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The Federalist Papers 1787-88

Autor:   •  November 6, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,111 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,130 Views

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The Federalist Papers were written between October 1787 and May 1788 as a series of 85 essays. These essays where written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison to support the Constitution as they foresaw that a vote against it in the state ratifying conventions would destroy the United States' most important experiment in popular government. At the time of the publication, the essays were published anonymously, under the pen name "Publius," mainly in two newspapers in the state of New York: The New York Packet and The Independent Journal. These essays were written to will citizens of New York to support ratification of the proposed Constitution of the United States. Significantly, the essays explain in detail selective provisions of the Constitution. It is for this reason, and because Hamilton and Madison were members of the Constitutional Convention, that the Federalist Papers are often used today to help understand the intentions of those drafting the Constitution.

One of the most important and influential of the Federalist Papers is No.10 which was written by James Madison. It discusses the role of faction, liberty and the process of government to control the excesses of faction. Madison defines that factions are groups of people who gather together to protect and promote their special economic interests and political opinions. The argument Madison makes is that faction and liberty go together. Madison argues that factions historically are a problem for all free governments and that the American constitutional system would solve this problem. Madison also argued that there were two methods for removing mischief of factions. First, remove the causes. You would have to remove societies' liberties and give everyone the same interest and opinions. He concluded that this would be impossible because everyone with different capacities will have different viewpoints. Since you cannot remove the causes, you must control the effects. Create a large, diverse, and extended Republic; a Republic nation that protects peoples' rights, like property or civil.

Any individual needs to be concerned about government using the operation of the nation-state for the purposes of oppression. Madison was also concerned with this issue; he saw the violence of faction being when a group of individuals created a faction with a common interest that was different to individual rights, the rights of minorities and against the common good. Madison writes that humankind naturally falls into animosity and this overshadows the ability of individuals in a democracy to be aware of the common good and communicate legislation for that purpose. So strong is this tendency of mankind to fall into mutual hostilities that where no significant occasion presents itself the most thoughtless and unbelievable differences have been sufficient to spark their hostile tempers and provoke their most aggressive disagreements. Another weakness that


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