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I. The Federalist Papers are particularly brilliant in explaining a constitutional structure designed to save us from ourselves. The authors recognize a discernible purpose to politics; the shimmering constitutional structure exists for a compelling reason. In his preface of the collected first volume of the Federalist Papers from 1788, Hamilton says, “The great wish is that [the Federalist Papers] may promote the cause of truth and lead to a right judgment of the true interests of the community,” which Hamilton believes would be furthered by ratifying the Constitution. But what is this “truth”? What are “the true interests of the community”?

J. For the authors of the Federalist Papers there are things a government is supposed to do, and indeed, it all boils down to this: “Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued, until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit (No. 51).” We talk a lot about liberty in this country, but it is important to understand for the Framers, the pursuit of justice is even more important than individual liberty. How, then, was the new government to pursue justice? On one aspect of the pursuit, the Federalist Papers is stunningly clear. There are some things that are clearly the job of a good government to resist. These limitations on government are very nicely laid out in No. 10.