Federalist #1 - Alexander Hamilton - Federalist Fridays
Federalist #1 is an introduction to the Federalist Papers.
The Federalist Papers were a series of articles written in support of the United States Constitution during the ratification debates of 1787-88. I will feature Federalist Fridays every week until we get through all 85 articles!
The Federalist Papers
This is the first article in a new series for Founder of the Day which will hereafter be known as Federalist Fridays. Each Friday I will publish a discussion regarding the Federalist Papers. Since there are 85 Papers, this series will appear every Friday through June 2020 (unless of course you all really hate it, in which case I will totally bail).
The Federalist Papers were themselves a series of articles published between October 1787 and August 1788. Although written specifically to the people of New York, the goal of these Papers was to convince all of the young States to ratify the Federal Constitution.
While we known now that the Federalist Papers were successful in their endeavors, it is important to look back at what was said for several reasons. First, it puts the arguments for and against a national government into perspective and allows us to build a greater understanding of the Founding Period. Additionally, many of the comments written in these articles are interesting to reflect on due to the predictions they make on our modern government.
The Federalist was written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay (though Jay became quite ill and only wrote six of the Papers). All three men published under the same pseudonym…Publius. They used the name Publius due to its Latin meaning of populous, implying they were speaking on behalf of the people.
October 27, 1787 – Alexander Hamilton
Writing just six weeks after the publication of the United States Constitution, Hamilton does exactly what I did above…he wrote an introduction to the Federalist Papers.
Hamilton begins this essay by speaking to the importance of the situation in which the reader finds themselves. He then reiterates how necessary the new Constitution is to the success of the young nation.
Alexander goes on to implore the reader to carefully consider their decision. He warns not to succumb to “jealousies and fear” no matter how honorable the intentions of an Anti-Federalist might be.
Hamilton clearly states that he is in favor of the new government but assures us that he will use reason and facts to make a convincing argument.
In summation, Hamilton tells the reader that it is necessary for the success of the United States to preserve and strengthen the Union. He proceeds to inform the purpose of the Federalist Papers will be to demonstrate unquestionably why that is.
Lastly, Hamilton gives a list of the major topics the Federalist Papers (and therefore the articles on this website) will discuss. Those are:
the utility of Union to prosperity
the insufficiency of the Articles of Confederation to preserve that Union
the necessity of Government as powerful as the Constitution
how the proposed Constitution conforms to Republican Government
the Constitution as it relates to the several State Governments
the security the Constitution will provide the States as well as individual liberty and property
Next week we will look at Federalist #2, and the arguments for the Constitution really begin in earnest.
Also, you can read the Federalist Papers all over the internet, click here to read Federalist #1 on the Yale Law School website.
If you’d like to own the same copy of the ‘Federalist Papers’ as I do, you can purchase it through the Amazon affiliate link below. Every household in America should own a copy, and this just happens to be the copy I have.
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