How does the Constitution reflect a compromise between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists?

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samson98 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Following the signing of the Constitution and the Constitutional Convention, each of the states had to ratify the Constitution for it to become operative therein. The Federalists--a group who desired a stronger central government than the United States had under the Articles of Confederation--supported ratification; they dubbed their opponents "Anti-Federalists." The Anti-Federalists--a group which included such founders as Patrick Henry, George Mason, George Clinton, Samuel Adams, and James Monroe--feared the Constitution gave the central government too much power, and valued the rights of the wealthy elite over those of the individual.

Technically, the Federalists won, for every state eventually ratified the Constitution. However, the Anti-Federalists forced them into a compromise which would protect the rights of individual citizens: the Bill of Rights. Whereas the Constitution delineated the role of each branch of government, the Bill of Rights listed specific rights, preserved for individuals, upon which the government could not infringe.