The latest C-Poll is closed. You can read all about it here!

October 27, 2005

A toast to Hamilton, Madison and Jay

The first of what was to be 85 essays on the merits of the proposed U.S. Constitution was published in the New York Independent Journal on this day in 1787. The collection of essays came to be known as the Federalist Papers.

From the Library of Congress:
Proponents of the new Constitution believed centralized government was essential for successful commercial and geographic expansion. Only a strong national government, they argued, could effectively negotiate with foreign countries, ensure free trade between states, and create a stable currency.

The Federalist essays addressed widespread concern that a national government, distanced from the people, would soon grow despotic. The essays eloquently and comprehensively argue that distributing power across the various branches of government provides checks and balances to the concentrated sovereignty of the federal government.
Possibly owing to the fact that the principles in the Federalist Papers are heartily embraced by a large percentage of one political party and are heartily abhorred by the other political party, the LOC felt compelled to include this disclaimer (emphasis added):
Ultimately, the federalist vision of a national government prevailed. However, the Federalist represents one of many perspectives in a nationwide debate over the Constitution.
...such as the "living Constitution" perspective that allows the document to take on meanings diametrically opposed to its plain wording.

No comments: