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The Political Economy of the Antifederalists

  • The Journal of Libertarian Studies

Tags U.S. HistoryPolitical Theory

The eighteenth-century opponents of the U.S. Constitution have been derided by some historians as politically naive and intellectually inferior to their Federalist counterparts. A noted chronicler of the Antifederalists labeled them as "men of little faith" due to their distrust of government. In one sense, such characterizations are correct: The Antifederalists were badly outmaneuvered by the shrewder Federalists who used a number of underhanded, and frankly illegal tactics to secure ratification of the Constitution. However deficient the Anti-federalists were in terms of practical politics, their thoughts on political theory and the nature of government—heavily criticized by modern scholars—far surpassed the pronouncements of their more celebrated foes.

Volume 11, Number 1 (1994)

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Philbin, James P. "The Political Economy of the Antifederalists." Journal of Libertarian Studies 11, No. 1 (1994): 79–106.