The Administration is committed-heart and soul-to the principles of American Federalism, which are outlined in the original Federalist Papers of Hamilton, Madison, and Jay. The designers of the Constitution realized that in federalism there is diversity. The Founding Fathers saw the federalist system as constructed something like a masonry wall. The states are the bricks, the national government is the mortar. . . .


Unfortunately, over the years, many people have increasingly come to believe that Washington is the whole wall…. Let us restore Constitutional Government, let us renew and enrich the power and purpose of states and local communities. to Thus President Reagan finds justification in The Federalist for policies diametrically opposed to the nationalistic tendencies of Chief Justice Marshall. This anticonsolidationist version appeals at present, naturally, mostly to publicists and politicians of a conservative stripe. Improbable as it may seem, the third reading ofthe work differs as much from the first two as they do from each other. This view regards Hamilton, Madison, and Jay as spokesmen for the wealthy classes of America and sees their main objective as the frustration of majority rule.


According to this interpretation, the Founders did not favor state sovereignty, because they saw the states as too open to democratic pressures. Their nationalism, however, was less a positive ideal than a mere negative resultant of their desire to clip the wings of these troublesome provincial entities.