proper and necessary, for carrying all these into execution; and they may so exercise this power as entirely to annihilate all the State governments, and reduce this country to one single government. And if they may do it, it is pretty certain they will; for it will be found that the power retained by individual States, small as it is, will be a clog upon the wheels of the government of the United States; the latter, therefore, will be naturally inclined to remove it out of the way. Besides, it is a truth confirmed by the unerring experience of ages, that every man, and every body of men, invested with power, are ever disposed to increase it, and to acquire a superiority over everything that stands in their way. This disposition, which is implanted in human nature, will operate in the Federal 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. It must be very evident, then, that what this Constitution wants of being a complete consolidation of the several parts of the union into one complete government, possessed of perfect legislative, judicial, and executive powers, to all intents and purposes, it will necessarily acquire in its exercise in operation.

BRUTUS


Antifederalist No. 18-20
WHAT DOES HISTORY TEACH? (PART I)

Critics and defenders of the Constitution ranged the far boundaries of recorded history, sometimes rewriting it in the process, in order to buttress their arguments. The Federalist specifically devoted three essays (Nos. 18- 20) to the lessons of the past, and laced others with "a number of historical analogies of doubtful application." ( Edward M. Earle, ed., The Federalist, New York, 1937, p. xi).

Antifederalists did the same, many times using identical historical material to document their opposition to the Constitution. The following essay by an unknown Pennsylvania Antifederalist, "AN OLD WHIG," is typical of the genre. It appeared in The Massachusetts Gazette, November 27, 1787, reprinted from the [ Philadelphia] Independent Gazetteer.

. . . . By the proposed constitution, every law, before it passes, is to undergo repeated revisions; and the constitution of every state in the union provide for the revision of the most trifling laws, either by their passing through different houses of assembly and senate, or by requiring them to be published for the consideration of the people. Why then is a constitution which affects all the inhabitants of the United States--which is to be the foundation of all laws and the source of misery or happiness to one-quarter of the globe--why is this to be so hastily adopted or rejected, that it cannot admit of a revision? If a law to regulate highways requires to be leisurely considered and undergo the examination of different bodies of men, one after another, before it be passed, why is it that the framing of a constitution for the government of a great people--a work which has been justly considered

-45-

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