The Federalist Papers The Debate Begins The Arguments for Federalism
THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1787 • Meets on May 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation • The Virginia Plan called for representation based on the population of each state. The New Jersey Plan suggested equal representation for each state regardless of population. • The Great Compromise resolved the conflict between the Virginia and New Jersey plans and settled the slave issue with the Three-Fifths Compromise
THE DEBATE BEGINS • Ratification: The U.S. Constitution states that 9 states must ratify a document for it to become the official law of the land. • Federalists argue that a federal government would maintain state unity. States without a strong government would lead to competition over land and commerce and there would be no state unity for the common defense of the United States. • Anti-Federalists feared that a strong central government would lead to the loss of individual liberties. Supported a Bill of Rights.
THE FEDERALIST PAPERS • John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison will write 85 essays • It is political propaganda and explains American political thought of the day • It is written to appeal to the Anti-Federalists that it is important to ratify the U.S. Constitution
THE FEDERALIST PAPERS • The essays will be written under the fake name of Pulbius • Alexander Hamilton will write most of the essays and they will be published in newspapers • Hamilton believes that the Articles of Confederation will lead to anarchy
FEDERALIST #10 • Madison argues that our nation is large with many groups who would keep each other in check and would prevent certain groups from being in power • Creditors and debtors, rich and poor, merchants and land owners
FEDERALIST #15 • Hamilton points out the Articles of Confederation has many weaknesses • “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”
FEDERALIST #51 • Madison explains the system of “checks and balances”, each branch has powers that limits the influence of the other branches of government • Federal Judges are appointed for life to be free from political pressure