How Did The Argument Over Abandoning The Articles Of Confederation And Adopting The Constitution Contribute To Shaping The First Party System Of Federalists And Republicans?
The debate on whether to discard the Articles of the confederation which provided for a loose confederation of sovereign states and a relatively weak federal government and the adoption of a constitution, shaped the first party system by creating divisions among political players in America. The federalists advocated for a strong central government and the adoption of a constitution and the Anti-federalists advocated for retention of the articles due to the expense that would be involved in creating a strong central government.
The Federalists political ideology advocated for a loose reading of the constitution in order to facilitate the undertaking, by the central government, of tasks not allocated to it by the constitution, wanted trade tariffs imposed to protect American manufacturers as well as the formation of partnerships between the federal government and businesses. On the other hand, Anti-federalists wanted to retain the articles, form a small economic federal government that did not interfere with the economy and ensured the states retained their power, a strict reading and observance of the constitution as well as an opposition to trade tariffs.
Due to these differing political ideologies, the Federalist party became the liberal party of the wealthy and educated members of the American society while the Republican (Anti-federalist) conservative party, became the party of the middle and lower middle class society.