Why Read the Federalist Papers?
by Charity Garza
The Founding of our nation happened because of a sequence of events, not one huge one. Our Founders fought through word, pen and blood. When the fighting was over the opportunity for a new country was an exciting one. However, just as today, many opinions abounded on how, exactly, this new country should work.
Congress came together to form a Constitution as a sort of rulebook for how our nation should be run. Unfortunately, not everyone was convinced that the Constitution was necessary, or even desirable. Keep in mind that the people who lived in the new nation were well educated, well-read and hard-working merchants and farmers. They read and discussed their findings with their friends and family. They thought hard about the things that went on around them. They weren’t satisfied to simply be told what to do. They wanted to understand the whys and hows.
Because of this, three men undertook to explain why the Constitution was needed and desirable, and why it should be ratified. James Madison, John Jay & Alexander Hamilton wrote anonymous articles that they posted in newspapers to convince the people of the importance of ratifying the Constitution. These papers became the Federalist Papers.
Do the words from the Federalist Papers still apply today? Absolutely. If you want to understand your roots, you dig. Digging through the Federalist Papers is a fascinating journey that teaches what we, the people, literally believe. They share why our Founding Principles are so important, what we as a people stand for and what to beware of. They even talk about the horridness of slavery. Remember this was during a time that many still owned slaves. There is incredible wisdom written in them but even greater than this the reader comes to understand truly what we as a nation believe and how we started. If every man, woman and child took the time to read the Federalist Papers and the Constitution, we would be a stronger, more unified people who truly understood the importance of freedom, of life, of liberty, of the pursuit of happiness. Are you ready and willing to take the challenge to read the Federalist Papers? It’ll be worth it, I promise.