Federalist No 02
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Federalist No 02



The Federalist Papers, No. 2

The Federalist Papers, No. 2



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Federalist No 02 Federalist No 02 Presentation Transcript

  • Federalist No. 2 Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence
  • Background
    • Author: John Jay
    • Publication: Independent Journal
    • Date: October or November 1787
    • Audience: People of the State of New York
  • Indispensable Necessity of Government
    • Government is necessary.
    • No matter how “it is instituted, the people must cede to it some of their natural rights in order to vest it with requisite powers.”
    • The people must decide whether they should “be one nation” or “divide themselves into separate confederacies.”
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  • Changing Opinion
    • “ It has until lately been a received and uncontradicted opinion that the prosperity of the people of America depended on their continuing firmly united.”
    • Now some politicians “insist that this opinion is erroneous, and that . . . we ought to seek [safety and happiness] in a division of the States into distinct confederacies.”
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  • One Connected Country and One United People
    • “ America [is] not composed of detached and distant territories, but . . . one connected, fertile, widespreading country” with “navigable waters [forming] a kind of chain round its borders.”
    • This connected country has been given to a united people “descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who . . . have nobly established general liberty and independence.”
  • Institution of a Federal Government
    • The people formed a federal government “almost as soon as they had a political existence.”
    • The upheaval caused by the war “left little room for those calm and mature inquiries and reflections which must ever precede the formation of a wise and wellbalanced government for a free people.”
    • It is not surprising that the resulting government should “be found greatly deficient and inadequate to the purpose it was intended to answer.”
  • Constitutional Convention
    • The people recognized the faults of the government after the war, but they still wanted a union and loved their liberty. Therefore, the convention in Philadelphia was convened to form a better government.
    • “ This convention composed of men who possessed the confidence of the people, and many of whom had become highly distinguished by their patriotism, virtue and wisdom, in times which tried the minds and hearts of men, undertook the arduous task” and produced the Constitution now being considered by the people.
  • “ Wise and Experienced” Men
    • The people relied “greatly on the judgment and integrity of the Congress.”
    • They have “greater reason have they now to respect the judgment and advice of the convention, for it is well known that some of the most distinguished members of that Congress, who have been since tried and justly approved for patriotism and abilities, and who have grown old in acquiring political information, were also members of this convention, and carried into it their accumulated knowledge and experience.”
  • America’s Prosperity Depends on its Union
    • Every “Congress, as well as the late convention, [has] invariably joined with the people in thinking that the prosperity of America depended on its Union.”
    • The convention was formed to “preserve and perpetuate it.”
    • The “people have always thought right on this subject, and . . . their universal and uniform attachment to the cause of the Union rests on great and weighty reasons.”
  • Ensuing Papers
    • In “some ensuing papers,” reasons for a Union will be developed and explained.