After postulating that the Articles of Confederation committed a “fundamental error” in “principle” by attempting to regulate “the contributions of the States to the common treasury by QUOTAS,” Hamilton opined about the difficulty in determining a “common standard or barometer” by which the degrees of national wealth can be gauged.
What exactly is the nature of the government framed by the Constitution . . . a confederation of sovereign states or a consolidated nation of "we the people"? Many in the founding generation, like Patrick Henry, worried that the proposed constitution of 1787 was intended to and would result in a consolidated nation
Luther Martin (1748-1826) served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention from Maryland. He opposed the idea of creating a strong central government and constantly sided with the "small" states against the "large" states in their disputes over proportional representation versus equal representation. He supported having equal representation for all
It is always central to historical literacy to apprehend how the generations who lived through and/or forged major historical events understood the various issues of such momentous times. The history surrounding the ratification of the Constitution of the United States is of particular interest since, over time, parties have
When the 1787 Constitution was conveyed to the States for consideration, many arguments erupted between those who favored and those who opposed ratification of the document. One of the first arguments to garner attention was the absence of a bill of rights in the Constitution. James Wilson addressed this issue
On June 16, 1817, Thomas Jefferson penned a letter to Albert Gallatin addressing what he termed the "only landmark which now divides the federalists from the republicans." The landmark dealt with the interpretation of the phrase "to lay taxes, to pay the debts, and to provide for the general welfare"
The Federalist Papers were written, primarily by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, to both advocate for and sell the Constitution of 1787, and counter the arguments of the Anti-Federalists, so-called. The Federalist Papers give unique insights into the processes that produced the Constitution of the United States and unpack a
When the Constitutional Convention had done its work and the Constitution was conveyed to the several States for consideration, some rose to support and others to oppose the document via convention debates, newspaper editorials and the like. In general, supporters were known as Federalists and opponents Anti-Federalists. One Anti-Federalist criticism
In the Massachusetts Convention, 15 January 1788, as the provision of the Constitution were being reviewed and debated, some felt that election to the House should be an annual affair as a safeguard for the people's liberty. Fisher Ames defended the Constitutional provision for a biennial election in the lower
Federalist No. 10 was written by James Madison in November 1787 and was a continuation of Federalist No. 9, written by Alexander Hamilton. The theme of both numbers was “The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard against Domestic Factions and Insurrection.” What follows is an analysis of Federalist No.
In "Federalist 16," Alexander Hamilton draws a distinction between the "intrigues of an inconsiderable faction," which can be handled by a state's magistracy, and "mortal feuds." This is a short but interesting read. August Glen-James, editor -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- > It is in vain to hope to guard against events too mighty for
When the Constitution became available for scrutiny in the Fall of 1787, pointed criticism of the document began to arise. The Constitution's critics became known as Anti-Federalists and its supporters, Federalists. The most prominent Federalist writers were James Madison and Alexander Hamilton--who were the principle authors of the Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers were a series of articles written in defense of the Constitution and intended to facilitate its adoption by the several states. Though writing under the pseudonym Publius, we have leaned the the main authors were James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. James Madison, in Federalist 57, has an