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01-24/11 - THE FEDERALIST PAPERS > FEDERALIST. NO 18 - 01/31/11 - 02/06/11

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments This is the thread for the discussion of FEDERALIST. NO 18.

This paper is titled THE INSUFFICIENCY OF THE PRESENT CONFEDERATION TO PRESERVE THE UNION (CONT'D) .

This paper was written by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton.

The Federalist Papers Alexander HamiltonAlexander Hamilton


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 29, 2011 10:11AM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Hello Folks,

On January 31st, we will be continuing with the next paper of the Federalist Papers - Federalist No. 18. However, I am starting to set up the thread now in advance of the opening date. Do feel able to post even earlier than the opening date if you so choose.

FEDERALIST No. 18 The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union - Cont'd (Written by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton)
January 31, 2011 - February 6 (page 118)


Check back around the 31st and more information will be added for this discussion. We will be doing one Federalist Paper a week. If you are catching up, that is no problem; we have a thread dedicated to each paper so you can catch up when you are able.

Bentley


Patricrk patrick | 475 comments this is all a bunch of greeks to me.


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Patricrk wrote: "this is all a bunch of greeks to me."

I will try to help you along soon (smile).


Laura (apenandzen) | 147 comments I'd like to join in on these discussions when time permits. I have one question though: should they be read in order, or could I pick my reading up with this one?


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 30, 2011 08:55AM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments You can do it either way Laura. But number 18 is the same subject matter continued since number 15. So you may want to start with 15 or begin with 18 and carry on with us until we finish this next segment. And with the time in between from our doing this segment until starting the next 15 or so papers; get caught up on your on for the previous 1 - 17.


Laura (apenandzen) | 147 comments Thank you. I guess I'll begin with 15 then. Looking forward to it!


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 30, 2011 08:15PM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments We find ourselves on:

FEDERALIST No. 18 The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union - Cont'd (Madison and Hamilton)
January 31, 2011 - February 6 (page 118)


Links to 18:

http://federali.st/18

You can also listen to them being read orally to you:

Federalist 18 audio:

LibraVox

http://ia700208.us.archive.org/14/ite...

Federalist Papers - Access page - scroll down to the bottom:

A much better oral reading:

http://americanaphonic.com/wp-content...


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments How To Get the Most Out of Your Reading:

May I also suggest that you bring up the on line text version of the paper you are reading (in this case Federalist Paper 18) or open to it in your book and then start the Americana Phonic Oral Reading audio; it does have more power when a strong voice is reading the paper and you will get more out of it reading along while listening to it.

The links are in message 8.


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 30, 2011 08:25PM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Patricrk mentioned that Federalist 18 was all a bunch of Greeks to him (smile). Well what he has said has a lot of truth in it. Madison and Hamilton were trying to point out historical examples of confederacies that had failed and why.

Spark Notes states:

"There are a number of historical examples of confederacies that failed either due to infighting and competition amongst their members or invasion from outside forces. The Grecian republic ended in a series of restless alliances and usurpations that welcomed in Roman domination.

Germanic nations have attempted to sustain confederacies that result in wars amongst competing regions, the strong always preying on the week. And, the example of the United Netherlands provides evidence that a nation will disregard its constitution when need be to amass more power in unity than the confederacy can provide.

In the case of the first 6 years of the American confederacy, a number of very important deficiencies existed that could lead to a similar fate as these prior confederacies."


message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Summary:

Federalist No. 18 is an essay by James Madison with Alexander Hamilton, the eighteenth of the Federalist Papers. It was published on December 7, 1787 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all the Federalist Papers were published. No. 18 addresses the failures of the Articles of Confederation to satisfactorily govern the United States; it is the fourth of six essays on this topic. It is titled, "The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union."


message 12: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments I think we will find the following as we study the Federalist Papers:

The core concepts of THE FEDERALIST are rooted in Western Civilization. When studying the Papers, the student will see the connections of the European Age of Enlightenment to the theory and practice of politics in eighteenth-century America. One thing that would be interesting as we are studying the papers is to take a look at the ideas and the institutions of government around the world in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Through this global comparative analysis, we will learn how American ideas on constitutional government are related to civic cultures of other times and places. (like in this paper to Greece for example).

Source for the above:

Eric Digest: http://www.ericdigests.org/pre-928/pa...


message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 30, 2011 08:41PM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments I think the Eric Digest brings up some very important concepts; some of which we have discussed before: (and some coming up in future papers). This is what they said:

"The authors of THE FEDERALIST had varying and sometimes clashing ideas about government, but they agreed strongly on certain fundamental ideas: republicanism, federalism, separation of powers, and free government.

--Republicanism. A republican government is one "in which the scheme of representation takes place" (No. 10). It is based on the consent of the governed because power is delegated to a small number of citizens who are elected by the rest.

--Federalism. In a federal republic, power is divided vertically between a general (federal) government and several state governments. Two levels of government, each supreme in its own sphere, can exercise powers separately and directly on the people. State governments can neither ignore nor contradict federal statutes that conform to the supreme law, the Constitution. This conception of federalism departed from traditional forms, known today as confederations, in which states retained full sovereignty over their internal affairs.

--Separation of Powers. "Publius" proclaims (No. 47): "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands...may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny." So the Constitution separates powers of government among three branches according to function. But this horizontal separation of powers is not complete. Each branch has various constitutional means to participate in the affairs of the others to check and balance powers in government and prevent one branch of the government from dominating the others.

--Free Government. Republicanism, federalism, and separation of powers are characteristics of free government.

According to THE FEDERALIST, free government is popular government limited by law to protect the security, liberty, and property of individuals.

A free government is powerful enough to provide protection against external and internal threats and limited enough to prevent tyranny in any form.

In particular, free government is designed to guard against the most insidious danger of government by the people--the tyranny of the many over the few.

Of course, it was mainly the "propertied few" that "Publius" had in mind, but this principle applies equally to constitutional protection of religious, ethnic, racial or other minorities against oppression by the majority.


Source: Eric Digest: http://www.ericdigests.org/pre-928/pa...


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 05, 2011 05:28AM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments I think the papers bring some questions to mind already:

Are there some states or have there been states where their elected officials have ignored and contradicted federal statutes that conform to the supreme law or our constitution? What was the outcome?

Are there some states today that think that they retain full sovereignty over their internal affairs?

How does our government protect against the tyranny of the many over the few? How do you have majority rule with protection of minority rights?

How do you have a powerful national government that is also strictly limited by law and not by angry protesting crowds who try to drown out anybody else's ideas or rights to their own personal beliefs?

How do you maintain national security while protecting civil liberties, including the freedom of dissenters?

How do you balance effective national government with meaningful rights for state governments without diluting the power of the federal government?

Source: Eric Digest - same source as above

Please try to tackle any of the above questions in discussion.


message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 30, 2011 08:56PM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Tell me if you have read Federalist Paper 18 and please quote the sentence, sentences, paragraph that you like the best or which moved or impressed you the most.

Please discuss why you made that selection and what you liked about it or why it stood out.

Let us try to discuss the Federalist Papers specifically in this discussion; it really is not a political discussion; it really is an examination of the papers themselves. Of course, policy and politics may come up and things we are doing now versus what the papers stated; but the focus is always the papers first and politics second not the other way around. In fact, all three of the authors of the papers changed their positions frequently.

Remember all = that in message eight there is a link to an on line version that you can read easily, read along to the audio which I recommended you do, and you can also do a cut and paste of the sentence, sentences, paragraphs you liked and then do a paste into your post so that we can discuss what you liked and why.

Also, remember that once you have expressed your view; that others can post a dispute, an explanation, or an agreement. Everybody is entitled to their opinion but let us keep the discussions about the papers not about anyone's personal beliefs. You are not going to persuade someone to adopt your political beliefs here; so when somebody disagrees with you or has another point of view - that is OK - let it go. We are here to discuss the papers and get a lot out of the discussion not promote an ideology.

Keep discussion civil and respectful.


message 16: by Patricrk (last edited Jan 31, 2011 09:12AM) (new)

Patricrk patrick | 475 comments The powers, like those of the present Congress, were administered by deputies appointed wholly by the cities in their political capacities; and exercised over them in the same capacities.

How is this different from the states appointing the senators?


Finding themselves, though thus supported, unequal to the undertaking, they once more had recourse to the dangerous expedient of introducing the succor of foreign arms.

Allies seemed to be a very tricky business in this time. More like which tyrant do we want?


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments I believe you make an accurate assessment; even in the days before World War I not much had changed. Treaty after treaty double crossing each other so it was not just a case of ancient times.

I am wondering in terms of your first question if these folks were appointed rather than being democratically voted for.


Patricrk patrick | 475 comments Bentley wrote: "I believe you make an accurate assessment; even in the days before World War I not much had changed. Treaty after treaty double crossing each other so it was not just a case of ancient times.

I a..."


At this time the Constitution had US senators appointed by the States Legislatures. It is hard to see a difference between what the Constituion had and what he was arguing against.


message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 03, 2011 09:42AM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments I think he was arguing for more of what we have today versus what it was like under the Articles of Confederation.

Yes, I realized that these folks were not voted for by the people but by a small elite group within their community/state locales. I think that is what he was getting at. They certainly did not have general elections like today where everybody who has registered and is of a certain age should be able to vote for whomever they choose.

It is sort of similar to the Romans and what it took to be consul; not everybody had that opportunity. Of course, I am not Alexander Hamilton or James Madison so I can only surmise.

But thank you also for doing a copy and paste of the lines in question; I think everybody might have a somewhat different interpretation when they read these lines. So one cannot imagine why folks are so certain that they are right no matter what side they are on simply because to them; there is only one meaning. Of course, there seem to be many.


message 20: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 03, 2011 07:04PM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Myerson in Liberty's Blueprint states the following about Federalist Paper 18:

Myerson states: "Federalist 18 - 20, dealing with the lessons to be learned from the history of the world's earlier confederacies, was the subject of negotiation between the two coauthors (Hamilton and Madison).

By the beginning of December, both men had started working on the topic. It was decided that Madison, who had done far more extensive research when preparing his forty-three page study, "Ancient and Modern Confederacies," prior to attending the Annapolis convention, should write on the topic. According to Madison, "What had been prepared by Mr. Hamilton, who had entered more briefly into the subject, was left to Mr. Madison, on its appearing that the latter was engaged upon it, with larger materials, and with a view to a more precise delineation and from the pen of the latter the several papers went to press."


So I guess we can glean from the above that this paper was more Madison than Hamilton.

Liberty's Blueprint  How Madison and Hamilton Wrote the Federalist, Defined the Constitution, and Made Democracy Safe for the WorldMichael Meyerson


message 21: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 03, 2011 07:09PM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Myerson in Liberty's Blueprint states the following about Federalist Paper 18:

Myerson states:

"Historical references fill the pages of The Federalist, with the most extensive discussion occurring in essays 18 - 20, for which Madison largely reworked his "Ancient and Modern Confederacies." In page after page, Madision described the governmental structure of earlier confederacies and how their weaknesses portended similar harm for the United States if the Constitution was not ratified. Had but the ancient Greeks been wiser and formed a closer union, Madison wrote, they would have averted their fate in which "mutual jealousies, fears, hatreds, and injuries ended in the celebrated Peloponnesian War; which itself ended in the ruin and the slavery of the Athenians, who had begun it."


Liberty's Blueprint  How Madison and Hamilton Wrote the Federalist, Defined the Constitution, and Made Democracy Safe for the WorldMichael Meyerson


message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 03, 2011 07:19PM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Myerson in Liberty's Blueprint states the following about Federalist Paper 18:

Myerson states:

"At the end of his three essays on historical analysis (Papers 18 - 20), Madison declared that he would "make no apology for having dwelt so long on the contemplation of these federal precedents." He wanted his readers to be aware of what had happened in other places at other times. "Experience is the oracle of truth," Madison said, "and where its responses are unequivocal, they ought to be conclusive and sacred." Despite the unqualified nature of this statement, Madison understood that there were important limitations of the use of history. Sometimes the best that a review of the past can reveal is what path to avoid. Just because one can ascertain what has previously failed, does not mean that a more successful approach is obvious. Such a study can "furnish no other light than that of beacons, which give warning of the course to be shunned, without pointing out that which ought to be pursued."


Liberty's Blueprint  How Madison and Hamilton Wrote the Federalist, Defined the Constitution, and Made Democracy Safe for the WorldMichael Meyerson


message 23: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 04, 2011 05:56AM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Myerson in Liberty's Blueprint states the following about Federalist Paper 18:

Myerson states:

"An even more serious constraint on the use of history is that modern circumstances might be so different from those in the past that a perfect analogy may be impossible. Madison admitted that the American government and experience differed from his historical examples and that these differences "render extreme circumspection necessary in reasoning from the case to the other." Still, he concluded, "after allowing due weight to this consideration" there were "many points of similitude which render these examples not unworthy of our attention."


Liberty's Blueprint  How Madison and Hamilton Wrote the Federalist, Defined the Constitution, and Made Democracy Safe for the WorldMichael Meyerson


message 24: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 03, 2011 07:35PM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Myerson in Liberty's Blueprint states the following about Federalist Paper 18:

Myerson states:

"Madison provided one final thought about why history merited attention when he explained his opposition to a proposal that would make it easy to call for constitutional conventions. Repeated changes in the Constitution, he said, would lead the people to assume that their founding document was fundamentally flawed and thus to question whether the most current iteration was destined to be replaced. Constantly altering the Constitution, he said, would deprive the government of that veneration which time bestows on every thing."

One benefit of a study of history, then, is that it reveals those items that time has shown deserve our respect and reverence. Perhaps that is why The Federalist is still read, consulted, and relied on two hundred and twenty years after its initial publication."



Liberty's Blueprint  How Madison and Hamilton Wrote the Federalist, Defined the Constitution, and Made Democracy Safe for the WorldMichael Meyerson


message 25: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments In posts 20 to 24, I have provided some material explaining this set of papers (18 - 20).

What are your thoughts regarding any of these posts and Madison's thoughts and rationale?

What did you agree with and what did you question?

Bentley


message 26: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 04, 2011 02:42PM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Federalist #18 (an essay by Andrew Langer who is the President of the Institute for Liberty) = Mr. Langer is a conservative.

Mr. Langer writes: "What sets the founding of the American republic apart from the founding of so many nations on Earth was the depth and breadth of knowledge, research, analysis and debate that went into it. This is made evident from Madison’s Federalist #18, written under his pseudonym “Publius”. In 18, Madison delves deeply into the experience of the ancient Greek states and the various federations, alliances, and confederations that they had historically formed. In an era without instant electronic access to libraries of information, the sheer amount of scholarship presented in these pieces is nothing short of astounding.

Federalist #18 charts the shortcomings that arose within these various confederacies, presenting them as analogs and object lessons for the then-current struggles the fledgling republic was experiencing. The message was simple: we must learn from these mistakes, and make every effort to correct where the learned Greeks were deficient. It is the essence of archival scholarship: those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

Two key lessons emerge. First and foremost, the issue of balancing minority interests against those of a powerful majority, and vice-versa. It was only though the careful historical scholarship of the founders that the delicate structures that we have today were created—and direct lines can be drawn from these lessons to the creation of two very different legislative branches, one stemming from direct democracy (The House), the 2nd stemming (initially) from a more genteel (but, in my estimation far more responsive to the people) source of power (The Senate, which until the ratification of the 17th Amendment drew its members from the nominations of state legislatures); the electoral college (which serves to balance the interests of rural and urban population centers); as well as the very system of dual sovereigns that underpins the system of federalism.

The second lesson arose out of the first—that whatever federal union would be created, would have to be strong. That even though federalism “secures to citizens the liberties that derive from the diffusion of sovereign power” (The Supreme Court in Coleman v. Thompson, 501 US 722, 759 (1991)), nevertheless there would still have to be a strong and unified central power, to ensure that the nation would not only grow and prosper, but be able to effectively defend itself. There is strength to be had in numbers, and this is the essence of E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One).

Call it happenstance, call it the coincidence of timing and talent, or call it (as I do) divine providence. The bottom line is that at the time when this nation needed learned minds and steady hands guiding it, those men were to be found leading it. Their grasp of the lessons of history (both the mistakes, and triumphs) are evident in Federalist #18."

Source: Andrew Langer is the President of the Institute for Liberty


message 27: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 05, 2011 05:55AM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Paragraph One:

Among the confederacies of antiquity, the most considerable was that of the Grecian republics, associated under the Amphictyonic council. From the best accounts transmitted of this celebrated institution, it bore a very instructive analogy to the present Confederation of the American States

This is where Madison begins to introduce you to his subject matter. One can see the influence of his previous studying and in his preparation to write "Ancient and Modern Confederacies." His scholarship seems to carry over. I could not find the reference to this book on goodreads otherwise I would have cited it.

I did find the work on line:

OF ANCIENT & MODERN CONFEDERACIES. 1 mad. mss. - James Madison, The Writings, vol. 2 (1783-1787) [1901]

It is available free in The On line Library of Liberty (free).

Here is the link:

http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=co...

I then went back and looked up this variation in goodreads and it was not there.

So from this first paragraph we learn that Madison will focus on comparing the Grecian Republics (Greece) with the United States at that period of time before the Constitution and under the Articles of Confederacy at that time. Madison feels that there are similarities.

In the work cited above, Madison discusses the Amphictyonic council.

This is what Madison stated about the Amphictyonic Council:

Amphyctionic Confederacy.

"Instituted by Amphyction son of Deucalion King of Athens 1522 years Ant.: Christ.: Code De l’Humanité.

Seated first at Thermopylæ, then at Delphos, afterwards at these places alternately. It met half yearly to wit in the Spring & Fall, besides extraordinary occasions. Id. In the latter meetings, all such of the Greeks as happened to be at Delphos on a religious errand were admitted to deliberate, but not to vote. Encyclopedie.1

The number and names of the confederated Cities differently reported. The Union seems to have consisted originally of the Delphians and their neighbors only, and by degrees to have comprehended all Greece. 10, 11, 12, are the different numbers of original members mentioned by different Authors. Code de l’Humanité.

Each city sent two deputies one to attend particularly to Religious matters—the other to civil and criminal matters affecting individuals—both to decide on matters of a general nature. Id. Sometimes more than two were sent, but they had two votes only. Encyclop.

The Amphyctions took an oath mutually to defend and protect the united Cities—to inflict vengeance on those who should sacrilegiously despoil the temple of Delphos—to punish the violators of this oath—and never to divert the water courses of any of the Amphyctionic Cities either in peace or in war. Code de l’Hum. Æschines orat: vs. Ctesip.

The Amphyctionic Council was instituted by way of defence and terror agst the Barbarians. Dictre de Treviux.

Foedral Authority.

The Amphyctions had full power to propose and resolve whatever they judged useful to Greece. Encycop Pol. Œcon.

1. They judged in the last resort all differences between the Amphyctionic cities. Code de l’Hum.

2. mulcted the aggressors. Id.

3. employed whole force of Greece agst such as refused to execute its decrees. Id. & Plutarch, Cimon.

4. guarded the immense Riches of the Temple of Delphos, and decided controversies between the inhabitants and those who came to consult the Oracle. Encyclop.

5. superintended the Pythian games. Code de l’Hum.

6. exercised right of admitting new members. See decree admitting Philip, in Demosthenes on Crown.

7. Appointed General of the federal troops with full powers to carry their decrees into execution. Ibid.

8. Declared & carried on war. Code de l’Human.

Strabo says that the Council of the Amphyctions was dissolved in the time of Augustus; but Pausanias, who lived in the time of Antoninus Pius says it remained entire then, and that the number of Amphyctions was thirty. Potter’s Gre. Ant: Vol. 1, p. 90.1

The institution declined on the admission of Phil and in the time of the Roman Emperors, the functions of the Council were reduced to the administration & police of the Temple. This limited authority expired only with the Pagan Religion. Code de l’Human."

Note: The spelling is the spelling found in the source.

Source:

OF ANCIENT & MODERN CONFEDERACIES. 1 mad. mss. - James Madison, The Writings, vol. 2 (1783-1787) [1901]

From what I can see the above writings are part of another work:

James Madison, The Writings of James Madison, 9 vols. [1900]

Here is a free link to that work.

http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?...

The complete Madison; his basic writings (no bookcover in goodreads) by James MadisonJames Madison


message 28: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 05, 2011 06:04AM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Here is another source which discusses the imperfections with the Grecian Republic's constitution:

Blackwood's Edinburgh magazine, Volume 5

The work in part seems to be available on google:

http://books.google.com/books?id=DHap...


The Edinburgh Monthly Magazine  Afterw.  Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine  Afterw.  Blackwood's Magazine, Volume 5 by Anonymous


message 29: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 05, 2011 08:02AM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Paragraph One of Federalist 18:

Among the confederacies of antiquity, the most considerable was that of the Grecian republics, associated under the Amphictyonic council. From the best accounts transmitted of this celebrated institution, it bore a very instructive analogy to the present Confederation of the American States

This is where Madison begins to introduce you to his subject matter. One can see the influence of his previous studying and in his preparation to write "Ancient and Modern Confederacies." His scholarship seems to carry over. I could not find the reference to this book on goodreads otherwise I would have cited it.

I did find the work on line:

OF ANCIENT & MODERN CONFEDERACIES. 1 mad. mss. - James Madison, The Writings, vol. 2 (1783-1787) [1901]

It is available free in The On line Library of Liberty (free).

Here is the link: (happens to be volume 2)

http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=co...

Here is another source:

The ancient history of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians ..., Volume 2 By Charles Rollin

What amazed me about this book was this quote:

"Greece, in the times I am now speaking of, was divided between two powers; I mean the Grecian republics and Macedonia; and they were always engaged in war; the former to preserve the remains of their ancient liberty; and the latter to complete their subjugation.

The Romans, being perfectly well acquainted with this state of Greece, were sensible, that they needed not be under any apprehensions from those "little republics" which were grown weak through length of years, intestine feuds, mutual jealousies, and the wars they had been forced to support against foreign powers.


I guess we could say that we learn from history that we do not learn from history. Madison certainly was trying to warn through these analogies and examples as to what was wrong and insufficient with the present state of affairs and the Articles of Confederation. Hard to believe that he was only 42 at the time.

What do the rest of you think about Federalist 18; discuss and cite your favorite lines.

The Ancient History Of The Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, Babylonian, Medes And Persians, Macedonians And Grecians, Volume 8Charles Rollin - This is Volume 8; could not find volume two on goodreads.

However here is a link on google:

http://books.google.com/books?id=CSx9...


message 30: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Here is a Wikipedia entry on The Amphictyonic League.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphicty...

Source: Wikipedia


message 31: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 05, 2011 08:12AM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments The next four paragraphs from Federalist Paper 18:

"The members retained the character of independent and sovereign states, and had equal votes in the federal council. This council had a general authority to propose and resolve whatever it judged necessary for the common welfare of Greece; to declare and carry on war; to decide, in the last resort, all controversies between the members; to fine the aggressing party; to employ the whole force of the confederacy against the disobedient; to admit new members. The Amphictyons were the guardians of religion, and of the immense riches belonging to the temple of Delphos, where they had the right of jurisdiction in controversies between the inhabitants and those who came to consult the oracle. As a further provision for the efficacy of the federal powers, they took an oath mutually to defend and protect the united cities, to punish the violators of this oath, and to inflict vengeance on sacrilegious despoilers of the temple.

In theory, and upon paper, this apparatus of powers seems amply sufficient for all general purposes. In several material instances, they exceed the powers enumerated in the articles of confederation. The Amphictyons had in their hands the superstition of the times, one of the principal engines by which government was then maintained; they had a declared authority to use coercion against refractory cities, and were bound by oath to exert this authority on the necessary occasions.

Very different, nevertheless, was the experiment from the theory. The powers, like those of the present Congress, were administered by deputies appointed wholly by the cities in their political capacities; and exercised over them in the same capacities. Hence the weakness, the disorders, and finally the destruction of the confederacy. The more powerful members, instead of being kept in awe and subordination, tyrannized successively over all the rest. Athens, as we learn from Demosthenes, was the arbiter of Greece seventy-three years. The Lacedaemonians next governed it twenty-nine years; at a subsequent period, after the battle of Leuctra, the Thebans had their turn of domination.

It happened but too often, according to Plutarch, that the deputies of the strongest cities awed and corrupted those of the weaker; and that judgment went in favor of the most powerful party."

=================================================

Madison is describing a sad state of affairs. A fate that would befall the loosely confederated states if they did not do something about it soon. Is Madison making a good case using these analogies?


message 32: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Here is another excerpt from Madison's work: (discussing the Grecian Republics)

Vices of the Constitution.

"It happened but too often that the Deputies of the strongest Cities awed and corrupted those of the weaker, and that Judgment went in favor of the most powerful party. Id. see also Plutarch’s Themistocles.

Greece was the victim of Philip. If her Confederation had been stricter, & been persevered in, she would never have yielded to Macedon, and might have proved a Barrier to the vast projects of Rome. Code de l’Hum.

Philip had two votes in the Council. Rawleigh Hist: World, lib. 4, c. 1, Sec. 7.

The execution of the Amphyctionic powers was very different from the Theory. Id.—It did not restrain the parties from warring agst each other. Athens & Sparta were members during their conflicts. Quer. whether Thucidides or Xenophon in their Histories ever allude to the Amphyctionic authority which ought to have kept the peace?

See Gillies’ Hist. Greece, particularly Vol. II. p. 345.

Achæan Confederacy

In 124 olympd. the Patrians & Dymæans joined first in this league. Polyb. lib. 2, c. 3.1

This League consisted at first of three small Cities. Aratus added Sicyon, and drew in many other Cities of Achaia & Peloponnesus. Of these he formed a Republic of a peculiar sort. Code de l’Human.

It consisted of twelve cities, and was produced by the necessity of such a defence agst the Etolians. Encyclo. Pol. Œ. & Polyb. lib. 2.

The members enjoyed a perfect equality, each of them sending the number of deputies to the Senate. Id.

The Senate assembled in the Spring & Fall, and was also convened on extraordinary occasions by two Pretors charged with the administration during the recess, but who could execute nothing witht the consent of the Inspectors. Id.

Fœderal Authority

1. The Senate composed of the deputies made war & peace. D’Albon I page 270

2. Appointed a Captain General annually. Co. d’Hum.

3. Transferred the power of deciding to ten Citizens taken from the deputies, the rest retaining a right of consultation only. Id.

4. Sent and received Ambassadors. D’Albon. Ibid.

5. appointed a prime Minister. D’Albon. Ibid.

6. Contracted foreign Alliances. Code de l’Hum.

7. Confederated Cities in a manner forced to receive the same laws & customs weights & measures: Id. & Polyb. lib. 2 cap. 3, yet considered as having each their independent police & Magistrates. Encyclop. Pol. Œcon.

8. Penes hoc concilium erat summum rerum arbitrium, ex cujus decreto bella suscipiebantur, & finiebantur, pax conveniebat, fœdera feriebantur & solvebantur, leges fiebant ratæ aut irritæ. Hujus etiam erat Magistratus toti Societati communes eligere, legationes decernere &c. Regebant concilium prætor præcipue, si præsens esset, et magistratus alii, quos Achæi δημιουργοὺς nuncupabant. Ubbo Emmius.

Hi numero X erant suffragiis legitimi concilii, quod verno tempore habebatur, electi ex universa societate prudentia præcipui, quorum concilio potissimum prætor ex lege utebatur. Horum potestas & dignitas maxima erat post ipsum Prætorem, quos idcirco Livius, Polybium sequens, summum Achæorum magistratum appellabat. Cum his igitur de negociis gravioribus in concilio agitandis Prætor præconsultabat, nec de iis, nisi in id pars major consentiret, licebat ad consilium referre. Id.

Ista vero imprimis memorabilis lex est, vinculum societatis Achaicæ maximé stringens, et concordiam muniens, quâ interdictum fuit, ne cui civitati Societatis hujus participi fas esset, seorsim ad exteros ullos mittere legatos, non ad Romanos, non ad alios. Et hoc expressim inserta fuit pactis conventis Achæorum cum populo Romano. . . . Omnium autem laudatissima lex apud eos viguit &c., quâ vetitum, ne quis omnino, sive privatæ conditionis, seu magistratum gerens, ullam ob causam, quæcunque etiam sit, dona a Rege aliquo caperet.1 Id.

Vices of the Constitution.

The defect of subjection in the members to the general authority ruined the whole Body. The Romans seduced the members from the League by representing that it violated their sovereignty. Code de l’Human.

After the death of Alexander, this Union was dissolved by various dissentions, raised chiefly thro’ the acts of the Kings of Macedon. Every City was now engaged in a separate interest & no longer acted in concert. Polyb. lib 2, cap. 3. After in 142 Olympd, they saw their error & began to think of returning to their former State. This was the time when Pyrhus invaded Italy. Ibid."

Source for the above:

http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=co...

OF ANCIENT & MODERN CONFEDERACIES. 1 mad. mss. - James Madison, The Writings, vol. 2 (1783-1787) [1901]

Edition used:
The Writings of James Madison, comprising his Public Papers and his Private Correspondence, including his numerous letters and documents now for the first time printed, ed. Gaillard Hunt (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900). Vol. 2.

Author: James Madison
Editor: Gaillard Hunt
Part of: The Writings of James Madison, 9 vols.


message 33: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments I will try to find Madison's sources cited in his work:

The Writings Of James Madison V8, 1808-1819  Comprising His Public Papers And His Private Correspondence James MadisonJames Madison

Selections From PolybiusPolybius

The Complete Histories of PolybiusPolybius

Here is Gillies' book free on Google:

History of Greece by Gillies

http://books.google.com/books?id=ZNcp...

The history of ancient Greece, its colonies, and conquests; from the earliest accounts till the division of the Macedonian Empire in the east ... By John ... edition, in four volumes. ...  Volume 1 of 4John Gillies

It looks like the above work had four volumes.

Discours, Politiques, Historiques V2  Et Critiques, Sur Quelques Nations De L'Europe (1782) (French Edition)Claude Camille Francois D'Albon

The above I found in French.

The Rise and Fall of Athens  Nine Greek Lives PlutarchPlutarch

Plutarch's Lives of Themistocles, Aristides, Pericles, Alcibiades and Coriolanus, Demosthenes and Cicero, Caesar and Antony PlutarchPlutarch

The above were the citations we were able to find.


message 34: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 05, 2011 09:16AM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Here are the next few paragraphs of Federalist Paper No. 18:

"Even in the midst of defensive and dangerous wars with Persia and Macedon, the members never acted in concert, and were, more or fewer of them, eternally the dupes or the hirelings of the common enemy. The intervals of foreign war were filled up by domestic vicissitudes convulsions, and carnage.

After the conclusion of the war with Xerxes, it appears that the Lacedaemonians required that a number of the cities should be turned out of the confederacy for the unfaithful part they had acted. The Athenians, finding that the Lacedaemonians would lose fewer partisans by such a measure than themselves, and would become masters of the public deliberations, vigorously opposed and defeated the attempt. This piece of history proves at once the inefficiency of the union, the ambition and jealousy of its most powerful members, and the dependent and degraded condition of the rest. The smaller members, though entitled by the theory of their system to revolve in equal pride and majesty around the common center, had become, in fact, satellites of the orbs of primary magnitude.

Had the Greeks, says the Abbe Milot, been as wise as they were courageous, they would have been admonished by experience of the necessity of a closer union, and would have availed themselves of the peace which followed their success against the Persian arms, to establish such a reformation. Instead of this obvious policy, Athens and Sparta, inflated with the victories and the glory they had acquired, became first rivals and then enemies; and did each other infinitely more mischief than they had suffered from Xerxes. Their mutual jealousies, fears, hatreds, and injuries ended in the celebrated Peloponnesian war; which itself ended in the ruin and slavery of the Athenians who had begun it.

As a weak government, when not at war, is ever agitated by internal dissentions, so these never fail to bring on fresh calamities from abroad. The Phocians having ploughed up some consecrated ground belonging to the temple of Apollo, the Amphictyonic council, according to the superstition of the age, imposed a fine on the sacrilegious offenders. The Phocians, being abetted by Athens and Sparta, refused to submit to the decree. The Thebans, with others of the cities, undertook to maintain the authority of the Amphictyons, and to avenge the violated god. The latter, being the weaker party, invited the assistance of Philip of Macedon, who had secretly fostered the contest. Philip gladly seized the opportunity of executing the designs he had long planned against the liberties of Greece. By his intrigues and bribes he won over to his interests the popular leaders of several cities; by their influence and votes, gained admission into the Amphictyonic council; and by his arts and his arms, made himself master of the confederacy.

Such were the consequences of the fallacious principle on which this interesting establishment was founded. Had Greece, says a judicious observer on her fate, been united by a stricter confederation, and persevered in her union, she would never have worn the chains of Macedon; and might have proved a barrier to the vast projects of Rome.


It is interesting that we have such warnings from the ancient past and even our own warning from one of our first presidents.

I think we should curb our discourse in this country because outside forces may seek to weaken us as well.

As Madison stated: "As a weak government, when not at war, is ever agitated by internal dissentions, so these never fail to bring on fresh calamities from abroad."

There are a lot of lessons to be learned from Madison. He tells us what not to do.


message 35: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 05, 2011 09:18AM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments We continue with the next few paragraphs of Federalist Paper 18:

The Achaean league, as it is called, was another society of Grecian republics, which supplies us with valuable instruction. The Union here was far more intimate, and its organization much wiser, than in the preceding instance. It will accordingly appear, that though not exempt from a similar catastrophe, it by no means equally deserved it.

The cities composing this league retained their municipal jurisdiction, appointed their own officers, and enjoyed a perfect equality. The senate, in which they were represented, had the sole and exclusive right of peace and war; of sending and receiving ambassadors; of entering into treaties and alliances; of appointing a chief magistrate or praetor, as he was called, who commanded their armies, and who, with the advice and consent of ten of the senators, not only administered the government in the recess of the senate, but had a great share in its deliberations, when assembled. According to the primitive constitution, there were two praetors associated in the administration; but on trial a single one was preferred.

It appears that the cities had all the same laws and customs, the same weights and measures, and the same money. But how far this effect proceeded from the authority of the federal council is left in uncertainty. It is said only that the cities were in a manner compelled to receive the same laws and usages.

When Lacedaemon was brought into the league by Philopoemen, it was attended with an abolition of the institutions and laws of Lycurgus, and an adoption of those of the Achaeans. The Amphictyonic confederacy, of which she had been a member, left her in the full exercise of her government and her legislation. This circumstance alone proves a very material difference in the genius of the two systems.

It is much to be regretted that such imperfect monuments remain of this curious political fabric. Could its interior structure and regular operation be ascertained, it is probable that more light would be thrown by it on the science of federal government, than by any of the like experiments with which we are acquainted.



message 36: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments A side note that is very interesting is that whenever anybody went abroad; it was expected that they would bring back requested items or send them to interested parties. Can you imagine being able to do that now with the cost of baggage on our airlines?

It was such a request that Madison made of Thomas Jefferson when he was abroad. He asked for a ton of books and many other requests which he used by the way for the Federalist Papers (probably this segment) in discussing what he was worried about: what had occurred with the Grecian Republics and probably more warily on his mind was Spain and the Mississippi River.

He did actually receive a crate of books from Jefferson; who at the same time was getting stuff for Abigail Adams and many others.

No wonder Jefferson became broke; he was quite the little shopper for himself and his friends. I will include the letter from James Madison to Jefferson where he is asking for these books among other things. Very revealing about the troubles of those days and what was worrying him.


message 37: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments This letter is really a brilliant one for this discussion:

James Madison letter to Thomas Jefferson, 27 April 1785

DEAR SIR, I have received your two favors of Nov r 11th and December 8th. Along with the former I received the two pamphlets on animal magnetism and the last aeronautic expedition, together with the phosphoretic matches. These articles were a great treat to my curiosity. As I had left RICHMOND before they were brought thither by Col. Le Maire, I had no opportunity of attending myself to your wishes with regard to him; but I wrote immediately to Mr. Jones, and desired him to watch over the necessities of Le Maire. He wrote me for answer that the Executive, though without regular proof of his claims, were so well satisfied from circumstances of the justice of them, that they had voted him XI 50 for his relief 'till the Assembly could take the whole into consideration. This information has made me easy on the subject, though I have not withdrawn from the hands of Mr. Jones the provisional resource.

I thank you much for your attention to my literary wants. All the purchases you have made for me are such as I should have made for myself with the same opportunities. You will oblige me by adding to them the Dictionary, in 13 vol., 4, by Felice and others. Also, de Thou, in French. If the utility of Moreri be not superseded by some better work, I should be glad to have him, too. I am afraid, if I were to attempt a catalogue of my wants, I should not only trouble you beyond measure, but exceed the limits which other considerations ought to prescribe to me. I cannot, however, abridge the commission you were so kind as to take on yourself in a former letter, of procuring me from time to time such books as may be either "old and curious, or new and useful." Under this description will fall those particularized in my former, to wit : Treatises on the ancient or modern Federal Republics, on the Law of Nations, and the History, natural and political, of the new World; to which I will add such of the Greek and Roman authors, where they can be got very cheap, as are worth having, and are not on the common list of school classics. Other books which particularly occur are the translation (French) of the historians of the Roman Empire during its decline, by ; Pascal's provincial; Don Ulloa in the original; Linnaeus' best edition; Ordonnauces Marines; Collection of Tracts in French on the economies of different nations, I forget the full title. It is much referred to by Smith on the Wealth of Nations. I am told a Mons r Amelot has lately published his travels into China, which, if they have any merit, must be very entertaining. Of Buffon, I have his original work of 31 vols., 10 vols. of supplement, and 16 vols. on birds. I shall be glad of the continuation as it may from time to time be published.

I am so pleased with the new invented lamp that I shall not grudge two guineas for one of them. I have seen a pocket compass of somewhat larger diameter than a watch, and which may be carried in the same way. It has a spring for stopping the vibration of the needle when not in use. One of these would be very convenient in case of a ramble into the Western country. In my walks for exercise or amusement objects frequently present themselves which it might be matter of curiosity to inspect, but which it is difficult or impossible to approach. A portable glass would consequently be a source of many little gratifications. I have fancied that such an one might be fitted into a case without making it too heavy. On the outside of the tube might be engraved a scale of inches, &c. If such a project could be executed for a few guineas, I should be willing to submit to the price; if not, the best substitute, I suppose, will be a pocket telescope, composed of several tubes so constructed as to slide the lesserv.nto the greater.

I should feel great remorse at troubling you with so many requests if your kind and repeated offers did not stifle it in some measure. Your proposal for my replacing here advances for me without regard to the exchange is liable to no objection, except that it will probably be too unequal in my favour. I beg that you will enable me as much as you can to keep these little matters balanced.

The papers from Le Grand were sent, as soon as I got them, to Mr. Jones, with a request that he would make the use of them which you wished me to do.

Your remarks on the tax on transfers of land in a general view appear to me to be just, but there were two circumstances which gave a peculiarity to the case in which our law adopted it. One was, that the tax will fall much on those who are evading their quotas of other taxes by removing to Georgia and Kentucky; the other, that as such transfers are more frequent among those who do not remove in the Western than the Eastern part of the Country, it will fall heaviest where direct taxes are least collected. With regard to the tax in general on law proceedings, it cannot, perhaps, be justified, if tried by the strict rule which proportions the quota of every man to his ability; time, however, will gradually in some measure equalize it, and if it be applied to the support of the Judiciary establishment, as was the ultimate view of the periods of the tax, it seems to square very well with the Theory of taxation.

The people of Kentucky had lately a Convention, which it was expected would be the mother of a separation. I am informed they proceeded no farther than to concert an address to the Legislature on some points in which they think the laws bear unequally upon them. They will be ripe for that event, at least as soon as their interest calls for it. There is no danger of a concert between them and the Counties West of the Alleghany, which we mean to retain. If the latter embark in a scheme for independence, it will be on their own bottom. They are more disunited in every respect from Kentucky than from Virginia.

I have not learnt with certainty whether General Washington will accept or decline the shares voted him by the Assembly in the companies for opening our rivers. If he does not chuse to take to himself any benefit from the donation, he has, I think, a fine opportunity at once of testifying his disinterested purposes, of shewing his respect for the Assembly, and of rendering a serv.e to his Country. He may accept the gift so far as to apply it to the scheme of opening the rivers, and may then appropriate the revenue which it is hereafter to produce to some patriotic establishment. I lately dropped a hint of this sort to one of his friends, and was told that such an idea had been suggested to him. The private subscriptions for Potowmac, I hear, amount to XI 0,000 Sterling. I cannot discover that those for James River deserv.mention, or that the undertaking is pushed with any spirit. If those who are most interested in it let slip the present opportunity, their folly will probably be severely punished for the want of such another. It is said the undertaking on the Susquehannah by Maryland goes on with great spirit and expectations. I have heard nothing of Rumsey or his boats since he went into the Northern States. If his machinery for stemming the current operates on the water alone, as is given out, may it not supply the great desideratum for perfecting the balloons?

I understand that Chase and Jenifer on the part of Maryland, Mason and Henderson on the part of Virginia, have had a meeting on the proposition of Virginia for settling the navigation and jurisdiction of Potowmac below the falls, and have agreed to report to the two Assemblies the establishment of a concurrent jurisdiction on that river and Chesapeake. The most amicable spirit is said to have governed the negotiation.

The Bill for a general Assessment has produced some fermentation below the mountains, and a violent one beyond them. The contest at the next session on this question will be a warm and precarious one. The port bill will also undergo a fiery trial. I wish the Assize Courts may not partake of the danger. The elections, as far as they have come to my knowledge, are likely to produce a great proportion of new members. In Albemarle, young Mr. Fry has turned out Mr. Carter. The late Governor Harrison, I hear, has been baffled in his own county, but meant to be a Candidate in Surry, and in case of a rebuff there, to throw another die for the borough of Norfolk. I do not know how he construes the doctrine of residence. It is surmised that the machinations of Tyler, who fears a rivalship for the Chair, are at the bottom of his difficulties. Arthur Lee is elected in Prince William. He is said to have paved the way by promises to overset the port bill, which is obnoxious to Dumfries, and to prevent the removal of the Assize Court from this town to ALEXANDRIA.

I received a letter from the Marquis Fayette, dated on the eve of his embarcation, which has the following paragraph: " I have much conferred with the General upon the Potowmac system. Many people think the navigation of the Mississippi is not an advantage, but it may be the excess of a very good thing, viz: the opening of your rivers. I fancy it has not changed your opinion, but beg you will write me on the subject; in the meanwhile I hope Congress will act coolly and prudently by Spain, who is such a fool that allowances must be made." It is unlucky that he should have left America with such an idea as to the Mississippi. It may be of the worst consequence, as it is not wholly imaginary, the prospect of extending the Commerce of the Atlantic States to the Western waters having given birth to it. I cannot believe that many minds are tainted with so illiberal and short-sighted a policy. I have thought it not amiss to write the Marquis according to the request of his letter, and have stated to him the motives and obligations which must render the United States inflexible on the subject of the Mississippi, the folly of Spain in contesting it, and our expectations from the known influence of France over Spain, and her friendly dispositions toward the United States. It is but justice to the Marquis to observ.that, in all our conversations on the Mississippi, he expressed with every mark of sincerity a zeal for our claims and a pointed dislike to the National Character and policy of Spain; and that if his zeal should be found to abate, I should construe it to be the effect of a supposed revolution in the sentiments of America.

This would have been of somewhat earlier date, but I postponed it that I might be able to include some information relative to your Nephews. My last informed you that your eldest was then with Mr. Maury. I was so assured by Mr. Underwood, from his neighborhood, who I supposed could not be mistaken; I afterwards discovered that he was so, but could get no precise information 'till within a few days. One of my brothers being called into that part of country by business, I wrote to Mrs. Carr, and got him to wait on her. The answer with which I have been favored imports that " her eldest son was taken last fall with a fever, which, with repeated relapses, kept him extremely weak and low 'till about the 1st of January, from which time he was detained at home by delays in equipping him for WILLIAMSBURG 'till the 1st of April, when he set out with promises to make up his lost time; that her youngest son had also been detained at home by ill health till very lately, but that he would certainly go to the academy as soon as a vacation on hand was over; that his time had not been entirely lost, as his brother was capable of instructing him whenever his health would admit." Mr. Maury's school is said to be very flourishing. Mr. Wythe and the other gentlemen of the University have examined it from time to time, and published their approbation of its management. I cannot speak with the same authority as to the Academy in Prince Edward.


message 38: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 05, 2011 10:15AM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments James Madison letter to Thomas Jefferson, 27 April 1785 - continued

The information which I have received has been favorable to it. In the recommendation of these seminaries I was much governed by the probable permanency of them; nothing being more ruinous to education than the frequent interruptions and change of masters and methods incident to the private schools of this country.

Our winter has been full of vicissitudes, but, on the whole, far from being a severe one. The spring has been uncommonly cold and wet, and vegetation, of course, very backward, till within a few days, during which it has been accelerated by very uncommon heat. A pocket thermometer which stands on the second floor and the N. W. side of the house was, on the 24th inst., at 4 o'clock, at 77; on the 25th, at 78; on the 26th, at 81; to-day, the 27th, at 82. The weather during this period has been fair, and the wind S; the atmosphere thick N. W.; our wheat in the ground is very unpromising throughout the country. The price of that article on tide-water is about 6s. Corn sells in this part of the country at 10s. and under; below, at 15s.; and where the insect prevailed, as high as 20s. It is said to have been raised by a demand for exportation. Tobacco is selling on Rappahannock at 32s., and RICHMOND at 37s. Gd. It is generally expected that it will at least get up to 40s. Some of our peaches are killed, and most of our cherries ; our apples are as yet safe. I cannot say how it is with the fruit in other parts of the country. The mischief to the cherries, &c., was done on the night of the 20th, when we had a severe black frost.

I cannot take my leave of you without making my acknowledgements for the very friendly invitation contained in your last. If I should ever visit Europe, I should wish to do it less stinted in time than your plan proposes. This crisis, too, would be particularly inconvenient, as it would break in upon a course of reading which, if I neglect now, I shall probably never resume. I have some reason, also, to suspect that crossing the sea would be unfriendly to a singular disease of my constitution. The other part of your invitation has the strongest bias of my mind on its side, but my situation is as yet too dependent on circumstances to permit my embracing it absolutely. It gives me great satisfaction to find that you are looking forward to the moment which is to restore you to your native country, though considerations of a public nature check my wishes that such an event may be expedited.

Present my best respects to Mr. Short and Miss Patsy, and accept of the affectionate regards of, Dear Sir, your sincere friend.

What has become of the subterraneous city discovered in Siberia? Deaths: Thompson Mason, Bartholomew Dandridge, Ryland Randolph, Joseph Reed of Philadel'.

Author: James Madison
Source: LETTERS AND OTHER WRITINGS OF JAMES MADISON. VOL. I. 1769-1793. PHILADELPHIA: J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO, 1865, digitized by archive.org

Letters and other writings of James Madison (no cover available on goodreads) by James MadisonJames Madison

Interesting how he puts a list of everybody who has died at the end of his letter - so curious were those times (smile)

And such a curious question to put at the end almost as a teaser for another letter: "What has become of the subterraneous city discovered in Siberia?" (smile - lol)


message 39: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Élémens de l'histoire de France, depuis Clovis jusqu'à Louis 15. Nouvelle ed. continuée jusqu'á la mort de Louis 16 (French Edition)abbé 1726-1785 Millot

One of the references in Madison's writings and Federalist 18 - This author wrote histories of France, etc.

His original name was Claude-François-Xavier Millot.

He was a French churchman and historian:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude-F...

Source: Wikipedia


message 40: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments We continue with the next few paragraphs of Federalist Paper 18:

"The Achaean league, as it is called, was another society of Grecian republics, which supplies us with valuable instruction. The Union here was far more intimate, and its organization much wiser, than in the preceding instance. It will accordingly appear, that though not exempt from a similar catastrophe, it by no means equally deserved it.

The cities composing this league retained their municipal jurisdiction, appointed their own officers, and enjoyed a perfect equality. The senate, in which they were represented, had the sole and exclusive right of peace and war; of sending and receiving ambassadors; of entering into treaties and alliances; of appointing a chief magistrate or praetor, as he was called, who commanded their armies, and who, with the advice and consent of ten of the senators, not only administered the government in the recess of the senate, but had a great share in its deliberations, when assembled. According to the primitive constitution, there were two praetors associated in the administration; but on trial a single one was preferred.

It appears that the cities had all the same laws and customs, the same weights and measures, and the same money. But how far this effect proceeded from the authority of the federal council is left in uncertainty. It is said only that the cities were in a manner compelled to receive the same laws and usages. When Lacedaemon was brought into the league by Philopoemen, it was attended with an abolition of the institutions and laws of Lycurgus, and an adoption of those of the Achaeans. The Amphictyonic confederacy, of which she had been a member, left her in the full exercise of her government and her legislation. This circumstance alone proves a very material difference in the genius of the two systems.

It is much to be regretted that such imperfect monuments remain of this curious political fabric. Could its interior structure and regular operation be ascertained, it is probable that more light would be thrown by it on the science of federal government, than by any of the like experiments with which we are acquainted.
One important fact seems to be witnessed by all the historians who take notice of Achaean affairs. It is, that as well after the renovation of the league by Aratus, as before its dissolution by the arts of Macedon, there was infinitely more of moderation and justice in the administration of its government, and less of violence and sedition in the people, than were to be found in any of the cities exercising SINGLY all the prerogatives of sovereignty. The Abbe Mably, in his observations on Greece, says that the popular government, which was so tempestuous elsewhere, caused no disorders in the members of the Achaean republic, because it was there tempered by the general authority and laws of the confederacy.


message 41: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Gabriel Bonnot de Mably
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gabriel Bonnot de Mably

Gabriel Bonnot de Mably (Grenoble, 14 March 1709 – 2 April 1785 in Paris), sometimes known as Abbé de Mably, was a French philosopher and politician. He was born in Grenoble of a legal family, and, like his younger brother, the well-known philosopher, Étienne Bonnot de Condillac (30 September 1715 – 3 August 1780), took holy orders. He was a popular 18th century writer.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_...


message 42: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 05, 2011 11:45AM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments The remainder of Federalist 18:

We are not to conclude too hastily, however, that faction did not, in a certain degree, agitate the particular cities; much less that a due subordination and harmony reigned in the general system. The contrary is sufficiently displayed in the vicissitudes and fate of the republic.

Whilst the Amphictyonic confederacy remained, that of the Achaeans, which comprehended the less important cities only, made little figure on the theatre of Greece. When the former became a victim to Macedon, the latter was spared by the policy of Philip and Alexander. Under the successors of these princes, however, a different policy prevailed. The arts of division were practiced among the Achaeans. Each city was seduced into a separate interest; the union was dissolved. Some of the cities fell under the tyranny of Macedonian garrisons; others under that of usurpers springing out of their own confusions. Shame and oppression erelong awaken their love of liberty. A few cities reunited. Their example was followed by others, as opportunities were found of cutting off their tyrants. The league soon embraced almost the whole Peloponnesus. Macedon saw its progress; but was hindered by internal dissensions from stopping it. All Greece caught the enthusiasm and seemed ready to unite in one confederacy, when the jealousy and envy in Sparta and Athens, of the rising glory of the Achaeans, threw a fatal damp on the enterprise. The dread of the Macedonian power induced the league to court the alliance of the Kings of Egypt and Syria, who, as successors of Alexander, were rivals of the king of Macedon. This policy was defeated by Cleomenes, king of Sparta, who was led by his ambition to make an unprovoked attack on his neighbors, the Achaeans, and who, as an enemy to Macedon, had interest enough with the Egyptian and Syrian princes to effect a breach of their engagements with the league.

The Achaeans were now reduced to the dilemma of submitting to Cleomenes, or of supplicating the aid of Macedon, its former oppressor. The latter expedient was adopted. The contests of the Greeks always afforded a pleasing opportunity to that powerful neighbor of intermeddling in their affairs. A Macedonian army quickly appeared. Cleomenes was vanquished. The Achaeans soon experienced, as often happens, that a victorious and powerful ally is but another name for a master. All that their most abject compliances could obtain from him was a toleration of the exercise of their laws. Philip, who was now on the throne of Macedon, soon provoked by his tyrannies, fresh combinations among the Greeks. The Achaeans, though weakenened by internal dissensions and by the revolt of Messene, one of its members, being joined by the AEtolians and Athenians, erected the standard of opposition. Finding themselves, though thus supported, unequal to the undertaking, they once more had recourse to the dangerous expedient of introducing the succor of foreign arms. The Romans, to whom the invitation was made, eagerly embraced it. Philip was conquered; Macedon subdued. A new crisis ensued to the league. Dissensions broke out among it members. These the Romans fostered. Callicrates and other popular leaders became mercenary instruments for inveigling their countrymen. The more effectually to nourish discord and disorder the Romans had, to the astonishment of those who confided in their sincerity, already proclaimed universal liberty1 throughout Greece. With the same insidious views, they now seduced the members from the league, by representing to their pride the violation it committed on their sovereignty. By these arts this union, the last hope of Greece, the last hope of ancient liberty, was torn into pieces; and such imbecility and distraction introduced, that the arms of Rome found little difficulty in completing the ruin which their arts had commenced. The Achaeans were cut to pieces, and Achaia loaded with chains, under which it is groaning at this hour.

I have thought it not superfluous to give the outlines of this important portion of history; both because it teaches more than one lesson, and because, as a supplement to the outlines of the Achaean constitution, it emphatically illustrates the tendency of federal bodies rather to anarchy among the members, than to tyranny in the head.

Publius. [James Madison with Alexander Hamilton]


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Bentley | 22987 comments Madison in the above basically is saying that what should worry a state and its inhabitants is not that a strong federal government would give cause to worry about tyranny; but that the various members and states would be more worrisome; because without a strong core they will soon resort to anarchy among themselves, infighting and rivalries which will bring ruin upon them all.


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Bentley | 22987 comments Tell me if you have read Federalist Paper 18 and please quote the sentence, sentences, paragraph that you like the best or which moved or impressed you the most.

Please discuss why you made that selection and what you liked about it or why it stood out.

Let us try to discuss the Federalist Papers specifically in this discussion; it really is not a political discussion; it really is an examination of the papers themselves. Of course, policy and politics may come up and things we are doing now versus what the papers stated; but the focus is always the papers first and politics second not the other way around. In fact, all three of the authors of the papers changed their positions frequently.

Remember all = that in message eight there is a link to an on line version that you can read easily, read along to the audio which I recommended you do, and you can also do a cut and paste of the sentence, sentences, paragraphs you liked and then do a paste into your post so that we can discuss what you liked and why.

Also, remember that once you have expressed your view; that others can post a dispute, an explanation, or an agreement. Everybody is entitled to their opinion but let us keep the discussions about the papers not about anyone's personal beliefs. You are not going to persuade someone to adopt your political beliefs here; so when somebody disagrees with you or has another point of view - that is OK - let it go. We are here to discuss the papers and get a lot out of the discussion not promote an ideology.

Keep discussion civil and respectful.


Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2063 comments Okay, finally finished 18 this morning. I have a couple of questions that someone might know the answer to.

First, how much of all this Greek history was common knowledge among the people, or among the more educated? Especially compared with now?

My guess is that people, especially those who were educated, had read and learned about the Greeks. Part of my reason for this guess is because many Greek cities and people are mentioned in the paper without any background. People probably weren't familiar with all the details, which would be why the details are given in the paper.

Second, about half-way through the paper (page 120 in my copy), it says, "Had Greece, says a judicious observer on her fate, been united by a..." Do we know who this "judicious observer" is?

If answers to my questions are already discussed earlier, I apologize. I learned last week that if I decide to carefully read all comments before making any myself, then I never get around to making any! So this week I just skimmed through the comments. Hopefully I can go back in more detail later.


Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2063 comments Bentley wrote: "Madison in the above basically is saying that what should worry a state and its inhabitants is not that a strong federal government would give cause to worry about tyranny; but that the various mem..."

I think that is a great restatement of the ending point. It is a strong argument with lots of supporting data in the paper.


message 47: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 05, 2011 12:33PM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments Elizabeth, welcome...if you were a learned man; you had a Greek or Classical Education which included learning foreign languages like French but always classical Greek and Latin.

Nowadays, I think you could answer that. There were days when there were classical high schools (I attended one); they are few and far between now. In the days of Madison and Jefferson, there were private tutors who studied abroad as did many of the wealthy. In those days, it was the brightest and the wealthiest who served in most capacities. And most were classically trained.

I found this quote regarding Jefferson's stance on the classics:

Classic Blogging stated:

Back in Paris, Jefferson had long lists of things he’d been commissioned to purchase for his friends. For Abigail Adams, he bought shoes, linens, and porcelain figurines of Minerva, Diana, Apollo and Mars. For James Madison, he bought a large crate of books. He spent extravagantly—240 livres for Mrs. Adams’ pottery, 1154 livres on Madison’s books—but remained on the lookout for a bargain. He asked Mrs. Adams to send him tablecloths and napkins from England, where they were cheaper, and to Randolph he wrote: “French books are to be bought here for two thirds what they can in England. English and Greek and Latin authors cost from twenty-five to fifty per cent more here than in England.” From England, he had a crate of Greek and Latin books sent to his nephew Peter Carr—Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, and Cicero—along with a plan of reading that he believed would create “an honest heart” in a “knowing head.”

Source: http://classicsblogging.wordpress.com/


message 48: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 05, 2011 12:34PM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments The Classical Foundations of the American Constitution  Prevailing WisdomDavid J. Bederman

The above book might be useful Elizabeth.

As far as "judicious observer" - I think he was referring to himself and to others as well as the readers of this piece and was flattering them as being wise and being able to see full well the merits of his arguments. Remember these were some of the best Op-ed pieces of the day - full of propaganda to get the votes to ratify the constitution.


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Bentley | 22987 comments Elizabeth S wrote: "Bentley wrote: "Madison in the above basically is saying that what should worry a state and its inhabitants is not that a strong federal government would give cause to worry about tyranny; but that..."

Agreed, thx for your comment.


message 50: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 05, 2011 01:20PM) (new)

Bentley | 22987 comments This is sort of funny in a way. Jefferson was besotted by this building in France and asked for drawings etc. to be made of it because he wanted the Virginia Capitol building to follow this design:



The Maison Carree

This is the front view:

< img src = "http://classicsblogging.files.wordpre...;

Now this is the Virginia Capitol Bldg: (hehe) - three of them




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