The Federalist Papers By Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, And John Jay

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But the Federalists would not easily forfeit. They argued that the Constitution didn’t require a Bill of Rights. The Federalist Papers written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, summed up the thoughts of many Federalists. In Federalist Paper No. 84 Publius, a pseudonym under which they wrote, addressed Antifederalist worries, “Bills of rights… are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous.” Publius argued that because the Constitution was “founded upon the power of the people” the people surrendered nothing, and retained all rights not explicitly given to the federal government. Alexander Hamilton summed up this perfectly when he asked, “Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given [to Congress] by which restrictions may be imposed?" Many federalists shared this view, arguing that a bill of rights would actually infringe upon individual liberties, because such bill could not possibly cover every right the people were entitled to. Madison shared this view, adding that a bill of rights is a “parchment barrier” and that the best way to protect individual and state liberties was to separate the powers among three branches of government. He opposed a bill of rights in the constitutional convention of 1787, in many of his contributions to the Federalist Papers, and at the Richmond convention. It wasn’t until late 1788 that Madison actually endorsed a

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