The Federalist Papers

How did Hamilton use beliefs, fears and assumption to help his arguement in Federalist paper 15?

rhectorical analysis

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In this essay, Hamilton theoretically examines the flaws of a national government that contains multiple sovereigns. During the majority of the essay, (after outlining problems of the United States), he does not attack the Articles of Confederation specifically; instead, he generally laments the basic problems with a particular type of system of government that contains multiple sovereigns, and then, only at the end of the paper, states that the problems are not based on the Articles of Confederation, but any form of government that has this philosophical basis. In later papers (16-22), Hamilton will examine more specifically the many problems that plague the present form of government. In this essay, however, he lays the philosophical problems of the type of government - he must start over completely before he attacks the specific problems of the country.

Both Madison and Hamilton were convinced that local sovereignty had to be abolished, something that they were much more open about in their private correspondence than in their more political public statements. Neither Hamilton nor Madison wanted to see the sates absorbed entirely into a national government, but neither thought that that was likely. It seemed inconceivable to them that a central authority could or would want to descend to enforcement of local laws.

It has to be recognized that the Constitution and the Articles of Confederation allocated power and wealth differently, and hence some groups would be hurt and others benefited by a change in the regime. The arguments used against the Article of Confederation, in many people's opinion, while a classic in political theory were not the primary influence in the ratification of the new Constitution. Instead, as some critics argue, opposition to the proposed Constitution came from those groups whose economic and political position within the state would be threatened by the new order, not by those who opposed it ideologically. The Federalists won so decisively because of agenda control. For example, the Federalists made sure that the states strongly in favor voted first, while they delayed votes in those states where the people were opposed.