Federalists vs. Antifederalists: Why the Battle Over the Constitution Still Matters

George Washington University

Denver Brunsman is Associate Professor of History at George Washington University. He is a co-author of a number of textbooks, including: Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People, and Leading Change: George Washington and Establishing the Presidency. Professor Brunsman’s many honors include the Trachtenberg Prize for Teaching Excellence and induction into the George Washington University Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

Overview

When the Constitutional Convention ended on September 17, 1787, the battle over the Constitution had just begun. Federalists (supporters of the Constitution) and Antifederalists (opponents) clashed in each of the original thirteen states. In this course, Professor Denver Brunsman will describe the battle of ideas and tactics that surrounded the process to ratify the Constitution. This is a story that every American should know because it not only settled the Constitution but also introduced patterns of political debate—local vs. national, urban vs. rural, elite vs. commoner—that persist to this day.

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