Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


This master thesis begins with a detailed telling of the history of the Anti-Federalist movement. At the time, the United States was undergoing a huge change. The entire government was in the process of being replaced with a fundamentally different one. Dismantling all pre-existing state and local governments, and forming one unitary government. Some people were understandably fearful of this and Anti-Federalism was born.

The Anti-Federalist group was extremely diverse, with internal disagreements on nearly every concept. The author argues that the one thing that all Anti-Federalists mutually agreed upon was the existence of inalienable natural rights including the natural right to self-ownership and the ownership of legitimately gained property. The Anti-Federalists worried that the Constitution contained unsuitable and unspecified objectives for an excessive government, and therefore threatened these natural rights. It was this worry of the extinguishing of natural rights that the Anti-Federalists universally opposed. The author concludes with reflections on researching and writing for the thesis.


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