I’m starting to read the Federalist and Anti-federalist papers, and in the introduction to the anthology I am using, I learn that the federalists believed that “in modern political systems,  it is the power of the legislature, not the executive, that is the greatest threat to the liberty and security of individuals.” I am a embarrassed to admit that I didn’t pay too much attention in my high school history classes (until quite recently, I thought the social sciences were pretty much bunk), so I am ignorant of what the historical reasons for this view are. Could someone enlighten me? Why did the framers have this view?

I had gotten snippets of this view before, but I had never seen it stated explicitly before. The view seems strange today.  I am not sure if there is any reason to believe either one is naturally a greater threat to liberty, so making the legislature and the executive branch roughly equal seems the most reasonable to me.