Anti-Federalist Papers

Anti-Federalist Papers is the collective name given to the scattered writings of those Americans who during the late 1780s to early 1790s opposed to or who raised doubts about the merits of a firmer and more energetic union as embodied in the 1787 United States Constitution. The authors of these writings, like those who wrote The Federalist Papers - articles and essays in support of and promoting a firmer and more connected union - wrote mostly under pen names but, unlike the three authors of The Federalist Papers, were not engaged in an organized project. Thus, in contrast to the pro-Constitution advocates, there is no one book or collection of Anti-Federalist Papers. Their work is vast and varied and, for the most part, uncoordinated.

Although there is no canonical list of anti-federalist authors, major authors include Cato (likely George Clinton), Brutus (likely Robert Yates), Centinel (Samuel Bryan), and the Federal Farmer (either Melancton Smith, Richard Henry Lee, or Mercy Otis Warren). Speeches by Patrick Henry and Smith are often included as well.

One notable collection of anti-federalist writings was compiled by Morton Borden and published by Michigan State University Press in 1965. He collected 85 of the most significant papers and arranged them in an order closely resembling that of the 85 The Federalist Papers, e.g. #10 in Borden's arrangement argues against Federalist No. 10. The most frequently cited contemporary collection, The Complete Anti-Federalist, was compiled by Herbert Storing and his former student Murray Dry of the University of Chicago, who oversaw the completion of the project after Storing's death. At seven volumes and including many pamphlets and other materials not previously published in a collection, this work is considered by many the authoritative compendium on the publications."

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