The Federalist Papers

A Close Reading of James Madison's The Federalist No. 51 and its Relevancy Within the Sphere of Modern Political Thought

The roots of republican government and democratic ideals are firmly planted in James Madison's "The Federalist No. 51, The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments." Written on February 6, 1788, this essay is one of three documents that make up a group of political pieces known as The Federalist Papers. These documents were written by the three main proponents of the U.S. Constitution and the Federal Convention; Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison (Mulford 999). The collection of essays was first published in the Independent Journal, a political magazine based in New York, in addition to several other magazines. Ironically, the governor of New York, George Clinton, was an Anti-Federalist, an antagonist of governmental liberties, republican ideals, and the subsequent ratification of the U.S. Constitution (Mulford 999). "The Federalist No. 51" was written a year after Hamilton concluded that the state of New York would not ratify the Constitution. Subsequently, The Federalist Papers were published and widely disseminated in New York, in addition to several other states, in order to persuade and convince the Anti-Federalists to...

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