Note, this is part 4 of the series on American History.
"Our unalterable resolution would be to be free. They have attempted to subdue us by force, but God be praised! in vain. Their arts may be more dangerous then their arms. Let us then renounce all treaty with them upon any score but that of total separation, and under God trust our cause to our swords."
Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, April 16, 1776
"I think there is an enormous danger on the part of public figures to rationalize or justify their actions by claiming God’s mandate. I don’t think it’s healthy for public figures to wear religion on their sleeve as a means to insulate themselves from criticism, or dialogue with people who disagree with them."
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."
"For the Statist, liberty is not a blessing but the enemy. It is not possible to achieve Utopia if individuals are free to go their own way. " Mark Levin, Liberty and Tyranny pg. 16
The Federalist Papers were a series of formal writings on free government. They were written in support of the ratification of the Constitution. In Philadelphia, the delegates were opposed to the existing Articles of Confederation and looked to the states, not the existing government, for ratification and approval of the new government. Not everyone agreed with the new Constitution, so much argument was given for both sides as to the finalized document. After the convention, Tench Coxe became the coordinator in Philadelphia for those who supported the constitution while George Mason became the coordinator for New York for those who opposed it. Hundreds and hundreds of letters were written regarding the constitution. Pen names, "Cato" and "The Federal Farmer" attacked while "Caesar" replied. Both George Washington and Ben Franklin supported the Constitution.
Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Virginia, and New York were the states important for the success or failure of the Constitution. Of these four states, New York was the state where doubts were high for the failure of a new Constitution . The state's delegation didn't approve the draft in Philadelphia because two of its three delegates left during the protest Alexander Hamilton never got a vote. The governor of New York, opposed the new government and New York had become an independent nation under the Articles of Confederation, making itself rich through tariffs on trade with its neighboring states.
Alexander Hamilton decided that a huge campaign was needed in New York, much more than in any other states. This new plan meant a constant pouring of arguments in newspapers four times a week. Because of the massive work, Hamilton decided that he needed two co-authors to help him write under the pen name of "publius." Although he originally had asked others to help him, but thankfully, James Madison helped because the Continental Congress was sitting in New York during that time. John Jay was also asked because of his foreign diplomatic experience. John Jay was injured shortly after the project started and was able to only finish six papers. That left Hamilton and Madison to finish the rest. Eventually, the books were published in different newspapers in New York (four out of five of the major newspapers of the time) as well as republished in book form near the end of the series.
Eventually, New Yorkers only were able to ratify the constitution after Delaware was the ninth state to approve ratification and would have rendered New York as the only state to be against a Constitution. James Madison took the published books to assist in the ratification debate in Virginia. The Federalist Papers are the best source for interpreting the Constitution, the best explanation of what the Founding Fathers purpose was in the passing of the Constitution the United States of America.
The time of the revolution was made up to find security from foreign nations, for peace in America, and for individual freedom. These values, the Founders knew could be won by hard work and resisting the tyranny of the Crown of Britain. Earlier plans of a union were motivated by a desire for security and peace, but also for freedom and liberties which the Founders recognised could only come from God, not the government. These are the reasons behind the writings of the Federalist Papers, and eventually the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
All aspects of our liberties were debated on until the final Constitution was ratified. The men who fought, who debated and wrote the Constitution and our Bill of Rights knew that certain Unalienable Rights were so important that they needed a permanent place in these documents, lest government try to take them away. It's interesting how much these men realized government would eventually move to tyranny, because they had seen it in their own times. They wanted to make sure it did not happen again in the future and they did their best to warn us through their words:
"[I]t is the reason alone, of the public, that ought to control and regulate the government."
James Madison, Federalist No. 49, February 5, 1788
"There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence. I must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men and become the instruments of their own undoing." -Daniel Webster
"A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.”
– Benjamin Franklin
"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If `Thou shalt not covet’ and `Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free."
- John Adams, A Defense of the American Constitutions, 1787
"[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. "
Samuel Adams, essay in The Public Advertiser, Circa 1749
"As our president bears no resemblance to a king so we shall see the Senate has no
similitude to nobles. First, not being hereditary, their collective knowledge, wisdom, and virtue are not precarious. For by these qualities alone are they to obtain their offices, and they will have none of the peculiar qualities and vices of those men who possess power merely because their father held it before them. "
Tench Coxe, An American Citizen, No.2, September 28, 1787
"What is to be the consequence, in case the Congress shall misconstrue this part [the
necessary and proper clause] of the Constitution and exercise powers not warranted by its true meaning, I answer the same as if they should misconstrue or enlarge any other power vested in them...the success of the usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts; and in a last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people, who can by the elections of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers."
James Madison, Federalist No. 44, January 25, 1788
Next article- The Constitution, and Bill of Rights.