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On January 18, 1788, a philosopher by the name James Madison wrote and published an essay that became a thirty-ninth paper in The Federalist Papers. He named the document The Conformity of the Plan to Republican Principles, and he had it published under the pseudonym Publius like all other federalist papers. Having served as a national legislator at Virginia State under the Articles of Confederation, Madison believed that the ruling Articles structure was faulty as he had experienced during his service. He had also observed that the state governments misused their sovereignty weakening the central government. James Madison therefore wrote this essay to criticize Articles of Confederation system with sole purpose of encouraging people to choose a centralized government as it would be much stronger and more efficient concerning liberty of its citizens as compared to the state governments.
The primary intention of Madison writing this essay was to have a new constitution formulated that would ensure that the all the powers of the state governments have been conferred on the national government. He gives examples of strong central governments like that of the Great Britain expecting that the Americans would learn from it. He believed that the states governments power was supposed to be reduced ultimately because these governments oppressed rights of minority interests, and they impeded the development of Young Union. He was so focused on the issues of the ruling constitution and the structure of the government such that at one time in 1787 he held a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia to convince people to accept the formulated constitution. He was always against the conspiracy of anti-federalism attempts to restrict the powers of the national government.
Madison suggested that if the national government were made more powerful than the state governments, the Americans would lead happy lives, and the society would regain the appropriate order. Madison also advocated for the national government to establish veto power in the national legislature that would completely eradicate states laws that are not in line with the national government objectives. This would have been a good way of preventing state governments from formulating laws that favored their interests and which oppressed the interests of common citizens. Also, while addressing the Congress at Ney York, Madison advocated for the expansive language and bills of right to be included in the proposed new constitution that would eventually lead to the formation of powerful national government.
Throughout his essay, Madison uses a phrase The Articles of Confederation and the word Convention everywhere. Probably Madison uses the phrase The Articles of Confederation to justify that there was a need to establish a national government from a great body of society rather that from a group or a class people. The federal government would have drawn its power from the people rather than was the case where it obtained its powers from the states. In this sense, common citizens would have had the rights to appoint the person to lead the national government either directly or indirectly. The repetitive use of the word Convention in Madisons essay can be interpreted to mean that he was for the idea that states be reduced to districts. Their status would remain as they were, but all the powers would be rested on the national government. The states would become administrative districts in relation to the federal government as the counties are to the state governments.
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