Reply To: Can someone briefly explain the evolution of American parties?


Are you sure it’s that simple? I read a book recently (can’t recall which off the top of my head) stating that the anti-federalists, Jefferson included, called THEMSELVES anti-federalists. The author used this as one potential reason that they ended up losing the argument over the ratification of the constitution – poor marketing. That even back in the 18th century, people were more likely to support causes that were FOR something rather than against something.

Of course, the author also pointed out that a much more correct label would be for the federalists to be called nationalists (because they favored a strong national government with diminished state power) and for the anti-federalists to be called federalists (because they still favored a national government, just a very weak one, the articles of confederation were a federal system too).