• The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 23
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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 23

    FEDERALIST No. 23. The Necessity of a Government as Energetic as the One Proposed to the Preservation of the Union From the New York Packet. Tuesday, December 18, 1787. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE necessity of a Constitution, at least equally energetic with the one proposed, to the preservation of the Union, is the point at the examination of which we are now arrived. This inquiry will naturally divide itself into three branches—the objects to be provided for by the federal government, the quantity of power necessary to the accomplishment of those objects, the persons upon whom that power ought to operate. Its distribution…

  • Brutus v. Publius: The Fight Over the Judiciary
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    Brutus v. Publius: The Fight Over the Judiciary

    By 1787, a crisis seemed on the horizon. The existing government of the Union was not working well. The Articles of Confederation was an alliance between pre-existing states. The Articles relied on one state, one vote, one branch of government, which meant it wasn’t really a government. Both the advocates of the Constitution and their opponents were dissatisfied with the Articles. The difference between them was the opponents of the new Constitution thought the Articles could cure themselves; they could pass a series of amendments that would empower the national government. And the Federalists concluded that what we had to do was start over. “Instead of confining themselves to the…

  • The ‘Nightmare’ of a Tweeting President
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    The ‘Nightmare’ of a Tweeting President

    The idea of a tweeting president would have been a Madisonian dystopia. Madison said in Federalist Ten that direct communication between representatives and their constituents was an evil to be avoided because it could hasten mob rule. Think of the president’s tweets. And this is not just President Trump; President Obama was the first tweeting president. Insulting people, putting them down, angrily denouncing them. The American founders Madison and Hamilton fear that mobs, or factions as they call them, were mobilized when they’re animated by passion rather than reason. And to the degree that social media technology makes it possible to have instant polls and to aggregate mobilized minorities or…

  • The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 85
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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 85

    FEDERALIST No. 85. Concluding Remarks From MCLEAN’s Edition, New York. Wednesday, May 28, 1788 HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: ACCORDING to the formal division of the subject of these papers, announced in my first number, there would appear still to remain for discussion two points: “the analogy of the proposed government to your own State constitution,” and “the additional security which its adoption will afford to republican government, to liberty, and to property.” But these heads have been so fully anticipated and exhausted in the progress of the work, that it would now scarcely be possible to do any thing more than repeat, in a…

  • The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 22
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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 22

    FEDERALIST No. 22 The Same Subject Continued (Other Defects of the Present Confederation) From the New York Packet. Friday, December 14, 1787. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: IN ADDITION to the defects already enumerated in the existing federal system, there are others of not less importance, which concur in rendering it altogether unfit for the administration of the affairs of the Union. The want of a power to regulate commerce is by all parties allowed to be of the number. The utility of such a power has been anticipated under the first head of our inquiries; and for this reason, as well as from the…

  • The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 28
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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 28

    FEDERALIST No. 28. The Same Subject Continued (The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense Considered) For the Independent Journal. Wednesday, December 26, 1787 HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THAT there may happen cases in which the national government may be necessitated to resort to force, cannot be denied. Our own experience has corroborated the lessons taught by the examples of other nations; that emergencies of this sort will sometimes arise in all societies, however constituted; that seditions and insurrections are, unhappily, maladies as inseparable from the body politic as tumors and eruptions from the natural body; that the idea…

  • The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 21
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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 21

    FEDERALIST No. 21 Other Defects of the Present Confederation For the Independent Journal. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: HAVING in the three last numbers taken a summary review of the principal circumstances and events which have depicted the genius and fate of other confederate governments, I shall now proceed in the enumeration of the most important of those defects which have hitherto disappointed our hopes from the system established among ourselves. To form a safe and satisfactory judgment of the proper remedy, it is absolutely necessary that we should be well acquainted with the extent and malignity of the disease. The next most palpable defect…

  • The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 58
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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 58

    FEDERALIST No. 58. Objection That The Number of Members Will Not Be Augmented as the Progress of Population Demands. Considered For the Independent Journal Wednesday, February 20, 1788. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: THE remaining charge against the House of Representatives, which I am to examine, is grounded on a supposition that the number of members will not be augmented from time to time, as the progress of population may demand. It has been admitted, that this objection, if well supported, would have great weight. The following observations will show that, like most other objections against the Constitution, it can only proceed from a partial…

  • The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 60
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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 60

    FEDERALIST No. 60. The Same Subject Continued (Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of Members) From The Independent Journal. Saturday, February 23, 1788. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: WE HAVE seen, that an uncontrollable power over the elections to the federal government could not, without hazard, be committed to the State legislatures. Let us now see, what would be the danger on the other side; that is, from confiding the ultimate right of regulating its own elections to the Union itself. It is not pretended, that this right would ever be used for the exclusion of any State from its share in…

  • The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 26
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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 26

    FEDERALIST No. 26. The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense Considered. For the Independent Journal. Saturday, December 22, 1788 HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: IT WAS a thing hardly to be expected that in a popular revolution the minds of men should stop at that happy mean which marks the salutary boundary between POWER and PRIVILEGE, and combines the energy of government with the security of private rights. A failure in this delicate and important point is the great source of the inconveniences we experience, and if we are not cautious to avoid a repetition of the error, in…