The Federalist Papers

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Isaac Kramnick’s “Discourse of Politics in 1787” deals with the paradigm of homo civicus (civic humanism) and liberalism in the Constitution, the Federalist and Antifederalist papers along with political positions used to address the concepts of virtue and power. The historical background of 1787 establishes the United States as a country incapable of defending its sovereignty as an independent nation and, in the same time, a confederation of sovereign states with a weak central government. This is why, on February 21, 1787, a convention of state delegates was called at Philadelphia in order to propose a plan of government. Finally, the Constitutional Convention began deliberations on May 25, 1787 and in September 17, 1787 the first Constitution of the United States was adopted. James Madison is recognized as being the “Father of the Constitution”. After the drafting of the Constitution, Madison became one of the leaders in the process of ratifying it. He collaborated with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay in what will became known as the “Federalist Papers”. The papers were political polemics, a series of 85 articles written in order to support the ratification and to explain how the proposed Constitution would work. They did this mainly by responding to criticism from Antifederalists (the opponents of the Constitution) who argued that America should be transformed into what Samuel Adams called a “Christian Sparta” and insisted that a virtuous republican government will require a reduced area and a unitary population. On the other hand, the Federalists who had a more liberal, modern view claimed that America should be an individualistic and competitive country, preoccupied with private rights and personal autonomy. At the time the papers were published, their authorship was anonymous, though people of the time thought Hamilton, Madison and Jay as the most likely authors. James Madison became a leading member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia...
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