History Lessons From the Federalist Papers

Whodda thunk it? I hated history growing up. Now, "in these trying times of crisis and universal brouhaha," as Tom Lehrer once said, I find myself diving into history with a vengeance. My latest excursion is The Federalist Papers. This book is a series of essays originally published in New York newspapers in 1787 and 1788. These essays, by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, represent their thoughts on the recently proposed Constitution. (Proposed September 17, 1787)

The Barenaked Ladies have a song called It's All Been Done. I am starting to understand that almost everything we are doing these days has really all been done before. I started this book to better understand the history of our country. Other books I have been reading by Thomas Sowell and others have commented on how our Constitution is being hijacked by various special interest groups. I thought I would read a little about the roots of our country and its Constitution so that I could understand the situation better. What follows are quotes from the Federalist Papers and my immediate thoughts on the matter. If you want to contribute feel free to e-mail me at occupant@kurtsimmons.com

  • Federalist No. 1 - Alexander Hamilton.
    "And yet however just these sentiments will be allowed to be, we have already sufficient indications, that it will happen in this as in all former cases of great national discussion. A torrent of angry and malignant passions will be let loose. To judge from the conduct of the opposite parties, we shall be led to conclude, that they will mutually hope to evince the justness of their opinions, and to increase the number of their converts by the loudness of their declamations, and by the bitterness of their invectives."
    [I see this issue tactic used today. Absent any evidence that history has in any way changed, I would propose that all squawking loonies be excluded from public discourse. In the remainder of the paper, Mr. Hamilton goes on to say that he plans to use open arguments that people can judge on their own.]