That is, the Federalists did not see society as made up principally of farmers, as did the Anti-Federalists, but instead viewed it as comprising many different and competing interests and groups, none of which would be completely dominant in a federalist system of government.
For this reason, many later scholars have argued that the Federalists were more aware of the economic and social changes then transforming American society.
After the Constitution was signed and approved by delegates of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, it had to be ratified by the states.
As determined by Article VII of the Constitution, ratification required the approval of nine special state conventions.
Indeed, many people at that time opposed the creation of a federal, or national, government that would have power over the states. They included primarily farmers and tradesmen and were less likely to be a part of the wealthy elite than were members of their opposition, who called themselves Federalists.
The Anti-Federalists believed that each state should have a sovereign, independent government.Such a government is centered on a society of landowning farmers who participate in local politics. He felt that the virtues of democratic freedom were best nurtured in an agrarian, or agricultural, society, and that with increasing urbanization, commercialization, and centralization of power would come a decline in political society and eventual tyranny.Unlike the Anti-Federalists, however, Jefferson supported the Constitution, although rather reluctantly.Their leaders included some of the most influential figures in the nation, including , leading national figures during the Revolutionary War period.Many Anti-Federalists were local politicians who feared losing power should the Constitution be ratified.They argued that the document would give the country an entirely new and untested form of government.They saw no sense in throwing out the existing government.One Pennsylvania Anti-Federalist, who signed his articles "Centinel," declared, It is the opinion of the greatest writers, that a very extensive country cannot be governed on democratical principles, on any other plan than a confederation of a number of small republics, possessing all the powers of internal government, but united in the management of their foreign and general concerns. [A]nything short of despotism could not bind so great a country under one government.Although the Anti-Federalists were united in their opposition to the Constitution, they did not agree on what form of government made the best alternative to it.Others were even ready to accept the Constitution if it were amended in such a way that the rights of citizens and states would be more fully protected.The Federalists The Federalists focused their arguments on the inadequacies of national government under the Articles of Confederation and on the benefits of national government as formed by the Constitution.