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Letters to the Editor

Readers write about the continuing debate over the size of the federal government, why students should be protected by the Constitution in school, and how Obama shows strength.

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Tea parties? That's an old debate

Regarding the April 18 article, "Arguing the size of the "tea party" protest": Many supporters of the "tea parties" show an inaccurate or incomplete knowledge of US history. The debate over the powers of the central government has existed from the very beginning of our country.

America tried weak central government under the Articles of Confederation. It was found (at least by participants in the Constitutional Convention) to be inadequate. The Federalists argued for strong central government and ratification of the Constitution; the Anti-Federalists argued against ratification, partly because they feared strong central government and partly because the Constitution did not, then, have a Bill of Rights.

Alexander Hamilton founded the Federalist Party, which supported strong central government. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison founded the Democratic-Republican Party, which supported states' rights. (The Democratic-Republican Party has little or no connection to today's Democrats and Republicans.)

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