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The Federalist Papers and Federalism The Federalist Papers were mostly the product of two young menAlexander Hamilton of New York age 32 and James Madison of Virginia age 36Both men sometimes wrote four papers in a single week An older scholar JohnJay later named as first chief justice of the Supreme Court wrote five of thepapers Hamilton who had been an aide to Washington during the Revolutionasked Madison and Jay to help him in this project Their purpose was topersuade the New York convention to ratify the just-drafted Constitution Theywould separately write a series of letters to New York newspapers under thepseudonym Publius In the letters they would explain and defend the Hamilton started the idea and outlined the sequence of topics to bediscussed and addressed most of them in fifty-one of the letters MadisonsTwenty-nine letters have proved to be the most memorable in their balance andideas of governmental power It is not clear whether The Federalist Paperswritten between October 1787 and May 1788 had any effect on New Yorks andVirginias ratification of the Constitution Encyclopedia Britannica defines Federalism as A mode of politicalorganization that unites independent states within a larger political frameworkwhile still allowing each state to maintain its own political integrity 712Having just won a revolution against an oppressive monarchy the Americancolonists were in willing to replace it with another monarchy style ofgovernment On the other hand their experience with the disorganization underthe Articles of Confederation due to unfair competition between the individualstates made them a little more receptive to an increase in national powers Anumber of Federalist Papers argued that a new kind of balance never achievedelsewhere was possible The Papers were themselves a balance or compromisebetween the nationalist ideas of Hamilton who wrote more for the commercialinterests of New York and the uneasiness of Madison who shared the skepticismof distant authority widely held by Virginia farmers In American Government
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