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Lift your lamp beside the golden door, Break not the golden rule, avoid well the golden calf, know; not all that glitters is gold, and laissez faire et laissez passer [let do and let pass] but as a shining sentinel, hesitate not to ring the bell, defend the gates, and man the wall

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Federalist Papers by Publius


James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay (Publius)
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The Federalist Papers [Read Online] (Blog) are a series of 85 articles advocating the ratification of the United States Constitution. Seventy-seven of the essays were published serially in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet between October 1787 and August 1788. A compilation of these and eight others, called The Federalist; or, The New Constitution, was published in two volumes in 1788 by J. and A. McLean.[1] The series' correct title is The Federalist; the title The Federalist Papers did not emerge until the twentieth century.

The Federalist remains a primary source for interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, as the essays outline a lucid and compelling version of the philosophy and motivation of the proposed system of government.[2] The authors of The Federalist wanted both to influence the vote in favor of ratification and to shape future interpretations of the Constitution. According to historian Richard B. Morris, they are an "incomparable exposition of the Constitution, a classic in political science unsurpassed in both breadth and depth by the product of any later American writer."[3]

At the time of publication, the authorship of the articles was a closely-guarded secret, though astute observers guessed that Hamilton, Madison, and Jay were the likely authors. Following Hamilton's death in 1804, a list that he drew up became public; it claimed fully two-thirds of the essays for Hamilton, including some that seemed more likely the work of Madison (Nos. 49-58, 62, and 63). The scholarly detective work of Douglass Adair in 1944 postulated the following assignments of authorship, confirmed in 1964 by a computer analysis of the text:

  • Alexander Hamilton (51 articles: nos. 1, 6–9, 11–13, 15–17, 21–36, 59–61, and 65–85)
  • James Madison (29 articles: nos. 10, 14, 37–58 and 62–63)
  • John Jay (5 articles: 2–5 and 64).
  • Nos. 18–20 were the result of a collaboration between Madison and Hamilton.[1]
The authors used the pseudonym "Publius," in honor of Roman consul Publius Valerius Publicola.[4] 

Madison, whom posterity generally credits as the father of the Constitution despite his repeated rejection of the honor during his lifetime, became a leading member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia (1789-1797), Secretary of State (1801-1809), and ultimately the fourth President of the United States.[5] 

Hamilton, who had been a leading advocate of national constitutional reform throughout the 1780s and represented New York at the Constitutional Convention, in 1789 became the first Secretary of the Treasury, a post he held till his resignation in 1795. 

John Jay, who had been secretary for foreign affairs under the Articles of Confederation from 1784 through their expiration in 1789, became the first Chief Justice of the United States in 1789, stepping down in 1795 to accept election as governor of New York, a post he held for two terms, retiring in 1801.

There are many highlights among the essays comprising The Federalist


Federalist No. 10, in which Madison discusses the means of preventing rule by majority faction and advocates an extended republic, is generally regarded as the most important of the 85 articles from a philosophical perspective; it is complemented by 

Federalist No. 14, in which Madison takes the measure of the United States, declares it appropriate for an extended republic, and concludes with a memorable defense of the constitutional and political creativity of the Federal Convention.[6] 

In Federalist No. 84, Hamilton makes the case that there is no need to amend the Constitution by adding a Bill of Rights, insisting that the various provisions in the proposed Constitution protecting liberty amount to a bill of rights. 

Federalist No. 78, also written by Hamilton, lays the groundwork for the doctrine of judicial review by federal courts of federal legislation or executive acts.  

Federalist No. 70 presents Hamilton's case for a one-man chief executive. 

In Federalist No. 39, Madison presents the clearest exposition of what has come to be called "Federalism." 

In Federalist No. 51, Madison distills arguments for checks and balances in a memorable essay often quoted for its justification of government as "the greatest of all reflections on human nature."
 
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No. 2http://dauthazbeechphagein.blogspot.com/2011/06/federalist-no-02.html
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John Jay, Excerpt, Page 32

   With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people—a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who by their joint council and arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established their general liberty and independence.

   This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties.
 
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No. 20 http://dauthazbeechphagein.blogspot.com/2011/07/federalist-no-20.html
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No. 62 http://dauthazbeechphagein.blogspot.com/2011/06/federalist-no-62.html
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The Anti-Federalist Papers are a collection of articles, written in opposition to the ratification of the 1787 United States Constitution. Unlike the Federalist Papers written in support of the Constitution, the authors of these articles, mostly operating under pen names, were not engaged in a strictly organized project. Thus, unlike the Federalist Papers, it is a matter of opinion what writings specifically are included and in what order they are best presented. One notable presentation is that by Morton Borden, who collected 85 of the most significant papers and arranged them in an order closely resembling that of the 85 Federalist Papers, e.g. #10 in Borden's arrangement argues against Federalist No. 10. The most frequently cited modern collection, The Complete Anti-Federalist, was produced by Herbert Storing and is considered the authoritative compendium on the publications.
Major Anti-Federalist authors included Cato (likely George Clinton), Brutus (likely Robert Yates), Centinel (Samuel Bryan), and the Federal Farmer (either Melancton Smith, Richard Henry Lee, or Mercy Otis Warren). Speeches by Patrick Henry and Smith are often included as well.

One of the major points of the articles was the danger the new Constitution would bring without a statement of individual rights. Some of the Anti-Federalist concerns were addressed in the Bill of Rights, which was added later.


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