In Essay #40, The Powers of the Convention to Form a Mixed Government Examined and Sustained, James Madison addresses the Anti-Federalist issue that the delegates to the Philadelphia convention exceeded their mandate and, therefore, the new Constitution should not be ratified. The argument was that delegates were instructed to “amend” the existing Articles of Confederation but, instead, threw the whole thing out and wrote a new Constitution.
This was a necessary step, argues Madison, because amending the Articles and provisions alone would not have been sufficient to achieve a “national and adequate government.” Instead, the delegates concluded that it was more important keep the long term interests of liberty and security of citizens and to create a new government rather than limit itself to merely amending something that was fundamentally “feeble and confined.”
Credit for the summary and analysis of Essay #40 is given to Brittany Nelson and Christopher Higgins (second revision 09/15/2011). Weinbloom, Elizabeth ed. “The Federalist Papers Essay #40 Summary and Analysis”. GradeSaver, 30 December 2011 Web. 30 January 2019.