and Brutus 1 is the most famous. Historically, Brutus was a Roman Senator who was involved in the assassination of Julius Caesar to stop him from overthrowing the republic. The analogy implying that the anti-federalists thought of themselves as protectors of the young nation of the US from tyranny. The Federalists and the antifederalists appreciated three key theoretical frameworks upon which democracy could be modelled.


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The first was a participatory democracy which enables citizens to be close to government and influence the decision making of government. The second is Pluralist democracy which takes into account multiple views and opinions from citizens during vigorous debates before making decisions. Finally, the elite democracy, in which the people exercise their democracy through an elected few individuals the elite. The elite are elected because of their competency and education and trusted to make decisions for the welfare of the people they represent.

The main objection against the constitution by the antifederalists and as articulated through Brutus 1 was the dissolution of the sovereignty of the states to form one great republic.

Henry Mackenzie -- Letters of Brutus -- Reading Revolutions

In this regard he notes:. Or in other words, whether the thirteen United States should be reduced to one great republic, governed by one legislature, and under the direction of one executive and judicial; or whether they should continue thirteen confederated republics, under the direction and control of a supreme federal head for certain defined national purposes only? His concerns were that the government created by the constitution would be too powerful, making laws and decisions that will bind every citizen of the country.


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Today, opinions differ over the appropriate size, scope, and power of the Federal government. Regardless of personal views, it is hard to deny that Brutus makes several compelling arguments highlighting the potential dangers of a large national government.

Anti-Federalists and Brutus No. 1 - US government and civics - Khan Academy

Which form of government a large national republic or a confederation of small republics is more likely to preserve and protect personal liberties and why? Can a larger republic, based on the principle of consent of the governed, sufficiently protect the rights and liberties of the individual states and people, or is a confederation the only method of securing such liberty?

Brutus No. 1 (1787) Robert Yates (Likely) Historical Background

Should the federal legislature be able to repeal state laws in order to impose federal laws for the purpose of promoting the general welfare or common defense of the nation? If so, why?


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  • The Antifederalists Were Right!

If not, why? Or, is diversity of opinion beneficial to the success of a federal government? If this be not the case, there will be a constant clashing of opinions; and the representatives of one part will be continually striving against those of the other.

Robert Yates (politician)

This will retard the operations of government, and prevent such conclusions as will promote the public good. In other words, it is impossible to create one set of national laws to govern one big, diverse country!

So why are we trying so hard to do that today?