Constitution Sunday: “Publius,” The Federalist XLIII [James Madison]

Independent Journal (New York) January 23, 1788 An effective government is supposed to take care of its people’s problems. To even pretend to take care of people’s problems, a government must learn of the problems. When problems arise in smaller countries, those governments are likelier than those in large countries to have their governments learn […]


Coalescing All the States

Americans had a keen understanding of the idea, popularized by Montesquieu, that “only a small homogeneous society whose interests were essentially similar could properly sustain a republican government.” Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic: 1776-1787, 356. This idea created a fundamental problem for America: it was not a small homogeneous society, and it was rapidly […]


Infancy, Manhood, and Decline

The political spirit of the colonies in the 1700s, while unfamiliar in many respects, has parallels to the modern political landscape in America. The colonies political thought was closer to Niccolo Machiavelli and Montesquieu, rather than John Locke. The colonists generally “did not conceive of society in rational, mechanistic terms; rather society was organic and […]