If the constitution, offered to [your acceptance], be a wise one, calculated to preserve the invaluable blessings of liberty, to secure the inestimable rights of mankind, and promote human happiness, then, if you accept it, you will lay a lasting foundation of happiness for millions yet unborn; generations to come will rise up and call you blessed. He prefers a true confederation, which would be: The Grecian republics were of small extent; so also was that of the Romans. Does Brutus make a strong case for the momentousness of the choice facing Americans? So, Brutus is making this argument that look, you can’t have a republic over such a vast territory, arguably the states are a little bit more attractable although even at this point some of the large states are quite large but they would have a better chance of being a free republic than merging all of the 13 states into what would effectively be one republic. It is not meant, by stating this case, to insinuate that the constitution would warrant a law of this kind; or unnecessarily to alarm the fears of the people, by suggesting, that the federal legislature would be more likely to pass the limits assigned them by the constitution, than that of an individual state, further than they are less responsible to the people. In other words, it is impossible to create one set of national laws to govern one big, diverse country!

Hence the government will be nerveless and inefficient, and no way will be left to render it otherwise, but by establishing an armed force to execute the laws at the point of the bayonet — a government of all others the most to be dreaded. No state can emit paper money — lay any duties, or imposts, on imports, or exports, but by consent of the Congress; and then the net produce shall be for the benefit of the United States: Both of these, it is true, in process of time, extended their conquests over large territories of country; and the consequence was, that their governments were changed from that of free governments to those of the most tyrannical that ever existed in the world. It is true this government is limited to certain objects, or to speak more properly, some small degree of power is still left to the states, but a little attention to the powers vested in the general government, will convince every candid man, that if it is capable of being executed, all that is reserved for the individual states must very soon be annihilated, except so far as they are barely necessary to the organization of the general government. The powers given by this article are very general and comprehensive, and it may receive a construction to justify the passing almost any law. Not only the opinion of the greatest men, and the experience of mankind, are against the idea of an extensive republic, but a variety of reasons may be drawn from the reason and nature of things, against it.

These might not sumary like big numbers now, the United States is today over times bigger but this was already quite a bit larger than say just ancient Athens.

The people in Georgia and New-Hampshire would not know one another’s mind, and therefore could not act in concert to enable them to effect a general change of representatives. There are many objections, of small moment, of which I shall take no anti-federailst — perfection is not to be expected in any thing that is summxry production of man — and if I did not in my conscience believe that this scheme was defective in the fundamental principles — in the foundation upon which a free and equal government must rest — I would hold my peace.


anti-federalist essay brutus #1 summary

If we apply this remark to the condition of the United States, we shall be convinced that it forbids that we should be one government. A free republic will never keep a standing army to execute its laws. It was a very vigorous debate.

So, clearly did not think much of a pluralist democracy. It is proper here to remark, that the authority to lay and collect taxes is the most important of any power that can be granted; it connects with it almost all other powers, or at least will in process of time draw all other after it; it is the great mean of protection, security, and defense, in a good government, and the great engine of oppression and tyranny in a bad one.

With these few introductory remarks I shall proceed to a consideration of this constitution: The one is the baron de Montesquieu, spirit of laws, chap. With these few introductory remarks, I shall proceed to a consideration of this constitution: Now, in a large extended country, it is impossible to have a representation, possessing the sentiments, and of integrity, to declare the minds of the people, without having it so numerous and unwieldly, as to be subject in great measure to the inconveniency of a democratic government.

When you just had the Athenians governing themselves in a participatory model, yes, a republic seemed to work but then, once it started to extend its influence over surrounding cities, surrounding regions, it became more tyrannical and the Romans even more so.

anti-federalist essay brutus #1 summary

Detail shot of the Car of History in National Statuary Hall This marble sculpture, created inis among the oldest works of art antl-federalist the U. For all laws made, in pursuance of this constitution, are the supreme law of the anti-federalisst, and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the constitution or laws of the different states to the contrary notwithstanding.

If this be not the cases, there will be a constant clashing of opinions and the representatives of one part will be continually striving against those of the other.

If the people are to give their assent to the laws, by persons chosen and appointed by them, the manner of the choice and the number chosen, must be such, as to possess, be disposed, and consequently qualified to declare the sentiments of the people; for if they do not know, or are not disposed to speak the sentiments of the people, the people do not govern, but the sovereignty is in a few.

His series are considered among the best of those written to oppose adoption of the proposed constitution.

Brutus (Antifederalist)

Brutus voiced a concern shared by many Americans: This government is to possess absolute and uncontroulable power, legislative, executive and judicial, with respect to every object to which it extends, for by the last clause of section 8th, article 1st, it is declared “that the Congress shall have power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution, in the government of the United States; or in any department or office thereof.


This is the true criterion between a free government and an arbitrary one. The magistrates in every government must be supported in the execution of the laws, either by an armed force, maintained at the public expence for that purpose; or by the people turning out to aid the magistrate upon his command, in case of resistance.

anti-federalist essay brutus #1 summary

This disposition, which is implanted in human nature, will operate in the sumnary legislature to lessen and ultimately to subvert the state authority, and having such advantages, will most certainly succeed, if the federal government succeeds at all. Retrieved from ” https: Like other Anti-Federalist writers, he argued that a bill of rights was necessary to protect the people from the government.

Brutus (Antifederalist) – Wikipedia

In a large republic, the public good is sacrificed to a thousand views; it is subordinate to exceptions, and depends on accidents. Brutus writes that Congress possesses far too much power, especially over the states. Now, as I read this, keep bdutus mind some of the ideas that we’ve looked at in other videos, the different types of democracy, a participatory democracy where the citizens are close to the governance, to the decision making.

Go back to the main documents page. He advocates for a rotation in government to avoid the problem summray men serving in the Senate for life. This kind of government cannot be exercised, therefore, over a country of any considerable extent; it must be confined to a single city, or at least limited to such bounds as that the people can conveniently assemble, be able to debate, understand the subject submitted to them, and declare their opinion concerning it.

If it has its defects, it is said, they can be best amended when they anti-federalisf experienced.

Among the many illustrious authorities which might be produced to this point, I shall content myself with quoting only two. He prefers a true confederation, which would be: The body of the people being attached, the government will always be sufficient to support and execute its laws, and to operate upon the fears of any faction which may be opposed to it, not only to prevent an opposition to the execution of the laws themselves, but also to compel the most of them to aid the magistrate; but the people will not be likely to have such confidence in their rulers, in a republic so extensive as the United States, as necessary for these purposes.

No state legislature, or any power in the state governments, have any more to do in carrying this into effect, than the authority of one state has to do with that of another. To log in and use all the features of Khan Academy, please enable JavaScript in your browser.