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The Federalist Papers And The Birth Of A Nation

1268 words - 5 pages

The American Revolution will always be a source of nationalistic pride for Americans. It represented the era where the freedoms and liberty of the common man fought against tyranny and an oppressive government. What many people overlook is the five year period which defined what the new country would become politically and socially. As the framework for the Constitution was being debated, these factors played a role in how the Federalists saw the future of the fledgling country. Through examining the Federalist papers and comparing their ideology with the Constitution born of it, it is clear that the Constitution created and safeguarded the rights of citizens while maintaining an informal class system.
The system of established individual rights is most commonly thought of in the form of the Bill of Rights, which accompanies and amends the Constitution to defend certain explicit rights of the people the document neglected to specify. As many of the elite men of the time had done, the Founding Fathers were students of the Enlightenment and the period of personal liberties that had grown out of these idealists. The inherent rights of man brought about by men like Locke were that of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”. The Federalists addressed these items in paper number 84 which is one of the clearest indicators of the beliefs in the new multi-layered system could be a free one. As believers in that ethos of government, the Federalists fought against the Bill of Rights in what they saw as something that could be used to limit rights rather than granting them more freedoms. As Hamilton points out that the Citizens of the country “do ordain and establish this Constitution” as a “recognition of popular rights” (Hamilton 510). Hamilton and the others wanted the Constitution to provide for these needs of the people as rights were needed, they did not want a rigid foundation that could be used to oppress the rights of the People through “providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given” (Hamilton 513). The majority of the right openly accounted for in the text of the Constitution itself concern issues of the judicial system. The Federalists wrote a document that covered some of the basic tenants of judicial freedoms: the writ of habeas corpus, ex post facto laws, and fair trial by juries replaced courts controlled by individuals and their personal agendas. This shows that the Constitution was an instrument that created and allowed personal liberties to be maintained in a new system.
Governments are labeled by the groups of people that dictate the control of power of the State. The common sentiment of early American history was “the few versus the many”. The question of how a democracy lead by a few people would fail to materialize into an aristocracy was firmly addressed within the Federalist papers, notably number 57. Madison argues that limited terms as well as the heavy involvement by the population would keep the few...

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