Author Information

Christopher Hallenbrook


Scholarship of the American founding remains divided as to the nature of Anti-Federalist political philosophy. One school of thought contends that the Anti-Federalists were the heirs of the republican tradition, while the other maintains that the Anti-Federalists operated from a liberal worldview. Thus in what manner and to what extent Anti-Federalists draw upon the republican and/or liberal political traditions remains unclear. In answering this question I examine the writings of the Anti-Federalist Cato, analyzing what conceptualizations characterize Anti-Federalist thought and from what traditions of political philosophy these ideas arose. I also analyze texts of the major traditions that my have had a formative influence on Anti-Federalist thought in order to provide a basis of comparison with the Anti-Federalists. As the Anti-Federalists played a crucial role in creating the Bill of Rights, these understandings will establish a framework for interpreting its role in American governance and jurisprudence.

Note on the Author

Christopher Hallenbrook is currently pursuing a double major in political science and history. He developed this paper during the summer of 2008 under the supervision of Dr. Jordon Barkalow as a part of his Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis. Christopher would like to thank the Adrian Tinsley Program for Undergraduate Research and the Bridgewater State College Foundation for their generous support of his research through an Adrian Tinsley Program Summer Grant.

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