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THE FEDERALIST PAPERS > WE ARE OPEN - Week Fourteen - February 18th - February 24th (2019) FEDERALIST. NO 14

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 01, 2017 02:08PM) (new)

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This is the thread for the discussion of FEDERALIST. NO 14.

This paper is titled OBJECTIONS TO THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTION FROM EXTENT OF TERRITORY ANSWERED .

This paper was written by James Madison.

The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton by Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 26, 2018 04:02PM) (new)

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Now we find ourselves on Federalist 14.

We will always continue to move on; but please also feel free to get caught up and post any of your thoughts on this paper and/or on any of the other papers which were assigned from weeks past.


FEDERALIST No. 14

FEDERALIST No. 14 Objections to the Proposed Constitution From Extent of Territory Answered (James Madison)
January 18 - January 24, 2010 (page 94)


Links to 14:

http://federali.st/14

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

Federalist 14 audio:

LibraVox

http://ia341042.us.archive.org/1/item...


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 18, 2019 05:16PM) (new)

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This is an address at The Federalist Society:

Part One:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8uz6...

Part Two:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZVtZ...

Part Three:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASDl8...



SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14
Address
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
State Room

Mr. Mark R. Levin, President, Landmark Legal Foundation and Author of Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto
Introduction: Mr. Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President, The Federalist Society

This is a very very very very conservative viewpoint. Levin is a polar opposite of a Ted Kennedy or President Barack Obama. So I would not watch it if you would get upset by Levin's views. However, there are a few terminological interesting arguments. It is interesting to see how the far right views things. It is remarkable considering the benefit of government programs like social security and medicare; Levin is probably the antithesis of an FDR for example.

Of course, I agree that the deficit is ridiculous at this point; but I think they fail to mention that Clinton (a Democrat) got rid of the deficit created by previous Republicans. And then George W. Bush created a real deficit mess. And that is what President Obama inherited.

But for those who like to listen to the far right, this may be of interest. His book was a New York Times bestseller and I want to make sure you understand that he is a Conservative and espouses those views. Levin is not for healthcare, not for social security and medicare which most folks have a real need for - so be informed about what the Conservative agenda is about. He discusses rationing and the environmental movement and even is critical of the science of global warming.

This will be considered real dangerous propaganda by moderates and folks on the left - but if you are on the right and a Conservative - this would be gospel and music to your ears ..interesting to hear the opposing views; Reagan is their hero....but Levin is very articulate.

Liberty and Tyranny A Conservative Manifesto by Mark R. Levin Mark R. Levin


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 01, 2017 02:09PM) (new)

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Meyerson in his book Liberty's Bookprint which has been cited many times in this thread makes some comments about Federalist Paper No. 14 including the following:

Liberty's Blueprint How Madison and Hamilton Wrote the Federalist, Defined the Constitution, and Made Democracy Safe for the World by Michael Meyerson by Michael Meyerson (no photo)

Meyerson made this point about what Madison stressed:

"Madison stressed that his ideal republic would not be of unlimited size. If a nation were too large, representation would be less effective, as "you render the representatives too little acquainted with all of their local circumstances and lesser interests."

In Federalist 14, he described as the "natural limit" of a republic the largest area which would permit the representatives to meet "as often as may be necessary." The United States, according to Madison, was well within that "natural" limit.

Madison never claimed that he had discovered a mechanism for preventing all majority factions. His more modest assertion was that the extended sphere makes their creation "more difficult" and "less probable". He thus can conclude confidently that "we behold a Republican remedy for the diseases most incident to Republican Government."

But it is only a partial remedy. Liberty requires even more protection. Indeed, Publius devoted most of his essays to demonstrating how the Constitution provides such protection through its systems of powers and federalism."


Page 173 - Meyerson's book cited above

Now that transportation is not a problem and states have their own representatives and senators addressing their issues at the state level (while promoting them at the national level in Washington)...this particular problem really has not come to fruition.

Do you think that size plays a factor in the success of a republic and that it was germane to our country at that time? Is it a factor now? For example, we have senators and representatives from the state of Hawaii and that is certainly far away from DC?

This is the paragraph from Federalist Paper 14 being referenced:

As the natural limit of a democracy is that distance from the central point which will just permit the most remote citizens to assemble as often as their public functions demand, and will include no greater number than can join in those functions; so the natural limit of a republic is that distance from the centre which will barely allow the representatives to meet as often as may be necessary for the administration of public affairs. Can it be said that the limits of the United States exceed this distance? It will not be said by those who recollect that the Atlantic coast is the longest side of the Union, that during the term of thirteen years, the representatives of the States have been almost continually assembled, and that the members from the most distant States are not chargeable with greater intermissions of attendance than those from the States in the neighborhood of Congress.

http://federali.st/14


message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 01, 2017 02:10PM) (new)

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Continuing in the same vein;

Meyerson in his book Liberty's Bookprint which has been cited many times in this thread makes some comments about Federalist Paper No. 14 including the following:

Liberty's Blueprint How Madison and Hamilton Wrote the Federalist, Defined the Constitution, and Made Democracy Safe for the World by Michael Meyerson by Michael Meyerson (no photo)

Meyerson states:

"The details of what type of economic activities Madison and Hamilton considered local, therefore, are not as important for us today as understanding why those activities were considered then to be outside Congress's authority. Madison stated that Congress was empowered to regulate those areas which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any. From the time The Federalist was written to the present, the range of issues which concern all of the members of the republic" has increased dramatically. Merely because an activity was local in the eighteenth century, should not necessarily define the status of its modern counterpart. While Thomas Jefferson had a grand total of forty-three hogs on his farm in the 1780s, Smithfield Foods in 2006 controlled more than 15 million. Though agriculture was undoubtedly local when The Federalist was written, modern agribusiness would certainly seem to affect "all the members of the republic" today.

Pages 201 - 202 - Meyerson's book cited above

It does seem in many ways that life as we know it in the United States has changed dramatically. What other differences or situations might have been considered local during Madison's lifetime; but now affect all of the members of the republic today?

How does that influence how our constitution is interpreted or should be interpreted?

This is the paragraph from Federalist Paper 14 being referenced:

In the first place it is to be remembered that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.

The subordinate governments, which can extend their care to all those other subjects which can be separately provided for, will retain their due authority and activity.

Were it proposed by the plan of the convention to abolish the governments of the particular States, its adversaries would have some ground for their objection; though it would not be difficult to show that if they were abolished the general government would be compelled, by the principle of self-preservation, to reinstate them in their proper jurisdiction.


http://federali.st/14


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 18, 2019 05:23PM) (new)

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Here is what Grade Saver has to say:

In this paper, Madison seeks to counter the arguments made by opponents of the Constitution that America is too large a country to be governed as a united republic. He argues that these critics, in arguing that a republic must be confined to a small territory, have confused a republic with a democracy. The difference, according to Madison, is that in a democracy the people meet and exercise the government in person, whereas in a republic the people govern the country through their elected representatives. Because a republic has representatives, it can extend over a large region. Madison calculates in some detail the size of the United States and argues that it is not too large to be governed by a republic, especially when compared to Great Britain and other European countries.

Madison argues further that the general government will only be authorized to deal with issues of concern to the entire republic. State governments will be left to deal with local concerns, thus making the administration of a country as vast as the US more manageable. Furthermore, as America becomes more developed with roads, canals and other infrastructure, it will be easier for the states to communicate and thus easier for the national government to administer the country. Finally, although representatives from those states farthest from the capitol (such as Georgia) will have longer to travel, they will also be in greater need of the benefits of union due to the dangers inherent in being a frontier.

Madison concludes this paper by exhorting Americans not to destroy their unity. He dismisses those who say no country has ever succeeded in what Americans are trying to accomplish, and encourages Americans to boldly accomplish what has not been accomplished before.

Analysis

In this paper, Madison brings to a close the opening section of the Federalist Papers defending the benefits of union over disunion. The previous papers having established the benefits of union, Madison now seeks to address unanswered objections brought against the creation of a united system of American states under a single national government. He begins the paper by methodically answering each objection in a highly rational, measured and detailed argument.

However, having laid out the facts, Madison appeals to Americans’ sense of exceptionalism and spirit of individualism. He argues that Americans are distinguished by their willingness to trust their own good sense rather than be controlled by “a blind veneration for antiquity.” He describes Americans as courageous innovators willing to take risks and become an example for all mankind to follow. By taking this approach, Madison seeks to rouse American passions. He is not only speaking to their heads, but appealing to their patriotism as well.

Source: Grade Saver


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Federalist #14: A Limited Federal Government for an Extensive Territory

By: Mike Maharrey|Published on: Nov 2, 2015|Categories: Federalist Papers, James Madison

https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2015...

Source: The Tenth Amendment


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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The Federalist Papers Summary - Number 14

http://www.teaparty911.com/info/feder...

Source: Teaparty


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 18, 2019 05:28PM) (new)

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FEDERALIST #14 - 21G

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHEqR...

Source: Mr. Review (a little cheesy)


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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Ben Shapiro Explains THE FEDERALIST PAPERS 14 - Why Republics Work Over Large Regions (AUDIO)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyj4j...

Source: Youtube


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

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Federalist 14th

https://www.conservapedia.com/Federal...

Source: The Conservapedia


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

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Federalist Papers - 14

http://www.taraross.com/2015/11/the-f...

Source: TaraRoss


message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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A CONCISE GUIDE TO THE FEDERALIST PAPERS AS A SOURCE OF THE ORIGINAL MEANING OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
GREGORY E. MAGGS*


https://www.bu.edu/law/journals-archi...

Source: BU


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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The Federalist Papers
Mark Dimunation talked about The Federalist Papers. The collection of 85 essays by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay were written in 1787-88 to encourage the states to ratify the United States Constitution. The Federalist Papers continue to be cited in legislative and legal proceedings.


This was a Constitution Week noon gallery talk for the “Creating the United States” exhibition in the Southwest Gallery of the Library of Congress.

The Federalist Papers
Mark Dimunation talked about The Federalist Papers. The collection of 85 essays by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay were written in 1787-88 to encourage the states to ratify the United States Constitution. The Federalist Papers continue to be cited in legislative and legal proceedings.

This was a Constitution Week noon gallery talk for the “Creating the United States” exhibition in the Southwest Gallery of the Library of Congress.

Link: Watching The Federalist Papers @CSPAN https://www.c-span.org/video/?295458-...

Source: C-Span - this has been added elsewhere


message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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Founders Quotes:

https://billofrightsinstitute.org/fou...

Source: Bill of Rights Institute


message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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The Supreme Court and the Federalist Papers: Is There Less Here Than Meets the Eye?
Melvyn R. Durchslag
Article 9


https://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/vi...

Source: William and Mary


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

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Bethlehem Public Library - videos do not work but listing might be helpful

http://www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org...

Source: Library


message 18: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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Teaching American History

http://teachingamericanhistory.org/fe...

More:
https://democraticvistas.com/2017/05/...

Source: The TeachingAmericanHistory and Democratic Vistas


message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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The Most Cited Federalist Papers

https://scholarship.law.umn.edu/cgi/v...

Source: Univeristy of Minnesota Law school


message 20: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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The Federalist Papers: From Practical Politics to High Principle
Richard A. Epstein


https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/c...

Source: University of Chicago Law School


message 21: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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The Paperless Federalists

https://paperlessfederalists.podbean....

Source: Paperless Federalists


message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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A very interesting article from the Atlantic that we may want to discuss in depth this week:

America Is Living James Madison’s Nightmare
The Founders designed a government that would resist mob rule. They didn’t anticipate how strong the mob could become.


https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...

Source: The Atlantic

Try to read this article for discussion this week


message 23: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 18, 2019 06:19PM) (new)

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Another current article worth discussing but it is not about the 14th Federalist Paper.

Trump Isn’t Just Defying the Constitution. He’s Undermining SCOTUS.
The president defended his national emergency by boasting that he’ll win at the Supreme Court because it’s full of his judges.

By DAHLIA LITHWICK
FEB 15, 20192:28 PM

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2...

Source: Slate

Another Timely Piece:

https://thehistoricpresent.com/2019/0...


message 24: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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Judge Kavanaugh on the Federalist Papers

SEPTEMBER 5, 2018 In response to a question from Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh discussed his favorite Federalist Papers.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?c474737...

Source: C-Span


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

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PLSC 118: The Moral Foundations of Politics
Lecture 22
- Democracy and Majority Rule (I)


https://oyc.yale.edu/political-scienc...

Source: Yale


message 26: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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Let us start off by introducing ourselves (only if you did not introduce yourself in the previous weeks threads and telling us what you believe is the relevance of the Federalist Papers.

I want you to know that this is a discussion that I hope will be led by all of you - your comments and questions and interactions will be what keeps us going - I think this is a very interesting undertaking. Now we have had a bit of hiatus and we are getting back to things once again. But remember you can review any of the previous Federalist Papers and post on those threads too. These threads are all living threads and not closed as we move on to the next paper.

Also feel free to cite court cases (Supreme Court) etc. which deal with topics and issues brought forth in The Federalist Papers. Or any of the topics that are in the news or there is any on going conflict which pertains to the discussion itself.

There is no need to have to cite either book we are using or any of the founding fathers who wrote these papers on these discussion threads. However if you cite an ancillary book, you must use our citation rules.

My name is Bentley - I am the Founder of the group and I will be your moderator. I am living in the Metro NYC area/and New England and I love history. I am hoping that everyone will join in and have a fun and lively discussion. I am excited about doing this now because I find that our constitution and our institutions are under great scrutiny lately for a variety of reasons. The papers seem to have as much relevance today as they did when the founders were just trying to get the Constitution ratified.

Note: Some of you have already introduced yourself so there is no need to do that again if you posted your intro in one of the previous threads for Week One through Week Thirteen. This instruction will be repeated only for those who haven't and are posting for the first time in the discussion.


message 27: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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We will only be discussing one Federalist Paper a week and we will go in order. We have been delayed but there is no rush and we will continue to pursue our goal. Remember we can go back and forth with our discussions - because our current political environment might just have a news article or a focus on one of our previous papers. And it is OK to go back and revisit and talk about its relevance again.

Therefore our members can also discuss any previous Federalist paper on its specific thread which was already assigned and or introduced in previous weeks. And you are never to late to join in - even if you are just starting out.

Please make sure to be clear which Federalist Paper you are referencing when you post and post to the specific thread assigned to that paper.

So as an example, in week one, we will be able to discuss only Federalist #1, Week Two we will be able to discuss Federalist #2 or a member can go back and make reference to Federalist #1 on the week one thread; in Week Three members will be discussing Federalist #3; but members can also during Week 3 make reference to either Federalist #2 or # 1 at any time during that week's period on their specific threads. Now we are up to Federalist 14 - so we can discuss Federalist 14 on this thread but you can go back and discuss any of the previous 13 papers on their respective threads.

But for example, discussion on Federalist #14 could not take place until this week when we commenced discussion on that paper.

This will help us avoid spoilers for those members who are just catching up and it will help minimize confusion. Additionally for anybody trying to catch up - they can go in order and not be confused about discussions that refer to other papers in previous weeks.

If anybody would like to kick off discussion of Federalist Paper #14 with some introductory discussion questions, comments, etc. Please feel free to do so.

I will get into gear and go through it paragraph by paragraph as I have done in the past but there is a vast array of materials that I have already posted which you can take advantage of as well.

So anybody can dive in and be first.


message 28: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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What Questions should I ask? How should I approach the papers?

Describes an approach when reading the Federalist Papers - three questions:

1. What does it say?
2. What does it mean?
3. Why does it matter?

Try to focus on those three questions when reading each paper.


message 29: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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And so we begin:

Federalist № 14

Objections to the Proposed Constitution From Extent of Territory Answered

To the People of the State of New York:

We have seen the necessity of the Union, as our bulwark against foreign danger, as the conservator of peace among ourselves, as the guardian of our commerce and other common interests, as the only substitute for those military establishments which have subverted the liberties of the Old World, and as the proper antidote for the diseases of faction, which have proved fatal to other popular governments, and of which alarming symptoms have been betrayed by our own. All that remains, within this branch of our inquiries, is to take notice of an objection that may be drawn from the great extent of country which the Union embraces. A few observations on this subject will be the more proper, as it is perceived that the adversaries of the new Constitution are availing themselves of the prevailing prejudice with regard to the practicable sphere of republican administration, in order to supply, by imaginary difficulties, the want of those solid objections which they endeavor in vain to find. ¶ 1


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

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We will discuss this first paragraph tomorrow but I first want to allow someone to jump in first.


message 31: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 19, 2019 06:50AM) (new)

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In paragraph one (see post 29), Madison appears to repeat some ideas also found in Federalist Two.



He states the there is a need for a union for protection against foreign powers and for peace. Madison also warns again about protection against factions and also mentions that factions had caused havoc already. The Founding Fathers did not like factions and they would have viewed the political parties as being just that as well as all of the lobbyists and tons of special interest groups we have now.

Madison claims that there is an opposition in the country (we might assume the anti-federalists) who are vainly trying to come up with opposing ideas about how large is large. How large should the republic be in order be able to protect itself with unity?

In this essay - Madison is clearly trying to discuss the size of the republic and what is too large or unlimited.

Discussion Questions:

1. Do you think that a country or a republic can be too large? Or too small and vulnerable? Within history, we had examples of the British Empire, the Roman Empire, the Soviet Union and from these we might assume that there can be a limit to size in terms of what an Empire can protect, manage, financially support, etc. But when talking about a country which expands within its own domain - do we have the same concerns - why or why not? Do you think that the anti-federalists were that concerned about the size of the Republic or were they more worried and fractious about the potential erosion of their power and their self interest within their state's domain?

2. What do you think bothered the anti-federalists about the size of the republic? Be specific.

3. Can you think of countries that are very strong; but small in size or others because of their size are considered big and powerful? What makes them that way - is it their vastness, their compactness, their military, their population, their government, their weapons?

4. What does being strong mean in terms of a country? Are we discussing their GDP, their military, their weapons, their creativity and ingenuity, their budget, their sovereignty? Or something else?

5. We have discussed this before - but what is the difference between a republic and a democracy?

6. Is there a point that Madison is making when he stresses that we are a "republican administration" versus a "democratic administration"? Regarding question five - what attributes might he be thinking of in either example and why are we considered the former?

7. What is the purpose of Federalist 14? Was its principal aim to refute Montesquieu and other political philosophers who argued that Republican Form of Government required a relatively small territory and a like minded and culturally homogenous population as mentioned in Federalist 2 when Publius argued that Montesquieu and the others got it wrong? Do you think as Madison does that individual states would all be eventually their own factions and would in time exercise their own power causing conflict (a tyranny of the majority of each state against the tyranny of the minority of a neighboring one)? Would each state in other words exercise its power in its own interest at the expense of a neighboring one or a smaller state or a weaker state - like a tyrannical majority might oppress a weaker minority? Weren't the founding fathers trying to develop a country where not only the majority's interests would be considered but also the rights and interests of its minorities?


message 32: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 19, 2019 07:01AM) (new)

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This youtube video might help with the discussion of Montesquieu:

Political Theory: Montesquieu and Rousseau (The Philosophes: Thinkers of the Enlightenment)

https://youtu.be/kQdwvguLc9s

More:
For those of you who want to go deeper - here is the Yale course
SOCY 151: Foundations of Modern Social Theory
Lecture 4
- Montesquieu: The Division of Powers

https://oyc.yale.edu/sociology/socy-1...

Source: Youtube


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The Spirit of the Laws

The Spirit of the Laws (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought) by Montesquieu by Montesquieu Montesquieu

Synopsis:

The Spirit of the Laws is, without question, one of the central texts in the history of 18th-century thought, yet there has been no complete scholarly English language edition since 1750.

This lucid translation renders Montesquieu's problematic text newly accessible to a fresh generation of students, helping them to understand why Montesquieu was such an important figure in the early Enlightenment and why The Spirit of the Laws was such an influence on those who framed the American Constitution.

Fully annotated, this edition focuses on Montesquieu's use of sources and his text as a whole, rather than on those opening passages toward which critical energies have traditionally been devoted. A select bibliography and chronology are also provided.


message 34: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 19, 2019 05:08PM) (new)

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Montesquieu (In Our Time) - PODCAST - Moderator's Comment - This is a rather good podcast because at about the point in the podcast around 31:00 or 32:00 they talk about the Anti-Federalists trying to use Montesquieu against the Federalists in terms of the size of government - Madison is able to turn their argument on its end and use Montesquieu to actually promote the exact opposite and add credibility to the Federalist's hypotheses. In fact, if you have states that are smaller therein - it can maintain its virtue and not become corrupt like a large entity would. Madison and Hamilton capitalize on the notion of a Federal Republic and push that kind of system for America and that because it is a federated republic of states - the virtue of a smaller entity is not lost but strengthened - the exact message of Federalist 14.



Synopsis:

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the ideas of Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (1689-1755) whose works on liberty, monarchism, despotism, republicanism and the separation of powers were devoured by intellectuals across Europe and New England in the eighteenth century, transforming political philosophy and influencing the American Constitution. '

He argued that an individual's liberty needed protection from the arm of power, checking that by another power; where judicial, executive and legislative power were concentrated in the hands of one figure, there could be no personal liberty.

With Richard Bourke Professor in the History of Political Thought at Queen Mary, University of London Rachel Hammersley Senior Lecturer in Intellectual History at Newcastle University And Richard Whatmore Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews and Director of the St Andrews Institute of Intellectual History Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4RWN...

More:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b5...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montesq...

Source: BBC


message 35: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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Another source:

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Baron de Montesquieu, Charles-Louis de Secondat

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mo...

Source: Stanford


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

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Another source:

Montesquieu and the Separation of Powers

https://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/mon...

Source: Online Library of Liberty


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

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Persian Letters

Persian Letters by Montesquieu by Montesquieu Montesquieu

Synopsis:

This richly evocative novel-in-letters tells the story of two Persian noblemen who have left their country—the modern Iran—to journey to Europe in search in wisdom. As they travel, they write home to wives and eunuchs in the harem and to friends in France and elsewhere. Their colorful observations on the culture differences between West and East conjure up Eastern sensuality, repression, and cruelty in contrast to the freer, more civilized West—but here also unworthy nobles and bishops, frivolous women in fashion, and conceited people of all kinds are satirized. Storytellers as well as letter-writers, Montesquieu’s Usbek and Rica are disrespectful and witty, but also serious moralists. Persian Letters was a succès de scandale in Paris society, and encapsulates the libertarian, critical spirit of the early eighteenth century.

C. J. Betts’s translation conveys the color of the original, and his introduction examines the inner meanings of Montesquieu’s satire. This edition also includes explanatory notes, appendices, and suggestions for further reading.


message 38: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 19, 2019 08:25AM) (new)

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Folks, just jump right in - I am toying with the idea of making some of the more in depth Federalist Papers discussion length to be longer than a week (maybe moving at a slower pace) because I do not want to cut off discussion and I want folks to have a chance to read, reflect, discuss without feeling that they are being pushed on to the next essay right away.

But we will see how this discussion goes. I also do not want to feel the urgency myself to just go the next paper when folks are not ready and I have not yet exhausted the study of the previous essay.

Of course, we can come back and all of the threads are living threads and we can easily go back and forth which I will do.

So let us keep this in mind as well.


message 39: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 19, 2019 08:32AM) (new)

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And so we begin the discussion of paragraph two of Federalist 14 - Objections to the Proposed Constitution from Extent of Territory Answered:

Federalist № 14

Objections to the Proposed Constitution From Extent of Territory Answered

The error which limits republican government to a narrow district has been unfolded and refuted in preceding papers. I remark here only that it seems to owe its rise and prevalence chiefly to the confounding of a republic with a democracy, applying to the former reasonings drawn from the nature of the latter. The true distinction between these forms was also adverted to on a former occasion. It is, that in a democracy, the people meet and exercise the government in person; in a republic, they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents. A democracy, consequently, will be confined to a small spot. A republic may be extended over a large region. ¶ 2


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

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What are your initial thoughts regarding paragraph two or any part of Federalist 14 before I discuss paragraph 2?


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

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
It is lonely here folks - this is your discussion so jump in any time. Who is going to be the brave soul?


message 42: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 19, 2019 05:07PM) (new)

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Discussion of Paragraph Two of Federalist 14 - see post 39 for paragraph



1. First Madison seems to be obliquely referring to Montesquieu and what the Anti Federalists are saying utilizing Montesquieu's theories against the Federalists.

2. Madison wants to cut down their argument by emphasizing that the Constitution applies to a republic and not a democracy - so no worries.

3. Madison references earlier Federalist essays and states the following: It is, that in a democracy, the people meet and exercise the government in person; in a republic, they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents. A democracy, consequently, will be confined to a small spot. A republic may be extended over a large region..

Discussion Questions:

1. Do you think that Madison made his point or do you think he is just skirting the issue. Did the Anti Federalists have a point? If so, what was it? Do you think that Madison's argument satisfies the concern?

2. Levinson in his book An Argument Open to All that we are using as a supplement in our discussions - asks whether it was only Publius's generation that had a duty to improve the institutions of American governance in order to perpetuate its central goals, as set up in the Preamble. As we have discussed - the Federalist Paper came about when the country was moving from the failing Articles of Confederation to the newly devised Constitution that needed to be ratified by the state of New York. Do we feel now that if it is not broke - then don't fix it? Do we not trust the judgement of our Congress? Are we afraid that there might be an ulterior motive like gerrymandering when things are changed? Are we afraid of our leaders making an irreversible mistake? Are we more comfortable with the fact that our founding fathers might have been more noble, more educated, more honest, more inclusive and more reflective than the Congress that we have today? Or do we believe that we are best served by simply following the decisions they made in 1787 that have served us well? Some very tough considerations to consider.


message 43: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 19, 2019 05:06PM) (new)

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Here is a great chart and great information which shows and identifies the key differences between a democracy and a republic:



The key difference between a democracy and a republic lies in the limits placed on government by the law, which has implications for minority rights.

Both forms of government tend to use a representational system — i.e., citizens vote to elect politicians to represent their interests and form the government.

In a republic, a constitution or charter of rights protects certain inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by the government, even if it has been elected by a majority of voters.

In a "pure democracy," the majority is not restrained in this way and can impose its will on the minority.

Most modern nations—including the United States—are democratic republics with a constitution, which can be amended by a popularly elected government.

This comparison therefore contrasts the form of government in most countries today with a theoretical construct of a "pure democracy", mainly to highlight the features of a republic.

Link to chart and additional important information: https://www.diffen.com/difference/Dem...

Source: Diffen


message 44: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 20, 2019 06:08AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
And so we begin the discussion of paragraphs three, four, five, six, seven, and eight of Federalist 14 - Objections to the Proposed Constitution from Extent of Territory Answered:

Federalist № 14

Objections to the Proposed Constitution From Extent of Territory Answered

To this accidental source of the error may be added the artifice of some celebrated authors, whose writings have had a great share in forming the modern standard of political opinions. Being subjects either of an absolute or limited monarchy, they have endeavored to heighten the advantages, or palliate the evils of those forms, by placing in comparison the vices and defects of the republican, and by citing as specimens of the latter the turbulent democracies of ancient Greece and modern Italy. Under the confusion of names, it has been an easy task to transfer to a republic observations applicable to a democracy only; and among others, the observation that it can never be established but among a small number of people, living within a small compass of territory. ¶ 3

To this accidental source of the error may be added the artifice of some celebrated authors, whose writings have had a great share in forming the modern standard of political opinions. Being subjects either of an absolute or limited monarchy, they have endeavored to heighten the advantages, or palliate the evils of those forms, by placing in comparison the vices and defects of the republican, and by citing as specimens of the latter the turbulent democracies of ancient Greece and modern Italy. Under the confusion of names, it has been an easy task to transfer to a republic observations applicable to a democracy only; and among others, the observation that it can never be established but among a small number of people, living within a small compass of territory. ¶4

Such a fallacy may have been the less perceived, as most of the popular governments of antiquity were of the democratic species; and even in modern Europe, to which we owe the great principle of representation, no example is seen of a government wholly popular, and founded, at the same time, wholly on that principle. If Europe has the merit of discovering this great mechanical power in government, by the simple agency of which the will of the largest political body may be concentred, and its force directed to any object which the public good requires, America can claim the merit of making the discovery the basis of unmixed and extensive republics. It is only to be lamented that any of her citizens should wish to deprive her of the additional merit of displaying its full efficacy in the establishment of the comprehensive system now under her consideration. ¶ 5

As the natural limit of a democracy is that distance from the central point which will just permit the most remote citizens to assemble as often as their public functions demand, and will include no greater number than can join in those functions; so the natural limit of a republic is that distance from the centre which will barely allow the representatives to meet as often as may be necessary for the administration of public affairs. Can it be said that the limits of the United States exceed this distance? It will not be said by those who recollect that the Atlantic coast is the longest side of the Union, that during the term of thirteen years, the representatives of the States have been almost continually assembled, and that the members from the most distant States are not chargeable with greater intermissions of attendance than those from the States in the neighborhood of Congress. ¶ 6

That we may form a juster estimate with regard to this interesting subject, let us resort to the actual dimensions of the Union. The limits, as fixed by the treaty of peace, are: on the east the Atlantic, on the south the latitude of thirty-one degrees, on the west the Mississippi, and on the north an irregular line running in some instances beyond the forty-fifth degree, in others falling as low as the forty-second. The southern shore of Lake Erie lies below that latitude. Computing the distance between the thirty-first and forty-fifth degrees, it amounts to nine hundred and seventy-three common miles; computing it from thirty-one to forty-two degrees, to seven hundred and sixty-four miles and a half. Taking the mean for the distance, the amount will be eight hundred and sixty-eight miles and three-fourths. The mean distance from the Atlantic to the Mississippi does not probably exceed seven hundred and fifty miles. On a comparison of this extent with that of several countries in Europe, the practicability of rendering our system commensurate to it appears to be demonstrable. It is not a great deal larger than Germany, where a diet representing the whole empire is continually assembled; or than Poland before the late dismemberment, where another national diet was the depositary of the supreme power. Passing by France and Spain, we find that in Great Britain, inferior as it may be in size, the representatives of the northern extremity of the island have as far to travel to the national council as will be required of those of the most remote parts of the Union. ¶ 7

Favorable as this view of the subject may be, some observations remain which will place it in a light still more satisfactory. ¶ 8


message 45: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 19, 2019 07:06PM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
What are your initial thoughts regarding paragraph one or two or any part of Federalist 14 before I discuss paragraphs 3, 4. 5, 6. 7 and 8?


message 46: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 20, 2019 06:24AM) (new)

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Discussion of Paragraph Three and Paragraph Four of Federalist 14 - see post 44 for paragraph


George Clinton - Governor of New York - Vice President of the United States under both Jefferson and Madison - Considered an Anti Federalist - pen name - Cato

1. First, In this essay Madison is really responding to George Clinton , the Governor of New York - who was an anti-Federalist. You might remember that this same argument was brought up before in Federalist 10 and Madison correctly states that he should look at preceding papers and then he summarized his argument and once again points out the differences.

Secondly, Madison points out that by giving examples of ancient Greece and modern Italy - Clinton is actually proving the Federalists point because these both were not failed republics but rather unstable, failed democracies.


message 47: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 20, 2019 07:32AM) (new)

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Discussion of Paragraph Five and Paragraph Six of Federalist 14 - see post 44 for paragraph


The Signing of the United States Constitution by Louis S. Glanzman, 1987 - Commissioned by the PA, DE, NJ State Societies, Daughters of the American Revolution. Independence National Historical Park Collection.

1. Another point that Clinton brings forward is according to Montesquieu, a republic can only survive if it remains in a small territory.

However, after Madison clarifies the difference between a democracy and a republic, he states that it is the democratic government which is "confined to a small spot," rather than a republic which "may be extended over a large region." The reasoning, Madison explains, is that in a democracy, when an assembly is necessary, then all of the citizens need to convene. This becomes difficult when the territory is large and the citizens are spread out. However, with a republic, only the representatives need to gather, therefore, the assigned meeting place just needs to be reachable by all.

2. Madison supports his ideas by pointing out that since the first assembly of the colonial delegates at the Continental Congress on September 5, 1774 to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, representatives have been meeting without issue.

Over the past thirteen years, Madison explains, the representatives have met without agents from the further States being absent more than those agents from the States closer to the meeting point.

More:
The Constitutional Convention - Khan Academy
https://www.khanacademy.org/humanitie...-
revolution/creating-a-nation/v/the-constitutional-convention


message 48: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 20, 2019 07:46AM) (new)

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Discussion of Paragraph Seven and Paragraph Eight of Federalist 14 - see post 44 for paragraph

1. Madison decides to get down into the weeds with Clinton and discuss the actual dimensions of the union. He then compares the size to Germany and Poland and then he states that the union is only slightly larger; and then he compares the size to Great Britain and stated that even though Great Britain is smaller in size - that its representatives have to travel a greater distance. So if these European countries can do it - Madison sees no problem with why the Union cannot do the same. With specifics he puts holes in Clinton's arguments.

2. In paragraph 8, Madison begins to hit his stride and will launch into the arguments for the remainder of the essay which will successfully bring his arguments home.

More:
Video on C-Span - James Madison and the Constitution - Interesting video on C-Span
https://www.c-span.org/video/?315028-...


message 49: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 20, 2019 06:10AM) (new)

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And so we begin the discussion of paragraphs nine, ten, eleven, twelve, and thirteen of Federalist 14 - Objections to the Proposed Constitution from Extent of Territory Answered:

Federalist № 14

Objections to the Proposed Constitution From Extent of Territory Answered

In the first place it is to be remembered that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any. The subordinate governments, which can extend their care to all those other subjects which can be separately provided for, will retain their due authority and activity. Were it proposed by the plan of the convention to abolish the governments of the particular States, its adversaries would have some ground for their objection; though it would not be difficult to show that if they were abolished the general government would be compelled, by the principle of self-preservation, to reinstate them in their proper jurisdiction. ¶ 9

A second observation to be made is that the immediate object of the federal Constitution is to secure the union of the thirteen primitive States, which we know to be practicable; and to add to them such other States as may arise in their own bosoms, or in their neighborhoods, which we cannot doubt to be equally practicable. The arrangements that may be necessary for those angles and fractions of our territory which lie on our northwestern frontier, must be left to those whom further discoveries and experience will render more equal to the task. ¶ 10

Let it be remarked, in the third place, that the intercourse throughout the Union will be facilitated by new improvements. Roads will everywhere be shortened, and kept in better order; accommodations for travelers will be multiplied and meliorated; an interior navigation on our eastern side will be opened throughout, or nearly throughout, the whole extent of the thirteen States. The communication between the Western and Atlantic districts, and between different parts of each, will be rendered more and more easy by those numerous canals with which the beneficence of nature has intersected our country, and which art finds it so little difficult to connect and complete. ¶ 11

A fourth and still more important consideration is, that as almost every State will, on one side or other, be a frontier, and will thus find, in regard to its safety, an inducement to make some sacrifices for the sake of the general protection; so the States which lie at the greatest distance from the heart of the Union, and which, of course, may partake least of the ordinary circulation of its benefits, will be at the same time immediately contiguous to foreign nations, and will consequently stand, on particular occasions, in greatest need of its strength and resources. It may be inconvenient for Georgia, or the States forming our western or northeastern borders, to send their representatives to the seat of government; but they would find it more so to struggle alone against an invading enemy, or even to support alone the whole expense of those precautions which may be dictated by the neighborhood of continual danger. If they should derive less benefit, therefore, from the Union in some respects than the less distant States, they will derive greater benefit from it in other respects, and thus the proper equilibrium will be maintained throughout. ¶ 12

I submit to you, my fellow-citizens, these considerations, in full confidence that the good sense which has so often marked your decisions will allow them their due weight and effect; and that you will never suffer difficulties, however formidable in appearance, or however fashionable the error on which they may be founded, to drive you into the gloomy and perilous scene into which the advocates for disunion would conduct you. Hearken not to the unnatural voice which tells you that the people of America, knit together as they are by so many cords of affection, can no longer live together as members of the same family; can no longer continue the mutual guardians of their mutual happiness; can no longer be fellow-citizens of one great, respectable, and flourishing empire. Hearken not to the voice which petulantly tells you that the form of government recommended for your adoption is a novelty in the political world; that it has never yet had a place in the theories of the wildest projectors; that it rashly attempts what it is impossible to accomplish. No, my countrymen, shut your ears against this unhallowed language. Shut your hearts against the poison which it conveys; the kindred blood which flows in the veins of American citizens, the mingled blood which they have shed in defense of their sacred rights, consecrate their Union, and excite horror at the idea of their becoming aliens, rivals, enemies. And if novelties are to be shunned, believe me, the most alarming of all novelties, the most wild of all projects, the most rash of all attempts, is that of rendering us in pieces, in order to preserve our liberties and promote our happiness. But why is the experiment of an extended republic to be rejected, merely because it may comprise what is new? Is it not the glory of the people of America, that, whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience? To this manly spirit, posterity will be indebted for the possession, and the world for the example, of the numerous innovations displayed on the American theatre, in favor of private rights and public happiness. Had no important step been taken by the leaders of the Revolution for which a precedent could not be discovered, no government established of which an exact model did not present itself, the people of the United States might, at this moment have been numbered among the melancholy victims of misguided councils, must at best have been laboring under the weight of some of those forms which have crushed the liberties of the rest of mankind. Happily for America, happily, we trust, for the whole human race, they pursued a new and more noble course. They accomplished a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human society. They reared the fabrics of governments which have no model on the face of the globe. They formed the design of a great Confederacy, which it is incumbent on their successors to improve and perpetuate. If their works betray imperfections, we wonder at the fewness of them. If they erred most in the structure of the Union, this was the work most difficult to be executed; this is the work which has been new modelled by the act of your convention, and it is that act on which you are now to deliberate and to decide. ¶ 13

Publius. [James Madison]


message 50: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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What are your initial thoughts regarding any of the preceding paragraphs and ideas of Federalist 14 before I discuss the last five paragraphs with the final paragraph being one of the most important paragraphs cited. I will also discuss what Levinson had to say about this as well.


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