Few, if any, topics were off-limits in the contest over ratifying the new Constitution.
The Federalist author of spurious “Centinel” XV satirized Antifederalists as so desperate to stir up the people that they might resort to kicks “in the breech.” “Peter Prejudice” caricatured an Antifederalist as so suspicious of changes proposed by the Convention of 1787 that he refused to wear a pair of new pants—a metaphor for the Constitution—that would constrain his “free-born members.” Antifederalists poked fun at Federalists by imitating the Gospel of Luke in “The Chronicles of Early Times”: “blessed art thou amongst men, O Gouvero [Gouverneur Morris].” And “One of the Nobility” appended a bitingly satirical “Political Creed of every Fœderalist” to his letter to the printer, scorning Federalists for elitism, anti-liberalism, and blind loyalty to the Constitutional Convention.
Antifederalists likewise attacked Federalists, who they believed had been blinded to the dangers of the Constitution merely because men such as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin supported it.
Federalist and Antifederalist authors regularly found space for insults and general abuse.
This series of essays was probably the most widely known expression of anti-federalist views.
The first letter ends: The first interesting question, therefore suggested, is, how far the states can be consolidated into one entire government on free principles.
The impracticability of complying with the requisitions of Congress has lessened the sense of obligation and duty in the people and thus weakened the ties of the Union; the opinion of power in a free government is much more efficacious than the exercise of it; it requires the maturity of time and repeated practice to give due energy and certainty to the operations of government.
Anti-Federalists believed also that the Federalists were representing the interest of the "aristocratic" elements in society at the expense of the ordinary people in rural society.
In considering this question extensive objects are to be taken into view, and important changes in the forms of government to be carefully attended to in all their consequences.
The happiness of the people at large must be the great object with every honest statesman, and he will direct every movement to this point.