The Federalist (Papers) Revisited

The Federalist (Papers) Revisited

by J Jackson Owensby

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The United States Constitution is under attack right now. Progressives of all sorts throughout the land want to rend the Constitution to shreds and rewrite it in their own image. Forgotten, overlooked or ignored are the principles that founded this greatest of all nations; the very principles that served as the bedrock that brought the United States from a…  See more details below


The United States Constitution is under attack right now. Progressives of all sorts throughout the land want to rend the Constitution to shreds and rewrite it in their own image. Forgotten, overlooked or ignored are the principles that founded this greatest of all nations; the very principles that served as the bedrock that brought the United States from a disorganized thirteen small colonies to the pinnacle of magnificence. These are the principles that led the out-manned, out-gunned and out-trained patriots to rise up in defiance to the premier military power in the world. These principles led the rag-tag army to follow Washington, to suffer Valley Forge, and finally to success at the Battle of Yorktown on the 19th of October, 1871.
Unknown to today’s generation and almost forgotten by all are the endeavors that led to the creation of the Constitution that was to become the law of the land. Brave men, risking their estates, their positions and even their very lives met, debated, argued and crafted the most important document in the civilized world, The Constitution for the United States of America.
Three of the framers of the Constitution—John Jay, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton—were the authors of a series of newspaper articles known as The Federalists, a series of articles published in the New York newspaper and spread throughout the colonies; eighty-five well-written, powerful articles that clearly defined the intent and purpose of those who created the Constitution, and informed the public not only of the content but also the reasoning behind each particle of the Constitution. The articles delineated the differences between the United States Constitution and all that had gone before and had failed. The articles cut through the rhetoric, the false charges, the unjust accusations and the deliberate falsehoods that attempted to persuade the citizenry to reject the Constitution. The articles also laid out a path for success, a path that would allow maximum personal freedom and minimum government disruption. Revisit now those years of yesterday, years where we can learn first-hand of the justification and the cause of the Constitution and moments that enable us to remember that this is indeed the greatest nation ever to exist and that the Constitution, as written, is the greatest single document conceived by men of honor to provide and protect personal freedom, justice and equality for all mankind.

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A-Argus Enterprises, Incorporated
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6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)

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“We The People of the United states, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The preamble to the Constitution for The United States of America

With these few words, that which is likely the most noted document in the world is introduced. Words that were, at one time, on the lips of school children across this great nation, and now words that for the most part are completely unfamiliar to the younger generation. Yet, it isn’t just the words or even the document that is the least forgotten, it is the courage, the stamina and the iron will of a small group of men determined to chart a course for this new country to follow. A course that would set this new nation apart from all other nations, a course that would be founded on the bed-rock of the principle of freedom, fairness and the common good.

A complete slate of the fifty-five state representatives who crafted the Constitution for the United States of America is easily available for the reader interested in research. Among the group were the famous and the not-so-famous. Men like James Madison, James Wilson, Gouverneur Morris, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and William Samuel Johnson were among the more noted, but lesser well known individuals such as Roger Sherman, John Dickerson, George Mason, George Wythe, John Blair, Edmund Randolph, James McClung, William Patterson, John Rutledge, Nathaniel Gorham, Oliver Ellsworth, and Rufus King also had a hand—or least a finger—in the final document that was prepared for the states to ratify.

Of the fifty-five representatives, only forty-one were present when the U.S. Constitution was finally completed by the end of September 1787 and forwarded to the states for ratification. Still, all was not harmony, as three of the delegates refused to sign the document, which called for a strong central government, and indeed the opposition did not stop with the ending of the “Constitution Convention.” Other “Anti-Federalist” forces were at work, attempting to delay, derail or defeat the new Constitution.

Immediately, the Constitution became the target of many articles and public letters written by opponents of the Constitution. Anti-Federalist authors ‘Cato’ and ‘Brutus’ appeared in New York papers on September 27 and October 18, 1787, respectively. Hamilton decided to launch a measured and extensive defense and explanation of the proposed Constitution as a response to the opponents of ratification, addressing primarily the people of the state of New York, one of the key states needed for ratification. And he had allies.

Three strong men stood in favor of the Constitution and its strong federal government. Extremely intelligent, gifted politicians, and noted orators, these “Federalists” were James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton. Three men of a like mind, the trio adopted the Roman name ‘Publius’ (Latin for ‘public’ which Hamilton believed superior to either ‘Brutus’ or ‘Cato’) and created a series of supporting newspaper articles known collective as “The Federalist” or as is more commonly referred to today as “The Federalist Papers.”


Today, in the calendar year of 2010, our Constitution is under no less an assault than it was two hundred and twenty-three years ago. No, the Constitution isn’t under siege by states attempting to “de-ratify” the Constitution. Instead, the vicious assault is from components of the government itself; what our founding fathers labeled “The Enemy Within”. Politicians from all sides, members of both governing parties, individuals in each branch—Executive, Judicial and Congressional—are determined to make the Constitution mean exactly what they want it to mean, make of it a “Living Document”, without regard to the intent of the founders of the greatest nation of all time. In a little over two hundred years, the United States has come from an undeveloped group of thirteen colonies to become the greatest nation in the history of the world; the richest, the most powerful and the leader in virtually every category, including human rights.

Now, the very foundation of that great nation is being besieged by government officials and employees who want to alter, amend, wrack, twist, warp and malign the Constitution into just an average constitution, with a small ‘c”. It doesn’t appear that the besiegers so much as want to destroy the Constitution, as to bend it into the shape of their choosing, and to make the Constitution include more than the founders of the country intended and exclude that which they don’t want. Without exception, every individual who signed the Constitution and even those who opposed the Constitution were for limited government. In fact, the original intent was to drastically limit and enumerate the responsibilities of the federal government and leave all other rights to the individual and the states.

Today, those in power and those who want to be in power seem to be taking their strategy from the same playbook. That is, each party seems to have more and more gifts for the voter providing that they are elected to office. While one party professes that it is the party of “less government”, history shows that neither party has done anything of significance to generate a reduction in the government’s domination over the individual; and neither party has made an effort to limit the government’s effect on the lives and the income of the individual.

This surely was not the intent of the founders of our country. Today, more than fifty percent of the people work for the government in one fashion or another. This is definitely not limited government, not the government of Hamilton, Madison and Jay.

Uncontrolled spending, unlimited borrowing and massive deficits in addition to massive taxation. This is not limited government, either.

Enormous give-away programs, both abroad and at home, to countries who won’t attempt to change or to citizens who refuse to work. That is limited government? Not according to Madison, Jay and Hamilton.

So, let’s take a close look at the intent of the founders of our nation. Let’s examine their intent, and let’s see where we have veered off the course set by the wisest men of our history. Perhaps it isn’t too late to return to that course. Perhaps.

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Meet the Author

J. Jackson Owensby is a seventy-three old businessman, veteran of the United States Air Force and the author of several non-fiction books including Deliberate Indifference: A Gay Man’s Maltreatment by the United States Department of Justice, My Sister and I: We Are Survivors, and Tricks of An IRS Cheat and Other Scandals You Should Know About Uncle Sam and Your Money. Appalled by the deficit in the knowledge of the young generation, Owensby-long a student of mankind-and his son formed a writing team to develop the America The Great series, with the first of the series being The Federalist (Papers) Revisited. Future works will include The Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution, George Washington: Hail and Farewell; Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others.

Owensby and his son have donated the author’s royalties of the series to the Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse, a non-profit 501-c (3) charitable foundation.

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