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84 Nw. U. L. Rev. 12 (1989-1990)
Anti-Federalists, Representation, and Party

handle is hein.journals/illlr84 and id is 28 raw text is: Copyright 1990 by Northwestern University, School of Law          Printed in U.S.A.
Northwestern University Law Review                                  Vol. 84, No. I
Wilson Carey McWilliams*
Both Anti-Federalists and Federalists claimed to champion repre-
sentation, but, as was often true in the founding debate, the two sides set
similar words to very different music. The Anti-Federalists contended,
somewhat derisively, that representation was an ancient idea, a concept
as old as the history of mankind.' The Federalists, in contrast, main-
tained that the great principle of representation, first developed in
modem Europe, had reached fruition only in the late-eighteenth cen-
tury American idea of unmixed and extensive republics.'2 Anti-Feder-
alists regarded representation as a second-best substitute for local self-
government-a potentially dangerous attenuation of personal re-
sponsibility and assent. Their vision of representation would have re-
quired representatives to know and like their constituents, share in the
community's deliberations, and appreciate local opinions and feelings.3
The Federalists, on the other hand, valued representation precisely be-
cause it permitted an escape from the politics of small communities; they
believed that citizens were adequately represented when they elected
others to defend their interests.4
The Federalists ultimately won the argument, if we judge by the
Constitution. Examination of the Bill of Rights-the Anti-Federalist cit-
adel-reveals no indication of a more personalized representation, either.
History suggests, in fact, that the Federalist model has survived every
incursion. The first Congress, for example, submitted to the states an
Anti-Federalist spurred amendment intended to guarantee a numerous
representation, but it fell short of ratification.5 Nevertheless, Anti-Feder-
* Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University.
1 Letter from a Farmer to the (Baltimore) Maryland Gazette (Feb. 29, 1788), reprinted in 5
THE COMPLETE ANTI-FEDERALIST 16, 18 (H. Storing ed. 1981) [hereinafter STORING].
2 THE FEDERALIST No. 14, at 84 (J. Madison) (J. Cooke ed. 1961).
3 Yarbrough, Representation and Republicanism: Two Views, 9 PUBLIUS 77, 84 (1979).
4 Id. at 79 ([T]he Federalists believed that the purpose of representation was to improve upon
direct democracy by refining the interests and opinions of the people.) (emphasis omitted).
5 The proposed amendment, the first submitted by Congress to the new states, provided that
after the initial census one Representative for every 30,000 persons would be required until the
number of Representatives reached 100; subsequently, Congress would regulate such that not less
than one representative for every 40,000 persons would be required until the number reached 200-

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