Anti-Federalists Strike Back: Two Responses to James Wilson’s State House Speech

Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Bob Fiedler

“On September 17, 1787, the Philadelphia Convention, finished drafting the U.S. Constitution. The Anti-Federalists wasted no time in denouncing the document. The first stand-alone counterattack against the anti-federalists took place in Philadelphia on October 6, 1787, when James Wilson delivered his ‘State House Speech.’ Anti-federalist opponents of ratification took up their pens to counter the arguments Wilson made in his speech. Some believe Tench Coxe used the penname ‘A Democratic Federalist,’ though this essay bears little resemblance to anything known to have been authored by him. While the identity of the author is still debatable, what is not debatable is the author’s uncanny ability to look to legal theory and history to illustrate some of the deep flaws in Wilson’s argument.” (06/16/22)