• The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 45
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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 45

    FEDERALIST No. 45. The Alleged Danger From the Powers of the Union to the State Governments. Considered For the Independent Journal. Saturday, January 26, 1788 MADISON To the People of the State of New York: HAVING shown that no one of the powers transferred to the federal government is unnecessary or improper, the next question to be considered is, whether the whole mass of them will be dangerous to the portion of authority left in the several States. The adversaries to the plan of the convention, instead of considering in the first place what degree of power was absolutely necessary for the purposes of the federal government, have exhausted themselves…

  • The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 41
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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 41

    FEDERALIST No. 41. General View of the Powers Conferred by The Constitution For the Independent Journal. Saturday, January 19, 1788 MADISON To the People of the State of New York: THE Constitution proposed by the convention may be considered under two general points of view. The FIRST relates to the sum or quantity of power which it vests in the government, including the restraints imposed on the States. The SECOND, to the particular structure of the government, and the distribution of this power among its several branches. Under the FIRST view of the subject, two important questions arise: 1. Whether any part of the powers transferred to the general government…

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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 78

    FEDERALIST No. 78. The Judiciary Department From McLEAN’S Edition, New York. Wednesday, May 28, 1788 HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: WE PROCEED now to an examination of the judiciary department of the proposed government. In unfolding the defects of the existing Confederation, the utility and necessity of a federal judicature have been clearly pointed out. It is the less necessary to recapitulate the considerations there urged, as the propriety of the institution in the abstract is not disputed; the only questions which have been raised being relative to the manner of constituting it, and to its extent. To these points, therefore, our observations shall be…

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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 52

    FEDERALIST No. 52. The House of Representatives From the New York Packet. Friday, February 8, 1788. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: FROM the more general inquiries pursued in the four last papers, I pass on to a more particular examination of the several parts of the government. I shall begin with the House of Representatives. The first view to be taken of this part of the government relates to the qualifications of the electors and the elected. Those of the former are to be the same with those of the electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures. The definition of the right…

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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 39

    FEDERALIST No. 39. The Conformity of the Plan to Republican Principles For the Independent Journal. Wednesday, January 16, 1788 MADISON To the People of the State of New York: THE last paper having concluded the observations which were meant to introduce a candid survey of the plan of government reported by the convention, we now proceed to the execution of that part of our undertaking. The first question that offers itself is, whether the general form and aspect of the government be strictly republican. It is evident that no other form would be reconcilable with the genius of the people of America; with the fundamental principles of the Revolution; or…

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    The Bill of Rights and the First Federal Congress

    It was a very tenuous time in American history. They needed to get it right very quickly in order to keep the public’s confidence in what they were doing. I’m Charlene Bickford and I direct the First Federal Congress Project at The George Washington University. The First Federal Congress Project’s goal is to publish the complete documentary record of the most important and productive Congress in United States history. They were left to create the whole federal government structure. They had to found the executive departments. They had to flesh out the judiciary of the United States. Seventeen volumes have been published and we have three that are in page…

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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 55

    FEDERALIST No. 55. The Total Number of the House of Representatives For the Independent Journal. Wednesday, February 13, 1788. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: THE number of which the House of Representatives is to consist, forms another and a very interesting point of view, under which this branch of the federal legislature may be contemplated. Scarce any article, indeed, in the whole Constitution seems to be rendered more worthy of attention, by the weight of character and the apparent force of argument with which it has been assailed. The charges exhibited against it are, first, that so small a number of representatives will be an…

  • The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 65
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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 65

    FEDERALIST No. 65. The Powers of the Senate Continued From the New York Packet. Friday, March 7, 1788. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE remaining powers which the plan of the convention allots to the Senate, in a distinct capacity, are comprised in their participation with the executive in the appointment to offices, and in their judicial character as a court for the trial of impeachments. As in the business of appointments the executive will be the principal agent, the provisions relating to it will most properly be discussed in the examination of that department. We will, therefore, conclude this head with a view of…

  • The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 51
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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 51

    FEDERALIST No. 51. The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments. For the Independent Journal. Wednesday, February 6, 1788. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: TO WHAT expedient, then, shall we finally resort, for maintaining in practice the necessary partition of power among the several departments, as laid down in the Constitution? The only answer that can be given is, that as all these exterior provisions are found to be inadequate, the defect must be supplied, by so contriving the interior structure of the government as that its several constituent parts may, by their mutual relations, be the…

  • The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 48
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    The Federalist Papers | Federalist No. 48

    FEDERALIST No. 48. These Departments Should Not Be So Far Separated as to Have No Constitutional Control Over Each Other. From the New York Packet. Friday, February 1, 1788. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: IT WAS shown in the last paper that the political apothegm there examined does not require that the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments should be wholly unconnected with each other. I shall undertake, in the next place, to show that unless these departments be so far connected and blended as to give to each a constitutional control over the others, the degree of separation which the maxim requires, as essential to…