RobertG Marbut JR
Afterthe revolutionary war, American citizens came to the realization thatthe government founded by the Articles of Confederation was notfunctioning. There was mounting pressure to create a new form ofgovernment that would maintain national peace and unity over a largeterritory. As a result, a group of delegates convened in Philadelphiain 1787 to find a solution to the problem[CITATION Wir15 p 124 l 1033 ].The result of the convention was the birth of the United StatesConstitution. However, the Constitution required an assent orratification of at least nine out of the thirteen states toofficially become the supreme law of the land. The proposed newsystem of government faced fierce opposition from the public and alot of convincing was required[CITATION Bar15 p 86 l 1033 ].The Federalist Papers had a substantial role in the adoption of thenew U.S. Constitution. “TheFederalist Papers comprised of eighty-five essays published in thelate 1780s purposely to urge New York citizens to ratify the UnitedStates Constitution”[CITATION Vil15 p 95 l 1033 ].TheFederalist Papers and their authors have played a vital role indefining the role of the government in the lives of the people byaddressing various social issues and arguing the plausible strengthsand weaknesses of the Constitution that are still relevant even incontemporary society.
Afterthe proposition of the new Constitution, there was a widespreadcriticism from opponents, mainly from the New York newspapers.According to critics, “the Constitution slashed out the rights thatAmericans had acquired in the revolution”[CITATION Wir15 p 68 l 1033 ].In response to this, a lawyer, Alexander Hamilton devised a strategyto defend the new Constitution by writing a series of essays refutingthe criticisms and convincing the public of the importance of the newsystem of government.“I am clearly of opinion, it is your interest to adopt it”[CITATION Ham10 p 5 l 1033 ].Onthe 27th of October in 1787, Hamilton published the first essay inthe New York Independent Journal. Hamilton signed the articles with apseudonym, “Publius.” Later, he recruited two authors, JamesMadison and John Jay, who contributed greatly to the writing of theessays[CITATION Vil15 p 147 l 1033 ].
Theessays played a paramount role in educating and creating awareness ofthe new Constitution in New York and other states[CITATION Ham10 p 16 l 1033 ].The “Publius” had already written eighty-five essays in the NewYork newspapers by August 1788. The Federalist Papers earnedpopularity within theUnited States and helped persuade doubtful citizens to approve thenew Constitution[CITATION Bar15 p 93 l 1033 ].The authors of the Federalist Papers soughtto provide insights on what the new Constitution would bring forth.Most American citizens did not have an understanding of the proposednew Constitution and were swayed away by preposterous notions of thecritics. Besides convincing the American people to approve the newConstitution, the authors’ objective was to provide a clearinterpretation of the document for the future generations.
Over200 years down the line, the Federalist Papers help people toacknowledge and understand the information contained in theConstitution. They provide a clear and concise interpretation of theUnited States Constitution. Individual and public rights areaddressed in the essays and “the Constitution strives to protectthe minority rights”[CITATION Ham10 p 58 l 1033 ].The papers provide a vivid explanation of factions in the government,citing that the rights of the minority were indispensable at allcostthat the interest of the general public ought to be protected by theConstitution and the elected leaders. The authors were veryintelligent thinkers and the emphasis on various social and economicproblems clearly reflect how the papers address even the problemsthat we face in the contemporary state of the nation.
Bardes, Barbara A, Mack C Shelley and Steffen W Schmidt. American Government and Politics Today: Essentials 2015-2016 Edition. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2015.
Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison and John Jay. The Federalist Papers. New York: Courier Corporation, 2014.
Vile, John R. Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments, Proposed Amendments, and Amending Issues. California: ABC-CLIO, 2015.
Wirls, D. The Federalist Papers and Institutional Power In American Political Development. New York: Springer, 2015.