Problems Between the States: Federalist No. 8 and Anti-Federalist No. 6

Federalist Paper No. 8

Federalist No. 8, which Alexander Hamilton titled “The Consequences of Hostilities Between the States” and AntiFederalist No. 6, penned by an author under the pseudonym of Centinel in January 1788 called “The Hobgoblins of  Anarchy and the Dissentions Among the States” both touch upon key matters of the Constitutional Convention of 1867. Though the Federalists and Anti-Federalists disagreed on many platforms, they shared concern for the future of the United States. From the word clouds, clear points of emphasis become apparent from each of these important documents. Both documents touch upon similar issues involving the relationship between the states.

In the Federalist Paper written by Alexander Hamilton, the point of stress was establishing a military of great people. War was a real point of stress for the new nation. One of the objects of the Constitutional Convention was to figure out a way to lessen the tension between the states. Hamilton insisted upon the states forming one union. He also introduces, many times, the subject of the national military. “Military” is clearly the most prominent word in this cloud, followed closely by armies, war and people.

Anti-Federalist No. 6

On January 16, 1788, an anonymous author by the name of “Centinel” penned what is now known as the Anti-Federalist No. 6. In this article, Centinel goes against the Federalist new idea of government. His concerns are clearly visible in the word cloud. Words like “anarchy,” “despotism,” “judgement,” “misery” and evils” jump off the page. This passage establishes some over-arching themes of the Anti-Federalist movement. They were concerned that the new government would bring anarchy to the new nation, resulting from friction and tension among the different states. Centinel was concerned for the rivalries between the states and what could, and probably would, result in their strife. He writes, “To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.” The evils which would come from the new Constitution, he believes, would be disastrous to the United States.

The word clouds present interesting points of view into each of the essays. Both Hamilton and “Centinel’s” key areas of stress become apparent.  On one hand the Federalists, it was the importance of forming one nation, instead of being divided among the states. On the other hand, the Anti-Federalists take the position against the new government. They clearly were under the impression that strife between the states was inevitable with anarchy being a serious resolution. Both word clouds portray the key points of the platforms of both parties on this topic.  The conflict between the states and the new government was just beginning.


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