Skip to comments.My Cheat Sheet to The Federalist Papers
Posted on 04/27/2018 1:39:34 AM PDT by Jacquerie
Long ago I made the mistake of wading unprepared into The Federalist Papers. In 1970 your humble blogger was a high school sophomore who bit off more than he could chew.
I found Publius prose thick and rambling with incomprehensible sentences the length of paragraphs. Little did I know then that the style of the primary writer, Alexander Hamilton, is among the toughest for modern readers to comprehend.
Unfortunately, Glenn Becks The Original Argument was forty-one years into the future. Had it been around in 1970, I would have devoured it.1
So, I tossed the Papers aside and didnt revisit them until the mid-1990s. With more maturity, and without girls constantly on my mind, I gave The Federalist another try. I still thought Publius was unnecessarily thick, but nonetheless I ploughed through them all. My sense at the time was like the thirty-something guy who runs his first marathon. The point isnt to win; it is to finish. I still have that sense of accomplishment as the yellowed 1961 paperback edition by the historian Clinton Rossiter rests on my bookshelf. It is horribly dog-eared, highlighted, underlined in red pen, and generally falling apart. Ill never throw it away and refer to it to this day.
As for my Cheat Sheet, it is a book. In 1999, Mary Webster published The Federalist Papers in Modern Language Indexed for Todays Political Issues. Webster was a novelist who also happened to be a sign language interpreter. She attributes her sign language skills as central to her approach to setting up her book as an easy searchable database and reference. Hot d@amn! This is a first source for anyone with an idea of where he or she want to go in their research.
(Excerpt) Read more at articlevblog.com ...
The Federalist Papers In Modern Language: Indexed for Today’s Political Issues
available at Amazon.com . . .
You are perfectly free to summarize, simplify and index the Anti-Federalist Papers.
I’ll put it on my list of things to do.
Just saying that a true student of the constitution should study both.
The insights of the anti-Federalist are profound in light of the history that follows them
Search Amazon for “The Federalist Papers In Modern Language: Indexed for Today’s Political Issues”.
It is an excellent reference. I read The Federalist Papers unprepared, and ended up reading and comprehending them in a little bit of a vacuum!
So, thank you for that recommendation!
Serious question. Would it be more accurate to say “confederalist” instead of anti-federalist? I mean, my sense of it is that the people who opposed federalism were FOR the continuation of a system of sovereign states with a weak central government. And in turn, weren’t the federalists against confederalism? Therefore could be call anti-confederalists?
This isn’t idle musing. I’m wording if the confederalists of the day fell into the trap of using language dictated by the federalists...just as libs largely control the language today. Ex: Anti-abortionist vs right to lifer.
Fair question, but the point of the papers was to support a constitution that created a strong, federalized/centralized government, thus “Federalist”. Those opposed to the idea were against a strong centralized government, thus “Anti-Federalist”. So the titling is quite correct. The Articles of Confederation utterly failed so the continuation would have amounted to dissolution of the bands of our newly fledged country, with no unifying government to keep them from fighting. And fight they would.
Reread Federalist 10 last night. Remarkable forsight.
Indeed, however there is more than subtle difference between “federal” and “national”.
Federalism has gone by the wayside in favor of much more “nationalism” in terms of how the US govt operates. Sovereign states chose to give up some of the principles of sovereignty for some nationalistic union benefits (which has now become the leviathan that holds states at bay or heel by fiscal distributive policy and law) .
The name stuck to those who sought to strengthen the government while keeping it federal.
More on the topic: Whatever Happened to the Articles of Confederation Part V.
I don’t specifically recall, but if I did, you are very welcome.
bump for later
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