In Essay #17, The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union, Hamilton turns the tables on his opponents.
“He uses one of the core political beliefs of the anti-federalists against them. The anti-federalists believed that state governments ought to be given significant powers, since they can be most trusted to serve the interests of the people and protect their liberties. The anti-federalists believed that the national government under the proposed constitution would pose a threat to the people and overpower the states.”
“However, Hamilton bases his response on a professed faith in the enduring strength and influence of state governments. His argument implies that the states are indeed, as the anti-federalists believed, guardians of the rights of the people. He argues that, therefore, Americans have nothing to fear from a powerful central government since they will always have the state governments to stand up for their rights.”
Credit for the summary and analysis is given to Brittany Nelson and Christopher Higgins (second revision 09/15/2011). Weinbloom, Elizabeth ed. “The Federalist Papers Essay 17 Summary and Analysis”. GradeSaver, 30 December 2011 Web. 20 January 2019.