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This Day in History: Alexander Hamilton, the Federalist Papers, & the Constitution
TaraRoss.com ^ | 10/27/2018 | Tara Ross

Posted on 10/27/2018 5:41:37 AM PDT by iowamark

On this day in 1787, “Publius” publishes an essay defending the Constitution in several New York newspapers. Publius?! Publius who? Most modern Americans have never heard of him. How unfortunate. The collection of works written by Publius was critical to the establishment of our Constitution.

We’ve been living with our Constitution for so long that it can be easy to forget what things were like before. Perhaps you know that the Constitution was drafted in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787. But do you know what happened afterwards? Criticism began popping up almost immediately! Anonymous authors railed against the proposal in newspaper articles and pamphlets. The states had been asked to ratify the Constitution, but these so-called anti-Federalists were adamantly opposed.

Many of them simply wanted to start over! Wouldn’t a new Convention produce something better?

Something had to be done, and Alexander Hamilton was just the man to do it. The Constitution’s opponents were blasting out criticism in a rather disorganized fashion, but Hamilton would take a more calm and measured approach. He recruited John Jay and James Madison to help. Together, these three men would produce a series of 85 essays over the course of the next several months. These essays would methodically discuss—and defend—each section of the new Constitution.

Collectively, these essays came to be known as “The Federalist Papers.”

It’s important to remember where Americans were at that point in time: Many were not sure what to think of the Constitution that had just been proposed to them. The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia had been conducted in secrecy, behind closed doors. This rule of secrecy had been adopted so that all delegates would feel free to speak their mind, but most people didn’t know that. Instead, they worried that the proposed Constitution was a plan to subvert republican principles of government. They worried that the government created would be too strong and would strip Americans of their liberties. They had, after all, only recently won their freedom from Britain. Why would they give away their hard-earned freedom so quickly and so easily?

In the end, local newspapers would carry the written debates between the Federalist and the anti-Federalists for months, until the Constitution was finally ratified during the summer of 1788. How wonderful that our founding generation was so active, interested, and involved in considering the principles upon which this country would be founded.

The body of work produced by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay was remarkable. Indeed, many of their peers considered the Federalist Papers to be the best explanation of what the Constitutional Convention had produced.

Thomas Jefferson, for instance, later included these essays as part of the curriculum at the University of Virginia. They were described as “an authority to which appeal is habitually made by all, and rarely declined or denied by any as evidence of the general opinion of those who framed, and of those who accepted the Constitution of the United States, on questions as to its genuine meaning.”

If only the Federalist Papers and the anti-Federalist Papers were required readings in our school today


TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: constitution; federalistpapers

1 posted on 10/27/2018 5:41:37 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: iowamark

Federalist Papers:

http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1786-1800/the-federalist-papers/


2 posted on 10/27/2018 5:43:09 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: Publius

You belong here.


3 posted on 10/27/2018 5:54:23 AM PDT by Beautiful_Gracious_Skies
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To: 14themunny; 21stCenturion; 300magnum; A Strict Constructionist; abigail2; AdvisorB; Aggie Mama; ...

Small Federalist/Anti-Federalist ping. This is a blog post regretting that the two sets of founding papers are no longer taught in the schools.


4 posted on 10/27/2018 9:05:09 AM PDT by Publius
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To: iowamark
These are links to a FReeper Book Club conducted many years ago about the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers.

FReeper Book Club: The Debate over the Constitution
5 Oct 1787, Centinel #1
6 Oct 1787, James Wilson’s Speech at the State House
8 Oct 1787, Federal Farmer #1
9 Oct 1787, Federal Farmer #2
18 Oct 1787, Brutus #1
22 Oct 1787, John DeWitt #1
27 Oct 1787, John DeWitt #2
27 Oct 1787, Federalist #1
31 Oct 1787, Federalist #2
3 Nov 1787, Federalist #3
5 Nov 1787, John DeWitt #3
7 Nov 1787, Federalist #4
10 Nov 1787, Federalist #5
14 Nov 1787, Federalist #6
15 Nov 1787, Federalist #7
20 Nov 1787, Federalist #8
21 Nov 1787, Federalist #9
23 Nov 1787, Federalist #10
24 Nov 1787, Federalist #11
27 Nov 1787, Federalist #12
27 Nov 1787, Cato #5
28 Nov 1787, Federalist #13
29 Nov 1787, Brutus #4
30 Nov 1787, Federalist #14
1 Dec 1787, Federalist #15
4 Dec 1787, Federalist #16
5 Dec 1787, Federalist #17
7 Dec 1787, Federalist #18
8 Dec 1787, Federalist #19
11 Dec 1787, Federalist #20
12 Dec 1787, Federalist #21
14 Dec 1787, Federalist #22
18 Dec 1787, Federalist #23
18 Dec 1787, Address of the Pennsylvania Minority
19 Dec 1787, Federalist #24
21 Dec 1787, Federalist #25
22 Dec 1787, Federalist #26
25 Dec 1787, Federalist #27
26 Dec 1787, Federalist #28
27 Dec 1787, Brutus #6
28 Dec 1787, Federalist #30
1 Jan 1788, Federalist #31
3 Jan 1788, Federalist #32
3 Jan 1788, Federalist #33
3 Jan 1788, Cato #7
4 Jan 1788, Federalist #34
5 Jan 1788, Federalist #35
8 Jan 1788, Federalist #36
10 Jan 1788, Federalist #29
11 Jan 1788, Federalist #37
15 Jan 1788, Federalist #38
16 Jan 1788, Federalist #39
18 Jan 1788, Federalist #40
19 Jan 1788, Federalist #41
22 Jan 1788, Federalist #42
23 Jan 1788, Federalist #43
24 Jan 1788, Brutus #10
25 Jan 1788, Federalist #44
26 Jan 1788, Federalist #45
29 Jan 1788, Federalist #46
31 Jan 1788, Brutus #11
1 Feb 1788, Federalist #47
1 Feb 1788, Federalist #48
5 Feb 1788, Federalist #49
5 Feb 1788, Federalist #50
7 Feb 1788, Brutus #12, Part 1
8 Feb 1788, Federalist #51
8 Feb 1788, Federalist #52
12 Feb 1788, Federalist #53
12 Feb 1788, Federalist #54
14 Feb 1788, Brutus #12, Part 2
15 Feb 1788, Federalist #55
19 Feb 1788, Federalist #56
19 Feb 1788, Federalist #57
20 Feb 1788, Federalist #58
22 Feb 1788, Federalist #59
26 Feb 1788, Federalist #60
26 Feb 1788, Federalist #61
27 Feb 1788, Federalist #62
1 Mar 1788, Federalist #63
7 Mar 1788, Federalist #64
7 Mar 1788, Federalist #65
11 Mar 1788, Federalist #66
11 Mar 1788, Federalist #67
14 Mar 1788, Federalist #68
14 Mar 1788, Federalist #69
15 Mar 1788, Federalist #70
18 Mar 1788, Federalist #71
20 Mar 1788, Brutus #15
21 Mar 1788, Federalist #72
21 Mar 1788, Federalist #73
25 Mar 1788, Federalist #74
26 Mar 1788, Federalist #75
1 Apr 1788, Federalist #76
4 Apr 1788, Federalist #77
10 Apr 1788, Brutus #16
5 Jun 1788, Patrick Henry’s Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention #1
7 Jun 1788, Patrick Henry’s Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention #2
14 Jun 1788, Federalist #78
18 Jun 1788, Federalist #79
20 Jun 1788, Melancton Smith’s Speech to the New York Ratifying Convention #1
21 Jun 1788, Melancton Smith’s Speech to the New York Ratifying Convention #2
21 Jun 1788, Federalist #80
23 Jun 1788, Melancton Smith’s Speech to the New York Ratifying Convention #3
27 Jun 1788, Melancton Smith’s Speech to the New York Ratifying Convention #5
28 Jun 1788, Federalist #81
2 Jul 1788, Federalist #82
5 Jul 1788, Federalist #83
16 Jul 1788, Federalist #84
13 Aug 1788, Federalist #85
Afterword and Suggested Reading

5 posted on 10/27/2018 9:06:44 AM PDT by Publius
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To: Beautiful_Gracious_Skies
The deep philosophical, Constitutional and liberty-oriented contributions of Publius to FreeRepublic audiences and participants are legend. Our gratitude to Publius for all efforts to recall and restore the Founders' ideas to our minds and hearts!

May each of us pledge our efforts to find our own niche and place in our time to spreading the ideas of liberty and sowing the seeds which may result in preservation of "the blessings of liberty" for future generations, perhaps even yet unborn.

6 posted on 10/27/2018 9:40:29 AM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: iowamark

I highly recommend the Federalist Paper #70 which describes the power of the Executive to repel an Invaision.


7 posted on 10/27/2018 9:43:59 AM PDT by WMarshal (America First)
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To: Publius

Thanks for the ping.

5.56mm


8 posted on 10/27/2018 10:12:06 AM PDT by M Kehoe (DRAIN THE SWAMP!)
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To: Publius

Thanks for the ping. I was just thinking about those threads the other day where we discussed such things. Thanks so much for posting the links. I’m going to save that post so I can find them quickly.


9 posted on 10/27/2018 5:15:01 PM PDT by greeneyes
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To: iowamark
You occasionally find folk who have at least heard of the Federalist Papers, but it is extraordinarily rare (in my experience anyway) if you actually find someone who has heard of the Anti-federalist's writings, also known as Letters from a Federal Farmer. It's actually worthwhile to read them both simultaneously, as they are two sides of an argument, often focusing on the same topics. If you only read the Federalists, you're only getting half of the story.
10 posted on 10/27/2018 5:36:19 PM PDT by zeugma (Power without accountability is fertilizer for tyranny.)
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To: zeugma

Bookmark and thanks.


11 posted on 10/27/2018 5:41:49 PM PDT by RightField
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To: iowamark

If only the Federalist Papers and the anti-Federalist Papers were required readings in our school today

Amen.

And, thank you for posting this.


12 posted on 10/27/2018 5:45:07 PM PDT by Jane Long (Praise God, from whom ALL blessings flow.)
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To: Publius

And again I think you and billthedrill for your excellent work on this project. I have referred to it many times.


13 posted on 10/28/2018 7:13:20 AM PDT by Loud Mime (Liberalism: Intolerance masquerading as tolerance)
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