The major political disagreements after the American Revolution were between two factions known as the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. There were those, such as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry, who supported small, localized governments with a lot of autonomy. These Anti-Federalists had the support of small farmers, laborers, and shopkeepers. There were also those, such as John Adams, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton, who favored a strong central government. These Federalists had the support of bankers, merchants, and large landholders.
These two groups both had the same aim: to preserve the newly won liberty of the American people. However, they saw different means to achieving this. The Federalists saw protecting liberty as the government's role, while the Anti-Federalists considered the federal government to be a threat to this liberty. In the end, the Federalists largely won with the ratification of the US Constitution in 1787. However, the Anti-Federalists were able to secure a number of important concessions as part of the Bill of Rights.