Beginning on October 27, the Federalist Papers were first published in the one of the most important contributions to political thought made in America. rT nHE BICENTENNIAL of the American Constitution invite I view the Federalist Papers against the back some of the .. In the case of The Federalist Papers, the strong .. people meet and exercise the government in person" ( ). But "in ing the introduction and circulation of the precious metals, those darling. Federalist Papers: Primary Documents of American History (Virtual Services and personal enemies Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr met on the heights of.
In order to deceive them, they incessantly declare that none can discover any defect in the system but bankrupts who wish no government, and officers of the present government who fear to lose a part of their power. Compulsive or treacherous measures to establish any government whatever, will always excite jealousy among a free people: I had rather be a free citizen of the small republic of Massachusetts, than an oppressed subject of the great American empire.
Let all act understandingly or not at all. If we can confederate upon terms that wilt secure to us our liberties, it is an object highly desirable, because of its additional security to the whole.
If the proposed plan proves such an one, I hope it will be adopted, but if it will endanger our liberties as it stands, let it be amended; in order to which it must and ought to be open to inspection and free inquiry. The inundation of abuse that has been thrown out upon the heads of those who have had any doubts of its universal good qualities, have been so redundant, that it may not be improper to scan the characters of its most strenuous advocates.
It will first be allowed that many undesigning citizens may wish its adoption from the best motives, but these are modest and silent, when compared to the greater number, who endeavor to suppress all attempts for investigation.
These violent partisans are for having the people gulp down the gilded pill blindfolded, whole, and without any qualification whatever. These consist generally, of the NOBLE order of C[incinnatu]s, holders of public securities, men of great wealth and expectations of public office, B[an]k[er]s and L[aw]y[er]s: The Lawyers in particular, keep up an incessant declamation for its adoption; like greedy gudgeons they long to satiate their voracious stomachs with the golden bait.
The time draws near for the choice of Delegates. I hope my fellow-citizens will look well to the characters of their preference, and remember the Old Patriots of 75; they have never led them astray, nor need they fear to try them on this momentous occasion.
The adoption of this government will not meliorate our own particular system. I beg leave to consider the circumstances of the Union antecedent to the meeting of the Convention at Philadelphia.
We have been told of phantoms and ideal dangers to lead us into measures which will, in my opinion, be the ruin of our country. If the existence of those dangers cannot be proved, if there be no apprehension of wars, if there be no rumors of wars, it will place the subject in a different light, and plainly evince to the world that there cannot be any reason for adopting measures which we apprehend to be ruinous and destructive.
When this state [Virginia] proposed that the general government should be improved, Massachusetts was just recovered from a rebellion which had brought the republic to the brink of destruction from a rebellion which was crushed by that federal government which is now so much contemned and abhorred.
A vote of that august body for fifteen hundred men, aided by the exertions of the state, silenced all opposition, and shortly restored the public tranquility. Massachusetts was satisfied that these internal commotions were so happily settled, and was unwilling to risk any similar distresses by theoretic experiments. Were the Eastern States willing to enter into this measure? Were they willing to accede to the proposal of Virginia?
In what manner was it received? Connecticut revolted at the idea. The Eastern States, sir, were unwilling to recommend a meeting of a convention. They were well aware of the dangers of revolutions and changes. Why was every effort used, and such uncommon pains taken, to bring it about?
This would have been unnecessary, had it been approved of by the people. Was Pennsylvania disposed for the reception of this project of reformation? She was even unwilling to amend her revenue laws, so as to make the five per centum operative. She was satisfied with things as they were. There was no complaint, that ever I heard of, from any other part of the Union, except Virginia. This being the case among ourselves, what dangers were there to be apprehended from foreign nations? It will be easily shown that dangers from that quarter were absolutely imaginary.
Was not France friendly? She was devising new regulations of commerce for our advantage. Did she harass us with applications for her money? Is it likely that France will quarrel with us? Is it not reasonable to suppose that she will be more desirous than ever to cling, after losing the Dutch republic, to her best ally? How are the Dutch? We owe them money, it is true; and are they not willing that we should owe them more? They readily granted it. The Dutch have a fellow-feeling for us.
They were in the same situation with ourselves. I believe that the money which the Dutch borrowed of Henry IV is not yet paid. How did they pass Queen Elizabeth's loan? At a very considerable discount. They took advantage of the weakness and necessities of James I, and made their own terms with that contemptible monarch.
Loans from nations are not like loans from private men. Nations lend money, and grant assistance, to one another, from views of national interest - France was willing to pluck the fairest feather out of the British crown.
This was her object in aiding us. She will not quarrel with us on pecuniary considerations. Congress considered it in this point of view; for when a proposition was made to make it a debt of private persons, it was rejected without hesitation. That respectable body wisely considered, that, while we remained their debtors in so considerable a degree, they would not be inattentive to our interest. With respect to Spain, she is friendly in a high degree. I wish to know by whose interposition was the treaty with Morocco made.
Was it not by that of the king of Spain? Several predatory nations disturbed us, on going into the Mediterranean. The influence of Charles III at the Barbary court, and four thousand pounds, procured as good a treaty with Morocco as could be expected. But I acknowledge it is not of any consequence, since the Algerines and people of Tunis have not entered into similar measures. We have nothing to fear from Spain; and, were she hostile, she could never be formidable to this country.
Her strength is so scattered, that she never can be dangerous to us either in peace or war. As to Portugal, we have a treaty with her, which may be very advantageous, though it be not yet ratified. The domestic debt is diminished by considerable sales of western lands to Cutler, Sergeant, and Company; to Simms; and to Royal, Flint, and Company. The board of treasury is authorized to sell in Europe, or any where else, the residue of those lands.
An act of Congress has passed, to adjust the public debts between the individual states and the United States. Was our trade in a despicable situation? I shall say nothing of what did not come under my own observation. When I was in Congress, sixteen vessels had had sea letters in the East India trade, and two hundred vessels entered and cleared out, in the French West India Islands, in one year.
Federalist Papers - HISTORY
I must confess that public credit has suffered, and that our public creditors have been ill used. This was owing to a fault at the headquarters - to Congress themselves - in not selling the western lands at an earlier period. If requisitions have not been complied with, it must be owing to Congress, who might have put the unpopular debts on the back lands. Commutation is abhorrent to New England ideas. Speculation is abhorrent to the Eastern States.
Those inconveniences have resulted from the bad policy of Congress. There are certain modes of governing the people which will succeed. There are others which will not. The idea of consolidation is abhorrent to the people of this country. How were the sentiments of the people before the meeting of the Convention at Philadelphia? They had only one object in view. Their ideas reached no farther than to give the general government the five per centum impost, and the regulation of trade.
When it was agitated in Congress, in a committee of the whole, this was all that was asked, or was deemed necessary.
Since that period, their views have extended much farther. Horrors have been greatly magnified since the rising of the Convention.
We are now told by the honorable gentleman Governor Randolph that we shall have wars and rumors of wars, that every calamity is to attend us, and that we shall be ruined and disunited forever, unless we adopt this Constitution.
Pennsylvania and Maryland are to fall upon us from the north, like the Goths and Vandals of old; the Algerines, whose flat-sided vessels never came farther than Madeira, are to fill the Chesapeake with mighty fleets, and to attack us on our front; the Indians are to invade us with numerous armies on our rear, in order to convert our cleared lands into hunting - grounds; and the Carolinians, from the south, mounted on alligators, I presume, are to come and destroy our cornfields, and eat up our little children!
These, sir, are the mighty dangers which await us if we reject dangers which are merely imaginary, and ludicrous in the extreme! Are we to be destroyed by Maryland and Pennsylvania? What will democratic states make war for, and how long since have they imbibed a hostile spirit? But the generality are to attack us. Will they attack us after violating their faith in the first Union?
Will they not violate their faith if they do not take us into their confederacy? Have they not agreed, by the old Confederation, that the Union shall be perpetual, and that no alteration should take place without the consent of Congress, and the confirmation of the legislatures of every state?
I cannot think that there is such depravity in mankind as that, after violating public faith so flagrantly, they should make war upon us, also, for not following their example. The large states have divided the back lands among themselves, and have given as much as they thought proper to the generality.
For the fear of disunion, we are told that we ought to take measures which we otherwise should not. The Eastern States hold the fisheries, which are their cornfields, by a hair. They have a dispute with the British government about their limits at this moment. Is not a general and strong government necessary for their interest? If ever nations had inducements to peace, the Eastern States now have. New York and Pennsylvania anxiously look forward for the fur trade.
How can they obtain it but by union? Can the western posts be got or retained without union? How are the little states inclined? They are not likely to disunite. Their weakness will prevent them from quarrelling. Little men are seldom fond of quarrelling among giants. Is there not a strong inducement to union, while the British are on one side and the Spaniards on the other?
Thank Heaven, we have a Carthage of our own. But what would I do on the present occasion to remedy the existing defects of the present Confederation? There are two opinions prevailing in the world - the one, that mankind can only be governed by force; the other, that they are capable of freedom and a good government.
Under a supposition that mankind can govern themselves, I would recommend that the present Confederation should be amended. Give Congress the regulation of commerce. Infuse new strength and spirit into the state governments; for, when the component parts are strong, it will give energy to the government, although it be otherwise weak.
Apportion the public debts in such a manner as to throw the unpopular ones on the back lands. Call only for requisitions for the foreign interest and aid them by loans. Keep on so till the American character be marked with some certain features. We are yet too young to know what we are fit for. The continual migration of people from Europe, and the settlement of new countries on our western frontiers, are strong arguments against making new experiments now in government. When these things are removed, we can with greater prospect of success, devise changes.
We ought to consider, as Montesquieu says, whether the construction of the government be suitable to the genius and disposition of the people, as well as a variety of other circumstances.
The true identity of the author is unknown. There are but two modes by which men are connected in society, the one which operates on individuals, this always has been, and ought still to be called, national government; the other which binds States and governments together not corporations, for there is no considerable nation on earth, despotic, monarchical, or republican, that does not contain many subordinate corporations with various constitutions this last has heretofore been denominated a league or confederacy.
The term federalists is therefore improperly applied to themselves, by the friends and supporters of the proposed constitution. This abuse of language does not help the cause; every degree of imposition serves only to irritate, but can never convince. They are national men, and their opponents, or at least a great majority of them, are federal, in the only true and strict sense of the word.
Whether any form of national government is preferable for the Americans, to a league or confederacy, is a previous question we must first make up our minds upon. That a national government will add to the dignity and increase the splendor of the United States abroad, can admit of no doubt: That it will render government, and officers of government, more dignified at home is equally certain. That these objects are more suited to the manners, if not [the] genius and disposition of our people is, I fear, also true.
That it is requisite in order to keep us at peace among ourselves, is doubtful. That it is necessary, to prevent foreigners from dividing us, or interfering in our government, I deny positively; and, after all, I have strong doubts whether all its advantages are not more specious than solid.
We are vain, like other nations. We wish to make a noise in the world; and feel hurt that Europeans are not so attentive to America in peace, as they were to America in war. We are also, no doubt, desirous of cutting a figure in history. Should we not reflect, that quiet is happiness?
That content and pomp are incompatible? I have either read or heard this truth, which the Americans should never forget: That the silence of historians is the surest record of the happiness of a people. The Swiss have been four hundred years the envy of mankind, and there is yet scarcely an history of their nation. What is history, but a disgusting and painful detail of the butcheries of conquerors, and the woeful calamities of the conquered?
Many of us are proud, and are frequently disappointed that office confers neither respect nor difference. No man of merit can ever be disgraced by office. A rogue in office may be feared in some governments - he will be respected in none. After all, what we call respect and difference only arise from contrast of situation, as most of our ideas come by comparison and relation.
Where the people are free there can be no great contrast or distinction among honest citizens in or out of office. In proportion as the people lose their freedom, every gradation of distinction, between the Governors and governed obtains, until the former become masters, and the latter become slaves.
In all governments virtue will command reverence. The divine Cato knew every Roman citizen by name, and never assumed any preeminence; yet Cato found, and his memory will find, respect and reverence in the bosoms of mankind, until this world returns into that nothing, from whence Omnipotence called it. That the people are not at present disposed for, and are actually incapable of, governments of simplicity and equal rights, I can no longer doubt.
But whose fault is it? We make them bad, by bad governments, and then abuse and despise them for being so. Our people are capable of being made anything that human nature was or is capable of, if we would only have a little patience and give them good and wholesome institutions; but I see none such and very little prospect of such.
The honor of supporting the dignity of the human character, seems reserved to the hardy Helvetians alone. If the body of the people will not govern themselves, and govern themselves well too, the consequence is unavoidable - a FEW will, and must govern them.
Then it is that government becomes truly a government by force only, where men relinquish part of their natural rights to secure the rest, instead of an union of will and force, to protect all their natural rights, which ought to be the foundation of every rightful social compact.
Whether national government will be productive of internal peace, is too uncertain to admit of decided opinion.
I only hazard a conjecture when I say, that our state disputes, in a confederacy, would be disputes of levity and passion, which would subside before injury. The people being free, government having no right to them, but they to government, they would separate and divide as interest or inclination prompted - as they do at this day, and always have done, in Switzerland.
In a national government, unless cautiously and fortunately administered, the disputes will be the deep-rooted differences of interest, where part of the empire must be injured by the operation of general law; and then should the sword of government be once drawn which Heaven avert I fear it will not be sheathed, until we have waded through that series of desolation, which France, Spain, and the other great kingdoms of the world have suffered, in order to bring so many separate States into uniformity, of government and law; in which event the legislative power can only be entrusted to one man as it is with them who can have no local attachments, partial interests, or private views to gratify.
That a national government will prevent the influence or danger of foreign intrigue, or secure us from invasion, is in my judgment directly the reverse of the truth. The only foreign, or at least evil foreign influence, must be obtained through corruption.
Where the government is lodged in the body of the people, as in Switzerland, they can never be corrupted; for no prince, or people, can have resources enough to corrupt the majority of a nation; and if they could, the play is not worth the candle. The facility of corruption is increased in proportion as power tends by representation or delegation, to a concentration in the hands of a few.
As to any nation attacking a number of confederated independent republics. That extensive empire is a misfortune to be deprecated, will not now be disputed. The balance of power has long engaged the attention of all the European world, in order to avoid the horrid evils of a general government. The same government pervading a vast extent of territory, terrifies the minds of individuals into meanness and submission. All human authority, however organized, must have confined limits, or insolence and oppression will prove the offspring of its grandeur, and the difficulty or rather impossibility of escape prevents resistance.
Gibbon relates that some Roman Knights who had offended government in Rome were taken up in Asia, in a very few days after. It was the extensive territory of the Roman republic that produced a Sylla, a Marius, a Caligula, a Nero, and an Elagabalus. In small independent States contiguous to each other, the people run away and leave despotism to reek its vengeance on itself; and thus it is that moderation becomes with them, the law of self-preservation.
These and such reasons founded on the eternal and immutable nature of things have long caused and will continue to cause much difference of sentiment throughout our wide extensive territories. From our divided and dispersed situation, and from the natural moderation of the American character, it has hitherto proved a warfare of argument and reason. While every bit as emotional a writer, Henry who penned the well remembered "Give Me Liberty of Give Me Death" phrase opposed the new Constitution for many reasons.
He delivered long speeches to the Virginia Ratification convention June 5, 7, and 9, The following is taken from Elliot's Debates,46, 48, If we recollect, on last Saturday, I made some observations on some of those dangers which these gentlemen would fain persuade us hang over the citizens of this commonwealth [Virginia] to induce us to change the government, and adopt the new plan.
Unless there be great and awful dangers, the change is dangerous, and the experiment ought not to be made. In estimating the magnitude of these dangers, we are obliged to take a most serious view of them - to see them, to handle them, and to be familiar with them. It is not sufficient to feign mere imaginary dangers; there must be a dreadful reality. The great question between us is: Does that reality exist? These dangers are partially attributed to bad laws, execrated by the community at large.
It is said the people wish to change the government. I should be happy to meet them on that ground. Should the people wish to change it, we should be innocent of the dangers.
It is a fact that the people do not wish to change their government. How am I to prove it? It will rest on my bare assertion, unless supported by an internal conviction in men's breasts.
My poor say-so is a mere nonentity. But, sir, I am persuaded that four fifths of the people of Virginia must have amendments to the new plan, to reconcile them to a change of their government.
It is a slippery foundation for the people to rest their political salvation on my or their assertions. No government can flourish unless it be founded on the affection of the people. Unless gentlemen can be sure that this new system is founded on that ground, they ought to stop their career. I will not repeat what the gentlemen say - I will mention one thing. There is a dispute between us and the Spaniards about the right of navigating the Mississippi.
Seven states wished to relinquish this river to them. The six Southern states opposed it. Seven states not being sufficient to convey it away, it remains now ours. There is no danger of a dismemberment of our country, unless a Constitution be adopted which will enable the government to plant enemies on our backs. By the Confederation, the rights of territory are secured.Federalist Papers (Drake's "In My Feelings" Parody) #kikichallenge
No treaty can be made without the consent of nine states. While the consent of nine states is necessary to the cession of territory, you are safe. If it be put in the power of a less number, you will most infallibly lose the Mississippi. As long as we can preserve our unalienable rights, we are in safety. This new Constitution will involve in its operation the loss of the navigation of that valuable river.
The honorable gentleman [either James Madison or Edmund Randolph], cannot be ignorant of the Spanish transactions [the Jay-Gardoqui negotiations]. A treaty had been nearly entered into with Spain, to relinquish that navigation. That relinquishment would absolutely have taken place, had the consent of seven states been sufficient.
This new government, I conceive, will enable those states who have already discovered their inclination that way, to give away this river. We are threatened with danger [according to some,] for the non-payment of our debt due to France. We have information come from an illustrious citizen of Virginia, who is now in Paris, which disproves the suggestions of such danger. This citizen has not been in the airy regions of theoretic speculation - our ambassador [Thomas Jefferson] is this worthy citizen.
The ambassador of the United States of America is not so despised as the honorable gentleman would make us believe. A servant of a republic is as much respected as that of a monarch. The honorable gentleman tells us that hostile fleets are to be sent to make reprisals upon us.
Our ambassador tells you that the king of France has taken into consideration to enter into commercial regulations, on reciprocal terms, with us, which will be of peculiar advantage to us.
Does this look like hostility? I might go farther. I might say, not from public authority, but good information, that his opinion is, that you reject this government.
His character and abilities are in the highest estimation; he is well acquainted, in every respect, with this country; equally so with the policy of the European nations. Let us follow the sage advice of this common friend of our happiness. It is little usual for nations to send armies to collect debts. The house of Bourbon, that great friend of America, will never attack her for her unwilling delay of payment.
Give me leave to say, that Europe is too much engaged about objects of greater importance, to attend to us. On that great theatre of the world, the little American matters vanish. Do you believe that the mighty monarch of France, beholding the greatest scenes that ever engaged the attention of a prince of that country, will divert himself from those important objects, and now call for a settlement of accounts with America? This proceeding is not warranted by good sense.
The friendly disposition to us, and the actual situation of France, render the idea of danger from that quarter absurd. Would this countryman of ours be fond of advising us to a measure which he knew to be dangerous? And can it be reasonably supposed that he can be ignorant of any premeditated hostility against this country?
The honorable gentleman may suspect the account; but I will do our friend the justice to say, that he would warn us of any danger from France.
Do you suppose the Spanish monarch will risk a contest with the United States, when his feeble colonies are exposed to them? Every advance the people make to the westward, makes them tremble for Mexico and Peru. Despised as we are among ourselves, under our present government, we are terrible to that monarchy. If this be not a fact, it is generally said so. We are, in the next place, frightened by dangers from Holland.
We must change our government to escape the wrath of that republic. Holland groans under a government like this new one. A stadtholder, sir, a Dutch president, has brought on that country miseries which will not permit them to collect debts with fleets or armies.
This President will bring miseries on us like those of Holland. Such is the condition of European affairs, that it would be unsafe for them to send fleets or armies to collect debts.
But here, sir, they make a transition to objects of another kind. We are presented with dangers of a very uncommon nature. I am not acquainted with the arts of painting. Some gentlemen have a peculiar talent for them. They are practised with great ingenuity on this occasion.
As a counterpart to what we have already been intimidated with, we are told that some lands have been sold, which cannot be found; and that this will bring war on this country. Here the picture will not stand examination. Can it be supposed, if a few land speculators and jobbers have violated the principles of probity, that it will involve this country in war? Is there no redress to be otherwise obtained, even admitting the delinquents and sufferers to be numerous?
When gentlemen are thus driven to produce imaginary dangers, to induce this Convention to assent to this change, I am sure it will not be uncandid to say that the change itself is really dangerous. Then the Maryland compact is broken, and will produce perilous consequences. I see nothing very terrible in this. The adoption of the new system will not remove the evil. Will they forfeit good neighborhood with us, because the compact is broken?
Then the disputes concerning the Carolina line are to involve us in dangers. A strip of land running from the westward of the Alleghany to the Mississippi, is the subject of this pretended dispute. I do not know the length or breadth of this disputed spot. Have they not regularly confirmed our right to it, and relinquished all claims to it? I can venture to pledge that the people of Carolina will never disturb us.
Then, sir, comes Pennsylvania, in terrible array. Origins[ edit ] Alexander Hamiltonauthor of the majority of The Federalist Papers The Federal Convention sent the proposed Constitution to the Confederation Congress, which in turn submitted it to the states for ratification at the end of September On September 27,"Cato" first appeared in the New York press criticizing the proposition; "Brutus" followed on October 18, In response, Alexander Hamilton decided to launch a measured defense and extensive explanation of the proposed Constitution to the people of the state of New York.
He wrote in Federalist No. He enlisted John Jay, who after four strong essays Federalist Nos. Gouverneur Morris and William Duer were also considered.
However, Morris turned down the invitation, and Hamilton rejected three essays written by Duer. His more famous name, Publicola, meant 'friend of the people. Chase's patriotism was questioned when Hamilton revealed that Chase had taken advantage of knowledge gained in Congress to try to dominate the flour market. Authorship[ edit ] At the time of publication, the authors of The Federalist Papers attempted to hide their identities for fear of prosecution.
Astute observers, however, correctly discerned the identities of Hamilton, Madison, and Jay. Establishing authorial authenticity of the essays that comprise The Federalist Papers has not always been clear.
After Alexander Hamilton died ina list emerged, claiming that he alone had written two-thirds of The Federalist essays. Some believe that several of these essays were written by James Madison No.
The scholarly detective work of Douglass Adair in postulated the following assignments of authorship, corroborated in by a computer analysis of the text: Alexander Hamilton 51 articles: In six months, a total of 85 articles were written by the three men. Hamilton, who had been a leading advocate of national constitutional reform throughout the s and represented New York at the Constitutional Conventionin became the first Secretary of the Treasurya post he held until his resignation in Madison, who is now acknowledged as the father of the Constitution—despite his repeated rejection of this honor during his lifetime,  became a leading member of the U.
House of Representatives from Virginia —Secretary of State —and ultimately the fourth President of the United States. Although written and published with haste, The Federalist articles were widely read and greatly influenced the shape of American political institutions.
At times, three to four new essays by Publius appeared in the papers in a single week. Garry Wills observes that this fast pace of production "overwhelmed" any possible response: And no time was given. However, they were only irregularly published outside New York, and in other parts of the country they were often overshadowed by local writers.
The high demand for the essays led to their publication in a more permanent form. On January 1,the New York publishing firm J. McLean announced that they would publish the first thirty-six essays as a bound volume; that volume was released on March 22,and was titled The Federalist Volume 1. A second bound volume containing Federalist 37—77 and the yet to be published Federalist 78—85 was released on May InGeorge Hopkins published an American edition that similarly named the authors.
Hopkins wished as well that "the name of the writer should be prefixed to each number," but at this point Hamilton insisted that this was not to be, and the division of the essays among the three authors remained a secret.