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Posted on October 5th, 2012, by

1.  If I had a chance I would tell the writers of the Federalist Papers that their work has changed the history of the USA as well as the history of the world. In fact, initiatives of the authors of the Federalist Papers defined the further development of the USA as an independent state, while the positive experience of the US in its democratic transformation and socio-political development encouraged other countries to start democratic transformations which could really improve the position of ordinary people. At the same time, it proves beyond a doubt that the Federalist Papers laid the foundation to the democratic society in the USA and the ongoing struggle of Americans for their rights, the supremacy of people over the state are direct effects of the Federalist Papers. Finally, I would tell that the Federalist Paper impress me with their difference from traditional legal initiatives which could be traced in other parts of the world, since the Federal Papers were really concerned with needs and interests of people.

  1. In the Federalist #10, Madison refers to the problem of factions and their impact on the life of American people and society at large. He argues that factions are groups of people which, as a rule, represent the interests of a minority and aim at the enrichment or consistent improvement of the position of people who comprise factions. In this respect, it should be said such groups are present in every society and in every epoch. This is why it is hardly to disagree with Madison and his criticism of factions is justified, because in a democratic country, minority should not define the fate of the majority. Madison saw a great danger in the development of factions and strengthening of their role in the USA. In fact, such group could deteriorate the life of ordinary people consistently because they did not care about interests and needs of the majority. What they were concerned with were their own economic or political interests which factions readily defended using all possible and available means. Madison argues that factions should not influence the life of communities and ordinary Americans and counteraction is needed to stop them. However, he did not believe that a strong power of an individual which may be close to the royal power can solve the problem of factions. Instead, he suggested to develop the civil society and strengthen the Republic, which he believed to be a powerful weapon against factions. Madison believed that a strong and large Republic can defeat factions and force them play according to the rules established to all people living in the USA.

3. In the Federal #51 Madison raises the problem of separation of powers in the USA. He apparently believed this issue to be crucial for the further development of the USA as a just and democratic country. At the same time, he was probably influenced by the English experience where the power was concentrated in hands of the monarch. In fact, there were no separation of powers in European countries and the idea of separation of powers was new not only for the USA but also for the world as well. Even though some elements of separation of powers could be traced in some countries of the world, such a separation was still different from the one suggested by Madison. In fact, the main goal of Madison to develop such a system of powers, where there would not be superiors and inferiors. In stark contrast, he believed that the separation of powers is essential and it is possible. He suggested dividing three branches of power: legislative, executive and judicial.

Each specific branch of power focused on its own domain and was responsible for its actions and decisions in face of other branches of power. In such a way, three branches were divided that maximized effectiveness of their work, while they still had an opportunity of counteraction, in case if either branch exceeds its power.

4. In the Federalist #54, Madison defends 3/5 clause, which actually limited the voting right of African Americans. In fact, the 3/5 clause implies a strict correlation between a social position and wealth of an individual and his voting rights. In such a situation, slaves were in the absolutely disadvantages position since they had nothing and, therefore, had minimal voting rights. At the same time, the fact that African Americans got an opportunity to be represented in the power was a huge progress because, in the past, that they had no rights at all. At the same time, the 3/5 mirrors the way of thinking and philosophy of the class of slaveholders. Slaveholders treated salves as commodities, which were not worth attention and they should not be granted with any rights at all. Nevertheless, slaveholders could not resist to changes that took place in American society and they accepted limited rights of slaves.

5. In the Federalist #70, Hamilton focuses on the institution of Presidency. In fact, he viewed Presidency as the basis of the executive power of the USA. He stood on the ground that the Presidential power should be strong and the President should be the only head of the executive power. He should responsible for his actions and, at the same time, he should not face rivalry which could decrease the effectiveness of his policies and provoked conflicts within the executive power of the USA. In such a way, Hamilton maintains the idea of a strong Presidential power. Probably, he would not be surprised much with the power of the President in the modern USA. Basically, the current role of the President meets the vision of Hamilton, though it is not so absolute as Hamilton probably thought of, but the President heads the executive power and does not have rivals, though often American Presidents face the opposition from the part of the Congress.

6. In the Federalist #78, Hamilton focuses his attention on the Supreme Court. In fact, he does not really believe in the power of the Supreme Court and its ability to compete with executive and legislative branches of power. He believed the Supreme Court is too weak and limited in its opportunities to influence other branches of power. Nevertheless, he viewed the Supreme Court as an essential attribute of the independent USA. He is likely to be surprised with the current position and role of the Supreme Court of the USA. In actuality, the Supreme Court does not only enforce law, but it can also influence the existing legislation since its rulings are used as precedents in the judicial practice. In such a way, the Supreme Court proved to be more powerful than Hamilton thought of it.

7. The most significant event that influenced the authors of the Federalist Papers was the execution of the British monarch after Cromwell’s coming into power. In fact, this execution ruined all the remnants of medieval traditions and beliefs and changed the philosophy of many people, influencing the authors of the Federalist Papers. The execution of the King meant the end of the era of absolutism when the monarch was an untouchable, whose power was unlimited and unchallenged. After the execution it became obvious that the country can normally live without a king and the authors used this idea as the fundamental idea of the Federalist Paper.

8. On analyzing the idea of the separation of powers developed by Madison in the Federalist 51, it is possible to argue that the separation of power would not be as effective as it may seem to be. In fact, the separation of powers has never been fully implemented before. In addition, the separation of powers can weaken the USA dramatically that is absolutely unacceptable in the situation when there is a permanent threat from the part of England, which will readily invade the country as soon as it get such an opportunity. The separation of powers means the weakening, distortion of powers that will lead the USA to havoc, when not a single person will be able to lead the country divided by separation of power.

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