Federalist #10 and #51 Rewrite and Response Introduction



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Federalist #10 and #51 Rewrite and Response
Introduction
Between October, 1787 and May, 1788, three prominent American statesmen, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay wrote a series of essays which are known in constitutional history as The Federalist Papers. Designed to shape public opinion in favor of ratification [formal approval] of the new United States Constitution, they were first published in New York newspapers under the pseudonym (pen name) “Publius”. The authors were members of the Federalists, a group which advocated the creation of a strong central government.
Yet many citizens of the new American Republic, especially those who made a living through agriculture and inhabited the more remote areas of the country, vigorously opposed the adoption of the Constitution. Fearing that the newly created Federal Government would usurp the power of the People and State Legislatures, they have come to be known in history as the Anti-Federalists.
Primary Source Document Analysis
http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa10.htm

http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa51.htm

http://www.constitution.org/afp/afp.htm
Instructions
Your task is divided into Two Parts:

First: You will analyze Federalist Paper #10 and, later, Federalist Paper #51. Use the web-sites listed under Internet Resources for your reference. Click here for Federalist #10 and click here for Federalist #51.

    1. Rewrite each paragraph in the Federalist papers so the average American understands what is being discussed within the document.

      1. Make sure you review the definitions of words you don’t understand at dictionary.com.

        1. Click here for Federalist #10 and click here for Federalist #51

      2. This is going to be tedious and frustrating, but you need to understand the logic of the founding fathers.

    2. While you are rewriting each paragraph of Federalist #10, you must answer the questions found below (you must be thorough):

      1. Why does Madison believe a well constructed union/plan of gov’t is needed?

      2. How does Madison define faction?

      3. Describe the two methods Madison believes could be used to control factions?

      4. How can the effects of a faction be controlled?

      5. How can a self-gov’t be formed without risking the possibility that a ruling faction might tyrannize over the rights of others?

      6. Discuss Madison’s personal conclusion on the only true way to control the effects of factions?

      7. Why does Madison believe a large Republic is best suited for controlling the effects of factions?

      8. Why does Madison believe that the delegation of authority to elected reps will increase the likelihood that those governing will be fit for their positions and create a proper balance b/w factions?

      9. What are the differences b/w a Democracy and a Republic?

      10. What did Madison mean when he stated these numerous factions will “secure the national councils against any danger from that source?

    3. C. While you are rewriting each paragraph of Federalist #51, you must answer the questions found below (you must be thorough):

      1. Discuss Madison’s thoughts regarding the structure of gov’t that must exist in order to protect against tyranny?

      2. What does Madison believe needs occur if the different branches (departments) of gov’t are to be truly separated?

      3. How does the separation of the powers of gov’t into three branches help counter the effects of personal ambition on gov’t?

      4. Describe Madison’s thoughts on the best way to control the legislature’s power(s)?

      5. Discuss Madison’s thoughts on the ability of a federal system to provide a “double security against tyranny?”


Second: You must write a response to the Federalist point of view (Federalist #10 and, later Federalist #51) by attacking his ideas and convincing the reader that the States and the People should reject to new Constitution. Your pen name is Libertas, the Latin word for “liberty”, and your essay will be addressed to The People of the United States.

  1. You will write a persuasive essay of at least two double-spaced pages, which argues against James Madison’s Federalist ideas about government

    1. You will write a persuasive essay of at least two double-spaced pages, which argues against James Madison’s Federalist ideas about a republican government found in Federalist #10.

        1. You should attempt to convince the People that ratification of the new Federal Constitution would not be in the best interest of the nation. Indeed, it would rob us of our liberty and “natural rights” which we fought for in the American Revolution.

    1. You write your persuasive essay of at least two double-spaced pages, which argues against James Madison’s Federalist ideas of preventing tyranny by separating the gov’ts powers into three branches, which can be found in Federalist #51.

      1. You should attempt to convince the People that ratification of the new Federal Constitution would not be in the best interest of the nation. Indeed, it would rob us of our liberty and “natural rights” which we fought for in the American Revolution.

  1. Some Anti-federalist points you may wish to include in your essay when writing a response to Federalist #10:

    1. The fact that the “majority” of people may not always be right, means that laws made by the National Legislature might only benefit the rich and powerful

    2. A large federal republic with a centralized government, which extends across an entire continent, has never existed at any time in human history. The only republican forms of government that have worked consisted of small, democratic City-States, such as those found in ancient Athens.

    3. When compromise within the new federal government becomes impossible, what is to prevent the competing interest groups and political factions from starting a civil war. Explain what could happen to the United States in this situation?

    4. Since all “factions” and “interests” in a democracy do not have equal power and influence, what is to stop the rich and politically powerful from seizing control of the government?

    5. The Constitution of 1787 contains no Bill of Rights, which would be needed to protect individual citizens from an all powerful national government.

  2. C. Some Anti-federalist points you may wish to include in your essay when writing a response to Federalist #51:

    1. No-matter what type of gov’t is formed there will still be tyranny.

    2. Those that acquire power eventually abuse it and do whatever it takes to retain that power.

    3. People are selfish and often forget about their duty of creating laws that serve the common good.

    4. It is impossible for individuals within the branches of gov’t to be independent and not influenced by the opposing branches of gov’t.

    5. Rival interest will not promote good gov’t and/or responsible gov’t.

    6. The legislature will never truly regulate itself, and the president is only one man that won’t have enough power to counter the legislature.

    7. A federal system of gov’t may divide powers b/w federal and state gov’ts, but the states will always be subservient to the federal gov’t (the Constitution makes the federal gov’t supreme).




  1. Start your persuasive essay with the following:

Libertas

December 1, 1787

The Bronx, New York To the People of the United States:
This is a tough assignment (I KNOW)!
This assignment will cause you to get frustrated and question why the founding fathers had to write in such a complicated manner, but it’s essential that we understand their logic.


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