Posted by: ushistoryfiles | December 6, 2009

The Federalist Papers & the Constitution

When discussing the US Constitution most people get the warm fuzzies.  Without really thinking about the struggle to create a new government, they mostly identify with the rights guaranteed by the Constitution (Bill of Rights actually but I won’t nitpick).  The reality is that after the American Revolution the ex-colonies were barely bound together by the Articles of Confederation.  Arguments then sprang up as to how best organize, if at all.  The ex-colonies could have simply become 13 different countries, they could have remained a loose confederation akin to the city-states of ancient times, they could have banded together into 2 or 3 separate countries; the possible combinations are endless.  Further, the Founding Fathers actually had to make a case for why the ex-colonies needed to organize into one country with a stable/strong central government.  Plus, the type of government that was going to be.  I’ve only read the first 12, but the Federalist Papers are a must read to understand the true birth of our country.

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Responses

  1. In browsing the web I came across this blog. Reading the above statement made me curious. I pose to you a question: How do you see the Constitution of the United States? Do you see it as radical document? One that embodies the peak of the American Revolutionary Movement? Or do you see it as a conservative response to the more radical tendencies of the Revolution?

    • The embodiment of the sentiments that led to the American Revolution are really seen in the Articles of Confederation. That expiriment did not last long when it was recognized that something else was needed. In fact, those who wrote the Constitution were only charged with “fixing” the Articles of Confederation. What they realized was that it would be easier to scrap the AOC and start from fresh. In that sense it is a conservative response to the AOC.


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