Source:The New Democrat
“On October 27, 1787, the first of the Federalist Papers is published in support of the newly signed Constitution.
Between October 1787 and May 1788, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay undertook what was essentially a public relations campaign to encourage New York to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Though the members of the Constitutional Convention had already approved the document as of September 17, 1787, it could not go into effect until at least nine states ratified it.
New York was a large, populous, and geographically central state, and its membership in the new republic was crucial. So Hamilton, Madison, and Jay worked together to compose a series of 85 articles, published variously in four New York newspapers, to explain the Constitution’s structure and text and to address criticisms.
Each essay was written under the pseudonym, “Publius,” titled “Federalist Paper” and numbered, and addressed “To the People of the State of New York.” (Though published anonymously, the authorship of many of the articles has been determined, for example, by stylistic differences—although certain articles remain unattributed. For instance, either Madison or Hamilton wrote a series of articles on the House of Representatives—Federalist Nos. 52, 53, 54, 55, and 56—as well as Nos. 62 and 63, describing the Senate.)
Today, scholars typically refer to the collective essays as the “Federalist Papers.” Written by two of the Constitution’s Framers (Madison and Hamilton), they are an authoritative resource for academics, lawyers, and judges—including Supreme Court justices—to use to interpret the Constitution and to determine its original, or historic, meaning.
In Federalist No. 1, Alexander Hamilton challenged his audience to consider the impact of ratification: “It seems to have been reserved to the people of this country … to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.” Hamilton went on to write a majority of the essays, including: No. 30, the taxing power (“Money is … the vital principle of the body politic”); No. 78, the plan for the federal judiciary, including its lifetime appointment (“the judiciary … is in continual jeopardy of being overpowered, awed, or influenced by its co-ordinate branches; and that as nothing can contribute so much to its firmness and independence as permanency in office”); and Nos. 67 to 77, about the powers of the executive branch—like the president’s commander-in-chief and pardoning powers, in No. 74. In No. 84, Hamilton defended the Constitution despite its lack of a bill of rights.
Madison, too, wrote essays on the fundamental powers of the federal and state governments: in Nos. 41, 42, and 43, describing the general powers of the federal government (to declare war; to borrow money; “to make treaties; to send and receive ambassadors … ; to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations; to regulate foreign commerce”); in No. 44, the restrictions on state power (“No State shall enter into any treaty … coin money … or grant any title of nobility”); and in No. 45, the powers left to the states (“all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State”).
John Jay, in Federalist Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5, wrote about the dangers from “foreign force and influence” that wholly independent states would face without a unified federal republic: “[W]eakness and divisions at home would invite dangers from abroad; and that nothing would tend more to secure us from them than union, strength, and good government within ourselves.”
Finally, in the last Federalist, No. 85, Hamilton summarized the security that a unified government under the Constitution would provide, such as “restraints … on local factions and insurrections” and “the prevention of extensive military establishments, which could not fail to grow out of wars between the States in a disunited situation.”
He then entreated each person to consider carefully the arguments of the Federalist Papers:
Let us now pause and ask ourselves whether, in the course of these papers, the proposed Constitution has not been satisfactorily vindicated from the aspersions thrown upon it; and whether it has not been shown to be worthy of the public approbation, and necessary to the public safety and prosperity. Every man is bound to answer these questions to himself, according to the best of his conscience and understanding, and to act agreeably to the genuine and sober dictates of his judgment.
Hamilton’s own view was that, although the Constitution was not perfect, it was the best alternative, and an exciting one:
I am persuaded that it is the best which our political situation, habits, and opinions will admit, and superior to any the revolution has produced. … A nation, without a national government, is, in my view, an awful spectacle. The establishment of a Constitution, in time of profound peace, by the voluntary consent of a whole people, is a prodigy, to the completion of which I look forward with trembling anxiety.
The Federalist Papers were successful in achieving their goal. One month after Federalist No. 85 was published, New Hampshire ratified and the Constitution went into effect; Virginia and New York ratified soon after.
Lana Ulrich is Senior Director of Content and Senior Counsel at the National Constitution Center.”
From National Constitution Center
“In a series of newspaper articles Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison explained the value of the new constitution that replaced the Articles of Confederation.”
Source:Weider History– with a look at the Federalist Papers.
From Weider History
I believe the American Federal Republic with our Constitution, individual rights and federalist system, is really what separates the United States from every other country in the world and why millions of people even from developed countries emigrate here every year. Along with the opportunity to create a better life for themselves.
Our federalist system, is really something that real Liberals (in the classic and realist sense) same thing with Conservatives and people who call themselves Libertarians, can all be proud of. And something we in many ways have built our political philosophies around. While leftists (Social Democrats and Communist) tend to I believe and view the Constitution as an annoyance. Because they put so much faith in the Federal Government to take care of everyone. Even though the Constitution puts strict restrictions on what the Federal Government and even state and local government’s, can do.
We almost had to go with the federalist route all along, or the Colony of New York, wouldn’t have joined America as a state. But not only that, because we’re founded by people who would be called Liberals (or Classical Liberals, if you prefer) today, who wanted to break away from the authoritarian and unitarian British State. And create a country where power was decentralized and people have personal and economic freedom over their own lives.
The other reason why America almost has to have a federal system is because how big we have become as a country that stretches from one huge ocean to another, that is physically the size of a continent even without Alaska and Hawaii, that now has a population of three-hundred-fifteen-million people, that has had fifty states since the late 1950s and could add another one perhaps in ten years in Puerto Rico. Could you imagine the Feds in Washington telling Florida, California, Texas and any other state, how to educate their kids, build their roads, run their prisons, etc?
A social democratic unitarian government, would never work in Modern America. Because we’re so damn big and tend not to trust big centralized authorities that want to handle our affairs for us. Especially if they can be handled at the state, or local levels, or even individually, or through the private sector.
We broke away from the United Kingdom to get away from that big centralized unitarian government. And create a country where a lot of power was with the people and with a more bottomed up form of government. And we had to do that, or the United States of America is never formed. Perhaps the colonies come together to fight off the British and then go their separate ways after the Revolutionary War. And form much smaller countries and perhaps even unions. But the thirteen British Colonies, wouldn’t have become the United States.
Leftists, I’m sure say that the big, centralized, unitarian, form of government works well in Britain and Scandinavia and perhaps other places in Europe. A few problems there. One, those countries are a hell of a lot smaller than America. And operate more like big states in America than large countries. California and Texas by themselves, both have more people than all of Scandinavia. California, has forty-million people and Britain has sixty-million people and their economies are roughly the same size. These small European states, especially Scandinavia, don’t have the history of rebellion with people wanting to break away from a big centralized authoritarian country.
And also, because of the ethnic diversity of Britain, where you have four states inside of the United Kingdom that all have their own major dominant ethnic group, they’re looking to break away from Britain and create their own independent countries. Which is why Britain is now looking at a federalist system to replace their unitarian system.
But if you go to the big states in Europe and look at Germany, France and Italy, they are all federal republics with autonomous states that all have real responsibilities over their own state affairs. The Federal Republic of Germany, (perfect example) a country of over eighty-million people and without their federal system, you might not have a United Germany today. But instead several ethnic-German republics and not just an East and a West.
Our Founding Fathers, (The Founding Liberals of America) were real smart and knew exactly what they wanted and why they wanted to break way from and the type of country they wanted to create. Break away from unitarianism and create the first liberal democratic federal republic. Where power would be decentralized from the Federal Government, down to the states, localities and people, to be able to govern themselves. Which is what we call self-governance.
The Founding Liberals were also smart to keep a Federal Government powerful and responsible enough not to control us and the other levels of government, but to manage national affairs for us. Interstate crime and commerce, foreign policy, national security, national infrastructure, (to use as examples) but not to try to run every state and local government and part of the country from the federal level. And they did a great job and we were lucky to have them.
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