This is a continuation of a series of posts that are intended to be shorter, more understandable versions of the Federalist Papers. This post deals with Federalist #1, the original text of which can be read here: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fed_01.html
Originally published October 27, 1787 by “Publius” – who was in this case, Alexander Hamilton.
We have all experienced how terrible the current federal government is. Thanks to the recent convention in Philadelphia, there is a new proposal on the table to consider – the Constitution of the United States. America has a unique chance to show that a free society can work, and that we need to take this opportunity seriously and ask whether this new government would be best for society as a whole, and not look for the advancement of our own selfish interests in it.
At the same time, we must not to make the argument personal. People will have different and varied motives for their support and opposition to the Constitution, and we should hear each other out and give the benefit of the doubt, as both sides can have evil motives dressed in the clothing of “the public good”. For this reason, we should try to judge the different arguments as dispassionately as possible. My own view is that the Constitution is a good solution to our governmental problems, and I will write a series of articles to lay out the reasons why. My papers will include discussion of:
- The benefits of having a Union of all the States (as opposed to breaking up into smaller, regional confederacies, as some have proposed).
- The fact that the Articles of Confederation don’t do a good job of creating such a Union.
- No matter what government we come up with, it needs to be at least as strong as the one proposed in the Constitution.
- How the government that is created by the Constitution matches up with what a true republic should look like.
- How the Constitution is like the pre-existing State Constitutions.
- Other aspects of the Constitution that will lead to better government, freedom, and protection of property for all.
Further, I will try to provide answers to arguments brought up by the other side in opposition to the Constitution.
Simply put, the argument is one between keeping the Union intact, or breaking off into smaller confederacies – an option that I don’t think is palatable at all, and the next paper will begin to explain why.