In the north, the deadbeats of Shay's rebellion were demanding the state inflate the currency and allow debtors to pay off debts in whatever they had on hand (corn, pigs, whatever).
A corrupt southern aristocracy which had refused to sell off British property in lots even the middle class (what existed of a middle class in the south) could afford were getting out of their debts by running to judges. Everything the colonies had fought for in the Revolution was about to turn into mob rule and a fractious economic race to the bottom as each state positioned itself fight other states.
The Federalists stopped all that from happening...for a while. Delegated powers were not enough to stop centralization but it did postpone it for generations.
The real error, the original sin of the Constitution, was allowing for purposes of representation, slaves to be counted as 3/5ths of a person. That allowed the corrupt aristocracy Jefferson represented which had allied itself with an ignorant underclass and a venal press to wipe out what the federalists had created. Fisher Ames, a Federalist who was critical to the ratification of the constitution and who drafted the first amendment wrote in 1805:
Federalism was therefore manifestly founded upon a mistake, on the supposed existence of sufficient political virtue, and on the permanency and authority of the public morals. The party now in power committed no such mistake. They acted upon what men actually are, not what they ought to be . . .They inflamed the ignorant; they flattered the vain; they offered novelty to the restless; and promised plunder to the base. The envious were assured that the great should fall; and the ambitious that they should become great . . . we are descending from a supposed orderly and stable republican government into a licentious democracy . . .The Federalists weren't the problem. The Jeffersonians were. Look at what Ames wrote. He's describing the Democratic party of today.
That's a good quote. Whenever I see that quote by Adams about our government being fit only for a moral and religious people, I think--what kind of maniacs would create such a utopian system???
“The Federalists weren’t the problem. The Jeffersonians were. Look at what Ames wrote. He’s describing the Democratic party of today.”
Jefferson was a “radical”, little wonder him and John Adams did not agree. Adams, as a Federalist, could not reconcile with Jefferson’s views, and as such, they feuded. Some interesting reads are the letters they exchanged after Jefferson left the Presidency...in that time frame, they began to reconcile their differences...those letters lend some wonderful insight into both of their experiences, and thought processes...( i am sure you are probably WELL aware of that.... :)
This is what I love about FR.....some of the most well read, intelligent people I have ever encountered.