Two lesson plans have been created to align with two of the most noted essays high school students are encouraged to read, Federalist 10 and Federalist 51.
Within each lesson students will use a Federalist Paper as their primary source for acquiring content. Along with the debate over the Constitution that was taking place in the state legislatures, an “out-of-doors” debate raged in newspapers and pamphlets throughout America’s thirteen states following the Constitutional Convention over the Constitution that had been proposed. Initially, they were intended to be a twenty essay response to the Antifederalist attacks on the Constitution that were flooding the New York newspapers right after the Constitution had been signed in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787.
Federalist 38, echoing Federalist 1, points to the uniqueness of the America Founding: never before had a nation been founded by the reflection and choice of multiple founders who sat down and deliberated over creating the best form of government consistent with the genius of the American people.
Thomas Jefferson referred to the Constitution as the work of “demigods,” and is how many essays did each person write?
The first three topics outlined in Federalist 1 are 1) the utility of the union, 2) the insufficiency of the present confederation under the Articles of Confederation, and 3) the need for a government at least as energetic as the one proposed.
The opening paragraph of Federalist 15 summarizes the previous fourteen essays and says: “in pursuance of the plan which I have laid down for the pursuance of the subject, the point next in order to be examined is the ‘insufficiency of the present confederation.'” So we can say with confidence that Federalist 1-14 is devoted to the utility of the union.
The Cato letters started to appear on September 27, George Mason’s objections were in circulation and the Brutus essays were launched on October 18.
The number of essays in was extended in response to the relentless, and effective, Antifederalist criticism of the proposed Constitution.
Federalist 1 outlines the six topics to be discussed in the essays without providing an exact table of contents.
The authors didn’t know in October 1787 how many essays would be devoted to each topic.