The new edition of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS edited by Clinton Rossiter
and co. is probably the best paperback edition. THE FEDERALIST
PAPERS alone are an important source of serious political thinking.
In an age of almost unbridled political power, corruption, empire
buidling, etc. THE FEDERALIST PAPERS are important reminder of what
a Free Republic (not an empire) should be. THE FEDERALIST PAPERS
were written by Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), John Jay
(1745-1829), and James Madison (1751-1835). Due to concerns about
the New York State legislators ratifying the The U.S. Constitution,
these papers were journal pieces written to New York journals and
newspapers to convince both the residents and state legislators to
ratify The U.S. Constitution. One should note there were other
published articles supporting ratification of The U.S. Constitution
and other articles can be read in a text titled FRIENDS OF THE
What is alarming about THE FEDERALISTS PAPERS is that they were
written for most readers. If one were to write such articles these
days, most Americans would not read them nor comprehend them. This
is a sad commentary on Americans regarding serious political
writing regarding their birthright. If THE FEDERALIST PAPERS were
assigned to high school kids, whoever would make such an assignment
would be fired or worse.
THE FEDERALIST PAPERS give important explanations of the
separation of powers, limits of each branch of the central
government (The Federal Government), and how political power should
be used within severe limitations. These articles were a brilliant
attempt to mitigate fears that The U.S. Constitution would give far
too much power to the the central or federal government.
The late Clinton Rossiter had a useful suggestion for those who
did not want to read all 85 of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. He suggested
that the best numbers were 1,2,6,9,10, 14, 15, 16,23, 37, 39,47,
49, 51, 62, 70, 78, 84, and 85. Those readers who read these
numbered papers would probably want to read the remainder.
Readers should not forget that the authors of THE FEDERALIST
PAPERS were responding to the Anti-Federalists and their articles
titled THE ANTI-FEDERALIST PAPERS. Too often the Anti-Federalists
are referred to as obstrcutionists and narrow minded men. This is
simply not true. The ANTI-FEDERALIST PAPERS were as well written
and brilliantly argued as THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. One should note
that one of the major objections of the Anti-Federalists to
ratification of The U.S. Constitution was that it did not contain a
Bill of Rights. The Federalists took this argument seriously.
Basically, one could argue that without the Anti-Federalists, there
would have been no Bill of Rights. Ergo, without The Bill of
Rights, there would have been no U.S. Constitution. The
Anti-Federalists were very important in the ratification of The
Anyone who wants to define who Americans should be should read
THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. They should also read THE ANTI-FEDERALIST
PAPERS and read clear, informed, and well written political theory
from men who could actually think. Most political hacks and too
many American citizens are not even vaguely aware of this important
political writing. Yet, this political writing is the very best
American political thinking in U.S. History.
Highly recommended, this edition of THE FEDERALIST PAPERS.
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