2 Answers

  1. The following dissertations were written on this topic:) so you can't answer with one answer.

    Take for example the Constitution. It describes how the state works, and from the notes we learn why the founding fathers of the United States decided to organize it this way. Well, in a sense, the notes convey the spirit of the Constitution.

    Or amendments to the Constitution. They are very short (a couple of sentences), and in the notes the meaning is revealed more fully.

  2. The significance of the “Notes of the Federalist” is great both in the history of American and global political thought. They explain the ideas and principles laid down in the American constitution and have become the foundation of the liberal-democratic model of government, which has now been adopted by more than 100 countries. Today, these ideas are widespread and seem natural to many, since they have passed the test of time, but 250 years ago they were innovative.

    “Notes” appeared in 1787-1788 against the background of a unique political phenomenon for that time – for the first time in world history, a national discussion on the draft of a new constitution was launched in one of the countries. And this is in the era of absolutist monarchies! Specific provisions of this project were discussed in the periodical press and in public circles. The discussion, which was attended not only by politicians, but also ordinary citizens, was active and sharp, and the positions were principled. Not commas or terms were discussed – but the basic principles of building a state, popular representation, sovereignty, federalism, and finding a balance between civil liberties and the tasks of public administration were discussed.

    Of course, the increased attention to the “Notes” was provided by famous authors – prominent political figures of that time: A. A. Kolesnikov.Hamilton (Secretary of the Treasury in the first cabinet of J. R. R. Tolkien).Washington, D.C., and founder of the Federalist Party).Madison (he was called the “father” of the new Constitution; he later became the 4th President of the United States) and J. R. R. Tolkien.Jay (became the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court).

    At the same time, you should not overestimate the value of “Notes”. They were not intended as a new word in political philosophy or as a policy statement – their purpose was applied: to convince the public that the new constitution should be adopted and adopted in the form in which it was prepared by the Convention. The authors of the” Notes ” themselves did not consider the draft Constitution ideal and fully consistent with their own aspirations. But they were sure that this draft was much better than the previous constitution-the Articles of Confederation. In their “Notes”, the authors formulated both their own views and explained the conclusions of those liberal thinkers of the XVII-XVIII centuries who had a great influence on the state of minds in England and America at that time-Locke, Montesquieu, Sidney, etc.

    In addition to the Notes, there were thousands of other speeches and articles. Initially, there were only 77″ Notes”, and according to contemporaries of those events, not all of them were equally original in thought or meaningful – some of them were purely polemical in nature. But the waves of history have blurred the memory or impression of many other, perhaps more significant and interesting articles and speeches, without touching, however, the “Notes”. In part, this was because in 1788 these 77 papers were put together, 8 more papers were added to them – 85 in total-and in this form they were published in a two-volume format, which was called “The Federalist Papers” (in some editions simply “The Federalist”). Initially, the articles themselves were not called that. The book became a visible trace of that great constitutional discussion, unlike articles that already had to be specifically searched in newspaper archives.

    The need for a new constitution was explained by the fact that the Articles of Confederation were almost unanimously recognized by American society as unviable, since they did not provide tools for solving current problems.: Congress had a very modest budget, which was formed at the expense of voluntary and insignificant grants from the states, which excluded any joint actions in the common interests and against external threats, and territorial claims between the states were aggravated, since the borders between them were not clearly defined, selfish tariffs blocked trade between the states, the post-war debt of all states was significant, etc.

    Then the Constitutional Convention, convened with the approval of the Continental Congress, developed and approved the draft of a new Constitution on September 17, 1787. He envisioned the creation of a new union of states with a strong central government, taxes, a central bank, a common regular army, and so on. By decision of Congress, the draft was sent to all 13 states of the Confederation for discussion and ratification.

    An open, public discussion began. The line of disagreement ran within the liberal camp, which then included almost the entire population of the country. These were disagreements between the” big “liberals and the “smaller” ones – the former were called anti-federalists (in the modern political tradition, they are inherited by libertarians), and they were in the minority, and the latter-federalists, and they were in the majority. But the arguments of the federalists and the ” Federalist “will not be fully understood if you do not know the position of the anti-federalists, whose arguments were no less significant and convincing from a liberal point of view and today sound almost prophetic in terms of the negative consequences of a “big” and “strong” state, the activities of the central bank, the threat of an imbalance between the needs of national security and civil liberties.

    The first salvo against the new Constitution came from anti-federalists just 10 days later, on September 27, when an article signed “Cato”appeared in the New York Independent Journal. In those years, there was a fashion for the ancient Roman tradition of political discourse, and those who wanted to strengthen the impression of their speeches took as a pseudonym some big name from the history of Rome. In” Cato”, which sharply criticized the constitutional project, contemporaries saw the then Governor of New York, J. R. R. Tolkien.Clinton (!).

    On October 1, in another New York newspaper, he was answered by “Caesar”-Alexander Hamilton, who represented New York in the Convention. In total, Hamilton wrote 51 of the 85 “Notes” in defense of the draft Constitution, Madison-29 and Jay-5. With the exception of the first article, all the others had one signature for 3 authors – “Publius”.

    The following topics were at the center of the controversy::

    Federal Republic 1. (Notes Nos. 9 and 39). Both camps agreed that the new State should be a republic in the form of a federation. But the anti-federalists believed that sovereignty and full power should be concentrated at the state level, which in turn would create a central government to solve some common tasks. The Federalists, on the other hand, sought and succeeded in getting the states to relinquish some of their sovereign rights in favor of the central government, which became the second level of power.

    By establishing the principle of two equal levels of government – state and national government-as a basic principle, the United States created a model of federalism, although initially the Constitution did not fully address all issues related to federalism – they were later resolved in various amendments, as well as in decisions of the US Supreme Court.

    Role and functions of the central Government2. (Notes №№ 23, 51, 53, 70). Both camps agreed that the central government (state) should be small in size and scope of its functions, as well as limited in its actions by law. However, unlike their opponents, the federalists believed that the government should be “strong” – have a stable income in the form of taxes, have a regular army, solve trade issues with other countries, ensure order and at the same time guarantee freedom to all. Anti-federalists were convinced that such a Government would always pose a threat to civil rights and freedoms.

    The Federalist thought about the interdependence of the concepts of limited government and the rule of law – the latter limits the former. Congressmen, the president, members of the government, officials of ministries, judges – all those who form the government in a broad sense, are not free in their official actions. They do not have the right to make any decisions arbitrarily, but are obliged to be guided in their actions by the Constitution and the laws adopted on its basis.

    Separation of powers. Checks and Balances 3. (Notes No. 47, 48, 51). Both camps agreed on the need for a representative character of power – power from the people, exercised by the people and for the people. Anti-federalists believed that this form of government is best implemented when the entire amount of power is concentrated in the hands of Congress. The federalists argued for the separation of powers into representative, executive, and judicial branches.

    The federalists saw the separation of powers itself as an important tool for limiting the powers of the State. However, the anti-federalists argued that the mechanism proposed in the draft constitution was flawed due to the ability of each of the branches of government to interfere in the competence of the other two branches: the president has the right to interfere in the legislative process through the right to veto and reject laws passed by Congress, as well as in the judicial sphere – through the mechanism of appointing judges, and Congress has the right to interfere in the powers of the executive branch through the right to approve top government officials. The court has the right to recognize both laws and presidential decrees and orders as unconstitutional.

    The federalists, for their part, pointed out that it was not really a question of constitutional imperfections, but of creating an important system of checks and balances that maintained a balance of influence between the branches of government and their mutual control over each other.

    National Security and Civil Rights and Freedoms 4. (Notes No. 4, 23, 41). Both camps agreed that the greatest threat to the rights and freedoms of citizens comes from the State. Anti-federalists called for the constitution to be supplemented with a Bill of Rights (which was later done), believing that this would make up for the lack of a constitution that did not say anything about the rights and freedoms of citizens. The federalists did not see the point in this, considering it sufficient that the scope of the central government's powers in the constitution was formulated exhaustively and did not allow it to interfere with the rights of citizens.

    5. Judicial supervision (Notes No. 78, 80, 81). The Federalists ' project contained an important innovation on which the modern political and social life of the United States is based – the concept of constitutionality: everything that does not comply with the Constitution has no force and is invalid. This provision is an important barrier to the erosion of the constitution at the expense of other legislative and regulatory acts, which is clearly seen in the example of Russia, in particular: under the plausible pretexts of taking into account the interests of “state” security or the public good, certain laws that have less legal force than the constitution actually distort the meaning of the provisions of the constitution to the exact opposite.

    The anti-federalists, while agreeing with the principle of judicial review, proposed that all branches of government – not only the courts, but also Congress and the executive branch-should have the right to interpret the Constitution. The point was to prevent the concentration of power in the hands of the courts. The federalists, on the other hand, assumed that such an approach would violate the system of checks and balances and undermine national unity.

    American realities are difficult to understand if you do not take into account that the constitution adopted in the end was the product of a compromise between federalists and anti-federalists. In this compromise, one should look, in particular, for the origins of traditional American isolationism. Two-tier federalism led to the creation of a decentralized system of government in the United States and consolidated broad state autonomy in political and economic matters, which significantly limited the capabilities of the central government – until now, the most important issues of the economy, health, education, law, and socio-political organization are resolved at the state level, not at the federation level.

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