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Federalism in Literature

In the United States, Federalism refers to the "evolving relationship between U.S. state governments and the federal government of the United States" (Federalism 1). Separation of state and national powers equated to limited government, popular among a people subjected to the tyranny of the British Crown. Since the founding of the U.S., power has generally shifted away from the states and toward the national or federal government. During the last two decades of the 1700s, Federalism was the most significant political movement that stemmed from discontent with the Articles of Confederation. Advocates of Federalism fought for a strong national government but also shaped a new literary front.

The Federalists sought a convention in order to forge a new Constitution for the U.S. From a series of essays known as The Federalist Papers to Joseph Dennie's Port Folio, the "preeminent Federalist literary magazine in the middle Atlantic," the Federalist movement was as much literary as political in nature (Arkin 655). This analysis will discuss the Federalist Movement in U.S. history from a literary perspective, showing how literary efforts to push for Federalism were quite successful in the forging of a new Constitution, primarily by cementing the idea of individuality in the imagination of the American people while distancing Federalists from republican charges of elitism.

Propaganda has often been used on the literary level to help foster change of all kinds, but especially political change. As Hodder (3) defines it, propaganda is "an ex parte argument in support of a cause, whether the cause be in the interest of an individual or a family, of a social or a commercial group, of a religious or a political party, of a nation or a group of nations." The Federalist Papers were solely designed to advocate the Federalist position, in the form eighty-five essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and ...

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Federalism in Literature. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:18, August 06, 2020, from