Imagine the United States of America predominately (or rather solely) governed by the terms and regulations the Anti-federalists sought to implement were in fact implemented and actively acknowledged in the present day American culture. As history unfolded we can indeed recognize that the Federalist ideals govern and to an extent uphold American culture for the majority of American history. Government has a significantly large role with a small number of representatives. The Supreme Court is exceptionally prevalent and the country’s elites predominately propose and challenge both cultural and political standards. Though the federalists never addressed slavery nor supported the bill of rights, the United States continued to function under federalist thought and an inclusion of these proposed thoughts that later shaped present American culture. Politics both reflects and then justifies the majority’s culture. With this in mind we can distinctly see a federalist culture. But now, reflect on what an Anti-federalist American culture would look like.
“The establishment of the new plan of government, in its present form, is a question that involves such immense consequences to the present times and to posterity, that it calls for the deepest attention of the best and wisest friends of their country and of mankind”( Anti-federalist 152). The Anti-federalists acknowledged that when a group of people decide to reformat a current and established institution it is not a light matter nor a matter that a single person nor single group of people can determine nor reconstruct. This in particular is due to the fact that establishing a government requires in depth consideration to present and future impact. Moreover consideration from the people themselves. With these two key remarks take into consideration that an Anti-federalist culture would be based in future preventative action guided my thinkers both common and elite. A present American culture would adapt these two characteristics by placing greater value on academia’s opinion rather than the majority’s or say celebrity’s opinion. Also there would be a consistent acknowledgement for the need of future preservation and therefore a possible present day emphasis on ecology.
“But, in this constitution, the citizens of the United States appear dispensing a part of their original power, in what manner and what proportion they think fit, they never part with the whole; and they retain the right of re-calling what they part with. When, therefore, they possess, as I have already mentioned, the fee-simple of authority”(Wilson 172).
Federalist James Wilson whilst discussing the omission of the Bill of Rights recognizes something the Anti-federalist central their argument on: individual liberty. Let us observe the argument to understand another element that would reshape American culture, had the United States assumed an Anti-federalist thought. Wilson’s critique states that there would essentially be an excessive amount of individual liberty and favor for the“part rather than the whole”. This key thought on individualism would today reflect on an emphasis of states’ rights. In turn certain discussions such as gun rights would alter. Rather than discussing the national implications or preventing certain states from altering constitutional law there would most likely be a change in dialogue of how these issues were discussed.
Ultimately, an Anti-federalist culture would revere an intellectual accountability, futuristic preservation and an emphasis on states’ rights.