22. The Federalist by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay


I am strange. I never knew that political thought could be so fascinating to me, but it is. Between the Well-Educated Mind and Invitation to the Classics, I have been exposed to some of the classics of political thought!  


Here is a brief summary of what they are all about:

The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 essays that argue for the adoption of the United States Constitution, to replace the Articles of Confederation. 
Published in three New York newspapers between October 1787 and May 1788, the essays then appeared in newspapers across the nation. 
They were composed by three different authors:  Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, all under the pseudonym Publius. 
Today the Federalist Papers serve as a primary source for interpretation of the United States Constitution. 
As the American experiment unfolds, it is worthwhile to remember how it began. 
I obtained this summary from an excellent website with FREE Audio © Michael Scherer of all the essays:  http://michaelschereraudio.com/?page_id=1188
These were written to persuade the New York state convention to ratify the US Constitution. 
The letters soon became known as the authoritative source for understanding what Thomas Jefferson called "the genuine meaning" of the Constitution. Further, George Washington declared that The Federalist would "merit the notice of posterity" because the letters so ably discuss the principles of free government. (Invitation to the Classics, p.199)
It certainly convinced me that our Constitution is wonderful!

I listened to the FREE audio and read the FREE Kindle version from Amazon. I was over halfway through reading all of them when I realized that the Invitation to the Classics says:
Historian Clinton Rossiter states that "the common consent of learned opinion" holds the following to be the most important: 1, 2, 6, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 23, 37, 39, 47, 48, 49, 51, 62, 63, 70, 78, 84, and 85. This listing may proved to be a helpful guide for those who lack the time or endurance to read the text from cover. Madison's Number 10 and 51 and Hamilton's Number 78 should certaintly be read and appreciated. (p.202)
I read 1-44, but decided to go with the remaining suggested ones starting at 47. I liked focusing on the more important ones, and they were fascinating! These men were brilliant with amazing foresight! I think the US Constitution WORKS! And we have these men to thank for it!
The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. (Number 47)
The balance of powers with its system of checks and balances works!
A NATION without a NATIONAL GOVERNMENT, is in my view, an awful spectacle. The establishment of a Constitution, in time of profound peace, by voluntary consent of a whole people, is a PRODIGY, to the completion of which I look forward with trembling anxiety. (Number 85)
I think these men might CRINGE at what has happened to the size of our Federal government and the mess of our tax code though! 

A good book to finish on TAX DAY 2013.

God Bless America
Land that I LOVE!


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