The series of essays that comprise The Federalist constitutes one of the key texts of the American Revolution and the democratic system created in the wake of independence. Written in 1787 and 1788 by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay to promote the ratification of the proposed Constitution, these papers stand as perhaps the most eloquent testimonial to democracy that exists. They describe the ideas behind the American system of government: the separation of powers; the organization of Congress; the respective positions of the executive, legislative, and judiciary; and much more. The Federalist remains essential reading for anyone interested in politics and government, and indeed for anyone seeking a foundational statement about democracy and America.
This new edition of The Federalist is edited by Robert Scigliano, a professor in the political science department at Boston College. His substantive Introduction sheds clarifying new light on the historical context and meaning of The Federalist. Scigliano also provides a fresh and definitive analysis of the disputed authorship of several sections of this crucial work.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Federalist|
|Release Date: 11-03-2010|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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The Federalist No. 1
October 27, 1787
To the People of the State of New York:
After a full experience of the insufficiency of the existing federal government, you are invited to deliberate upon a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world. It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, to decide by their conduct and example, 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. If there be any truth in the remark, the crisis at which we are arrived may with propriety be regarded as the period when that decision is to be made; and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind.
This idea by adding the inducements of philanthropy to those of patriotism, will heighten the solicitude which all considerate and good men must feel for the event. Happy will it be if our choice should be decided by a judicious estimate of our true interests, uninfluenced and unbiased by considerations foreign to the public good. But this is a thing more ardently to be wished for than seriously to be expected. The plan offered to our deliberations affects too many particular...