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on June 22, 2016
What a blessing to have an as-it-was-happening commentary on The Constitution of the United States. We have the Constitution’s author, James Madison, “defense” of the Constitution. And knowing that the Supreme Court has cited The Federalist Papers in its decisions gives them additional credence.

Each provision of the Constitution is explained and defended. Historical facts about previous governments are reasons for specific provisions. Brilliant men of the Enlightenment created a new type of republic. This new government, created in a time of peace, would depend upon and require rational thought instead of unpredictable monarchs/oligarchs reacting to public convulsions.

I am struck by papers #42 thru #47. They define the shared power between the Sovereign States and the proposed federal Union; this tension is nearly gone today. Paper #68 explains the original (and now abandoned) Electoral College. And, paper #10 warns us that “democracies are short in life and end violently”.

The republic born in 1791 (with the Bill of Rights) is unique in human history. A miracle! Today, the US is a shadow of itself. What does a republic deriving its power from the consent of WE THE PEOPLE look like? Read the Federalist Papers.
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on January 28, 2016
Sorry to be so long-winded, but....

Hamilton was only one of three authors (James Madison and John Jay being the others), although he wrote about 50 of the 85 articles. The first 77 were originally published in colonial newspapers in 1787 and 1788 as individual pieces, all written under the pseudonym, Publius. The collection of all these articles, plus another eight written by Hamilton, was first published as "The Federalist" in 1788 -- the word "Papers" was added in later editions. The Federalist writings supported ratification of the Constitution, and were instrumental in securing that ratification. The collected articles are rightly considered to be the best source for determining what was in the minds of the framers when they were drafting the Constitution. If we had only the Constitution to go by, bare of supporting opinion, it would be virtually impossible for any of the three branches of government (but especially the judiciary) to interpret the Constitution, in order to honor their oaths to support and defend it (or in the case of the President, to preserve, protect and defend it).

In recent decades, it seems all three branches have forgotten that oath.
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on January 7, 2017
This book contains the series of of essays expounding the merits of the new Constitution and to answer objections which had begun to appear in newspapers columns in New York and across the United States.The Federalist, 85 essays addressed "To The People of the State of New York" and signed with the pseudonym "Publius." The essays were written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay & James Madison. Hamilton decided to issue the collected essays in 2 hardcover volumes, adding a preface to the 1st volume describing some of the methods, reasoning and intent involved in the transformation of the essays into a book. These essays drive the reasoning behind each part of the Constitution, evidence of the general opinion of the framers of the document, answering questions as to its genuine meaning. It is an analysis that must be taken in small doses, and as all was written for not only the critical reader, but also for the general public, the essays do, at times, become rhetorical, The authority by which these essays are viewed and accepted is helping me to understand a great deal about our political system and recognition of some of the pitfalls we, as the people, have been warned of but in our genuine ignorance unable to recognize. For instance, Essay No. 68: The Mode of Electing the President speaks to the serious nature of the election with the comittment to the people the right of selecting from the general mass by fellow-citizens, rather than any pre-established body, a small number of persons to form an intermediate, temporary body of electors whose sole purpose is the appointment of the President once receiving the majority of votes from the public. Excluded from eligibility to this trust are all who from situation might be suspected of too great devotion to the President in office, including any who hold office or hold a place of trust or profit under the United States. This Essay addresses Article II of the Constitution of the United States with thorough explanation of how the President & Vice-President are to be elected. (the XII Amendment changes only the balloting from each elector voting for 2 persons on 1 ballot; the person having the majority of votes shall be President; after choice of President, the person having the majority of votes shall be Vice-President. TO Electors shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President.) It is dry, repetitive reading but I have been learning.
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on February 5, 2017
For those among us who think or believe that we have been under the same Constitution since we declared Independence, reading thiese essays, supporting the current constitution will help clear that up.. James Madison believed, his belief following experience with the "Articles' under which the United States, that the Articles were designed to "oppress and vex". The opposition published opposing views and were written by serious men as well. I will not spoil the suspense by telling you where these gentlemen were from. This is an excellent opportunity to inform oneself about the founding of the U.S. government.
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on December 25, 2016
This is a must for anyone who wants to more about how or nation was created once we declared we were free from England and had to find a way to unite 13 very different colonies. All I can say is "thank god for Hamilton (and Adams) - neither gave in to pressure and both were probably stubborn and obnoxious about seeing to it that we wee UNITED in structure despite our differences. He set the stage for making sure the people across our nation might have a fighting chance at being equal in receiving the benefits of freedom. I'm just sorry that Hamilton's life was cut short; what more might have come about?
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon October 28, 2016
“The Federalist Papers” (more correctly called “The Federalist”) is a series of 85 essays that seek to explain the United States Constitution and the American system of government. Written between 1787 and 1788 by Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, these documents were published in order to persuade citizens to vote in favor of ratifying the Constitution.

“The Federalist Papers” certainly rank alongside the Constitution and Declaration of Independence as the most important documents in American history. Anyone wishing to gain a deeper understanding of how and why the American system of government works the way it does should read these documents. They are not necessarily easy reading, though. Because they’re written in a style common to 18th century writers, they can frequently be tedious to read. (Nobody will ever accuse Hamilton, Madison, or Jay of having a particularly lively or interesting writing style.)

I find this Dover Thrift Edition, which is edited by Jim Miller, especially useful. It is unencumbered by any scholarly explanations, and it contains very few footnotes. The print is large and easy to read. The words of the founding fathers who wrote them speak for themselves.

However stiff and over-formal their writing style, Hamilton, Madison, and Jay present arguments in favor of the Constitution that are clear, cogent and persuasive. These essays are of immeasurable help in providing readers with a clear understanding of what the framers of the Constitution intended, and how the Federal system of American government works. Most highly recommended.
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on March 29, 2017
I've heard about the Federalist Papers and even have seen a few specific articles and quotes. It's even better to be able to read them all and get a fresh perspective on what was going on at the time our founding fathers were addressing the concerns of our new nation. It definitely sheds original light on the basic premises and intent of the constitution AT THE TIME IT WAS BEING RATIFIED. A must read for those who want to protect our constitution. Helps one understand what the first generation of Americans were thinking then to compare to the confusion of today.
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on August 2, 2005
Before the ratification of the Constitution of 1787, three of its Framers, Hamilton, Madison, and Jay, published a series of articles called The Federalist in a New York paper under the pen name of "Publius." These articles are now published as The Federalist Papers. Publius' intent was to defend the proposed Constitution by explaining its overall integrity and the republican government it would establish. Ironically, one of Publius' intents was to defend the Constitution against the argument it was too weak to withstand those who would subvert republicanism in favor of some form of aristocratic domination.

Sadly, not many read this work, despite the fact that it is one of the few documents that define what the founders' intent really was. This omission has not stopped many from espousing their (lack of) knowledge of that intent. The casual reader can be put off by the size of the work, 85 articles, and the seriousness of the articles. This work was intended for serous people. However, one can approach it with a pen and yellow highlighter and LEARN its wisdom or the more casual reader can let the Introduction guide them to the pieces that interest them.

These casual readers will learn The Federalist Papers are divided into two divisions, each with different themes. The first division addresses the issue of a "firm" and "well-constructed" Union as opposed to a lose confederation of states. This division then addresses how the constitution is protected from the founders' anticipated accidental and intentional threats and answers: what the respective purposes of the Union and the Constitution are; what should be done with society's will; the problem of politics; and even the issues of taxes and maintaining an army. All of these together described the function of government as defined by the Constitution.

In the second division, The Federalist Papers move from the basic function of government to the structure of the American government and using that structure to secure society's common good, the people's happiness, and the public good. All this is accomplished using a moderate tone that makes the reader part of the discourse and not the object of a lecture. This is a constitution aimed at the public in many ways.

So at heart, The Federalist Papers is a guide to the Constitution intended for the casual reader, a reader who can pick and chose those elements that are meaningful.
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on January 24, 2017
It should be noted this does not include ALL of the Federalist Papers. It is a selected few, which I didn't notice when I bought it. I wanted them all sor study purposes, so I got another paperback with all 86 papers for 1/2 the price at a bookstore.
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on September 9, 2016
I teach citizenship classes, so I enjoy knowing the background information. I'm reading in concurrently with the "Anti-Federalist Papers," chapter for chapter to see the arguing back and forth, and also the same tactics as what's going on in the now, 2016 election season: name calling, (they were just more polite back then) scare tactics, appeals to "common sense" examples from history (European). Just like Solomon said, "There is nothing new under the sun!"
The writers of this book seem to be more articulate and convincing than the writers of the "Anti-Federalist Papers," hence, they won the type of government structure they were appealing for.
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