The Federalist papers first appearedin the Independent Journal of New York City press on the proposed newconstitution under the pseudonym “Publius” meaning of the Public, chosen byAlexander Hamilton, the pioneer of the project, and later recruitedcollaborators John Jay and James Madison.
Jointly they wrote 85 articles andessays to promote the ratification of the constitution to the newspapers in theyear between October 1787 and August 1788. Because of the limited availabilityof space in the newspapers, the articles were short, but all of them were inpurely political on the subject. Their original purpose was to mobilize thepublic opinion to defend the new constitution, which would keep the Union and thegovernment in peace and security of its citizens proposed by the federalconvention happened in the late May to mid-September, 1787 in Philadelphia.After the long and often rancorous debate in that convention, they had agreedto set up the new governmental infrastructure in the country. However, anyamendment to the articles required the consent from all thirteen stateslegislatures.
So, they ordered for the consent from the states for theratification or rejection of the new constitution. Representatives from 12states signed the completed constitution on September 17, 1787. Nevertheless,rather than abide by these rules, the convention thus proposed that theconstitution would be adopted when approved by elected conventions in 9 states.In Federalist 1, AlexanderHamilton begins his essay with a bold opening statement by stating “People ofthe State of New York” by urging his readers to consider the adaptation of anentirely new constitution after they experienced the inefficacy of the presentform of federal government.
He also anticipated the criticism on the proposedconstitution from the certain dissidents who were congenitally opposed to anychange, those who feared that might cost their jobs. However, Hamilton believedin the future greatness of the United States and sees the America as a worldpower. This might not seem odd to the modern readers, but back in the days, Americawas vulnerable to foreign domination.In Federalist 9, Hamiltonexplains a firm union combined with individual republics will be used tocounteract the danger of factious outbreaks within its individual members byusing their common resources as a barrier. He also specified that the recurrentuse of the military was necessary to keep the rebellions in their place.Hamilton was a great supporter of the French political philosopher Montesquieu thathe chose to quote “The Science of Politics, however, like most other sciences,have received great improvement…not known at all or imperfectly known to theancients.
“Federalist 10, this was thefirst contribution of James Madison to the series where he defined the term”faction” or political party. In his perspective, a faction was a group ofcitizens who gather together by some common impulse of similar interests,adverse to the rights of other citizens and promote their economic interestsand political opinions. James Madison was also one of the Federalists whobelieved in the one-party system. In Federalist 15, Hamilton stressed the defectsof the American confederation arose because there was no general superintendenceand he argued that such superintendence should be extended beyond the stategovernments to its citizens the genuine objects of the government. At thebeginning, he does not attack the Articles of Confederation particularly butinstead, he stated that the principle of legislation for states which createsmultiple jurisdictions in the existing government is the biggest problem. BothHamilton and Madison believed that local jurisdictions had to be abolished,something which they were much open about in their private correlation than intheir public statements.With Federalist 23, Hamiltonstarted the essays on the imperatives of the national defense. He stated thatthe principal purpose of the union is to provide the common defense for themembers, maintaining the public peace, and conducting the foreign affairs.
He believedthat “the powers ought to exist without limitation” because it is impossible toforesee the extent or variety of the future national exigencies. Union ought tobe invested with full powers to raise armies, build a navy, provide for theirsupport by raising the revenues is a common defense. In Federalist 32, Hamiltondiscussed about many problems involved in setting up equitable taxation plan andreconciling the conflicts between the two governments- one national, one state-each empowered to collect the taxes from the people.
He stated that states havethe all the authority to levy taxes for their own purposes, with the exceptionof laying custom duties on foreign imports and exports. That leads to a freetrade among the states which would stimulate the economy.In Federalist 47, Madison beginshis essay by telling his readers that he is going to examine the principle ofrepublican government and distribution of powers between its constituent parts.
Madison declared that a well-balanced government –legislature, executive andjudicial, should keep each of his powers separate and distinct. He considerstheir separation is essential for the preservation of the union. In Federalist64, the last essay of John Jay, he defends the provision in the constitution whichwould give the president the power to make treaties provided that two-thirds ofthe senators present concur. By this condition the method of electing thepresident, the senators would be mostly distinguished by their abilities andthe trustworthy of the citizens and with those men, the power of makingtreaties may be safely lodged. He also argued that making treaties arefundamentally different from the regular laws.