Your class on the US Constitution warns us not to rely on the “Federalist” essays to understand how the people who ratified the constitution understood its meaning.
I’ve always thought that those essays laid out the explanations used by the “Nationalists” to represent the meaning and rebut the concerns of the actual “Federalists.” I have therefore used Hamilton’s “Federalist 69” and Madison’s notes on the convention to convince people that war making, except to repel an actual or imminent attack on one or several states, was understood to be a power of the Congress, not the executive.
My only access to the notes on the ratification debates is to spend the $400+ to purchase the books or travel to my county’s central library to perform my research. Since my time is limited, can you pinpoint the locations in the ratification debates where I can locate the information I need to support my claim? If I am incorrect in my thesis, please correct me.