Federalist Papers Summaries

Federalist Papers Summaries - Federalist Papers Summaries#1...

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Federalist Papers Summaries #1 Summary: Alexander Hamilton begins the brilliant discourse on the Constitution of the United States of America by asking his readers to consider a new Constitution because they have experienced the inefficiencies in the present form of government. Classically, he pronounces that the people are in a unique position to answer the most important political question of all "whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice." If the people are up to the challenge, their actions will have great worldwide significance. He proceeds to show that many people will oppose the Constitution for a variety of reasons, especially if they benefit from the current form of government. Hamilton, however, is not going to address the motives of those who oppose the Constitution; rather, his intent is to make arguments that are for the Constitution. He addresses people questioning his willingness to listen to his arguments because he has already made up his mind to support the Constitution; however, he admits that, while his motives for urging ratification of the Constitution are personal, his arguments are open. Finally, he outlines the specific issues that he will address in the Federalist Papers, namely, political prosperity and the Constitution; the inadequacy of the present government to preserve the union, the necessity of a strong and energetic government, the Constitution and its relationship to republican principles of government; the similarity of the proposed Constitution to New York state constitution; and the protection of liberty and property under the proposed government. In addition, he is also attempting to effectively answer serious arguments brought against ratification. Hamilton concludes the first section of the Federalist Papers by telling the people that it might seem unnecessary to plead for a strong Union, but people argue that the country is too large to establish a national system of government. In the end, however, the last question is whether the people adopt the Constitution or whether they will see the end of a united government.
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Analysis Before beginning a more general analysis of Alexander Hamilton 's remarks, it is necessary to provide the background of the political theory of educated men in the United States. First, most educated men, especially those who were at the heart of governing the new country, were extremely familiar with the republics of Ancient Greece and Rome (for example, see John Adam's book Defense of the Constitution, published at the same time as The Federalist Papers ). From this background, the primary fear was that while a republican government was desirable in order to defend liberty, it was not possible over a large geographic area, such as the United States, because it had never been accomplished before. Rather, this problem had always been the downfall of Republics (for instance, the fall of the Roman Empire). The other major pitfall of republics had been class war,
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Federalist Papers Summaries - Federalist Papers Summaries#1...

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