The Federalist Papers

Manipulation of Individual Citizen Motivations in the Federalist Papers College

As developed from the human’s historically survivalist quality, modern people tend to initially work for their own gain before considering or regarding others. People’s self-interest, whether a narcissistic trait or simply inherent one, is even more recognizable in times of conflict. Working by the assumption that people prioritize their own selfish interests and want to ensure the highest possible standard of living for themselves, Madison, Hamilton and Jay appealed to the public’s self-preserving nature in their famous Federalist Papers to convince citizens to ratify the Constitution.

In Federalist 10, Madison appeals to the public’s common fear of losing their newly-won liberties with a warning of the detrimental dangers of factions that would surely occur if the Constitution did not get ratified. He wrote, “When the majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government… enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens” (80). In such a diverse country containing so many different groups of people with varying concerns, the creators of this publication knew that Americans would be worried that a strong national government would have be able to take...

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