Federalist Papers 51

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Eric Kogan
Political Science 021
Professor Garrison Nelson

2. James Madison contended in Federalist 51 that: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” What was he saying here and how have these beliefs been enacted into law? Emphasize such key concepts from the textbook as federalism, separation of powers and check and balances here.

The Federalist Papers are a collection of 85 essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay advocating the validation of the United States constitution. The series of articles were first published in 1787 - 1788 in the Independent Journal, the New-York Packet and the Daily Advertiser. At the time of publication, it was unclear who the author’s were, since Hamilton, Madison and Jay used the pseudonym “Publius”, in respect to Roman diplomat Publius Valeria Publicola. It wasn’t until Hamilton’s death in 1804 that it was clear as to who were the creator’s of the “incomparable exposition of the Constitution, a classic in political science unsurpassed in both breadth and depth by the product of any later American writer” (Federalist Papers). The Federalist Papers drafted a basic form of American federalism, meaning the papers served as a justification of the document that would soon become the constitution. The federalist’s promoted a divided federal government, a system of checks and balances where there was “division of power across the local, state and national levels of government” and a system for judicial review (William Bianco). At first, the Federalist Papers were received as unfinished and exaggerated, as many Americans were cynical of a contradiction of the bill of rights. Despite first impressions, the Federalist Papers have survived well into the 21st century, and are still used today by lawyers, judges, and jurors as a tool to interpret the Constitutional laws.

Federalist 51 begins...
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