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The Federalist Papers

Alexander hamilton , james madison , john jay.

592 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 1, 1788

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Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without restraint.
The circumstances of the body authorized to make the permanent appointments would, of course, have governed the modification of a power which related to the temporary appointments; and as the national Senate is the body whose situation is alone contemplated in the clause upon which the suggestion under examination has been founded, the vacancies to which it alludes can only be deemed to respect those officers in whose appointment that body has a concurrent agency with the President.

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The Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers

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Excerpted from "The Federalist Papers" by . Copyright © 2012 Alexander Hamilton. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Federalist Papers - (Signet Classics) by Alexander Hamilton & James Madison & John Jay (Paperback)

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The Federalist Papers (Paperback)

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  • History / United States / Revolutionary Period (1775-1800)
  • Political Science / History & Theory
  • Political Science / Constitutions

Books That Matter: The Federalist Papers

Understanding The Federalist Papers starts with understanding who wrote them and why they were written. In this opening episode, go back to 1787 to meet Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay to find out what challenges they faced in communicating the need for the new US Constitution.

The Framers of the Constitution believed pure democracy was something to be feared for the way it would lead to the rise of factions, which would in turn tear apart the system. Was it possible to create a new model that offered the benefits of representative democracy without the problems of factions? See how the Framers tackled this conflict.

When the Framers gathered in Philadelphia to write a new constitution, they essentially were representing a loose federation of nation-states. Their original charge was to modify the Articles of Confederation, but there was a solid case for a strong central government. Examine this dilemma and the compromises that Madison and Hamilton made.

Given all the conflicts and compromises of 1787, how did the American federal system come about? How did the Framers solve the issues of the day while preserving flexibility for the future? Review the enumerated powers of the federal government and see how power was balanced between the federal government and the states.

The system that emerged under the new constitution gave the federal government the ability to determine the scope of its own powers. What checks did the system place on the federal government? Who gets to decide when the federal government has violated its powers? Reflect on the powers of the states and the American people.

The idea of popular sovereignty (the power of the American people) reshaped the relationship between the states and the federal government. In this episode, consider the ever-changing relationship of the states to the federal government. See how the institution of slavery was the catalyst for a crisis.

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Joseph L. Hoffmann




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