Anti-Federalist Essays – Brutus 1
Brutus 1 is one of the 16 Anti-Federalist papers written during the Constitutional Convention. It is believed to have been written by Robert Yates, Melancton Smith, and John Williams.
Brutus argued against the Federalists’ proposal to make America a single republic because he feared it would create a government with too much power. He was especially concerned with the Necessary and Proper Clause and the Supremacy Clause.
Brutus 1 was the pen name used by a New York Anti-Federalist who opposed the ratification of the Constitution. During the ratification debates, he published many essays discouraging New Yorkers from ratifying the Constitution.
Unlike the Federalists, Brutus 1 believed that the Constitution gave too much power to the federal government. He thought it would concentrate too much power in the hands of a few people and eventually lead to the erosion of individual liberty.
Brutus was especially concerned about the Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution, which gave Congress the power to make any law it wanted. He also objected to the unlimited power of Congress to collect taxes. He predicted that these powers would ultimately allow Congress to tax the States out of existence.
Brutus’s concerns revolve around the size of the American Republic and its ability to remain effective. He is worried that a large and diverse population would be difficult to unite under a strong central government, leading to tyranny.
Rather, Brutus believed that a smaller-scale federal government was the best way to govern a country and that democratic principles were the most effective ways to protect freedoms. He based this on Ancient Greece and Rome, which were governed effectively until they became too large and overbearing.
He is also concerned with the Necessary and Proper Clause and Supremacy Clause, which he felt gave too much power to Congress and would eliminate state rights.
Brutus is also concerned about the power of Congress to tax states and that the Constitution allows it to “lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises.” He thinks this is too powerful and could lead to taxing states without a clear purpose. He is also worried about the power to create a standing army and national debt.
Brutus focuses on the fact that humans like to have power. He also implies that it cannot be returned once the power is removed.
He argues that this power is very present in the government and makes claims based on these assumptions. He argues that many people in the government abuse and take for granted their power.
The judicial branch is a branch of the government that has the power to interpret laws and make decisions for the country. Brutus believes this power needs to be clearly outlined in the Constitution, and judges will use it to interpret it to their liking.
He also argues that the judicial branch could be more effective. He believes that judges cannot check themselves and that they will inevitably overrule the other branches of the government. He argues that this will lead to the end of democracy in the United States.
Brutus worries that Caesar will be corrupted by his new position and the power he has been granted. He thinks this could mean that Rome will cease to be a republic and become a monarchy.
Despite this, he has no personal grudge against Caesar and would die for his country/the republic. He also values honor and would sacrifice his life for that cause.
As a result, he has a plethora of concerns when it comes to the best way to murder Caesar. He is a nobleman, but he can be manipulated and make a mistake if he lets his emotions get the better.
This monologue is very well written and shows us the complexity of Brutus’s thought process. This soliloquy also makes a big impression on the audience, demonstrating that Brutus is a talented and clever conspirator and a very human being with concerns for his family and friends.