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The Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers


The Federalist Papers

ratings:
4.5/5 (31 ratings)
Length:
19 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Dec 24, 2010
ISBN:
9781452670201
Format:
Audiobook

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Description

Originally published anonymously, The Federalist Papers first appeared in 1787 as a series of letters to New York newspapers exhorting voters to ratify the proposed Constitution of the United States. Still hotly debated and open to often controversial interpretations, the arguments first presented here by three of America's greatest patriots and political theorists were created during a critical moment in our nation's history, providing readers with a running ideological commentary on the crucial issues facing a democracy. Today, The Federalist Papers are as important and vital a rallying cry for freedom as ever.
Publisher:
Released:
Dec 24, 2010
ISBN:
9781452670201
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

About the author

Alexander Hamilton (1755 or 1757–1804) was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker, economist, and Founding Father of the United States. He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the US Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation’s financial system, the Federalist Party, the US Coast Guard, and the New York Post newspaper. As the first secretary of the treasury, Hamilton was the primary author of the economic policies of George Washington’s administration. He took the lead in the federal government’s funding of the states’ debts, as well as establishing a national bank, a system of tariffs, and friendly trade relations with Britain. His vision included a strong central government led by a vigorous executive branch, a strong commercial economy, a national bank and support for manufacturing, and a strong military. Thomas Jefferson was Hamilton’s leading opponent, arguing for agrarianism and smaller government.  


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What people think about The Federalist Papers

4.5
31 ratings / 29 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    I have a large collection of historical books that are considered either 'classics' or are just informational texts to inform us more of history (or to provide context, etc. etc). This is just one of those! Plus it's Alexander Hamilton and he doesn't really need a review.
  • (5/5)
    Essential reading.
  • (3/5)
    This was the most difficult book I have ever read. It got to the point where I loathed the idea of having to open it back up again and continue. In terms of my enjoyment, this was a 2 star read. I rated it 3 stars because as much as I disliked the hours I spent going through it, I understand the contribution these essays made toward the ratification of the Constitution and how they shaped the ideas of government for generations. With that said, they were incredibly hard to follow and unless you were directly mired in the debate at the time, most of these essays argued in favor of the more obscure issues in the Constitution. As a teacher of early American History, I am glad to have read through all of these.
  • (4/5)
    It was most enlightening to read some of the Right's favorite quotes in context.
  • (4/5)
    One of the most classic documents of American history, this work is a series of essays by the writers of the Constitution, which were written to explain the new Constitution and to agitate on behalf of ratification. The prose soars in most places, and it reminds a person of what it would have been possible for America to become if we'd treated our new constitution as a living document, but recognized the importance of the clauses that safeguard us from imperial presidents and monarchs.
  • (5/5)
    Okay. Here's what it is! Step ONE: Read the book.Step TWO: Just for kicks, turn on the boob tube and watch Hannity & Colmes, or any live session of the Senate or the House. And maybe a presidential debate or two.Step THREE: Ask the Almighty: "What the hell happened to this country??????"
  • (5/5)
    truly, a must read for every American regardless of your politics. The Federalist Papers will open your eyes and your mind to the thoughts of the founding fathers who sought to create a nation that would endure.
  • (5/5)
    Verg usefull and enjoyable audiobook.FANTASTIC. ALL DOWNLOAD THIS AUDIO BOOK.it will help uou to learn and discover more and more.So download this and enjoy your moment with this.Very good seevise.I like it very much.Thanks to the developers
  • (5/5)
    If I could get Americans to read one book, this would be my choice. Whether they agree with the principles of the Founders who created this country or not, at least by the end of it they'd understand what--and what they were not--about, and not just who the pundits and politicians claim for them. But if I couldn't get them to read the whole thing, I'd at least urge on them "Federalist No. 10" by James Madison. Our professor taught us that particular essay was at the heart of the philosophy of American Government and the design of the constitution:Liberty is to faction, what air is to fire, an aliment, without which it instantly expires. But it could not be a less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourish faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.It is to control faction (think political parties) and the strife that tore previous democracies to pieces, without sacrificing liberty that the separation of powers and system of checks and balances was written into the constitution. As that particular essay elegantly explains. If the Constitution is our text book, the Federalist Papers is the Constitution 101 for Dummies, the owners' manual.
  • (4/5)
    We Americans know how important our Founding Fathers were, but sometimes we forget how smart they were. The polemics in this book manifest authorship by towering intelligences, and provoke us to ask whether we have stayed true to their vision for this country.
  • (4/5)
    I thought this was an unabridged edition of the 85 articles known as the Federalist Papers. As it turns out, it was a very entertaining summary (with excerpts) of the articles; as well as responses from the anti-Federalists of the time.
  • (5/5)
    Every American citizen should read this seminal work. We have come so far from knowing why are government was created in the way it was. A brilliant justification by brilliant men.
  • (4/5)
    interesting introductory historical essay, while obviously the Federalist Papers are available on archive.orgstill worth reading (I read excerpts of the Federalist Papers first in the early 1980s, but in Italian)
  • (3/5)
    Summary: Hamilton, Madison and Jay write individual pieces on their views of government that were basically adopted in the making of America.
  • (5/5)
    This subtitle to my edition is "The Famous Papers on the Principles of American Government." It's an apt description, but perhaps doesn't go far enough. Try foundational. They consist of 85 essays by Alexander Hamilton, who became our first Secretary of the Treasury, James Madison, who largely framed the United States Constitution, and John Jay, who became our first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The essays were written to urge people to ratify the constitution, and have been used every since to illuminate it by everyone from judges to--well, political science professors, and this was one of my texts in my college course introducing political science. It may be this edition regularized grammar and spelling, but one thing that hit me is how readable it all is. It was meant to explain the constitution to ordinary voters, so perhaps that shouldn't be so surprising. If I could get Americans to read one book, this would be my choice. Whether they agree with the principles of the Founders who created this country or not, at least by the end of it they'd understand what--and what they were not--about, and not just who the pundits and politicians claim for them. But if I couldn't get them to read the whole thing, I'd at least urge on them "Federalist No. 10" by James Madison. Our professor taught us that particular essay was at the heart of the philosophy of American Government and the design of the constitution:Liberty is to faction, what air is to fire, an aliment, without which it instantly expires. But it could not be a less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourish faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.It is to control faction (think political parties) and the strife that tore previous democracies to pieces, without sacrificing liberty that the separation of powers and system of checks and balances was written into the constitution. As that particular essay elegantly explains. If the Constitution is our text book, the Federalist Papers is the Constitution 101 for Dummies, the owners' manual.
  • (4/5)
    As a thorough explanation of how these three men understood the US Constitution to work, this work is indispensable. The reader also gets a good understanding of the basic principles of republican government - its ideals, its limits, its checks and balances. Some of the issues raised seem particularly timely (which just goes to show that the more things change the more they stay the same).
  • (4/5)
    Shameful that I hadn't marked this as read yet. Attached are some thoughts copied from my notes, some of which are not entirely relevant, but still.

    Post-Revolution, the colonies experimented with Articles of Confederation. Flawed, replaced by modern Constitution.

    History of Republics as derived from ancient Greece, then Rome -> England. Rome became Tyranny, although Republic was lauded as mixed government between Aristocracy, Monarchy, and Democracy. Same with England after the Glorious Revolution.

    US was not only republic - Venice as a mercantile aristocratic Republic. Dutch as ad hoc mercantile republic w/ Stadholder. Switzerland as federal canton system. US as special because it was a mixed government, but w/o monarchy, was large, expanding and heterogeneous. All others were small and isolated, as Montesquieu had stated would be necessary for a republic's survival. US definitely became a republic, although not quite a total democracy in modern sense, as women did not become franchised until 1900s, POCs in 1960s. Capitalist social strata - nation ruled by lawyers.

    Hamilton, Madison and Jay use some of the former as historical examples. Federal union as preventing interstate anarchy, as these states and colonies would have dubious chances of surviving on their won. Done so through mutual restraint, separation of powers, executive command of military, first seen through Strategos of ancient Athens. No state had hegemony over others, even the bigger ones such as New York or Virginia, hence federal union of states made more appealing.

    Federal government superseding and managing states would also be most efficient at economic governance, and managing the military against outside factors - Spanish, British, etc. Powers of taxation. Fear of despotism, individualist tendencies, self-rule.

    Idea of popular sovereignty, derived from people, versus Westphalian sovereignty of authority and power alone. Engaged democracy, derived from Rousseau.

    Constitutional crises led to one of main factors leading to civil war - sectionalism - the rights of states to continue slavery, South feeling threatened due to sudden expansion to the west of free states. #10 as major paper against worries of 'factionalism and insurrection'. History between founding of Philadelphian system to Civil War marred by controversy and three Great Compromises over slavery. Hence one of the great flaws of the system between state and federal rule, and over the great crime of slavery. Calhoun, Disquisition, pro-slavery, nullification. Webster, majority rule. But little exposition seen of Hamilton's old position by the 1850s.

    Civil War ending the constitutional crisis. Federal union finally dominant. Most productive Congress in years now that the South is gone.

    And so forth. These papers are old, but far from irrelevant.
  • (5/5)
    The arguments of Hamilton, Madison and Jay are just as relevant today as they were more than two hundred years ago. The authors of The Federalist Papers wanted to influence the vote in favor of ratifying the Constitution. However, the authors of the Federalist papers also had a greater plan in mind. According to Federalist 1:"It has been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force."They present positive arguments for the ratification of the Constitution and, as Madison says in Paper No. 37, "They solicit the attention of those only who add to a sincere zeal for the happiness of their country,". What a thought and temperament, that zeal for happiness. One thing that impressed me on reading the papers was the classical education demonstrated by the authors with their articles filled with references to Cicero, Rome and Greece. Enlightenment thinkers were also evident with Montesquieu being a notable example. Certainly this is a book worth rereading with the current importance of the constitution in our political life.
  • (5/5)
    My reactions to reading this in 1992.What can you say about a classic of political thought -- a dense work that took a long time to read? I’ll record a few surface impressions. Madison has a more reasonable tone than the sometimes sarcastic Hamilton. Though he never names names, you can see why his personal invectives led to his death in the duel with Aaron Burr. I found the methods of argument interesting. The authors, especially Hamilton, argue the initial assumptions of their opponents then go on to show how their arguments are without merit even if certain of their assumptions are accepted. Constantly, they emphasize that this is not a perfect government and that we should neither assume people are totally evil or totally trustworthy. Yet, in their proposal for a Republican government, they wisely choose to link a man’s ambition to his constituents’ welfare (and carefully arrange each type of government official to have their own power base) and have the Supreme Court and Senate reign in the wilder passions of the people. I found it revealing that they expected the legislative branch to become dominant (and it has) and seemed, to my pretty ignorant eyes, to forsee the role the Supreme Court assumed after Maybury vs Madison (Justice Marshal was tutored in political philosophy by Madison). The new republic seemed to think excise taxes, duties, and property taxes would be the main supports. Hamilton comes off as a vigorous supporter of a strong central government -- vigorous enough to motivate some fortunately not heeded arguments against the proposed Bill of Rights. Hamilton seems particulary incensed that opponents of the Constitution would claim the right to trial by jury is eliminated. A great deal of space is taken by his rebuttal. Madison’s early papers shows his historical knowledge and the inspirations for different features of the Constitution. I found the argument that command of the armed forces should be vested nationally because people wouldn’t trust it interesting. One can see the whole matter of loyalty to state throughout the work, a loyalty the authors saw as a check on national despotism.
  • (4/5)
    One of the most classic documents of American history, this work is a series of essays by the writers of the Constitution, which were written to explain the new Constitution and to agitate on behalf of ratification. The prose soars in most places, and it reminds a person of what it would have been possible for America to become if we'd treated our new constitution as a living document, but recognized the importance of the clauses that safeguard us from imperial presidents and monarchs.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent; A must read and reference for any citizen of the United States! Should be required reading in all American High Schools! If one is a citizen and participates in the voting process, they must be familiar with The Federalist Papers and the Constitution.
  • (5/5)
    An essential classic of American constitutional scholarship.
  • (5/5)
    I rated it 5 not just because it is a classic, but because it really is that good-- and much less naive than some commentators make out. For example, it clearly does expect that the US will have fiercely partisan politics.
  • (5/5)
    All thoughtful citizens should read this classic. Does anything need to be said about its importance? A few new impressions of mine: difficult reading due to the elevated style of the authors of that time, bordering on embarrassing for our present day situation. About 1/3 through the 85 papers, I thought I could begin to determine which "Publius" was the writer, Hamilton being more foreceful in argument and direct in course. The authors predicted some of the problems we have today and the evolution of the Constitution, especially with regard to the variety and continual change of factions (and corresponding need for the country to be flexible. Our government was similar to many others being developed at that time (including the 13 state governments), all based on the recent writings of political philosophers such as Montesque. I think the 3 authors would be most surprised today at the gargantuan size of the federal government. While they admitted of the potential growth, they also believed it would be in relation to the growth of the population. A typical sentence "Our own experience has corroborated the lessons taught by the examples of other nations; that emergencies of this sort will sometimes exist in all societies, however, inseparable from the body politic as tumors and eruption from the natural body; that the idea of governing at all times by the simple force of law (which we have been told is the only admissible principle of republican government) has no place but in the reveries of those political doctors whose sagacity disdains the admonitions of experimental instruction." In #31, Hamilton illustrates his consistency by comparing axioms of good government to the axioms of geometry, the former being that: "there cannot be an effect without a cause, that the means ought to be proportioned to the end, that every power ought to be commensurate with its object, that there ought to be no limitation of a power destined to effect a purpose which is itself incapable of limitation." In reading the Constitution itself, I note that the more recent amendments are significantly longer than the original ten and even longer than most of the original articles.
  • (5/5)
    This is a great addition to any library, and a must read/own for anyone who calls themselves an American historian/buff.
  • (4/5)
    One thing about this version that is superior to others is the table of contents with summaries of the contents of each Federalist article. All the other Federalist Papers compilations I've read lacked an effective table of contents which told you which article covered which subject.
  • (5/5)
    A MUST read for every American who wants to understand our Constitution.
  • (4/5)
    this is the written dialogue between and among our Founding Fathers as they debated -- in public -- how the U.S. of A. would work, legally speaking. news flash -- most of the "constitutional issues" in 2006 were discussed in the late 1700s by Jefferson, Adams, et al. if you agree (or disagree) with today's pundits, read this book and be able to articulate why your opinion makes sense.
  • (5/5)
    The great letters of Publius are an essential collection for anyone wishing to understand the Constitutional views of elite federalists in the late eighteenth century. This edition adds an enlightening and interesting introductory essay by Benjamin Wright that only adds to the value of the text.