as Montesquieu says, whether the construction of the government be suitable to the genius and disposition of the people, as well as a variety of other circumstances.
Antifederalist writers tended to select pseudonyms to connote agrarian origins and democratic simplicity. A favorite nom-de-plume was "Farmer," though one might doubt that this name always reflected the true occupation of the author.
One of the most astute writers to use this name, "A FARMER," penned a series of essays from which the following is taken. It appeared in the Maryland Gazette and Baltimore Advertiser, March 7, 1788. The anonymous author argued that the American nation should not follow in the path of European history; that the Constitution, because it will create a consolidated central government of vast power, most surely will result in a repetition of the ancient evils.
There are but two modes by which men are connected in society, the one which operates on individuals, this always has been, and ought still to be called, national government; the other which binds States and governments together (not corporations, for there is no considerable nation on earth, despotic, monarchical, or republican, that does not contain many subordinate corporations with various constitutions) this last has heretofore been denominated a league or confederacy. The term federalists is therefore improperly applied to themselves, by the friends and supporters of the proposed constitution. This abuse of language does not help the cause; every degree of imposition serves only to irritate, but can never convince. They are national men, and their opponents, or at least a great majority of them, are federal, in the only true and strict sense of the word.
Whether any form of national government is preferable for the Americans, to a league or confederacy, is a previous question we must first make up our minds upon. . . .
That a national government will add to the dignity and increase the splendor of the United States abroad, can admit of no doubt: it is essentially requisite for both. That it will render government, and officers of government, more dignified at home is equally certain. That these objects are more suited to the manners, if not [the] genius and disposition of our people is, I fear, also true. That it is requisite in order to keep us at peace among ourselves, is doubtful. That it is necessary, to prevent foreigners from dividing us, or interfering in our government, I deny positively; and, after all, I have strong doubts whether all its advantages are not more specious than solid. We are vain, like other nations. We wish to make a noise in the world; and feel