POL203Y1 Chapter Notes -The Federalist Papers

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11 Apr 2012
POL203Y1: U.S. Government and Politics September 15th, 2011.
The Federalist Papers #1: Introduction
Page 87
Reserved to the people of the U.S. to decide the important question: whether
societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good gov’t from
reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their
political constitutions on accident and force
The crisis at which we arrived may be the era in which this decision is made
A wrong election of the part we shall act, may be considered the general
misfortune of mankind
This idea will add the incentives of philanthropy to those of patriotism to heighten
the concern which all considerate and good men must feel for the event
Page 88
Most alarming obstacle that the new Constitution will have to encounter may be
the obvious interest of a certain class of men in every state to resist all changes
which may hazard a diminution of power, emolument, and consequence of the
offices they hold under the state establishments;
And the perverted ambition of another class of men, who will either hope to
exaggerate themselves by the confusions of their country, or will flatter
themselves w/ fairer prospects of elevation from the subdivision of the empire
into several partial confederacies than from its union under one gov’t
We are not always sure that those who advocate the truth are influenced by purer
principles than their antagonists
Intolerant spirit often characterizes political parties
Page 89
The vigor of gov’t is essential to the security of liberty
In the contemplation of a sound and well-informed judgment, their interests can
never be separated
A dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the passion for the rights of the
people than under the forbidding appearance of passion for the firmness and
efficiency of gov’t
History will teach us that the former has been found much more certain road to
the intro of despotism (dictatorship) than the latter, and that of those men who
have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their
career by paying a respectable homage to the people, commencing demagogues
and ending tyrants
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