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A Paraphrase of Federalist No. 39

Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay

❶Retrieved 18 June

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by James Madison
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McLean in March and May Though the authors of The Federalist foremost wished to influence the vote in favor of ratifying the Constitution, in " Federalist No. It has been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force.

In " Federalist No. According to historian Richard B. Morris , they are an "incomparable exposition of the Constitution, a classic in political science unsurpassed in both breadth and depth by the product of any later American writer. The Federal Convention sent the proposed Constitution to the Confederation Congress, which in turn submitted it to the states for ratification at the end of September On September 27, , "Cato" first appeared in the New York press criticizing the proposition; "Brutus" followed on October 18, In response, Alexander Hamilton decided to launch a measured defense and extensive explanation of the proposed Constitution to the people of the state of New York.

He wrote in Federalist No. Hamilton recruited collaborators for the project. He enlisted John Jay, who after four strong essays Federalist Nos. Gouverneur Morris and William Duer were also apparently considered; Morris turned down the invitation, and Hamilton rejected three essays written by Duer. Hamilton chose "Publius" as the pseudonym under which the series would be written. While many other pieces representing both sides of the constitutional debate were written under Roman names, Albert Furtwangler contends that "'Publius' was a cut above ' Caesar ' or ' Brutus ' or even ' Cato.

His more famous name, Publicola, meant 'friend of the people. Chase's patriotism was questioned when Hamilton revealed that Chase had taken advantage of knowledge gained in Congress to try to dominate the flour market. At the time of publication the authorship of the articles was a closely guarded secret, though astute observers discerned the identities of Hamilton, Madison, and Jay.

Following Hamilton's death in , a list that he had drafted claiming fully two-thirds of the papers for himself became public, including some that seemed more likely the work of Madison No. The scholarly detective work of Douglass Adair in postulated the following assignments of authorship, corroborated in by a computer analysis of the text:. In a span of ten months, a total of 85 articles were written by the three men. Hamilton, who had been a leading advocate of national constitutional reform throughout the s and represented New York at the Constitutional Convention , in became the first Secretary of the Treasury , a post he held until his resignation in Madison, who is now acknowledged as the father of the Constitution—despite his repeated rejection of this honor during his lifetime, [12] became a leading member of the U.

House of Representatives from Virginia — , Secretary of State — , and ultimately the fourth President of the United States. The Federalist articles appeared in three New York newspapers: Although written and published with haste, The Federalist articles were widely read and greatly influenced the shape of American political institutions. Garry Wills observes that the pace of production "overwhelmed" any possible response: And no time was given. However, they were only irregularly published outside New York, and in other parts of the country they were often overshadowed by local writers.

Because the essays were initially published in New York, most of them begin with the same salutation: The high demand for the essays led to their publication in a more permanent form. On January 1, , the New York publishing firm J.

McLean announced that they would publish the first thirty-six essays as a bound volume; that volume was released on March 22, and was titled The Federalist Volume 1.

A second bound volume containing Federalist 37—77 and the yet to be published Federalist 78—85 was released on May In , George Hopkins published an American edition that similarly named the authors. Hopkins wished as well that "the name of the writer should be prefixed to each number," but at this point Hamilton insisted that this was not to be, and the division of the essays among the three authors remained a secret.

The first publication to divide the papers in such a way was an edition that used a list left by Hamilton to associate the authors with their numbers; this edition appeared as two volumes of the compiled "Works of Hamilton". In , Jacob Gideon published a new edition with a new listing of authors, based on a list provided by Madison. The difference between Hamilton's list and Madison's formed the basis for a dispute over the authorship of a dozen of the essays. Both Hopkins's and Gideon's editions incorporated significant edits to the text of the papers themselves, generally with the approval of the authors.

In , Henry Dawson published an edition containing the original text of the papers, arguing that they should be preserved as they were written in that particular historical moment, not as edited by the authors years later.

Modern scholars generally use the text prepared by Jacob E. Cooke for his edition of The Federalist ; this edition used the newspaper texts for essay numbers 1—76 and the McLean edition for essay numbers 77— The authorship of seventy-three of The Federalist essays is fairly certain.

Twelve of these essays are disputed over by some scholars, though the modern consensus is that Madison wrote essays Nos. The first open designation of which essay belonged to whom was provided by Hamilton who, in the days before his ultimately fatal gun duel with Aaron Burr , provided his lawyer with a list detailing the author of each number.

This list credited Hamilton with a full sixty-three of the essays three of those being jointly written with Madison , almost three-quarters of the whole, and was used as the basis for an printing that was the first to make specific attribution for the essays. Madison did not immediately dispute Hamilton's list, but provided his own list for the Gideon edition of The Federalist. Madison claimed twenty-nine numbers for himself, and he suggested that the difference between the two lists was "owing doubtless to the hurry in which [Hamilton's] memorandum was made out.

Statistical analysis has been undertaken on several occasions to try to ascertain the authorship question based on word frequencies and writing styles. Nearly all of the statistical studies show that the disputed papers were written by Madison, although a computer science study theorizes the papers were a collaborative effort. The Federalist Papers were written to support the ratification of the Constitution, specifically in New York. Whether they succeeded in this mission is questionable.

Separate ratification proceedings took place in each state, and the essays were not reliably reprinted outside of New York; furthermore, by the time the series was well underway, a number of important states had already ratified it, for instance Pennsylvania on December New York held out until July 26; certainly The Federalist was more important there than anywhere else, but Furtwangler argues that it "could hardly rival other major forces in the ratification contests"—specifically, these forces included the personal influence of well-known Federalists, for instance Hamilton and Jay, and Anti-Federalists, including Governor George Clinton.

In light of that, Furtwangler observes, "New York's refusal would make that state an odd outsider. Only 19 Federalists were elected to New York's ratification convention, compared to the Anti-Federalists' 46 delegates. While New York did indeed ratify the Constitution on July 26, the lack of public support for pro-Constitution Federalists has led historian John Kaminski to suggest that the impact of The Federalist on New York citizens was "negligible".

As for Virginia, which only ratified the Constitution at its convention on June 25, Hamilton writes in a letter to Madison that the collected edition of The Federalist had been sent to Virginia; Furtwangler presumes that it was to act as a "debater's handbook for the convention there," though he claims that this indirect influence would be a "dubious distinction. Furtwangler notes that as the series grew, this plan was somewhat changed.

The fourth topic expanded into detailed coverage of the individual articles of the Constitution and the institutions it mandated, while the two last topics were merely touched on in the last essay.

The papers can be broken down by author as well as by topic. The establishment of the government is through a ratification process where decisions are made at the State level by officials elected by the people for that purpose. The ratification is made by a single vote from each of the independent sovereign States that desired to be part of the new Union so that is a federal act.

Any State not ratifying the Constitution would not be a member of the Union. If the whole of the people voting a majority to ratify was required that would be a national act but that was not the case thus a federal act. The next relation is to the sources from which the government derives its powers. The house of representatives derives its powers from the people and the people are represented in the same proportion as they are within each State, thus a national position.

The Senate derives its power from the States whose legislatures select the senators with two from each States, which is federal position. The operation of the government is primarily directly on the people thus national. The last issue that of amendments is neither wholly national nor wholly federal. The fact that States votes are required makes it federal but since a unanimous vote is not required that is a national characteristic.

So in summary the proposed Constitution is neither a national nor a federal constitution but a composition of both.


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To the People of the State of New York: THE last paper having concluded the observations which were meant to introduce a candid survey of the plan of government reported by the convention, we now proceed to the execution of that part of our undertaking.

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The Federalist Papers Summary No Madison January 16, Madison begins the “candid survey of the plan of government reported by the Convention” by defining a republican form of government and then answering critics concerning whether the proposed plan is federal or national, that is, a confederacy of States or a consolidation of States. THE FEDERALIST PAPERS blogithebestnx.ga Page 7 Introduction The Federalist is a treatise on free government in peace and security. It is the outstanding American contribution to the literature on constitutional democracy and federalism, a classic of.