Etext of The Federalist Papers


Etext of The Federalist Papers
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Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor payable to "Project Gutenberg Association/Carnegie-Mellon University" within the 60 days following each date you prepare (or were legally required to prepare) your annual (or equivalent periodic) tax return. WHAT IF YOU *WANT* TO SEND MONEY EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO? The Project gratefully accepts contributions in money, time, scanning machines, OCR software, public domain etexts, royalty free copyright licenses, and every other sort of contribution you can think of. Money should be paid to "Project Gutenberg Association / Carnegie-Mellon University". *END*THE SMALL PRINT! FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN ETEXTS*Ver.04.29.93*END* From: Our Thanks to The Consitution Society for Providing This Etext!! FEDERALIST No. 1 General Introduction For the Independent Journal. Saturday, October 27, 1787 HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York:


AFTER an unequivocal experience of the inefficacy of the subsisting federal government, you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world. It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force. If there be any truth in the remark, the crisis at which we are arrived may with propriety be regarded as the era in which that decision is to be made; and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind. This idea will add the inducements of philanthropy to those of patriotism, to heighten the solicitude which all considerate and good men must feel for the event. Happy will it be if our choice should be directed by a judicious estimate of our true interests, unperplexed and unbiased by considerations not connected with the public good. But this is a thing more ardently to be wished than seriously to be expected. The plan offered to our deliberations affects too many particular interests, innovates upon too many local institutions, not to involve in its discussion a variety of objects foreign to its merits, and of views, passions and prejudices little favorable to the discovery of truth. Among the most formidable of the obstacles which the new Constitution will have to encounter may readily be distinguished the obvious interest of a certain class of men in every State to resist all changes which may hazard a diminution of the power, emolument, and consequence of the offices they hold under the State establishments; and the perverted ambition of another class of men, who will either hope to aggrandize themselves by the confusions of their country, or will flatter themselves with fairer prospects of elevation from the subdivision of the empire into several partial confederacies than from its union under one government. It is not, however, my design to dwell upon observations of this nature. I am well aware that it would be disingenuous to resolve indiscriminately the opposition of any set of men (merely because their situations might subject them to suspicion) into interested or ambitious views. Candor will oblige us to admit that even

in the contemplation of a sound and well-informed judgment. by any impressions other than those which may result from the evidence of truth. and that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics. in a series of papers. that they proceed from a source not unfriendly to the new Constitution. that jealousy is the usual concomitant of love. which is more commonly the fault of the head than of the heart. An enlightened zeal for the energy and efficiency of government will be stigmatized as the offspring of a temper fond of despotic power and hostile to the principles of liberty. party opposition. will be represented as mere pretense and artifice. For in politics. History will teach us that the former has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism than the latter. A torrent of angry and malignant passions will be let loose. might be drawn from the reflection that we are not always sure that those who advocate the truth are influenced by purer principles than their antagonists. see wise and good men on the wrong as well as on the right side of questions of the first magnitude to society. are apt to operate as well upon those who support as those who oppose the right side of a question. multiply professions on this head. In the course of the preceding observations. My arguments will be open to all. to putting you upon your guard against all attempts. at the same time. that we. on the one hand. will spring from sources. I have had an eye. to influence your decision in a matter of the utmost moment to your welfare. however. to discuss the following interesting particulars: THE UTILITY OF THE UNION TO YOUR POLITICAL PROSPERITY THE INSUFFICIENCY OF THE PRESENT CONFEDERATION TO PRESERVE THAT UNION THE NECESSITY OF A GOVERNMENT AT LEAST EQUALLY ENERGETIC WITH THE ONE PROPOSED. and I will freely lay before you the reasons on which they are founded. or may hereafter make its appearance. So numerous indeed and so powerful are the causes which serve to give a false bias to the judgment. They shall at least be offered in a spirit which will not disgrace the cause of truth. and it cannot be doubted that much of the opposition which has made its appearance. and ending tyrants. I shall not. from whatever quarter. your dignity. Yes. and to increase the number of their converts by the loudness of their declamations and the bitterness of their invectives. and may be judged of by all. You will. I frankly acknowledge to you my convictions. And a further reason for caution. personal animosity. if not respectable -. we have already sufficient indications that it will happen in this as in all former cases of great national discussion.the honest errors of minds led astray by preconceived jealousies and fears. would furnish a lesson of moderation to those who are ever so much persuaded of their being in the right in any controversy. and that the noble enthusiasm of liberty is apt to be infected with a spirit of narrow and illiberal distrust. upon many occasions. I am clearly of opinion it is your interest to adopt it. it will be equally forgotten that the vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty. in this respect. I am convinced that this is the safest course for your liberty. as in religion. To judge from the conduct of the opposite parties. the stale bait for popularity at the expense of the public good. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution. avarice. I will not amuse you with an appearance of deliberation when I have decided. nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant spirit which has. This circumstance. TO THE ATTAINMENT OF THIS . Ambition. I propose. On the other hand. The consciousness of good intentions disdains ambiguity. it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. And yet.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 6 such men may be actuated by upright intentions. An over-scrupulous jealousy of danger to the rights of the people. have collected from the general scope of them. commencing demagogues. I affect not reserves which I do not feel. and many other motives not more laudable than these. after having given it an attentive consideration. and your happiness. My motives must remain in the depository of my own breast. no doubt. we shall be led to conclude that they will mutually hope to evince the justness of their opinions. blameless at least. and that a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government. It will be forgotten. the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people. that. their interest can never be separated. I own to you that. my countrymen. my fellow-citizens. characterized political parties. at all times. if duly attended to. Were there not even these inducements to moderation. however just these sentiments will be allowed to be.

and give to the head of each the same kind of powers which they are advised to place in one national government. and it is equally undeniable. to which every State will be exposed from its dissolution. view of it. the people must cede to it some of their natural rights in order to vest it with requisite powers. and the wishes. The same idea.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor OBJECT THE CONFORMITY OF THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTION TO THE TRUE PRINCIPLES OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT ITS ANALOGY TO YOUR OWN STATE CONSTITUTION and lastly. Nothing is more certain than the indispensable necessity of government. under one federal government. which it may be imagined. till it has votaries enough to countenance an open avowal of it. But the fact is. tracing the arguments to their consequences. 7 It may perhaps be thought superfluous to offer arguments to prove the utility of the UNION. or that they should divide themselves into separate confederacies. will be evident. It has until lately been a received and uncontradicted opinion that the prosperity of the people of America depended on their continuing firmly united. we ought to seek it in a division of the States into distinct confederacies or sovereignties. THE ADDITIONAL SECURITY WHICH ITS ADOPTION WILL AFFORD TO THE PRESERVATION OF THAT SPECIES OF GOVERNMENT. This shall accordingly constitute the subject of my next address. must prove one of the most important that ever engaged their attention. that the thirteen States are of too great extent for any general system. that may seem to have any claim to your attention. in all probability.[1] This doctrine will. a point. has no adversaries. It will therefore be of use to begin by examining the advantages of that Union. is held out in several of the late publications against the new Constitution. However extraordinary this new doctrine may appear. ___ FEDERALIST No. the certain evils. October 31. who insist that this opinion is erroneous. than the alternative of an adoption of the new Constitution or a dismemberment of the Union. that whenever and however it is instituted. PUBLIUS 1. It is well worthy of consideration therefore. as well as a very serious. no doubt. For nothing can be more evident. and one. Wednesday. and that we must of necessity resort to separate confederacies of distinct portions of the whole. 2 Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence For the Independent Journal. in its consequences. In the progress of this discussion I shall endeavor to give a satisfactory answer to all the objections which shall have made their appearance. AND TO PROPERTY. which. and that instead of looking for safety and happiness in union. But politicians now appear. TO LIBERTY. to those who are able to take an enlarged view of the subject. and efforts of our best and wisest citizens have been constantly directed to that object. whether it would conduce more to the interest of the people of America that they should. prayers. the propriety of their taking a very comprehensive. 1787 JAY To the People of the State of New York: WHEN the people of America reflect that they are now called upon to decide a question. to all general purposes. deeply engraved on the hearts of the great body of the people in every State. and the probable dangers. be gradually propagated. . that we already hear it whispered in the private circles of those who oppose the new Constitution. be one nation.

at a very early period. or influenced by any passions except love for their country. Providence has in a particular manner blessed it with a variety of soils and productions. at a time when their habitations were in flames. and daily consultation. attached to the same principles of government. and efforts. and being pursuaded that ample security for both could only be found in a national government more wisely framed. they as with one voice.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 8 it nevertheless has its advocates. and protection. as a nation we have vanquished our common enemies. but that one connected. fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war. by their joint counsels. fertile. in times which tried the minds and hearts of men. for the delight and accommodation of its inhabitants. and entered into various compacts and conventions with foreign states. while the most noble rivers in the world. Still continuing no less attached to union than enamored of liberty. present them with highways for the easy communication of friendly aids. Whatever may be the arguments or inducements which have wrought this change in the sentiments and declarations of these gentlemen.a people descended from the same ancestors. It is not to be wondered at. for so is the fact. jealous. united to each other by the strongest ties. nor to BLIND reprobation. very similar in their manners and customs. and many of whom had become highly distinguished by their patriotism. and it appears as if it was the design of Providence. Admit. In the mild season of peace. speaking the same language. and when the progress of hostility and desolation left little room for those calm and mature inquiries and reflections which must ever precede the formation of a wise and wellbalanced government for a free people. with minds unoccupied by other subjects. as a nation we have formed alliances. This country and this people seem to have been made for each other. and certain characters who were much opposed to it formerly. and the mutual transportation and exchange of their various commodities. This intelligent people perceived and regretted these defects. should never be split into a number of unsocial. without having been awed by power. They formed it almost as soon as they had a political existence. uninterrupted. they passed many months in cool. A strong sense of the value and blessings of union induced the people. and finally. as if to bind it together. that this plan is only RECOMMENDED. undertook the arduous task. To all general purposes we have uniformly been one people each individual citizen everywhere enjoying the same national rights. should on experiment be found greatly deficient and inadequate to the purpose it was intended to answer. nay. they presented and recommended to the people the plan produced by their joint and very unanimous councils. A succession of navigable waters forms a kind of chain round its borders. and made treaties. when many of their citizens were bleeding. it certainly would not be wise in the people at large to adopt these new political tenets without being fully convinced that they are founded in truth and sound policy. yet let it be remembered that it is neither recommended to BLIND approbation. Similar sentiments have hitherto prevailed among all orders and denominations of men among us. but to that sedate and candid . have nobly established general liberty and independence. widespreading country was the portion of our western sons of liberty. and watered it with innumerable streams. to institute a federal government to preserve and perpetuate it. convened the late convention at Philadelphia. With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people -. and who. virtue and wisdom. they observed the danger which immediately threatened the former and more remotely the latter. This convention composed of men who possessed the confidence of the people. to take that important subject under consideration. It has often given me pleasure to observe that independent America was not composed of detached and distant territories. professing the same religion. running at convenient distances. are at present of the number. that a government instituted in times so inauspicious. As a nation we have made peace and war. that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren. and alien sovereignties. privileges. not imposed. arms.

and happy they are in reflecting that they did so. that whenever the dissolution of the Union arrives. and that their universal and uniform attachment to the cause of the Union rests on great and weighty reasons. It is worthy of remark that not only the first. That certainly would be the case. America will have reason to exclaim. are attempts at this particular period made by some men to depreciate the importance of the Union? Or why is it suggested that three or four confederacies would be better than one? I am persuaded in my own mind that the people have always thought right on this subject. That they were individually interested in the public liberty and prosperity. That. they must have acquired very accurate knowledge on that head. who have been since tried and justly approved for patriotism and abilities. They considered that the Congress was composed of many wise and experienced men. who obeyed the dictates of personal interest. were deceived and deluded. and the event proved their wisdom. in the words of the poet: "FAREWELL! A LONG FAREWELL TO ALL MY GREATNESS. were also members of this convention. and it is also the great object of the plan which the convention has advised them to adopt. and I sincerely wish that it may be as clearly foreseen by every good citizen. in the course of the time they passed together in inquiring into and discussing the true interests of their country. for it is well known that some of the most distinguished members of that Congress. notwithstanding the various arts and endeavors used to deter them from it. but every succeeding Congress. from a mistaken estimate of consequences. But this (as was remarked in the foregoing number of this paper) is more to be wished than expected. It is not yet forgotten that well-grounded apprehensions of imminent danger induced the people of America to form the memorable Congress of 1774.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 9 consideration which the magnitude and importance of the subject demand. yet it is fresh in our memories how soon the press began to teem with pamphlets and weekly papers against those very measures. and carried into it their accumulated knowledge and experience. have invariably joined with the people in thinking that the prosperity of America depended on its Union. they really thought prudent and advisable. after the most mature deliberation." PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. they brought with them and communicated to each other a variety of useful information. still greater reason have they now to respect the judgment and advice of the convention. were indefatigable in their efforts to pursuade the people to reject the advice of that patriotic Congress. seem clearly to foresee that the rejection of it would put the continuance of the Union in the utmost jeopardy. But if the people at large had reason to confide in the men of that Congress. therefore. and they took their advice. and therefore that it was not less their inclination than their duty to recommend only such measures as. Many. That. which I shall endeavor to develop and explain in some ensuing papers. or the undue influence of former attachments. but the great majority of the people reasoned and decided judiciously. They who promote the idea of substituting a number of distinct confederacies in the room of the plan of the convention. or for what good purposes. To preserve and perpetuate it was the great object of the people in forming that convention. and which it certainly ought to receive. few of whom had been fully tried or generally known. These and similar considerations then induced the people to rely greatly on the judgment and integrity of the Congress. indeed. That body recommended certain measures to their constituents. as well as the late convention. but others. With what propriety. Not only many of the officers of government. 3 The Same Subject Continued (Concerning Dangers From Foreign Force and Influence) For the Independent . Experience on a former occasion teaches us not to be too sanguine in such hopes. or whose ambition aimed at objects which did not correspond with the public good. and who have grown old in acquiring political information. being convened from different parts of the country. that it may be so considered and examined.

Among the many objects to which a wise and free people find it necessary to direct their attention. She has also extensive commerce with Portugal. it becomes useful to inquire whether so many JUST causes of war are likely to be given by UNITED AMERICA as by DISUNITED America. then it will follow that in this respect the Union tends most to preserve the people in a state of peace with other nations. as from dangers of the LIKE KIND arising from domestic causes. may place men in State assemblies. and the judicial decisions of the national government will be more wise. Because when once an efficient national government is established. and never experience that want of proper persons which is not uncommon in some of the States. in addition. and to me it appears evident that this will be more perfectly and punctually done by one national government than it could be either by thirteen separate States or by three or four distinct confederacies. as well as against dangers from FOREIGN ARMS AND INFLUENCE. the political counsels. the best men in the country will not only consent to serve. that of providing for their SAFETY seems to be the first. That consideration naturally tends to create great respect for the high opinion which the people of America have so long and uniformly entertained of the importance of their continuing firmly united under one federal government. for if it should turn out that United America will probably give the fewest. whether REAL or PRETENDED. has. vested with sufficient powers for all general and national purposes. like the Americans. November 3. although town or country. intelligent and wellinformed) seldom adopt and steadily persevere for many years in an erroneous opinion respecting their interests. -. it is proper it should be the first discussed. and consequently . for the most part. under an efficient national government. arise either from violation of treaties or from direct violence. with respect to the two latter.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor Journal. At present I mean only to consider it as it respects security for the preservation of peace and tranquillity. and judicious than those of individual States.especially as it will have the widest field for choice. or senates. Saturday. or other contracted influence. and Britain. It is of high importance to the peace of America that she observe the laws of nations towards all these powers. The SAFETY of the people doubtless has relation to a great variety of circumstances and considerations. Hence. America has already formed treaties with no less than six foreign nations. the more I become convinced that they are cogent and conclusive. yet more general and extensive reputation for talents and other qualifications will be necessary to recommend men to offices under the national government. except Prussia. it will result that the administration. 1787 JAY To the People of the State of New York: 10 IT IS not a new observation that the people of any country (if. As the former of these comes first in order. affords them the best security that can be devised against HOSTILITIES from abroad. Spain. and all of them. The number of wars which have happened or will happen in the world will always be found to be in proportion to the number and weight of the causes. are maritime. or executive departments. for. The JUST causes of war. and consequently affords great latitude to those who wish to define it precisely and comprehensively. the circumstance of neighborhood to attend to. or courts of justice. and. systematical. but also will generally be appointed to manage it. and therefore able to annoy and injure us. Let us therefore proceed to examine whether the people are not right in their opinion that a cordial Union. If this remark be just. The more attentively I consider and investigate the reasons which appear to have given birth to this opinion. which PROVOKE or INVITE them.

will not always accord or be consistent. and opposes their acknowledging. not being affected by those local circumstances. and in that respect the former most favors the SAFETY of the people. and in that respect. and may affect a great number of the inhabitants. -. and compensations are often accepted as . have given occasion to the slaughter of many innocent inhabitants. As to those just causes of war which proceed from direct and unlawful violence. But the national government. Because such violences are more frequently caused by the passions and interests of a part than of the whole. or in three or four confederacies. 11 Because. in thirteen States. bordering on some States and not on others. explanations. if willing. in such cases. nor want power or inclination to prevent or punish its commission by others. if any. to prevent the injustice meditated. will not be affected by this pride.whereas. as well from the variety of independent courts and judges appointed by different and independent governments. under the national government. and consequently having little or no influence on the national government. or to punish the aggressors. The national government. naturally confines the causes of quarrel more immediately to the borderers. and that. of one or two States than of the Union. Because. as either designed or accidental violations of treaties and the laws of nations afford JUST causes of war. by direct violence. correcting. therefore. and a quick sense of apparent interest or injury. They will be more temperate and cool. the temptation will be fruitless. treaties and articles of treaties. not reaching the other States. who. it is well known that acknowledgments. to excite war with these nations. naturally disposes them to justify all their actions. as well as more SAFE with respect to us. whose wisdom and prudence will not be diminished by the passions which actuate the parties immediately interested. The bordering States. and commonly do. will be more in capacity to act advisedly than the offending State. but there are several instances of Indian hostilities having been provoked by the improper conduct of individual States. but it will also be more in their power to accommodate and settle them amicably. as well as the laws of nations. they are less to be apprehended under one general government than under several lesser ones. result from circumstances peculiar to the State. The wisdom of the convention. it appears equally clear to me that one good national government affords vastly more security against dangers of that sort than can be derived from any other quarter. and nothing can so effectually obviate that danger as a national government. and good faith and justice be preserved. but those temptations. Not a single Indian war has yet been occasioned by aggressions of the present federal government. feeble as it is. So far. even if the governing party in a State should be disposed to resist such temptations. will be those who. will neither be induced to commit the wrong themselves. Besides. but will proceed with moderation and candor to consider and decide on the means most proper to extricate them from the difficulties which threaten them. in committing such questions to the jurisdiction and judgment of courts appointed by and responsible only to one national government. cannot be too much commended. But not only fewer just causes of war will be given by the national government. The neighborhood of Spanish and British territories. The case of the treaty of peace with Britain adds great weight to this reasoning. adjudications on the same points and questions. as from the different local laws and interests which may affect and influence them. will be most likely. will always be expounded in one sense and executed in the same manner.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor more satisfactory with respect to other nations. as well as of men. either unable or unwilling to restrain or punish offenses. The pride of states. the governing party may not always be able. Because the prospect of present loss or advantage may often tempt the governing party in one or two States to swerve from good faith and justice. as well as in others. under the impulse of sudden irritation. or repairing their errors and offenses. yet as such temptations may.

and as we thereby supply ourselves with commodities . But the safety of the people of America against dangers from FOREIGN force depends not only on their forbearing to give JUST causes of war to other nations. and we shall deceive ourselves if we suppose that any of them will rejoice to see it flourish. to restrain than to promote it. November 7. absolute monarchs will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it. such as thirst for military glory. but also on their placing and continuing themselves in such a situation as not to INVITE hostility or insult. inasmuch as it enables us to partake in advantages which they had in a manner monopolized. 4 The Same Subject Continued (Concerning Dangers From Foreign Force and Influence) For the Independent Journal. as our carrying trade cannot increase without in some degree diminishing theirs. endeavored to appease him. or private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families or partisans. and those reasons show that such causes would not only be more rarely given. we interfere with more than one nation. often lead him to engage in wars not sanctified by justice or the voice and interests of his people. In the trade to China and India. Wednesday. there are others which affect nations as often as kings. It is too true. and some of them will on examination be found to grow out of our relative situation and circumstances. independent of these inducements to war. which would be rejected as unsatisfactory if offered by a State or confederacy of little consideration or power. With France and with Britain we are rivals in the fisheries. or chief magistrate. however disgraceful it may be to human nature. but for the purposes and objects merely personal. nay. but which well deserve our attention. for. that nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it. revenge for personal affronts.. which affect only the mind of the sovereign.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor satisfactory from a strong united nation. to ask his pardon and receive his terms. notwithstanding any efforts to prevent it by bounties on their own or duties on foreign fish. to FRANCE. Would he on any occasion either have demanded or have received the like humiliation from Spain. by a national government than either by the State governments or the proposed little confederacies. and can supply their markets cheaper than they can themselves. 12 In the year 1685. the state of Genoa having offended Louis XIV. or any other POWERFUL nation? PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. ambition. He demanded that they should send their Doge. accompanied by four of their senators. These and a variety of other motives. and will be more their policy. for it need not be observed that there are PRETENDED as well as just causes of war. it is more their interest. but would also be more easily accommodated. or Britain. With them and with most other European nations we are rivals in navigation and the carrying trade. They were obliged to submit to it for the sake of peace. which are more prevalent in absolute monarchies. 1787 JAY To the People of the State of New York: MY LAST paper assigned several reasons why the safety of the people would be best secured by union against the danger it may be exposed to by JUST causes of war given to other nations. But.

That situation consists in the best possible state of defense. will. and that whenever such inducements may find fit time and opportunity for operation.let Ireland have its navigation and fleet -. and that we are not to expect that they should regard our advancement in union. do they consider union and a good national government as necessary to put and keep them in SUCH A SITUATION as.if one national government had not called forth all the national means and materials for forming fleets. had not so regulated the navigation of Britain as to make it a nursery for seamen -. The people of America are aware that inducements to war may arise out of these circumstances. and necessarily depends on the government. if we are wise. It can move on uniform principles of policy. when the fleets of America may engage attention. and that more easily and expeditiously than State governments or separate confederacies can possibly do. in whatever part of the Union they may be found. and cannot be provided for without government. which might. Wisely. for want of concert and unity of system. consolidate them into one corps. In the formation of treaties.let Scotland have its navigation and fleet -. and if the Welsh militia obeyed the government of Wales? Suppose an invasion. because the cheapness and excellence of our productions. From these and such like considerations. as well as from others not so obvious at present. and the time may come. and extend the benefit of its foresight and precautions to each. and protect the several parts and members. and thereby render them more efficient than if divided into thirteen or into three or four distinct independent companies. more competent than any other given number whatever. by putting their officers in a proper line of subordination to the Chief Magistrate. One government can collect and avail itself of the talents and experience of the ablest men. the arms. and it is easy to perceive how soon they would each dwindle into comparative insignificance. It can harmonize. would those three governments (if they agreed at all) be able. and the resources of the country. and the enterprise and address of our merchants and navigators. . and Britain excludes us from the Saint Lawrence on the other. will tend to repress and discourage it. it will regard the interest of the whole. Let England have its navigation and fleet -. relative to the object in question. assimilate. their prowess and their thunder would never have been celebrated. But if one national government.let those four of the constituent parts of the British empire be be under four independent governments. It can place the militia under one plan of discipline. What would the militia of Britain be if the English militia obeyed the government of England. added to the circumstance of vicinity.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor which we used to purchase from them. as it were. nor will either of them permit the other waters which are between them and us to become the means of mutual intercourse and traffic. than consists with the wishes or policy of their respective sovereigns. and. instead of INVITING war. therefore. if consistent with prudence. in power and consequence by land and by sea. with all their respective forces. it is easy to see that jealousies and uneasinesses may gradually slide into the minds and cabinets of other nations. As the safety of the whole is the interest of the whole. pretenses to color and justify them will not be wanting. with an eye of indifference and composure. to operate against the enemy so effectually as the single government of Great Britain would? We have heard much of the fleets of Britain. and the particular interests of the parts as connected with that of the whole. will give us a greater share in the advantages which those territories afford. either one or more or many. 13 The extension of our own commerce in our own vessels cannot give pleasure to any nations who possess territories on or near this continent. Spain thinks it convenient to shut the Mississippi against us on the one side. let us inquire whether one good government is not. be more amplified and detailed. if the Scotch militia obeyed the government of Scotland. It can apply the resources and power of the whole to the defense of any particular part.let Wales have its navigation and fleet -.

what armies could they raise and pay -. It must increase your strength. The history of the states of Greece. they find us either destitute of an effectual government (each State doing right or wrong. that the union may be brought to a happy conclusion. 5 The Same Subject Continued (Concerning Dangers From Foreign Force and Influence) For the Independent Journal. and whose importance they are content to see diminished? Although such conduct would not be wise." "We most earnestly recommend to you calmness and unanimity in this great and weighty affair. on the other hand.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 14 Apply these facts to our own case. nevertheless. If they see that our national government is efficient and well administered. would the others fly to its succor. 1787 JAY To the People of the State of New York: QUEEN ANNE. that foreign nations will know and view it exactly as it is. and by this union the whole island. and in case of disputes what umpire shall decide between them and compel acquiescence? Various difficulties and inconveniences would be inseparable from such a situation. in her letter of the 1st July. under similar circumstances. to the Scotch Parliament. another to France. our trade prudently regulated. makes some observations on the importance of the UNION then forming between England and Scotland. our resources and finances discreetly managed. and the jealousies and differences betwixt our two kingdoms. How. our militia properly organized and disciplined. into three or four independent governments -. or split into three or four independent and probably discordant republics or confederacies. and combining and directing the powers and resources of the whole. contented. and a third to Spain. Leave America divided into thirteen or. and they will act toward us accordingly. of whom perhaps they have been jealous. and perhaps played off against each other by the three. and in what proportion shall aids of men and money be afforded? Who shall command the allied armies. and conduce far more to the safety of the people. certain it is. and of other countries. our people free. or split into a number of confederacies. being joined in affection and free from all apprehensions of different interest. would be free from all these embarrassments. happen again. as to its rulers may seem convenient). will be ENABLED TO RESIST ALL ITS ENEMIES. . and how soon would dear-bought experience proclaim that when a people or family so divide. and from which of them shall he receive his orders? Who shall settle the terms of peace.what fleets could they ever hope to have? If one was attacked. remove the animosities amongst yourselves. watching over the general and common interests. whether firmly united under one national government. and united. I shall present the public with one or two extracts from it: "An entire and perfect union will be the solid foundation of lasting peace: It will secure your religion. whereas one government. if you please. what a poor. pitiful figure will America make in their eyes! How liable would she become not only to their contempt but to their outrage. If. But whatever may be our situation. it never fails to be against themselves. abounds with such instances. which merit our attention. riches. and trade. one inclining to Britain. our credit re-established. and spend their blood and money in its defense? Would there be no danger of their being flattered into neutrality by its specious promises. they will be much more disposed to cultivate our friendship than provoke our resentment. liberty. Saturday. and it is not improbable that what has so often happened would. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. it would. or seduced by a too great fondness for peace to decline hazarding their tranquillity and present safety for the sake of neighbors. and when. 1706. But admit that they might be willing to help the invaded State or confederacy. November 10. be natural. and property.

admitting that to be practicable. they would always be either involved in disputes and war.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor being the only EFFECTUAL way to secure our present and future happiness. strength. yet what human contrivance can secure the continuance of such equality? Independent of those local circumstances which tend to beget and increase power in one part and to impede its progress in another. that any one of these nations or confederacies should rise on the scale of political importance much above the degree of her neighbors. even if it was possible to form them so at first. not only to lose confidence in her neighbors. that weakness and divisions at home would invite dangers from abroad. Distrust naturally creates distrust." 15 It was remarked in the preceding paper. prudence. or live in the constant apprehension of them. would be the only objects of their policy and pursuits. and by nothing is good-will and kind conduct more speedily changed than by invidious jealousies and uncandid imputations. be unquestionably more formidable than any of the others. Whenever. would not the same thing happen? Would not similar jealousies arise. that moment would those neighbors behold her with envy and with fear. but. at a period not very distant. and the partial interests of each confederacy. Much time would not be necessary to enable her to discern these unfriendly dispositions. Notwithstanding their true interest with respect to the continental nations was really the same. and by which their relative equality in strength and consideration would be destroyed. it might happen. No sooner would this become evident than the NORTHERN HIVE would excite the same ideas and sensations in the more southern parts of America which it formerly did in the southern parts of Europe. whether expressed or implied. and that those three were almost constantly embroiled in quarrels and wars with one another. but also to feel a disposition equally unfavorable to them. and it gives us many useful lessons. whatever might promise to diminish her importance. on this occasion. USE THEIR UTMOST ENDEAVORS TO PREVENT OR DELAY THIS UNION. For it cannot be presumed that the same degree of sound policy. if not to promote. and that nothing would tend more to secure us from them than union. yet by the arts and policy and practices of those nations. their mutual jealousies were perpetually kept inflamed. instead of the general interests of all America. The most sanguine advocates for three or four confederacies cannot reasonably suppose that they would long remain exactly on an equal footing in point of strength. . we must advert to the effects of that superior policy and good management which would probably distinguish the government of one above the rest. who will doubtless. The history of Great Britain is the one with which we are in general the best acquainted. This subject is copious and cannot easily be exhausted. Both those passions would lead them to countenance." envy and jealousy would soon extinguish confidence and affection. and good government within ourselves. and foresight would uniformly be observed by each of these confederacies for a long succession of years. yet we find that they were for ages divided into three. and for a long series of years they were far more inconvenient and troublesome than they were useful and assisting to each other. We may profit by their experience without paying the price which it cost them. She would soon begin. and would also restrain them from measures calculated to advance or even to secure her prosperity. The North is generally the region of strength. like most other BORDERING nations. and happen it would. Although it seems obvious to common sense that the people of such an island should be but one nation. Nor does it appear to be a rash conjecture that its young swarms might often be tempted to gather honey in the more blooming fields and milder air of their luxurious and more delicate neighbors. Should the people of America divide themselves into three or four nations. and disappoint the designs of our and your enemies. and be in like manner cherished? Instead of their being "joined in affection" and free from all apprehension of different "interests. Hence. and from whatever causes. and many local circumstances render it probable that the most Northern of the proposed confederacies would.

than to guard against foreign dangers by alliances between themselves. that they would place us exactly in the situations in which some nations doubtless wish to see us. so would those treaties be essentially different. nor. November 14. and as their productions and commodities are different and proper for different markets. 1787 HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE three last numbers of this paper have been dedicated to an enumeration of the dangers to which we should be exposed.those which will in all probability flow from dissensions between the States themselves. And here let us not forget how much more easy it is to receive foreign fleets into our ports. as in Europe. then. from the arms and arts of foreign nations. Each of them would have its commerce with foreigners to regulate by distinct treaties. neighboring nations. 6 Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the States For the Independent Journal. still more alarming kind -. Hence it might and probably would happen that the foreign nation with whom the SOUTHERN confederacy might be at war would be the one with whom the NORTHERN confederacy would be the most desirous of preserving peace and friendship. combine in such alliance. and of course different degrees of political attachment to and connection with different foreign nations. in a state of disunion. whether the division of America into any given number of independent sovereignties would tend to secure us against the hostilities and improper interference of foreign nations. These have . acting under the impulse of opposite interests and unfriendly passions. would frequently be found taking different sides.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 16 They who well consider the history of similar divisions and confederacies will find abundant reason to apprehend that those in contemplation would in no other sense be neighbors than as they would be borderers. I shall now proceed to delineate dangers of a different and. in short. and foreign armies into our country. Wednesday. into which Britain and Spain were formerly divided. viz. that they would neither love nor trust one another. perhaps. than it is to persuade or compel them to depart. An alliance so contrary to their immediate interest would not therefore be easy to form. Considering our distance from Europe. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. would it be observed and fulfilled with perfect good faith. which would be necessary to put and keep them in a formidable state of defense against foreign enemies. if formed. and therefore that each of them should be more desirous to guard against the others by the aid of foreign alliances. How many conquests did the Romans and others make in the characters of allies.. and mutual injuries. it would be more natural for these confederacies to apprehend danger from one another than from distant nations. and from domestic factions and convulsions. Nay. and what innovations did they under the same character introduce into the governments of those whom they pretended to protect. FORMIDABLE ONLY TO EACH OTHER. From these considerations it appears that those gentlemen are greatly mistaken who suppose that alliances offensive and defensive might be formed between these confederacies. jealousy. but on the contrary would be a prey to discord. it is far more probable that in America. or unite their forces against a foreign enemy? The proposed confederacies will be DISTINCT NATIONS. and would produce that combination and union of wills of arms and of resources. Different commercial concerns must create different interests. When did the independent states. Let candid men judge.

a reference.[7] and the cabals of a third. the subdivisions into which they might be thrown would have frequent and violent contests with each other. after various vicissitudes. would be to forget that men are ambitious.[3] or to get rid of the accusations prepared to be brought against him for dissipating the funds of the state in the purchase of popularity. of a considerable part of Europe. intermissions. and at the hazard of the safety and independence. and pacifications. of whose intrigues Wolsey was at once the instrument and the dupe. tending to illustrate the general principle. not less numerous than either of the former. it was the Emperor Charles V. contrary to the plainest dictates of policy. Those who have but a superficial acquaintance with the sources from which they are to be drawn. distinguished in the Grecian annals by the name of the PELOPONNESIAN war. There are some which have a general and almost constant operation upon the collective bodies of society. hopes. vindictive. it is much to be doubted whether Massachusetts would have been plunged into a civil war. To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent. .[6] the petulance of another. For if there ever was a sovereign who bid fair to realize the project of universal monarchy. Men of this class. according to their direction. would be to disregard the uniform course of human events. 17 A man must be far gone in Utopian speculations who can seriously doubt that. which. and destroyed the city of the SAMNIANS. The ambitious cardinal. will themselves recollect a variety of instances. And there are others.[5] entertained hopes of succeeding in the acquisition of that splendid prize by the influence of the Emperor Charles V.[1] at the expense of much of the blood and treasure of his countrymen. as well of the kingdom over which he presided by his counsels. are topics that have been too often descanted upon not to be generally known. or the desire of equality and safety. enmities. terminated in the ruin of the Athenian commonwealth. The influence which the bigotry of one female.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor been already in some instances slightly anticipated. in the attachments. if these States should either be wholly disunited. as of Europe in general. or only united in partial confederacies. or to avoid a prosecution with which he was threatened as an accomplice of a supposed theft of the statuary Phidias. in compliance with the resentment of a prostitute. was the primitive author of that famous and fatal war.[8] had in the contemporary policy. whether the favorites of a king or of a people. Of this description are the love of power or the desire of pre-eminence and dominion -. have in too many instances abused the confidence they possessed. and assuming the pretext of some public motive. The causes of hostility among nations are innumerable. but they deserve a more particular and more full investigation. permitting his vanity to aspire to the triple crown.. If Shays had not been a DESPERATE DEBTOR. who was prime minister to Henry VIII. interests. To secure the favor and interest of this enterprising and powerful monarch. unconnected sovereignties in the same neighborhood. and those who have a tolerable knowledge of human nature will not stand in need of such lights to form their opinion either of the reality or extent of that agency. have not scrupled to sacrifice the national tranquillity to personal advantage or personal gratification. would be an unnecessary waste of time. either foreign or domestic. however. and renewals. vanquished. which take their origin entirely in private passions. may with propriety be made to a case which has lately happened among ourselves. To multiply examples of the agency of personal considerations in the production of great national events. stimulated by private pique against the MEGARENSIANS. and fears of leading individuals in the communities of which they are members.[2] another nation of Greece. Perhaps. ferments.. The same man. and rapacious. he precipitated England into a war with France. and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of ages. attacked. There are others which have a more circumscribed though an equally operative influence within their spheres. Such are the rivalships and competitions of commerce between commercial nations. To presume a want of motives for such contests as an argument against their existence.[4] or from a combination of all these causes.the jealousy of power. The celebrated Pericles.

Rome. Pope Julius II. in later times. nevertheless. rivalships. and Rome was never sated of carnage and conquest.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 18 But notwithstanding the concurring testimony of experience. took a leading and conspicuous part in the wars of Europe. in turn. Sparta. both for the one and for the other? Let experience. two of them. avarice. be appealed to for an answer to these inquiries. and are. till they were overwhelmed in debts and taxes. like ours. Is it not (we may ask these projectors in politics) the true interest of all nations to cultivate the same benevolent and philosophic spirit? If this be their true interest. resentment. in many instances. administered new incentives to the appetite. which so long kept Europe in a flame. the least fallible guide of human opinions. before Scipio. jealousy. in numerous instances. utility or justice? Have republics in practice been less addicted to war than monarchies? Are not the former administered by MEN as well as the latter? Are there not aversions. though dismembered and alienated from each other. was the aggressor in the very war that ended in her destruction. and desires of unjust acquisitions. Few nations. proceeded from the people. have they in fact pursued it? Has it not. and of other irregular and violent propensities? Is it not well known that their determinations are often governed by a few individuals in whom they place confidence. as the neighboring monarchies of the same times. predilections. of course. In the government of Britain the representatives of the people compose one branch of the national legislature. Sparta was little better than a wellregulated camp. found means to accomplish that formidable league. and the wars in which that kingdom has been engaged have. seconding the . Athens and Carthage. and will cultivate a spirit of mutual amity and concord. The cries of the nation and the importunities of their representatives have. figured more than once in wars of ambition. if I may so express it. The genius of republics (say they) is pacific. who stand ready to advocate the paradox of perpetual peace between the States. and immediate interest. Yet were they as often engaged in wars. and were among the most persevering and most implacable of the opponents of Louis XIV. gave him an overthrow in the territories of Carthage. liable to be tinctured by the passions and views of those individuals? Has commerce hitherto done anything more than change the objects of war? Is not the love of wealth as domineering and enterprising a passion as that of power or glory? Have there not been as many wars founded upon commercial motives since that has become the prevailing system of nations. upon various occasions. The provinces of Holland. They will be governed by mutual interest. invariably been found that momentary passions. and sometimes contrary to the real interests of the State. Commerce has been for ages the predominant pursuit of that country. contrary to their inclinations. becoming an object to the other Italian states. In that memorable struggle for superiority between the rival houses of AUSTRIA and BOURBON. Athens. the spirit of commerce has a tendency to soften the manners of men. almost as many popular as royal wars. will never be disposed to waste themselves in ruinous contentions with each other. and Carthage were all republics. in this particular. on the contrary. or continued them in it.[9] which gave a deadly blow to the power and pride of this haughty republic. and to extinguish those inflammable humors which have so often kindled into wars. have a more active and imperious control over human conduct than general or remote considerations of policy. offensive and defensive. though a commercial republic. Venice. till. of the commercial kind. it is well known that the antipathies of the English against the French. Carthage. dragged their monarchs into war. Hannibal had carried her arms into the heart of Italy and to the gates of Rome. and made a conquest of the commonwealth. have been more frequently engaged in war. They had furious contests with England for the dominion of the sea. there are still to be found visionary or designing men. as were before occasioned by the cupidity of territory or dominion? Has not the spirit of commerce. that affect nations as well as kings? Are not popular assemblies frequently subject to the impulses of rage. Commercial republics. There have been.

"[11] This passage. at the same time. and to adopt as a practical maxim for the direction of our political conduct that we. weaknesses and evils incident to society in every shape? Is it not time to awake from the deceitful dream of a golden age. Aspasia. Ibid. The wars of these two last-mentioned nations have in a great measure grown out of commercial considerations. points out the EVIL and suggests the REMEDY. because they exceeded the bounds of a just retaliation and were chargeable with inhumanity and cruelty. Letters of reprisal were granted. declare -. the innocent were.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 19 ambition. either in particular branches of traffic or in the general advantages of trade and navigation. constitutes nations natural enemies. Ibid. or rather the avarice. confounded with the guilty in indiscriminate punishment. in a state of separation? Have we not already seen enough of the fallacy and extravagance of those idle theories which have amused us with promises of an exemption from the imperfections. as well as the other inhabitants of the globe. and by the usual progress of a spirit of resentment. and their constitution prevents the differences that neighborhood occasions. The last war but between Britain and Spain sprang from the attempts of the British merchants to prosecute an illicit trade with the Spanish main. for the . and was communicated from that body to the ministry. Many of the English who were taken on the Spanish coast were sent to dig in the mines of Potosi. that it has from long observation of the progress of society become a sort of axiom in politics. of a favorite leader. let the inconveniences felt everywhere from a lax and ill administration of government. vide "Plutarch's Life of Pericles. which in its consequences overthrew all the alliances that but twenty years before had been formed with sanguine expectations of the most beneficial fruits. whose situations have borne the nearest resemblance to our own.the desire of supplanting and the fear of being supplanted. which soon after broke out in the House of Commons. and the actual insurrections and rebellions in Massachusetts. Ibid. Phidias was supposed to have stolen some public gold." 2. and sometimes even the more culpable desire of sharing in the commerce of other nations without their consent. The complaints of the merchants kindled a violent flame throughout the nation. From this summary of what has taken place in other countries. An intelligent writer expresses himself on this subject to this effect: "NEIGHBORING NATIONS (says he) are naturally enemies of each other unless their common weakness forces them to league in a CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC. 4. in the event of disunion. and for a considerable time in opposition to the views of the court. and a war ensued. with the connivance of Pericles. that vicinity or nearness of situation.! So far is the general sense of mankind from corresponding with the tenets of those who endeavor to lull asleep our apprehensions of discord and hostility between the States. 3. PUBLIUS 1. These unjustifiable practices on their part produced severity on the part of the Spaniards toward the subjects of Great Britain which were not more justifiable. what reason can we have to confide in those reveries which would seduce us into an expectation of peace and cordiality between the members of the present confederacy. the late menacing disturbances in Pennsylvania. let the revolt of a part of the State of North Carolina. extinguishing that secret jealousy which disposes all states to aggrandize themselves at the expense of their neighbors. -. after a while. are yet remote from the happy empire of perfect wisdom and perfect virtue? Let the point of extreme depression to which our national dignity and credit have sunk.[10] protracted the war beyond the limits marked out by sound policy.

unfortunately for us. 7. to afford a decided prospect of an amicable termination of the dispute.precisely the same inducements which have. however. especially as to all that part of the Western territory which. till it was relinquished in the treaty of peace. what inducements could the States have. The States within the limits of whose colonial governments they were comprised have claimed them as their property. deluged in blood all the nations in the world. with an air of seeming triumph. But. It is well known that they have heretofore had serious and animated discussion concerning the rights to the lands which were ungranted at the time of the Revolution. it has been said. We have a vast tract of unsettled territory within the boundaries of the United States. 5. of the tendency of which. at different times. Thursday. the others have contended that the rights of the crown in this article devolved upon the Union. There are causes of differences within our immediate contemplation. 6. or through the submission of the Indian proprietors. comprehending the Emperor. 11. Madame de Maintenon. was subjected to the jurisdiction of the king of Great Britain. 7 The Same Subject Continued (Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the States) For the Independent Journal. The League of Cambray. under a continuation of the Union. Vide "Principes des Negociations" par l'Abbé de Mably. 8. and most of the Italian princes and states.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor embellishment of the statue of Minerva. the King of Aragon. the question admits of a more particular answer. Madame de Pompadour. even under the restraints of a federal constitution. and which usually went under the name of crown lands. __ FEDERALIST No. Worn by the popes. was at all events an acquisition to the Confederacy by compact with a foreign power. It has been the prudent policy of Congress to appease this controversy. This has been so far accomplished as. by prevailing upon the States to make cessions to the United States for the benefit of the whole. the King of France. November 15. 1787 HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: IT IS sometimes asked. The Duke of Marlborough. There still are discordant and undecided claims between several of them. would revive this dispute. 20 9. This cause would exist among us in full force. and the dissolution of the Union would lay a foundation for similar claims between them all. either by actual possession. This. if disunited. 10. Perhaps the greatest proportion of wars that have desolated the earth have sprung from this origin. to make war upon each other? It would be a full answer to this question to say -. and would create others on the same . we have had sufficient experience to enable us to form a judgment of what might be expected if those restraints were removed. Duchess of Marlborough. A dismemberment of the Confederacy. Territorial disputes have at all times been found one of the most fertile sources of hostility among nations.

and as they would affect the opposite interests of the parties. Two motives preponderated in that opposition: one. remained undiminished. But Connecticut gave strong indications of dissatisfaction with that determination. had this State attempted to assert its rights by force. and Maryland. nor did she appear to be entirely resigned to it. and the court decided in favor of Pennsylvania. At present. The submission was made. and exclusions. they might not easily be susceptible of a pacific adjustment. to which we have been accustomed since the earliest settlement of the country. and that the justice of participating in territory acquired or secured by the joint efforts of the Confederacy. The infractions of these regulations. to reclaim the lands as a reversion. would be apt when the motive of the grant had ceased. that the sword would sometimes be appealed to as the arbiter of their differences. who had obtained grants of lands under the actual government of that district. Different principles would be set up by different States for this purpose. Nothing here said is intended to convey the slightest censure on the conduct of that State. on the other. . which would beget discontent. saw with an unfriendly eye the perspective of our growing greatness. or separate confederacy. and the other. if not by any anterior right. which characterizes the commercial part of America. as to a proper rule of apportionment. a large part of the vacant Western territory is. The States less favorably circumstanced would be desirous of escaping from the disadvantages of local situation. It is not at all probable that this unbridled spirit would pay much respect to those regulations of trade by which particular States might endeavor to secure exclusive benefits to their own citizens. could not be revoked. we perceive an ample theatre for hostile pretensions. the efforts to prevent and repel them. These being small States. Their argument would be. admonish us not to be sanguine in expecting an easy accommodation of such differences. that each had a right to a share of this common stock. Each State. and States. than to establish their own pretensions. on one side. would give a keener edge to those causes of discontent than they would naturally have independent of this circumstance. Even the States which brought forward claims. The habits of intercourse. contrary to probability. a jealousy entertained of our future power. the States which made the cession. on the basis of equal privileges. Those who had an opportunity of seeing the inside of the transactions which attended the progress of the controversy between this State and the district of Vermont. has left no occasion of displaying itself unimproved. seemed more solicitous to dismember this State. like individuals. These were New Hampshire. by negotiation and management. would pursue a system of commercial policy peculiar to itself. once made. by right of representation. as well from States not interested as from those which were interested in the claim. If that were at an end. by cession at least. preferences.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 21 subject. To reason from the past to the future. and Connecticut. therefore. WE SHOULD BE READY TO DENOMINATE INJURIES THOSE THINGS WHICH WERE IN REALITY THE JUSTIFIABLE ACTS OF INDEPENDENT SOVEREIGNTIES CONSULTING A DISTINCT INTEREST. In the wide field of Western territory. respecting the land at Wyoming. on a principle of federal compromise. The articles of confederation obliged the parties to submit the matter to the decision of a federal court. discovered a warm zeal for the independence of Vermont. The competitions of commerce would be another fruitful source of contention. would naturally lead to outrages. something like an equivalent was found for the loss she supposed herself to have sustained. This would occasion distinctions. upon all occasions. acquiesce with great reluctance in determinations to their disadvantage. and of sharing in the advantages of their more fortunate neighbors. there would still be a difficulty to be surmounted. Massachusetts. it should be admitted by all the States. till. we shall have good ground to apprehend. that a grant. the interest of certain individuals of influence in the neighboring States. If. if it should be their unpropitious destiny to become disunited. entered deeply into the same views. can vouch the opposition we experienced. New Jersey and Rhode Island. The other States would no doubt insist on a proportion. till alarmed by the appearance of a connection between Canada and that State. the common property of the Union. The circumstances of the dispute between Connecticut and Pennsylvania. without any umpire or common judge to interpose between the contending parties. She no doubt sincerely believed herself to have been injured by the decision. and can attest the danger to which the peace of the Confederacy might have been exposed. The spirit of enterprise. in contradiction to ours. In a review of these transactions we may trace some of the causes which would be likely to embroil the States with each other.

would be productive of complaints. The others would as naturally be disinclined to a revision. in their opinion. and New Jersey would afford an example of this kind. so oppressive? Should we be able to preserve it against the incumbent weight of Connecticut on the one side. How would it be possible to agree upon a rule of apportionment satisfactory to all? There is scarcely any that can be proposed which is entirely free from real objections. These would be inclined to magnify the difficulties of a distribution. and the apportionment made. which was likely to end in an increase of their own incumbrances. We are not authorized to expect that a more liberal or more equitable spirit would preside over the legislations of the . and. Still there is great room to suppose that the rule agreed upon would. The apportionment. that there is nothing men differ so readily about as the payment of money. upon experiment. be found to bear harder upon some States than upon others. the reluctance with which men commonly part with money for purposes that have outlived the exigencies which produced them. nor would it be practicable. Connecticut. feel an indifference. These. Suppose the difficulties of agreeing upon a rule surmounted. and. a numerous body of whose citizens are creditors to the public beyond proportion of the State in the total amount of the national debt. would be strenuous for some equitable and effective provision. and the peace of the States would be hazarded to the double contingency of external invasion and internal contention.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor and these to reprisals and wars. as usual. not to be embraced with avidity. if not a repugnance. would be exaggerated by the adverse interest of the parties. Others of them. The citizens of the States interested would clamour. Those which were sufferers by it would naturally seek for a mitigation of the burden. The public debt of the Union would be a further cause of collision between the separate States or confederacies. still delinquencies in payments on the part of some of the States would result from a diversity of other causes -.the real deficiency of resources. from the necessities of revenue. The settlement of a rule would. Some of them. New York would neither be willing nor able to forego this advantage. be postponed by real differences of opinion and affected delays. A great part of these duties must be paid by the inhabitants of the two other States in the capacity of consumers of what we import. either less impressed with the importance of national credit. accidental disorders in the management of the government. New York. as they amount to aggressions on the rights of those States whose citizens are injured by them. Laws in violation of private contracts. recriminations. Her citizens would not consent that a duty paid by them should be remitted in favor of the citizens of her neighbors. and the non-compliance of these States with their engagements would be a ground of bitter discussion and altercation. in addition to the rest. would be alike productive of ill-humor and animosity. the mismanagement of their finances. The relative situation of New York. must lay duties on her importations. For it is an observation. There are even dissimilar views among the States as to the general principle of discharging the public debt. or because their citizens have little. There is. immediate interest in the question. to the payment of the domestic debt at any rate. if any. from the possession of which we derived an advantage so odious to our neighbors. If even the rule adopted should in practice justify the equality of its principle. foreign powers would urge for the satisfaction of their just demands. Would Connecticut and New Jersey long submit to be taxed by New York for her exclusive benefit? Should we be long permitted to remain in the quiet and undisturbed enjoyment of a metropolis. in the meantime. perhaps. as true as it is trite. The procrastinations of the former would excite the resentments of the latter. and quarrels. and the co-operating pressure of New Jersey on the other? These are questions that temerity alone will answer in the affirmative. may be considered as another probable source of hostility. to distinguish the customers in our own markets. and the progressive extinguishment afterward. 22 The opportunities which some States would have of rendering others tributary to them by commercial regulations would be impatiently submitted to by the tributary States. in the first instance. Delinquencies. if there were not this impediment in the way. and interfere with the supply of immediate wants. Their refusal would be too plausible a pretext to the complaining States to withhold their contributions. nothing more likely to disturb the tranquillity of nations than their being bound to mutual contributions for any common object that does not yield an equal and coincident benefit. from whatever causes.

not of PARCHMENT. have. have been sufficiently unfolded in some preceding papers. to exhaust the strength and delay the progress of an invader. which have fallen to the lot of all neighboring nations not united under one government. with the aid of posts. in case of disunion. Similar impediments occur at every step. Divide et impera[1] must be the motto of every nation that either hates or fears us. We have observed the disposition to retaliation excited in Connecticut in consequence of the enormities perpetrated by the Legislature of Rhode Island. of friendship and enmity. but now a comparatively small force of disciplined troops. and we reasonably infer that. that America. would be subject to those vicissitudes of peace and war. though they bear a malignant aspect to liberty and economy. under other circumstances. and of preventing that rapid desolation which used to mark the progress of war prior to their introduction. Divide and command. The art of fortification has contributed to the same ends. acting on the defensive. with each other. __ FEDERALIST No. in that quarter of the globe. November 20. let us enter into a concise detail of some of the consequences that would attend such a situation. the enterprises of one much more considerable. been productive of the signal advantage of rendering sudden conquests impracticable. or such combinations of them as might happen to be formed out of the wreck of the general Confederacy. 23 The probability of incompatible alliances between the different States or confederacies and different foreign nations. a war. Formerly. to gain admittance into an enemy's country. The disciplined armies always kept on foot on the continent of Europe. 1787. would. would chastise such atrocious breaches of moral obligation and social justice. 8 The Consequences of Hostilities Between the States From the New York Packet. 2. and by the destructive contentions of the parts into which she was divided. which mutually obstruct invasion. Campaigns are wasted in reducing two or three frontier garrisons. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: ASSUMING it therefore as an established truth that the several States. this conclusion is to be drawn. and the effects of this situation upon the peace of the whole. would be accompanied with much greater distresses than it commonly is in those countries where regular military establishments have long obtained.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor individual States hereafter. is able to impede. Tuesday. From the view they have exhibited of this part of the subject. it is proposed to publish them four times a week -. if not connected at all. and finally to frustrate. in the first period of their separate existence. if unrestrained by any additional checks. The history of war.[2] PUBLIUS 1. In order that the whole subject of these papers may as soon as possible be laid before the public. would be likely to become a prey to the artifices and machinations of powers equally the enemies of them all. an invading army would penetrate into the heart of a neighboring country almost as soon as intelligence of its approach could be received. or only by the feeble tie of a simple league. offensive and defensive. be gradually entangled in all the pernicious labyrinths of European politics and wars. but of the sword. notwithstanding. in similar cases. The nations of Europe are encircled with chains of fortified places. War between the States. than we have heretofore seen in too many instances disgracing their several codes. by the operation of such jarring alliances. is no longer a history of nations subdued and .on Tuesday in the New York Packet and on Thursday in the Daily Advertiser.

and with the assistance of disciplined armies. and it is therefore inferred that they may exist under it. perhaps. The means of revenue. though. under vigorous governments. This picture is not too highly wrought. would facilitate inroads. and have rendered disciplined armies. of much effort and little acquisition. These are not vague inferences drawn from supposed or speculative defects in a Constitution. concurring with the habits of nations. but they are solid conclusions. Small states. Neither the pride nor the safety of the more important States or confederacies would permit them long to submit to this mortifying and adventitious superiority. and the science of finance. they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free. absorbed in the pursuits of gain. The want of fortifications. be asked. or their representatives and delegates. Standing armies.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 24 empires overturned. which require a state of as constant preparation. It is of the nature of war to increase the executive at the expense of the legislative authority. from the very terms of the proposition. at most. I confess. why did not standing armies spring up out of the contentions which so often distracted the ancient republics of Greece? Different answers. by disciplined troops. would be desultory and predatory. overrun their less populous neighbors. They would. The calamities of individuals would make the principal figure in the events which would characterize our military exploits. distinct from the . Frequent war and constant apprehension. which have been so greatly multiplied by the increase of gold and silver and of the arts of industry. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war. and by fortifications. therefore. have produced an entire revolution in the system of war. are not provided against in the new Constitution. in doing which their constitutions would acquire a progressive direction toward monarchy. equally satisfactory. at least.[1] Their existence. To be more safe. It may. leaving the frontiers of one state open to another. The industrious habits of the people of the present day. which was the true condition of the people of those republics. Thus. The weaker States or confederacies would first have recourse to them. the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger. The institutions chiefly alluded to are STANDING ARMIES and the correspondent appendages of military establishments. see established in every part of this country the same engines of despotism which have been the scourge of the Old World. the whole power of which is lodged in the hands of a people. or states of greater natural strength. But standing armies. The expedients which have been mentioned would soon give the States or confederacies that made use of them a superiority over their neighbors. which have been destitute of these advantages. in proportion as they are accommodated to this standard. in a little time. after a time. The populous States would. it may be replied. have often triumphed over large states. give way to its dictates. of retreats more beneficial than victories. by way of objection to this. and our reasonings will be the more likely to be just. with little difficulty. must inevitably result from a dissolution of the Confederacy. but of towns taken and retaken. will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. it would not long remain a just one. to reinstate themselves in their lost pre-eminence. of battles that decide nothing. we should. be necessitated to strengthen the executive arm of government. drawn from the natural and necessary progress of human affairs. and devoted to the improvements of agriculture and commerce. is. at the same time. The jealousy of military establishments would postpone them as long as possible. which is the offspring of modern times. it is said. will infallibly produce them. to put themselves upon an equality with their more potent neighbors. They would quickly resort to means similar to those by which it had been effected. PLUNDER and devastation ever march in the train of irregulars. They would endeavor to supply the inferiority of population and resources by a more regular and effective system of defense. In this country the scene would be altogether reversed. problematical and uncertain. may be given to this question. are incompatible with the condition of a nation of soldiers. This. however. War. or states of less natural strength. Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. would be the natural course of things. Even the ardent love of liberty will. Conquests would be as easy to be made as difficult to be retained.

in the first case. or. An insular situation. we should be. little room for the operation of the other causes. but it cannot be by the prowess of an army so inconsiderable as that which has been usually kept up within the kingdom. The army under such circumstances may usefully aid the magistrate to suppress a small faction. 25 There is a wide difference. The continual necessity for their services enhances the importance of the soldier. often the theatre of war. is all that has been deemed requisite. which is most probable. If we are wise enough to preserve the Union we may for ages enjoy an advantage similar to that of an insulated situation. in this position. on the contrary. neither corrupted. and the citizens. not habituated to look up to the military power for protection. but it is very difficult to prevail upon a people under such impressions. they view them with a spirit of jealous acquiescence in a necessary evil. should be thrown together into two or three confederacies. and in one which is often subject to them. The smallness of the army renders the natural strength of the community an overmatch for it. This peculiar felicity of situation has. The laws are not accustomed to relaxations. a larger number of troops upon its domestic establishment. The inhabitants of territories. and proportionably degrades the condition of the citizen. she. also. contributed to preserve the liberty which that country to this day enjoys. The perpetual menacings of danger oblige the government to be always prepared to repel it. is neither remote nor difficult. Extensive military establishments cannot. rarely. the contrary of all this happens. supersede the necessity of a numerous army within the kingdom. its armies must be numerous enough for instant defense.our liberties would be a prey to the means of defending ourselves against the ambition and jealousy of each other. . which have been enumerated as the consequences of internal war. nor confounded with the principles or propensities of the other state. in a short course of time. the inseparable companions of frequent hostility. guarding it in a great measure against the possibility of foreign invasion. and the integral parts should either remain separated. nor would public opinion have tolerated. by that situation.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor body of the citizens. are unavoidably subjected to frequent infringements on their rights. would in all probability be. like them. which serve to weaken their sense of those rights. if at all. to keep on foot armies so numerous as must of necessity be maintained in the latter. There has been. and had been compelled. The rulers of the former can have a good pretext. be necessary to our security. and by degrees the people are brought to consider the soldiery not only as their protectors. at this day. to make a bold or effectual resistance to usurpations supported by the military power. The transition from this disposition to that of considering them masters. to make her military establishments at home coextensive with those of the other great powers of Europe. but as their superiors. a victim to the absolute power of a single man. Britain had been situated on the continent. or to submit to its oppressions. between military establishments in a country seldom exposed by its situation to internal invasions. the people are in no danger of being broken to military subordination. The kingdom of Great Britain falls within the first description. till the militia could have time to rally and embody. in a great degree. The military state becomes elevated above the civil. No motive of national policy has demanded. in spite of the prevalent venality and corruption. but it will be unable to enforce encroachments against the united efforts of the great body of the people. neither love nor fear the soldiery. that the people of that island may be enslaved from other causes. and always apprehensive of them. in favor of military exigencies. as she would have been. Europe is at a great distance from us. and stand ready to resist a power which they suppose may be exerted to the prejudice of their rights. If. It is possible. A sufficient force to make head against a sudden descent. the civil state remains in full vigor. In a country in the predicament last described. called into activity for interior defense. Her colonies in our vicinity will be likely to continue too much disproportioned in strength to be able to give us any dangerous annoyance. for a long time past. and a powerful marine. in the predicament of the continental powers of Europe -. or an occasional mob. if they are even so inclined. though not easy. or insurrection. These armies being. But if we should be disunited.

and have indulged themselves in malicious exultation over its friends and partisans. If now and then intervals of felicity open to view. arising from the reflection that the pleasing scenes before us are soon to be overwhelmed by the tempestuous waves of sedition and party rage. certain. like most other sciences. PUBLIUS 1. 9 The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection For the Independent Journal. not only against the forms of republican government. in a few glorious instances. __ FEDERALIST No. and it will be shown that the only natural precaution which could have been taken on this subject has been taken. we behold them with a mixture of regret. and a much better one than is to be found in any constitution that has been heretofore framed in America. which will be equally permanent monuments of their errors. the rejection of which would in all probability put a final period to the Union. If momentary rays of glory break forth from the gloom. while they dazzle us with a transient and fleeting brilliancy. has received great improvement. 1787 HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: A FIRM Union will be of the utmost moment to the peace and liberty of the States. not less magnificent. The airy phantoms that flit before the distempered imaginations of some of its adversaries would quickly give place to the more substantial forms of dangers. If they exhibit occasional calms. November 21. It is impossible to read the history of the petty republics of Greece and Italy without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were continually agitated. Wednesday. however. This objection will be fully examined in its proper place. They have decried all free government as inconsistent with the order of society. but against the very principles of civil liberty. the enlightened friends to liberty would have been obliged to abandon the cause of that species of government as indefensible. which were either not known at all. and trace it to all its consequences. and meditate dispassionately on the importance of this interesting idea. which have flourished for ages. I trust. have. stupendous fabrics reared on the basis of liberty. and at the rapid succession of revolutions by which they were kept in a state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy. they at the same time admonish us to lament that the vices of government should pervert the direction and tarnish the lustre of those bright talents and exalted endowments for which the favored soils that produced them have been so justly celebrated. these only serve as short-lived contrast to the furious storms that are to succeed. The regular distribution of power into distinct . or imperfectly known to the ancients. but solid and weighty. If such men will make a firm and solemn pause. The efficacy of various principles is now well understood. most of which contain no guard at all on this subject. America will be the broad and solid foundation of other edifices. refuted their gloomy sophisms. From the disorders that disfigure the annals of those republics the advocates of despotism have drawn arguments. And. Happily for mankind. It deserves the most serious and mature consideration of every prudent and honest man of whatever party. and formidable. The science of politics.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 26 This is an idea not superficial or futile. But it is not to be denied that the portraits they have sketched of republican government were too just copies of the originals from which they were taken. If it had been found impracticable to have devised models of a more perfect structure. as a barrier against domestic faction and insurrection. they will not hesitate to part with trivial objections to a Constitution. if they will contemplate it in all its attitudes. real.

the representation of the people in the legislature by deputies of their own election: these are wholly new discoveries. the standards he had in view were of dimensions far short of the limits of almost every one of these States. Neither Virginia. as to increase their external force and security. cited and circulated the observations of Montesquieu on the necessity of a contracted territory for a republican government. The utility of a Confederacy. we shall be driven to the alternative either of taking refuge at once in the arms of monarchy. and have even been bold enough to hint at the division of the larger States as a desirable thing. which shall be attended to in another place." "This form of government is a convention by which several smaller STATES agree to become members of a larger ONE. tumultuous commonwealths. and powerful means. It will. The latter is that which immediately concerns the object under consideration. Referring the examination of the principle itself to another place. as well to suppress faction and to guard the internal tranquillity of States. So far are the suggestions of Montesquieu from standing in opposition to a general Union of the States. be of use to examine the principle in its application to a single State. might. with great assiduity. either in respect to the dimensions of a single State or to the consolidation of several smaller States into one great Confederacy. North Carolina. Such an infatuated policy. that he explicitly treats of a confederate republic as the expedient for extending the sphere of popular government. And this is the true question. it would only dictate a reduction of the SIZE of the more considerable MEMBERS of the Union. answer the views of men who possess not qualifications to extend their influence beyond the narrow circles of personal intrigue. It is a kind of assemblage of societies that constitute a new one. If we therefore take his ideas on this point as the criterion of truth. I mean the ENLARGEMENT of the ORBIT within which such systems are to revolve. the wretched nurseries of unceasing discord. The opponents of the plan proposed have. the institution of courts composed of judges holding their offices during good behavior. nor to have adverted to the consequences of the principle to which they subscribe with such ready acquiescence. as has been already mentioned. jealous. or have made their principal progress towards perfection in modern times. They are means. I shall venture. Pennsylvania. however novel it may appear to some. It has been practiced upon in different countries and ages. but it could never promote the greatness or happiness of the people of America. the introduction of legislative balances and checks. it will be sufficient to remark here that. "It is very probable. nor Georgia can by any means be compared with the models from which he reasoned and to which the terms of his description apply. had they not contrived a kind of constitution that has all the internal advantages of a republican. I mean a CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 27 departments. and reconciling the advantages of monarchy with those of republicanism. To this catalogue of circumstances that tend to the amelioration of popular systems of civil government. which they intend to form. in the sense of the author who has been most emphatically quoted upon the occasion. by which the excellences of republican government may be retained and its imperfections lessened or avoided. But they seem not to have been apprised of the sentiments of that great man expressed in another part of his work. together with the external force of a monarchical government. Some of the writers who have come forward on the other side of the question seem to have been aware of the dilemma. by the multiplication of petty offices. till they arrive to such a degree of power as to be able to . capable of increasing. such a desperate expedient. and the miserable objects of universal pity or contempt. clashing. by means of new associations. is in reality not a new idea. in the discussion of which we are at present interested. When Montesquieu recommends a small extent for republics. to add one more. Massachusetts. or of splitting ourselves into an infinity of little." (says he[1]) "that mankind would have been obliged at length to live constantly under the government of a single person. and has received the sanction of the most approved writers on the subject of politics. on a principle which has been made the foundation of an objection to the new Constitution. but would not militate against their being all comprehended in one confederate government. however. New York.

by a constitutional necessity. they are supported neither by principle nor precedent. or a confederacy. though it should be in perfect subordination to the general authority of the union. that governments of this kind have generally operated in the manner which the distinction taken notice of. This was certainly the most. without reaching to the individuals of whom they are composed." 28 "If a single member should attempt to usurp the supreme authority. in every rational import of the terms. that there is no absolute rule on the subject. so far from implying an abolition of the State governments. In the Lycian confederacy." I have thought it proper to quote at length these interesting passages. The definition of a CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC seems simply to be "an assemblage of societies. at the same time. it has been the cause of incurable disorder and imbecility in the government. may support itself without any internal corruptions. this would alarm the rest." "Should a popular insurrection happen in one of the confederate states the others are able to quell it. and not on the other. by means of the association. with the idea of a federal government. they are reformed by those that remain sound. An exact equality of suffrage between the members has also been insisted upon as a leading feature of a confederate government. and objects of the federal authority are mere matters of discretion. and with respect to its external situation. has been raised between a CONFEDERACY and a CONSOLIDATION of the States. an intimate connection with the more immediate design of this paper. Were he to have too great influence over one. The COMMON COUNCIL had the appointment of all the judges and magistrates of the respective CITIES. for local purposes. And it will be clearly shown in the course of this investigation that as far as the principle contended for has prevailed. the largest were entitled to THREE votes in the COMMON COUNCIL. arbitrary. This fully corresponds. that which would still remain free might oppose him with forces independent of those which he had usurped and overpower him before he could be settled in his usurpation. able to withstand an external force. because they contain a luminous abridgment of the principal arguments in favor of the Union. which serve to prove. more subtle than accurate. in the main. The extent. and the confederates preserve their sovereignty. it would still be. It has indeed happened. supposes to be inherent in their nature. modifications. for if there be any . Were he to subdue a part. So long as the separate organization of the members be not abolished. These positions are. but there have been in most of them extensive exceptions to the practice. A distinction. It is contended that the national council ought to have no concern with any object of internal administration. of all the advantages of large monarchies. The form of this society prevents all manner of inconveniences. to illustrate the tendency of the Union to repress domestic faction and insurrection. makes them constituent parts of the national sovereignty. which is. which consisted of twenty-three CITIES or republics.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor provide for the security of the united body. so long as it exists." "A republic of this kind. the confederacy may be dissolved." or an association of two or more states into one state. They have. those of the middle class to TWO. in fact and in theory. The essential characteristic of the first is said to be. he could not be supposed to have an equal authority and credit in all the confederate states. delicate species of interference in their internal administration. as far as example will go. The proposed Constitution. it is possessed. an association of states. the restriction of its authority to the members in their collective capacities." "As this government is composed of small republics. and must effectually remove the false impressions which a misapplication of other parts of the work was calculated to make. it enjoys the internal happiness of each. Should abuses creep into one part. and the smallest to ONE. The state may be destroyed on one side. and leaves in their possession certain exclusive and very important portions of sovereign power. by allowing them a direct representation in the Senate.

and of public and personal liberty. that they are the novel refinements of an erroneous theory.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 29 thing that seems exclusively appropriated to the local jurisdictions. By a faction. the other. speaking of this association. November 22.. It will be found. that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties. without violating the principles to which he is attached. both ancient and modern. that some of the distresses under which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our governments. that other causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes. There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one. "Spirit of Laws. There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one. These must be chiefly. and. i. and we shall be led to conclude." Thus we perceive that the distinctions insisted upon were not within the contemplation of this enlightened civilian. book ix. 1787. PUBLIUS 1. therefore. Thursday. for that prevailing and increasing distrust of public engagements. to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger on this side. The instability. the evidence. cannot certainly be too much admired. The valuable improvements made by the American constitutions on the popular models. provides a proper cure for it. whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole. of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true. as was wished and expected. and confusion introduced into the public councils. by controlling its effects. particularly. by destroying the liberty which is . but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. but it would be an unwarrantable partiality. or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community. to set a due value on any plan which. been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished. I understand a number of citizens. chap. by removing its causes. He will not fail. it is the appointment of their own officers. have. __ FEDERALIST No. if not wholly. that our governments are too unstable. and that measures are too often decided. or of interest." vol. not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party. on a candid review of our situation. equally the friends of public and private faith. says: "Were I to give a model of an excellent Confederate Republic. which are echoed from one end of the continent to the other. but it will be found. indeed. 10 The Same Subject Continued (The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection) From the Daily Advertiser.. effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: AMONG the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union. as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious declamations. Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation. i. and alarm for private rights. none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice. injustice. adversed to the rights of other citizens. The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate. it would be that of Lycia. in truth. Yet Montesquieu. at the same time. who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion.

But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions. as well of speculation as of practice. and many other points. corrupt his integrity. and render them . a mercantile interest. divided mankind into parties. that it was worse than the disease. in other words. than it would be to wish the annihilation of air. With equal. not indeed concerning the rights of single persons. and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity. an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power. The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man. A zeal for different opinions concerning religion. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property. that where no substantial occasion presents itself. The diversity in the faculties of men. because it imparts to fire its destructive agency. and in what degree. Those who are creditors. Every shilling with which they overburden the inferior number. and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. yet there is. and. The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation. or. It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests. yet what are many of the most important acts of legislation. different opinions will be formed. Yet the parties are. grow up of necessity in civilized nations. As long as the reason of man continues fallible. because it nourishes faction. which is essential to animal life. the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results. and probably by neither with a sole regard to justice and the public good. and those who are debtors. themselves the judges. a moneyed interest. have. not improbably. no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice. and he is at liberty to exercise it. Shall domestic manufactures be encouraged. the most powerful faction must be expected to prevail. So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities. and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government. The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality. is a shilling saved to their own pockets. and must be. by restrictions on foreign manufactures? are questions which would be differently decided by the landed and the manufacturing classes. fall under a like discrimination. nay with greater reason. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love. but so many judicial determinations. the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts. and the same interests. according to the different circumstances of civil society. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. with many lesser interests. Justice ought to hold the balance between them. and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors. the same passions. A landed interest. the other. perhaps. The second expedient is as impracticable as the first would be unwise. an aliment without which it instantly expires. a manufacturing interest. a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time. from which the rights of property originate. by giving to every citizen the same opinions. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty. and the most numerous party. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire. but concerning the rights of large bodies of citizens? And what are the different classes of legislators but advocates and parties to the causes which they determine? Is a law proposed concerning private debts? It is a question to which the creditors are parties on one side and the debtors on the other. concerning government. actuated by different sentiments and views. his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other. because his interest would certainly bias his judgment. 30 It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy. in turn. which is essential to political life. No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause. inflamed them with mutual animosity.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor essential to its existence. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society. and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves. and divide them into different classes. ensues a division of the society into different interests and parties.

having such coexistent passion or interest. opens a different prospect. who have patronized this species of government. on the one hand. Let me add that it is the great desideratum by which this form of government can be rescued from the opprobrium under which it has so long labored. pronounced by the representatives of the people. and greater sphere of country. have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights. at the same time. which will rarely prevail over the immediate interest which one party may find in disregarding the rights of another or the good of the whole. in the latter. the effect may be inverted. is then the great object to which our inquiries are directed. The inference to which we are brought is. A common passion or interest will. When a majority is included in a faction. and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union. the delegation of the government. and lose their efficacy in proportion to the number combined together. must be rendered. A republic. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. a communication and concert result from the form of government itself. by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens. in almost every case. . and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. can such an adjustment be made at all without taking into view indirect and remote considerations. it may convulse the society. their opinions. Either the existence of the same passion or interest in a majority at the same time must be prevented. the greater number of citizens. have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property. enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens. over which the latter may be extended. in proportion as their efficacy becomes needful. From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy. Nor. can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. that is. whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country. and their passions. they would. It may clog the administration. to refine and enlarge the public views. secondly. the form of popular government. unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression. but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution. Men of factious tempers. by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place. to a small number of citizens elected by the rest. in many cases. who assemble and administer the government in person. By what means is this object attainable? Evidently by one of two only. They are not found to be such on the injustice and violence of individuals. and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions. On the other hand. and be recommended to the esteem and adoption of mankind. which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote. by their number and local situation. we well know that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control. Under such a regulation. convened for the purpose. To secure the public good and private rights against the danger of such a faction. or the majority. relief is supplied by the republican principle. The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first. will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves. that the CAUSES of faction cannot be removed. Theoretic politicians. on the other hand. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy. If the impulse and the opportunity be suffered to coincide. it may well happen that the public voice. and promises the cure for which we are seeking. and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations. The effect of the first difference is. by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 31 all subservient to the public good. and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government. be felt by a majority of the whole. and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its EFFECTS. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention. If a faction consists of less than a majority.

it is to be remarked that. The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States. or by other means. or of sinister designs. again. however small the republic may be. The other point of difference is. in fine. as each representative will be chosen by a greater number of citizens in the large than in the small republic. they must be limited to a certain number.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 32 of local prejudices. the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party. but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it must secure . Hence. the greater number of citizens and extent of territory which may be brought within the compass of republican than of democratic government. and that. it clearly appears. as in most other cases. you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens. It must be confessed that in this. A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction in a part of the Confederacy. of the people. the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression. the extent of the Union gives it the most palpable advantage. the local and particular to the State legislatures. on both sides of which inconveniences will be found to lie. Does it. against the event of any one party being able to outnumber and oppress the rest? In an equal degree does the increased variety of parties comprised within the Union. whether small or extensive republics are more favorable to the election of proper guardians of the public weal. by corruption. By enlarging too much the number of electors. as by reducing it too much. and the smaller the compass within which they are placed. in order to guard against the confusion of a multitude. that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy. or if such a common motive exists. increase this security. you render the representatives too little acquainted with all their local circumstances and lesser interests. and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority. is enjoyed by a large over a small republic. the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it. may. and then betray the interests. The question resulting is. consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority? Here. In the next place. -. communication is always checked by distrust in proportion to the number whose concurrence is necessary. first obtain the suffrages. the former will present a greater option. if the proportion of fit characters be not less in the large than in the small republic. where there is a consciousness of unjust or dishonorable purposes. in order to guard against the cabals of a few. and consequently a greater probability of a fit choice. Hence. and too little fit to comprehend and pursue great and national enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it. and being proportionally greater in the small republic. and it is this circumstance principally which renders factious combinations less to be dreaded in the former than in the latter. the number of representatives in the two cases not being in proportion to that of the two constituents. Besides other impediments. it follows that. you render him unduly attached to these. it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength. will be more likely to centre in men who possess the most attractive merit and the most diffusive and established characters. in controlling the effects of faction. the fewer the distinct parties and interests. however large it may be. The smaller the society. and the suffrages of the people being more free. the representatives must be raised to a certain number. Extend the sphere. it will be more difficult for unworthy candidates to practice with success the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried. Does the advantage consist in the substitution of representatives whose enlightened views and virtuous sentiments render them superior to local prejudices and schemes of injustice? It will not be denied that the representation of the Union will be most likely to possess these requisite endowments. and to act in unison with each other. and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests. and it is clearly decided in favor of the latter by two obvious considerations: In the first place. The federal Constitution forms a happy combination in this respect. by intrigue. it may be remarked that. the great and aggregate interests being referred to the national. there is a mean. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties. but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States.

than an entire State. and the immense difference there would be to the trade and navigation of such a nation. therefore. November 24. By prohibitory regulations. throughout the States. extending. for an abolition of debts.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 33 the national councils against any danger from that source. Those of them which have colonies in America look forward to what this country is capable of becoming. by facts. we may oblige foreign countries to bid against each other. will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it. of an ACTIVE COMMERCE in our own bottoms. and which has. which distinguishes the commercial character of America. and of depriving us. 11 The Utility of the Union in Respect to Commercial Relations and a Navy For the Independent Journal. This would answer the threefold purpose of preventing our interference in their navigation. They seem to be apprehensive of our too great interference in that carrying trade. This applies as well to our intercourse with foreign countries as with each other. with the fairest prospect of success. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. 1787 HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE importance of the Union. There are appearances to authorize a supposition that the adventurous spirit. Did not prudence forbid the detail. for an equal division of property. in the dominions of that kingdom? When these questions have been asked. and an indirect conveyance of its products and returns. of monopolizing the profits of our trade. for instance. we had a government in America. and likely from local circumstances to remain so -. Impressions of this kind will naturally indicate the policy of fostering divisions among us. at the same time. This assertion will not appear chimerical to those who are able to appreciate the importance of the markets of three millions of people -. is one of those points about which there is least room to entertain a difference of opinion. Saturday. in the ships of another country. for the privileges of our markets. to and from America. between a direct communication in its own ships. for commercial privileges of the most valuable and extensive kind. A rage for paper money. in a commercial light. as far as possible. and would possess all the means. what would be the probable operation of this step upon her politics? Would it not enable us to negotiate. or for any other improper or wicked project. in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans. we may counteract a policy so unfriendly to our prosperity in a variety of ways. requisite to the creation of a powerful marine. it would not be difficult to trace. In the extent and proper structure of the Union. for the most part exclusively addicted to agriculture. with painful solicitude. If we continue united. ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists. has already excited uneasy sensations in several of the maritime powers of Europe. capable of excluding Great Britain (with whom we have at present no treaty of commerce) from all our ports.increasing in rapid progression. in fact. which have all the dispositions. Suppose. and of clipping the wings by which we might soar to a dangerous greatness. the workings of this policy to the cabinets of ministers. we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. commanded the most general assent of men who have any acquaintance with the subject. They foresee the dangers that may threaten their American dominions from the neighborhood of any manufacturing nation. upon other . which is the support of their navigation and the foundation of their naval strength.

by inducing an impracticability of success. and which could not be expected without an equivalent in exemptions and immunities in our markets. and to be able to incline the balance of European competitions in this part of the world as our interest may dictate. in this respect. having nothing to fear from us. and with the importunities of the West India islands. to create a navy which. despicable by its weakness. Our position is. in this respect. This situation would even take away the motive to such combinations. it will readily be perceived that a situation so favorable would enable us to bargain with great advantage for commercial privileges. on the event of which interests of the greatest magnitude were suspended. who. who would be her immediate customers and paymasters for those articles which were wanted for the supply of our markets. as a compensation for their agency and risk? Would not the mere circumstance of freight occasion a considerable deduction? Would not so circuitous an intercourse facilitate the competitions of other nations. Such a point gained from the British government. It has been said that prohibitions on our part would produce no change in the system of Britain. at a period not very distant. we shall discover that the rivalships of the parts would make them checks upon each other. and would frustrate all the tempting advantages which nature has kindly placed within our reach. would at least be of respectable weight if thrown into the scale of either of two contending parties. forfeits even the privilege of being neutral. and as they have a common interest in being our carriers. would with little scruple or remorse. a most commanding one. who would not be inclined to see themselves altogether supplanted in our trade. supply their wants by depredations on our property as often as it fell in their way. A further resource for influencing the conduct of European nations toward us. they have received a plausible. but upon our neutrality. But in the reverse of this eligible situation. to prescribe the conditions of our political existence. these combinations might exist and might operate with success. A nation. In a state so insignificant our commerce would be a prey to the wanton intermeddlings of all nations at war with each other. This would be more peculiarly the case in relation to operations in the West Indies. And if to this consideration we add that of the usefulness of supplies from this country. because she could prosecute her trade with us through the medium of the Dutch. if it could not vie with those of the great maritime powers. by enhancing the price of British commodities in our markets. to become the arbiter of Europe in America. availing themselves of our universal impotence. A few ships of the line. The rights of neutrality will only be respected when they are defended by an adequate power. would produce a relaxation in her present system. There can be no doubt that the continuance of the Union under an efficient government would put it in our power. in the prosecution of military operations in the West Indies. An active commerce. erelong. would baffle all the combinations of European jealousy to restrain our growth. directed to a common interest. and by transferring to other hands the management of this interesting branch of the British commerce? A mature consideration of the objects suggested by these questions will justify a belief that the real disadvantages to Britain from such a state of things. and a flourishing marine would then be the offspring of moral and physical necessity. conspiring with the pre-possessions of a great part of the nation in favor of the American trade. they would in all probability combine to embarrass our navigation in such a manner as . but not a solid or satisfactory answer. would often be sufficient to decide the fate of a campaign. would arise from the establishment of a federal navy. But in a state of disunion. would be likely to have a correspondent effect on the conduct of other nations. By a steady adherence to the Union we may hope. It would be in the power of the maritime nations. A price would be set not only upon our friendship. sent opportunely to the reinforcement of either side. But would not her navigation be materially injured by the loss of the important advantage of being her own carrier in that trade? Would not the principal part of its profits be intercepted by the Dutch.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 34 occasions. from which our trade would derive the most substantial benefits. and would let us into the enjoyment of privileges in the markets of those islands elsewhere. an extensive navigation. Under a vigorous national government. and still more in preventing our becoming theirs. We might defy the little arts of the little politicians to control or vary the irresistible and unchangeable course of nature. the natural strength and resources of the country.

There are rights of great moment to the trade of America which are rights of the Union -. which signalizes the genius of the American merchants and navigators. if chiefly constructed of Southern wood. in different degrees. France and Britain are concerned with us in the fisheries. no more than the conduciveness of that species of commerce to the prosperity of a navy. When the staple of one fails from a bad harvest or unproductive crop. and by which we are able to undersell those nations in their own markets. which would only embrace the resources of a single part. and will acknowledge that the aggregate balance of the commerce of the United States would bid fair to be much more favorable than that of the thirteen States without union or with partial unions. and to see the profits of our trade snatched from us to enrich our enemies and p rsecutors. . advantageously participate in it. to the navigation of the Western lakes. Commercial enterprise will have much greater scope. We should then be compelled to content ourselves with the first price of our commodities. and which is in itself an inexhaustible mine of national wealth. it must be indispensable. That unequaled spirit of enterprise. and poverty and disgrace would overspread a country which. The difference in the duration of the ships of which the navy might be composed. Every institution will grow and flourish in proportion to the quantity and extent of the means concentred towards its formation and support. and under circumstances of a greater extension of mercantile capital. What more natural than that they should be disposed to exclude from the lists such dangerous competitors? This branch of trade ought not to be considered as a partial benefit. but if there be a variety of articles. All the navigating States may. They. which the interest of more powerful partners would hardly fail to solve to our disadvantage. and will acquire additional motion and vigor from a free circulation of the commodities of every part. will become. It happens. not less than the value. as it would embrace the resources of all. The dissolution of the Confederacy would give room for delicate questions concerning the future existence of these rights. would be of signal importance.tar. It can be conducted upon much better terms with a large number of materials of a given value than with a small number of materials of the same value. An unrestrained intercourse between the States themselves will advance the trade of each by an interchange of their respective productions. As a nursery of seamen. would not be unlikely to do it. with wisdom. The more southern States furnish in greater abundance certain kinds of naval stores -. and turpentine. and of better quality. arising from the competitions of trade and from the fluctations of markets. and confine us to a PASSIVE COMMERCE. and unsalable at others. Particular articles may be in great demand at certain periods.I allude to the fisheries. union will contribute in various ways. is an object far less remote than a navy of any single State or partial confederacy. a universal resource.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 35 would in effect destroy it. not only for the supply of reciprocal wants at home. and view them as of the utmost moment to their navigation. The variety. would be stifled and lost. Their wood for the construction of ships is also of a more solid and lasting texture. To the establishment of a navy. from the diversity in the productions of different States. The disposition of Spain with regard to the Mississippi needs no comment. of products for exportation contributes to the activity of foreign commerce. pitch. Seamen must chiefly be drawn from the Northern hive. of course. or when time shall have more nearly assimilated the principles of navigation in the several States. might make herself the admiration and envy of the world. A navy of the United States. and on this account the operations of the merchant would be less liable to any considerable obstruction or stagnation. The necessity of naval protection to external or maritime commerce does not require a particular elucidation. The veins of commerce in every part will be replenished. that different portions of confederated America possess each some peculiar advantage for this essential establishment. a NAVY. Some of the Southern and of the Middle States yield a greater plenty of iron. it can call to its aid the staple of another. To this great national object. indeed. either in the view of naval strength or of national economy. of which experience has shown us to be possessed in this valuable branch of traffic. but for exportation to foreign markets. it can scarcely happen that they should all be at one time in the latter predicament. would hardly remain long indifferent to that decided mastery. The speculative trader will at once perceive the force of these observations. and to that of the Mississippi. it now is.

by promoting the introduction and circulation of the precious metals. this intercourse would be fettered." __ FEDERALIST No. from indubitable experience. interrupted.could that. bound together in a strict and indissoluble Union. and to consider the rest of mankind as created for her benefit. there would still be an intimate intercourse between them which would answer the same ends. Tuesday.that even dogs cease to bark after having breathed awhile in our atmosphere. which is the most powerful instrument in increasing the quantity of money in a state -. by force and by fraud. By multipying the means of gratification. it serves to vivify and invigorate the channels of industry. and narrowed by a multiplicity of causes. as well as political. interests. Asia. Union will enable us to do it. 12 The Utility of the Union In Respect to Revenue From the New York Packet. to the satisfaction of their friends. which is the faithful handmaid of labor and industry. The superiority she has long maintained has tempted her to plume herself as the Mistress of the World. attributed to her inhabitants a physical superiority. concur in erecting one great American system. Africa. which in the course of these papers have been amply detailed. Unhappily for the other three. and the industrious manufacturer. have successively felt her domination. 1787. degenerate in America -. and has proved. look forward with eager expectation and growing alacrity to this pleasing reward of their toils. the laborious husbandman. A unity of commercial. Let Americans disdain to be the instruments of European greatness! Let the thirteen States. each having a distinct set of interests. I shall briefly observe. in different degrees. in proportion as commerce has flourished. The world may politically. and America. superior to the control of all transatlantic force or influence. in direct terms.[1] Facts have too long supported these arrogant pretensions of the Europeans. The prosperity of commerce is now perceived and acknowledged by all enlightened statesmen to be the most useful as well as the most productive source of national wealth. Disunion will will add another victim to his triumphs. and with them the human species. The assiduous merchant. It belongs to us to vindicate the honor of the human race. Men admired as profound philosophers have. received a decision which has silenced the rivalship that once subsisted between them. which furnishes new incitements to the cultivation of land. the active mechanic. of a striking and animating kind. can only result from a unity of government. land has risen in value. November 27. Its tendency to promote the interests of revenue will be the subject of our present inquiry. extended her dominion over them all. It has been found in various countries that.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor It may perhaps be replied to this. as well as geographically. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE effects of Union upon the commercial prosperity of the States have been sufficiently delineated. and to make them flow with greater activity and copiousness. and has accordingly become a primary object of their political cares. 36 There are other points of view in which this subject might be placed. has. by her arms and by her negotiations. moderation. and to teach that assuming brother. and would involve topics not proper for a newspaper discussion. those darling objects of human avarice and enterprise. be divided into four parts. that our situation invites and our interests prompt us to aim at an ascendant in the system of American affairs. that their interests are intimately blended and interwoven. and able to dictate the terms of the connection between the old and the new world! PUBLIUS "Recherches philosophiques sur les Americains. But they would lead us too far into the regions of futurity. and have gravely asserted that all animals. The often-agitated question between agriculture and commerce has. that whether the States are united or disunited. Europe. And how could it have happened otherwise? Could that which procures a freer vent for the products of the earth. -. in fine.all orders of men. in .

The hereditary dominions of the Emperor of Germany contain a great extent of fertile. and the treasuries of the States have remained empty. and personal property is too precarious and invisible a fund to be laid hold of in any other way than by the inperceptible agency of taxes on consumption. and to the celerity with which it circulates. and populous territory. which is the prolific parent of far the greatest part of the objects upon which they are exerted? It is astonishing that so simple a truth should ever have had an adversary. or of too great abstraction and refinement. and facilitate the requisite supplies to the treasury. from the experience we have had on the point itself. in a great degree. far the greatest part of the national revenue is derived from taxes of the indirect kind. will reluctantly yield but scanty supplies. from the want of the fostering influence of commerce. the familiar habits of intercourse. In some parts of this territory are to be found the best gold and silver mines in Europe. so far it must tend to the extension of the revenue to be drawn from that source. must of necessity render the payment of taxes easier. The popular system of administration inherent in the nature of popular government. from the habits of the people. the number of rivers with which they are intersected. It is evident from the state of the country. excises must be confined within a narrow compass. He has several times been compelled to owe obligations to the pecuniary succors of other nations for the preservation of his essential interests. to sustain a long or continued war. And yet. so far it must serve to answer the purposes of making the same rate of duties more productive. from the vigor of the government. Tax laws have in vain been multiplied. new methods to enforce the collection have in vain been tried. But it is not in this aspect of the subject alone that Union will be seen to conduce to the purpose of revenue. and it is one. and from excises. coinciding with the real scarcity of money incident to a languid and mutilated state of trade. and. in the unwelcome shape of impositions on their houses and lands. -. In so opulent a nation as that of Britain. and has at length taught the different legislatures the folly of attempting them. is to lead men astray from the plainest truths of reason and conviction. As far as it would contribute to rendering regulations for the collection of the duties more simple and efficacious. There are other points of view. where direct taxes from superior wealth must be much more tolerable. that state of things which will best enable us to improve and extend so valuable a resource must be best adapted to our political welfare. that monarch can boast but slender revenues. in which its influence will appear more immediate and decisive. it is evident that we must a long time depend for the means of revenue chiefly on such duties. than in America. The temper of our governments. much more practicable. the facility of communication in every direction. And it cannot admit of a serious doubt. the affinity of language and manners. contributing to both these objects. that it is impracticable to raise any very considerable sums by direct taxation. The separate States or confederacies would be necessitated by mutual jealousy to avoid the temptations to that kind of trade by the lowness of their duties. cultivated. The genius of the people will ill brook the inquisitive and peremptory spirit of excise laws. how apt a spirit of ill-informed jealousy. the public expectation has been uniformly disappointed. upon the strength of his own resources. Duties on imported articles form a large branch of this latter description. The pockets of the farmers. In most parts of it. No person acquainted with what happens in other countries will be surprised at this circumstance. As far as this would be conducive to the interests of commerce. on the other hand. Commerce. The ability of a country to pay taxes must always be proportioned. In America. that this state of things must rest on the basis of a general Union. for a long time .all these are circumstances that would conspire to render an illicit trade between them a matter of little difficulty.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 37 every shape. If these remarks have any foundation. and would insure frequent evasions of the commercial regulations of each other. to the quantity of money in circulation. and of putting it into the power of the government to increase the rate without prejudice to trade. and is unable. has hitherto defeated every experiment for extensive collections. fail to augment that article. The relative situation of these States. from imposts. a large proportion of which is situated in mild and luxuriant climates. among a multitude of proofs. and of bays that wash there shores.

would produce two hundred thousand pounds. or in a single night. even there. must be had at all events. according to time and opportunity. and to the health of the society. as well by land as by water. that these duties have not upon an average exceeded in any State three per cent. In France. if the principal part be not drawn from commerce. in the States where almost the . In this country. there be but one government pervading all the States. What will be the consequence. Destitute of this essential support. The difference between a direct importation from abroad. There is. They would have to dread both the dangers of the coast. would be both easy and safe. and places in a strong light the disadvantages with which the collection of duties in this country would be encumbered. as to the principal part of our commerce. must be palpable to every man of discernment. I believe. would rarely choose to hazard themselves to the complicated and critical perils which would attend attempts to unlade prior to their coming into port. to admit of great use being made of that mode of taxation. that one national government would be able. as between the coasts of France and Britain. This shows the immense difficulty in preventing that species of traffic. A few armed vessels. Mr. would be impracticable. are too little in unison with the feelings of the people. in a few hours. under federal regulation. on the contrary. such an effect would be equally favorable to the agriculture. might be made to furnish a considerable revenue. but a circuitous contraband to one State. Revenue. Hitherto. the co-operation of its measures in each State would have a powerful tendency to render them effectual. would be intolerable in a free country. which. it may safely be asserted. are found insufficient obstacles to the adventurous stratagems of avarice. Vessels arriving directly from foreign countries.. it must resign its independence. An ordinary degree of vigilance would be competent to the prevention of any material infractions upon the rights of the revenue. with respect to each other. in small parcels. and at a considerable distance from all other places with which they would have extensive connections of foreign trade. laden with valuable cargoes.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 38 to come. to extend the duties on imports. Neckar computes the number of these patrols at upwards of twenty thousand. nothing so much a subject of national extravagance as these spirits. might at a small expense be made useful sentinels of the laws. there is an army of patrols (as they are called) constantly employed to secure their fiscal regulations against the inroads of the dealers in contraband trade. with the additional facilities of inland communication. would not permit those rigorous precautions by which the European nations guard the avenues into their respective countries. to the morals. if we are not able to avail ourselves of the resource in question in its full extent? A nation cannot long exist without revenues. but ONE SIDE to guard -. indeed. at a shilling per gallon. Here also we should preserve by Union. In France they are estimated to be about fifteen per cent. And the government having the same interest to provide against violations everywhere. where there is an inland communication. further than would be practicable to the States separately. It has been already intimated that excises. as well after as before their arrival at the places of their final destination. and which. The arbitrary and vexatious powers with which the patrols are necessarily armed. and of other neighboring nations. That article would well bear this rate of duty. it must fall with oppressive weight upon land. to the economy. in their true signification. beyond comparison. Upon a ratio to the importation into this State. The United States lie at a great distance from Europe. or to any partial confederacies. This is an extremity to which no government will of choice accede. if by disunion the States should be placed in a situation. and of detection. judiciously stationed at the entrances of our ports. therefore.the ATLANTIC COAST. the whole quantity imported into the United States may be estimated at four millions of gallons. and which would be relinquished by separation. perhaps. and in Britain they exceed this proportion. an advantage which nature holds out to us. and an indirect importation through the channel of a neighboring State. through the medium of another. It is therefore evident. This is a prodigious security against a direct contraband with foreign countries. If. there will be. and if it should tend to diminish the consumption of it. and sink into the degraded condition of a province. The passage from them to us. The single article of ardent spirits. resembling that of France with respect to her neighbors. nor.[1] There seems to be nothing to hinder their being increased in this country to at least treble their present amount. at much less expense.

is capable of diffusing its force to a very great extent. Personal estate (as has been before remarked). to atone for the oppression of that valuable class of the citizens who are employed in the cultivation of the soil. are the objects proper for excise sufficiently numerous to permit very ample collections in that way. the defect of other resources must throw the principal weight of public burdens on the possessors of land. The money saved from one object may be usefully applied to another. 13 Advantage of the Union in Respect to Economy in Government For the Independent Journal. under such embarrassments. from the difficulty in tracing it. This idea admits not of precise demonstration. another of the four Middle. and can. reproduce itself in every part of a great empire by a judicious arrangement of subordinate institutions. cannot be put into a situation consistent with its respectability or its security. In populous cities. each confederacy would comprise an extent of territory larger than that of the kingdom of Great Britain. properly organized and exerted. it must.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 39 sole employment is agriculture. cannot be subjected to large contributions. the finances of the community. by any other means than by taxes on consumption. nevertheless. in a manner. Wednesday. as to the principal departments. If the States are united under one government. if they are divided into several confederacies. Civil power. coextensive with that which would be necessary for a government of the whole. there will be as many different national civil lists to be provided for -. And as. unless all the sources of revenue are open to its demands. and when we reflect upon the degree of authority required to direct the passions of so large a society to the public good. nearly commensurate with each of the supposed confederacies. contains about eight millions of people. When the dimensions of a State attain to a certain magnitude. There is little probability that there would be a greater number. But public and private distress will keep pace with each other in gloomy concert. we may with propriety consider that of economy. it requires the same energy of government and the same forms of administration which are requisite in one of much greater extent. No well-informed man will suppose that the affairs of such a confederacy can be properly regulated by a government less comprehensive in its organs or institutions than that which has been proposed by the convention. without much aggregate benefit to the State. PUBLIUS 1. there will be but one national civil list to support. to occasion the oppression of individuals. and unite in deploring the infatuation of those counsels which led to disunion. on the other hand. but when we consider that the island of Britain. The entire separation of the States into thirteen unconnected sovereignties is a project too extravagant and too replete with danger to have many advocates.and each of them. and there will be so much the less to be drawn from the pockets of the people. __ FEDERALIST No. 1787 HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: As CONNECTED with the subject of revenue. Thus we shall not even have the consolations of a full treasury. As the necessities of the State. in a great measure. According to this distribution. If my memory be right they amount to twenty per cent. The ideas of men who speculate upon the dismemberment of the empire seem generally turned toward three confederacies -. but beyond these circles. the wants of the government can never obtain an adequate supply. because there is no rule by which we can measure the momentum of civil power necessary to the government of any given number of individuals. . it may be enough the subject of conjecture. and a third of the five Southern States. we shall see no reason to doubt that the like portion of power would be sufficient to perform the same task in a society far more numerous. November consisting of the four Northern. must be satisfied in some mode or other. escape the eye and the hand of the tax-gatherer.

which is founded on the principle of expense. Whatever may be the determination of Pennsylvania. we shall clearly discover that a separation would be not less injurious to the economy. 1787. will be strengthened by another supposition. and if we also take into view the military establishments which it has been shown would unavoidably result from the jealousies and conflicts of the several nations into which the States would be divided. on the basis of her own navigation. As she must at all events be a frontier. If. as the only substitute for those military establishments which have subverted the liberties of the Old World. rather than towards the stronger power of the Northern. which. They may prefer a system which would give unlimited scope to all nations to be the carriers as well as the purchasers of their commodities. New Jersey is too small a State to think of being a frontier. The four Eastern States. and liberty of every part. New York. if the Northern Confederacy includes New Jersey. An active foreign commerce. would never be unwise enough to oppose a feeble and unsupported flank to the weight of that confederacy. as the guardian of our commerce and other common interests. from all the causes that form the links of national sympathy and connection. is her true policy. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. as our bulwark against foreign danger. If we attend carefully to geographical and commercial considerations. November 30. Pennsylvania may not choose to confound her interests in a connection so adverse to her policy. Friday. as the conservator of peace among ourselves. situated as she is. This would give her the fairest chance to avoid being the Flanders of America. or one third. and coincides with the opinions and dispositions of her citizens. may not think themselves much interested in the encouragement of navigation. will appear in every light to stand on mistaken ground. revenue. in opposition to this still more powerful combination.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 40 The supposition that each confederacy into which the States would be likely to be divided would require a government not less comprehensive than the one proposed. Confederacy. we take into view the number of persons who must necessarily be employed to guard the inland communication between the different confederacies against illicit trade. she may deem it most consistent with her safety to have her exposed side turned towards the weaker power of the Southern. however. an objection. in addition to the consideration of a plurality of civil lists. The more Southern States. and as the proper . commerce. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: WE HAVE seen the necessity of the Union. than to the tranquillity. more probable than that which presents us with three confederacies as the alternative to a general Union. in conjunction with the habits and prejudices of the different States. and who in time will infallibly spring up out of the necessities of revenue. Even Pennsylvania would have strong inducements to join the Northern league. there is no likelihood of more than one confederacy to the south of that State. may with certainty be expected to unite. 14 Objections to the Proposed Constitution From Extent of Territory Answered From the New York Packet. when we come to take a nearer view of it. Nothing can be more evident than that the thirteen States will be able to support a national government better than one half. There are other obvious reasons that would facilitate her accession to it. nor do there appear to be any obstacles to her admission into it. This reflection must have great weight in obviating that objection to the proposed plan. we shall be led to conclude that in case of disunion they will most naturally league themselves under two governments. or any number less than the whole. from various circumstances.

Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 41 antidote for the diseases of faction. as most of the popular governments of antiquity were of the democratic species. in order to supply. the want of those solid objections which they endeavor in vain to find. The true distinction between these forms was also adverted to on a former occasion. Being subjects either of an absolute or limited monarchy. Can it be said that the limits of the United States exceed this distance? It will not be said by those who recollect that the Atlantic coast is the longest side of the Union. wholly on that principle. to seven hundred and sixty-four miles and a half. the amount will be eight hundred and sixty-eight miles and three-fourths. within this branch of our inquiries. or palliate the evils of those forms. and that the members from the most distant States are not chargeable with greater intermissions of attendance than those from the States in the neighborhood of Congress. applying to the former reasonings drawn from the nature of the latter. A republic may be extended over a large region. and on the north an irregular line running in some instances beyond the forty-fifth degree. at the same time. in a republic. America can claim the merit of making the discovery the basis of unmixed and extensive republics. living within a small compass of territory. is to take notice of an objection that may be drawn from the great extent of country which the Union embraces. As the natural limit of a democracy is that distance from the central point which will just permit the most remote citizens to assemble as often as their public functions demand. computing it from thirty-one to forty-two degrees. The limits. That we may form a juster estimate with regard to this interesting subject. the representatives of the States have been almost continually assembled. on the south the latitude of thirty-one degrees. A democracy. Under the confusion of names. so the natural limit of a republic is that distance from the centre which will barely allow the representatives to meet as often as may be necessary for the administration of public affairs. and will include no greater number than can join in those functions. are: on the east the Atlantic. Computing the distance between the thirty-first and forty-fifth degrees. consequently. by placing in comparison the vices and defects of the republican. All that remains. and its force directed to any object which the public good requires. as fixed by the treaty of peace. the observation that it can never be established but among a small number of people. will be confined to a small spot. which have proved fatal to other popular governments. It is. it has been an easy task to transfer to a republic observations applicable to a democracy only. in others falling as low as the forty-second. by imaginary difficulties. and of which alarming symptoms have been betrayed by our own. as it is perceived that the adversaries of the new Constitution are availing themselves of the prevailing prejudice with regard to the practicable sphere of republican administration. The error which limits republican government to a narrow district has been unfolded and refuted in preceding papers. let us resort to the actual dimensions of the Union. they have endeavored to heighten the advantages. whose writings have had a great share in forming the modern standard of political opinions. Taking the mean for the distance. The southern shore of Lake Erie lies below that latitude. The mean distance from the Atlantic to the Mississippi does . It is only to be lamented that any of her citizens should wish to deprive her of the additional merit of displaying its full efficacy in the establishment of the comprehensive system now under her consideration. to which we owe the great principle of representation. and even in modern Europe. If Europe has the merit of discovering this great mechanical power in government. no example is seen of a government wholly popular. that in a democracy. it amounts to nine hundred and seventy-three common miles. by the simple agency of which the will of the largest political body may be concentred. the people meet and exercise the government in person. they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents. and by citing as specimens of the latter the turbulent democracies of ancient Greece and modern Italy. Such a fallacy may have been the less perceived. A few observations on this subject will be the more proper. I remark here only that it seems to owe its rise and prevalence chiefly to the confounding of a republic with a democracy. and founded. and among others. To this accidental source of the error may be added the artifice of some celebrated authors. that during the term of thirteen years. on the west the Mississippi.

we find that in Great Britain. and thus the proper equilibrium will be maintained throughout. On a comparison of this extent with that of several countries in Europe. in the third place. will be at the same time immediately contiguous to foreign nations. but they would find it more so to struggle alone against an invading enemy. these considerations. must be left to those whom further discoveries and experience will render more equal to the task. to drive you into the gloomy and perilous scene into which the advocates for disunion would conduct you. on one side or other. The arrangements that may be necessary for those angles and fractions of our territory which lie on our northwestern frontier.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 42 not probably exceed seven hundred and fifty miles. in full confidence that the good sense which has so often marked your decisions will allow them their due weight and effect. some observations remain which will place it in a light still more satisfactory. and that you will never suffer difficulties. be a frontier. Favorable as this view of the subject may be. or however fashionable the error on which they may be founded. or than Poland before the late dismemberment. to reinstate them in their proper jurisdiction. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects. In the first place it is to be remembered that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. that the intercourse throughout the Union will be facilitated by new improvements. knit together as they are . but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any. therefore. though it would not be difficult to show that if they were abolished the general government would be compelled. of course. which we cannot doubt to be equally practicable. and will consequently stand. will be rendered more and more easy by those numerous canals with which the beneficence of nature has intersected our country. from the Union in some respects than the less distant States. an inducement to make some sacrifices for the sake of the general protection. The subordinate governments. and to add to them such other States as may arise in their own bosoms. Let it be remarked. Were it proposed by the plan of the convention to abolish the governments of the particular States. so the States which lie at the greatest distance from the heart of the Union. It is not a great deal larger than Germany. or the States forming our western or northeastern borders. in regard to its safety. It may be inconvenient for Georgia. which can extend their care to all those other subjects which can be separately provided for. where a diet representing the whole empire is continually assembled. and which art finds it so little difficult to connect and complete. an interior navigation on our eastern side will be opened throughout. however formidable in appearance. A fourth and still more important consideration is. The communication between the Western and Atlantic districts. that as almost every State will. its adversaries would have some ground for their objection. or even to support alone the whole expense of those precautions which may be dictated by the neighborhood of continual danger. Roads will everywhere be shortened. accommodations for travelers will be multiplied and meliorated. If they should derive less benefit. and which. and will thus find. which concern all the members of the republic. they will derive greater benefit from it in other respects. may partake least of the ordinary circulation of its benefits. A second observation to be made is that the immediate object of the federal Constitution is to secure the union of the thirteen primitive States. my fellow-citizens. on particular occasions. I submit to you. the representatives of the northern extremity of the island have as far to travel to the national council as will be required of those of the most remote parts of the Union. where another national diet was the depositary of the supreme power. and kept in better order. Hearken not to the unnatural voice which tells you that the people of America. in greatest need of its strength and resources. to send their representatives to the seat of government. or in their neighborhoods. the practicability of rendering our system commensurate to it appears to be demonstrable. which we know to be practicable. by the principle of self-preservation. or nearly throughout. the whole extent of the thirteen States. Passing by France and Spain. will retain their due authority and activity. and between different parts of each. inferior as it may be in size.

enemies. the truths intended to be inculcated will receive further confirmation from facts and arguments hitherto unnoticed. and excite horror at the idea of their becoming aliens. It will be . can no longer live together as members of the same family.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 43 by so many cords of affection. they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity. is that of rendering us in pieces. by jealousy or by misrepresentation. Saturday. happily. for the whole human race. the most alarming of all novelties. this was the work most difficult to be executed. No. and it is that act on which you are now to deliberate and to decide. that. posterity will be indebted for the possession. or for names. 1787 HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York. If they erred most in the structure of the Union. the most rash of all attempts. and that the difficulties of the journey have been unnecessarily increased by the mazes with which sophistry has beset the way. we trust. the most wild of all projects. the mingled blood which they have shed in defense of their sacred rights. the people of the United States might. must at best have been laboring under the weight of some of those forms which have crushed the liberties of the rest of mankind. December 1. that the field through which you have to travel is in itself spacious. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. And if novelties are to be shunned. rivals. to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense. In the sequel of the inquiry through which I propose to accompany you. in favor of private rights and public happiness. of the numerous innovations displayed on the American theatre. at this moment have been numbered among the melancholy victims of misguided councils. They formed the design of a great Confederacy. If their works betray imperfections. I have endeavored. believe me. They reared the fabrics of governments which have no model on the face of the globe. IN THE course of the preceding papers. my countrymen. we wonder at the fewness of them. Shut your hearts against the poison which it conveys. If the road over which you will still have to pass should in some places appear to you tedious or irksome. can no longer continue the mutual guardians of their mutual happiness. this is the work which has been new modelled by the act of your convention. that it has never yet had a place in the theories of the wildest projectors. to place before you. they pursued a new and more noble course. and flourishing empire. shut your ears against this unhallowed language. the importance of Union to your political safety and happiness. Hearken not to the voice which petulantly tells you that the form of government recommended for your adoption is a novelty in the political world. merely because it may comprise what is new? Is it not the glory of the people of America. in order to preserve our liberties and promote our happiness. the knowledge of their own situation. which it is incumbent on their successors to improve and perpetuate. They accomplished a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human society. can no longer be fellow citizens of one great. for custom. my fellow citizens. I have unfolded to you a complication of dangers to which you would be exposed. 15 The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union For the Independent Journal. that it rashly attempts what it is impossible to accomplish. respectable. Happily for America. consecrate their Union. in a clear and convincing light. the kindred blood which flows in the veins of American citizens. and the lessons of their own experience? To this manly spirit. whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations. Had no important step been taken by the leaders of the Revolution for which a precedent could not be discovered. and the world for the example. But why is the experiment of an extended republic to be rejected. you will recollect that you are in quest of information on a subject the most momentous which can engage the attention of a free people. no government established of which an exact model did not present itself. should you permit that sacred knot which binds the people of America together be severed or dissolved by ambition or by avarice.

seem resolved to plunge us into the abyss that awaits us below. and can only be fully explained by that want of private and public confidence. a reluctant confession of the reality of those defects in the scheme of our federal government. and which in substance is admitted by the opponents as well as by the friends of the new Constitution. It must in truth be acknowledged that. which does not form a part of the dark catalogue of our public misfortunes? This is the melancholy situation to which we have been brought by those very maxims and councils which would now deter us from adopting the proposed Constitution. impelled by every motive that ought to influence an enlightened people. nor government. nor treasury. Do we owe debts to foreigners and to our own citizens contracted in a time of imminent peril for the preservation of our political existence? These remain without any proper or satisfactory provision for their discharge. and which have a direct tendency to depreciate property of every kind. We may indeed with propriety be said to have reached almost the last stage of national humiliation. Is public credit an indispensable resource in time of public danger? We seem to have abandoned its cause as desperate and irretrievable. but the . Here. to the prejudice of our interests. ought long since to have been surrendered? These are still retained. Is respectability in the eyes of foreign powers a safeguard against foreign encroachments? The imbecility of our government even forbids them to treat with us. and which.[1] Are we even in a condition to remonstrate with dignity? The just imputations on our own faith." It may perhaps be asked what need there is of reasoning or proof to illustrate a position which is not either controverted or doubted. They have forced themselves upon the sensibility of the people at large. Let us at last break the fatal charm which has too long seduced us from the paths of felicity and prosperity. however these may differ in other respects. Have we valuable territories and important posts in the possession of a foreign power which. our tranquillity. as has been before observed that facts. and have at length extorted from those. Is a violent and unnatural decrease in the value of land a symptom of national distress? The price of improved land in most parts of the country is much lower than can be accounted for by the quantity of waste land at market. too stubborn to be resisted. what indication is there of national disorder. it may in general be demanded. poverty. and that something is necessary to be done to rescue us from impending anarchy. not less than of our rights. they in general appear to harmonize in this sentiment. It is true. There is scarcely anything that can wound the pride or degrade the character of an independent nation which we do not experience. our reputation. have produced a species of general assent to the abstract proposition that there exist material defects in our national system. to which the understandings and feelings of all classes of men assent. Our ambassadors abroad are the mere pageants of mimic sovereignty. Are we in a condition to resent or to repel the aggression? We have neither troops. at least. and insignificance that could befall a community so peculiarly blessed with natural advantages as we are. our dignity. Is commerce of importance to national wealth? Ours is at the lowest point of declension. Is private credit the friend and patron of industry? That most useful kind which relates to borrowing and lending is reduced within the narrowest limits. The facts that support this opinion are no longer objects of speculation. Are we entitled by nature and compact to a free participation in the navigation of the Mississippi? Spain excludes us from it. which are so alarmingly prevalent among all ranks. ought first to be removed. let us make a firm stand for our safety. in respect to the same treaty. To shorten an enumeration of particulars which can afford neither pleasure nor instruction. whose mistaken policy has had the principal share in precipitating the extremity at which we are arrived. the point next in order to be examined is the "insufficiency of the present Confederation to the preservation of the Union. that there are material imperfections in our national system. without sacrificing utility to despatch. by express stipulations. and this still more from an opinion of insecurity than from the scarcity of money.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor my aim to remove the obstacles from your progress in as compendious a manner as it can be done. not content with having conducted us to the brink of a precipice. my countrymen. which have been long pointed out and regretted by the intelligent friends of the Union. Are there engagements to the performance of which we are held by every tie respectable among men? These are the subjects of constant and unblushing violation. 44 In pursuance of the plan which I have laid down for the discussion of the subject.

giving an instructive but afflicting lesson to mankind. this would bring us to a simple alliance offensive and defensive. there should still be found men who object to the new Constitution. if we still will adhere to the design of a national government. There is nothing absurd or impracticable in the idea of a league or alliance between independent nations for certain defined purposes precisely stated in a treaty regulating all the details of time. how little dependence is to be placed on treaties which have no other sanction than the obligations of good faith. but from fundamental errors in the structure of the building. This renders a full display of the principal defects of the Confederation necessary. upon the only principles that can give it a chance of success. by regulations extending to the individual citizens of America. at least. for deviating from a principle which has been found the bane of the old. subject to the usual vicissitudes of peace and war. and complete independence in the members. yet it pervades and governs those on which the efficacy of the rest depends. of a superintending power. But if we are unwilling to be placed in this perilous situation. or. and which is in itself evidently incompatible with the idea of GOVERNMENT. and triple and quadruple alliances were formed. at an augmentation of federal authority. Compacts of this kind exist among all civilized nations. In the early part of the present century there was an epidemical rage in Europe for this species of compacts. and depending for its execution on the good faith of the parties. as the interests or passions of the contracting powers dictate. which cannot be amended otherwise than by an alteration in the first principles and main pillars of the fabric. at sovereignty in the Union. without a diminution of State authority. circumstance. but they have no authority to raise either. if it is to be executed at all. of observance and non-observance. as our mutual jealousies and rivalships. should prescribe to us. in fine. which. we must resolve to incorporate into our plan those ingredients which may be considered as forming the characteristic difference between a league and a government. and would entail upon us all the mischiefs which have been enumerated under the first head.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 45 usefulness of the concession. seem to cherish with blind devotion the political monster of an imperium in imperio. but it would have the merit of being. and quantity. in short. If the particular States in this country are disposed to stand in a similar relation to each other. must substitute the violent and sanguinary agency of the sword to the mild influence of the magistracy. that though in theory their resolutions concerning those objects are laws. and would place us in a situation to be alternate friends and enemies of each other. from which the politicians of the times fondly hoped for benefits which were never realized. which is the same thing. While they admit that the government of the United States is destitute of energy. we must extend the authority of the Union to . the United States has an indefinite discretion to make requisitions for men and money. a principle. It is a singular instance of the capriciousness of the human mind. on the part of the old adversaries of federal measures. They still. consistent and practicable Abandoning all views towards a confederate government. and to drop the project of a general DISCRETIONARY SUPERINTENDENCE. and as contradistinguished from the INDIVIDUALS of which they consist. and which oppose general considerations of peace and justice to the impulse of any immediate interest or passion. place. yet in practice they are mere recommendations which the States observe or disregard at their option. The consequence of this is. is destroyed by a strenuous opposition to a remedy. all the resources of negotiation were exhausted. leaving nothing to future discretion. Except as to the rule of appointment. the scheme would indeed be pernicious. With a view to establishing the equilibrium of power and the peace of that part of the world. nourished by the intrigues of foreign nations. Though this principle does not run through all the powers delegated to the Union. constitutionally binding on the members of the Union. They seem still to aim at things repugnant and irreconcilable. The great and radical vice in the construction of the existing Confederation is in the principle of LEGISLATION for STATES or GOVERNMENTS. under the direction of a common council. in their CORPORATE or COLLECTIVE CAPACITIES. they contend against conferring upon it those powers which are requisite to supply that energy. in order to show that the evils we experience do not proceed from minute or partial imperfections. that after all the admonitions we have had from experience on this head. but they were scarcely formed before they were broken.

that disposes those who are invested with the exercise of it. to look with an evil eye upon all external attempts to restrain or direct its operations. Such a state of things can certainly not deserve the name of government. by the States. If. If there be no penalty annexed to disobedience. The first kind can evidently apply only to men. and the inference is founded upon obvious reasons. It is essential to the idea of a law. In an association where the general authority is confined to the collective bodies of the communities. This simple proposition will teach us how little reason there is to expect. They will consider the conformity of the thing proposed or required to their immediate interests or aims. be enforced. This penalty. It has its origin in the love of power. whatever it may be. that the persons intrusted with the administration of the affairs of the particular members of a confederacy will at all times be ready. The rulers of the respective members. for which they would blush in a private capacity. the momentary conveniences or inconveniences that would attend its adoption. amount to nothing more than advice or recommendation. which is essential to a right judgment. The same process must be repeated in . experience. without constraint. that in every political association which is formed upon the principle of uniting in a common interest a number of lesser sovereignties. and military execution must become the only instrument of civil obedience. would appear as wild as a great part of what we now hear from the same quarter will be thought. Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice. by the operation of which there will be a perpetual effort in each to fly off from the common centre. and in a spirit of interested and suspicious scrutiny. nor would any prudent man choose to commit his happiness to it. the measures of the Confederacy cannot be executed without the intervention of the particular administrations. in other words. be employed against bodies politic. can only be inflicted in two ways: by the agency of the courts and ministers of justice. in the last resort. in the nature of sovereign power. or States.the only proper objects of government. by the COERCION of the magistracy. and an unbiased regard to the public weal. at the present day. The reverse of this results from the constitution of human nature. which is apt to mingle its poison in the deliberations of all bodies of men. From this spirit it happens. there will be found a kind of eccentric tendency in the subordinate or inferior orbs. that a sense of common interest would preside over the conduct of the respective members. Sentences may be denounced against them for violations of their duty. a penalty or punishment for disobedience. -. and with that strong predilection in favor of local objects. It at all times betrayed an ignorance of the true springs by which human conduct is actuated. therefore. It is evident that there is no process of a court by which the observance of the laws can. which can hardly fail to mislead the decision. with perfect good-humor. whether they have a constitutional right to do it or not. Power controlled or abridged is almost always the rival and enemy of that power by which it is controlled or abridged. in fact. This tendency is not difficult to be accounted for. when we shall have received further lessons from that best oracle of wisdom. will often hurry the persons of whom they are composed into improprieties and excesses. to execute the resolutions or decrees of the general authority. there is. and belied the original inducements to the establishment of civil power. the last kind must of necessity. or by military force. Has it been found that bodies of men act with more rectitude or greater disinterestedness than individuals? The contrary of this has been inferred by all accurate observers of the conduct of mankind. or. of the regulations of the federal authority were not to be expected. 46 Government implies the power of making laws. but these sentences can only be carried into execution by the sword.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor the persons of the citizens. All this will be done. that it be attended with a sanction. every breach of the laws must involve a state of war. In addition to all this. will undertake to judge of the propriety of the measures themselves. This language. or by the COERCION of arms. the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will. and would beget a full compliance with all the constitutional requisitions of the Union. there will be little prospect of their being executed at all. or communities. A spirit of faction. an impatience of control. that compose it. when the infamy of a bad action is to be divided among a number than when it is to fall singly upon one. without that knowledge of national circumstances and reasons of state. Regard to reputation has a less active influence. There was a time when we were told that breaches.

in exact proportion to its prevalence in those systems. the applauding suffrages of political writers. will readily conceive how impossible it must be to induce a number of such assemblies. till the States can have time to agree upon a more substantial substitute for the present shadow of a federal government. is equally attested by the events which have befallen all other governments of the confederate kind. and which even speculative men. the Lycian and Achaean leagues. combat. December 4. and that whenever they happen. and to crush us beneath its ruins. In our case. yielding to the persuasive voice of immediate interest or convenience. to the complete execution of every important measure that proceeds from the Union. . has successively withdrawn its support. It has happened as was to have been foreseen. the only constitutional remedy is force. Tuesday. "I mean for the Union. This exceptionable principle may. long to co-operate in the same views and pursuits." __ FEDERALIST No.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 47 every member of which the body is constituted. 1787. framed by the councils of the whole. which has. to bring them to harmonious resolutions on important points. who looked forward to remote consequences. could not. deliberating at a distance from each other. arrested all the wheels of the national government. who have seen how difficult it often is. at different times. and the execution of the plans. PUBLIUS 1. Congress at this time scarcely possess the means of keeping up the forms of administration. The causes which have been specified produced at first only unequal and disproportionate degrees of compliance with the requisitions of the Union. and have most liberally received. Why should we do more in proportion than those who are embarked with us in the same political voyage? Why should we consent to bear more than our proper share of the common burden? These were suggestions which human selfishness could not withstand. without hesitation. The measures of the Union have not been executed. the concurrence of thirteen distinct sovereign wills is requisite. as it has been exemplified by the experiment we have made of it. or to the least delinquent States. 16 The Same Subject Continued (The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union) From the New York Packet. and brought them to an awful stand. Each State. and were accordingly those which have best deserved. which history has handed down to us. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE tendency of the principle of legislation for States. I shall content myself with barely observing here. be styled the parent of anarchy: It has been seen that delinquencies in the members of the Union are its natural and necessary offspring. till the frail and tottering edifice seems ready to fall upon our heads. step by step. Those who have been conversant in the proceedings of popular assemblies. will always fluctuate on the discretion of the ill-informed and prejudiced opinion of every part. as truly as emphatically. the delinquencies of the States have. The confirmations of this fact will be worthy of a distinct and particular examination. appear to have been most free from the fetters of that mistaken principle. civil war. and under different impressions. in their political capacities. and the immediate effect of the use of it. at length. or communities. where there is no exterior pressure of circumstances. The greater deficiencies of some States furnished the pretext of example and the temptation of interest to the complying. Things did not come to this desperate extremity at once. matured themselves to an extreme. that of all the confederacies of antiquity. of which we have any account. as far as there remain vestiges of them. under the Confederation.

it would commonly have weight enough with its neighbors to win over some of them as associates to its cause. of partiality. but it will be found in every light impracticable. would instantly degenerate into a military despotism. If associates could not be found at home. from the firm union of which they had so much to fear. as the delinquencies of the larger members might be expected sometimes to proceed from an ambitious premeditation in their rulers. It is easy to see that this problem alone. considering the genius of this country. recourse would be had to the aid of foreign powers. without difficulty. plausible excuses for the deficiencies of the party could. When the sword is once drawn. In the article of pecuniary contribution. And yet this is the plain alternative involved by those who wish to deny it the power of extending its operations to individuals. And the guilt of all would thus become the security of all. who would seldom be disinclined to encouraging the dissensions of a Confederacy. the instigations of irritated resentment. be an insuperable difficulty in ascertaining when force could with propriety be employed. The pretense of the latter would always be at hand. would even be capable of answering its end. in which the strongest combination would be most likely to prevail. would open a wide field for the exercise of factious views. to any extremes necessary to avenge the affront or to avoid the disgrace of submission. and if there were more than one who had neglected their duty. it would often be impossible to decide whether it had proceeded from disinclination or inability. in fact. And the case must be very flagrant in which its fallacy could be detected with sufficient certainty to justify the harsh expedient of compulsion.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 48 It remains to inquire how far so odious an engine of government. It is not probable. and conciliate the good-will. If there should not be a large army constantly at the disposal of the national government it would either not be able to employ force at all. The resources of the Union would not be equal to the maintenance of an army considerable enough to confine the larger States within the limits of their duty. would be apt to carry the States against which the arms of the Union were exerted. The suggestions of wounded pride. and of oppression. when this could be done. whether it consisted of those who supported or of those who resisted the general authority. Specious arguments of danger to the common liberty could easily be contrived. This would be the more likely to take place. the better to effect which it is presumable they would tamper beforehand with leading individuals in the adjacent States. This may be considered as the violent death of the Confederacy. Its more natural death is what we now seem to be on the point of experiencing. it would amount to a war between parts of the Confederacy concerning the infractions of a league. or. be invented to alarm the apprehensions. Such a scheme. It would rarely happen that the delinquency to be redressed would be confined to a single member. if practicable at all. similarity of situation would induce them to unite for common defense. in the majority that happened to prevail in the national council. They would always be more ready to pursue the milder course of putting themselves upon an equal footing with the delinquent members by an imitation of their example. and looks forward to what they will become. will at once dismiss as idle and visionary any scheme which aims at regulating their movements by laws to operate upon them in their collective capacities. if the federal system be not speedily renovated in a more substantial form. nor would the means ever be furnished of forming such an army in the first instance. There would. . with a view to getting rid of all external control upon their designs of personal aggrandizement. A project of this kind is little less romantic than the monster-taming spirit which is attributed to the fabulous heroes and demi-gods of antiquity. as often as it should occur. the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation. inflame the passions. It seems to require no pains to prove that the States ought not to prefer a national Constitution which could only be kept in motion by the instrumentality of a large army continually on foot to execute the ordinary requisitions or decrees of the government. Our past experience has exhibited the operation of this spirit in its full light. in its application to us. Independent of this motive of sympathy. even of those States which were not chargeable with any violation or omission of duty. Whoever considers the populousness and strength of several of these States singly at the present juncture. even at the distance of half a century. The first war of this kind would probably terminate in a dissolution of the Union. if a large and influential State should happen to be the aggressing member. which would be the most usual source of delinquency. that the complying States would often be inclined to support the authority of the Union by engaging in a war against the non-complying States. and to be executed by a coercion applicable to them in the same capacities.

so as not to appear. they. from the intrigues of an inconsiderable faction. If the people were not tainted with the spirit of their State representatives. or advantage. unconstitutional. being equally the ministers of the law of the land. with the necessity of which the opposite scheme is reproached. The success of it would require not merely a factious majority in the legislature. which sometimes disquiet society. that are possessed and exercised by the government of the particular States. or TO ACT EVASIVELY. possess all the means. that if it be possible at any rate to construct a federal government capable of regulating the common concerns and preserving the general tranquillity. Attempts of this kind would not often be made with levity or rashness. It has rarely been attempted to be employed. unless in cases of a tyrannical exercise of the federal authority. exemption. they would pronounce the resolutions of such a majority to be contrary to the supreme law of the land. but the concurrence of the courts of justice and of the body of the people. it could be overcome by the same means which are daily employed against the same evil under the State governments. It must carry its agency to the persons of the citizens. in short. and in such a manner as would leave no doubt that they had encroached on the national rights. in which one half of the confederacy has displayed its banners against the other half. if they were to pass into immediate operation upon the citizens themselves. The magistracy. and in most instances attempts to coerce the refractory and disobedient have been the signals of bloody wars. and to attract to its support those passions which have the strongest influence upon the human heart. has never been found effectual. the principle of legislation for sovereign States.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 49 Even in those confederacies which have been composed of members smaller than many of our counties. would doubtless be as ready to guard the national as the local regulations from the inroads of private licentiousness. and of a people enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority. it must be founded. supported by military coercion. The State leaders may even make a merit of their surreptitious invasions of it on the ground of some temporary convenience. of executing the powers with which it is intrusted. but against the weaker members. that if any State should be disaffected to the authority of the Union. It must. It must stand in need of no intermediate legislations. but must itself be empowered to employ the arm of the ordinary magistrate to execute its own resolutions. An experiment of this nature would always be hazardous in the face of a constitution in any degree competent to its own defense. and of course not to excite any alarm in the people for the safety of the Constitution. and void. would throw their weight into the national scale and give it a decided preponderancy in the contest. upon the reverse of the principle contended for by the opponents of the proposed Constitution. As to those partial commotions and insurrections. If the interposition of the State legislatures be necessary to give effect to a measure of the Union. it could at any time obstruct the execution of its laws. from whatever source it might emanate. To this reasoning it may perhaps be objected. the particular governments could not interrupt their progress without an open and violent exertion of an unconstitutional power. or from sudden or occasional illhumors that do not . The pausibility of this objection will vanish the moment we advert to the essential difference between a mere NON-COMPLIANCE and a DIRECT and ACTIVE RESISTANCE. and the measure is defeated. must be able to address itself immediately to the hopes and fears of individuals. as to the objects committed to its care. But if the execution of the laws of the national government should not require the intervention of the State legislatures. No omissions nor evasions would answer the end. as the natural guardians of the Constitution. They would be obliged to act. If opposition to the national government should arise from the disorderly conduct of refractory or seditious individuals. they have only NOT TO ACT. The government of the Union. This neglect of duty may be disguised under affected but unsubstantial provisions. and have aright to resort to all the methods. The result of these observations to an intelligent mind must be clearly this. because they could seldom be made without danger to the authors. and bring the matter to the same issue of force. like that of each State. The majesty of the national authority must be manifested through the medium of the courts of justice. If the judges were not embarked in a conspiracy with the legislature.

When they happen. in other words. can never be desirable cares of a general jurisdiction. And as to those mortal feuds which. because the attempt to exercise those powers would be as troublesome as it would be nugatory. or to the splendor of the national government. they do not fall within any ordinary rules of calculation. The regulation of the mere domestic police of a State appears to me to hold out slender allurements to ambition. of a nature different from that which has been stated and answered. which it might be judged proper to leave with the States for local purposes. still it may be safely affirmed. No form of government can always either avoid or control them. or through a very large proportion of it.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 50 infect the great body of the community the general government could command more extensive resources for the suppression of disturbances of that kind than would be in the power of any single member. spread a conflagration through a whole nation. finance. and to enable it to absorb those residuary authorities. that mere wantonness and lust of domination would be sufficient to beget that disposition. the people of the several States. all those things. Wednesday. that the sense of the constituent body of the national representatives. The proof of this proposition turns upon the greater degree of influence which the State governments if they administer their affairs with uprightness and prudence. The administration of private justice between the citizens of the same State. Commerce. in short. and that too much pains cannot be taken in their organization. for that reason. . PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. It is in vain to hope to guard against events too mighty for human foresight or precaution. in my last address. the supervision of agriculture and of other concerns of a similar nature. a circumstance which at the same time teaches us that there is an inherent and intrinsic weakness in all federal constitutions. to give them all the force which is compatible with the principles of liberty. in certain conjunctures. for argument's sake. But let it be admitted. Allowing the utmost latitude to the love of power which any reasonable man can require. and all the powers necessary to those objects ought. proceeding either from weighty causes of discontent given by the government or from the contagion of some violent popular paroxysm. It may be said that it would tend to render the government of the Union too powerful. December 5. I confess I am at a loss to discover what temptation the persons intrusted with the administration of the general government could ever feel to divest the States of the authorities of that description. negotiation. and war seem to comprehend all the objects which have charms for minds governed by that passion. would control the indulgence of so extravagant an appetite. It is therefore improbable that there should exist a disposition in the federal councils to usurp the powers with which they are connected. and the possession of them. It will always be far more easy for the State governments to encroach upon the national authorities than for the national government to encroach upon the State authorities. which are proper to be provided for by local legislation. they commonly amount to revolutions and dismemberments of empire. would contribute nothing to the dignity. to the importance. or. and it would be idle to object to a government because it could not perform impossibilities. in the first instance. 1787 HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: AN OBJECTION. 17 The Same Subject Continued (The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union) For the Independent Journal. to be lodged in the national depository. may perhaps be likewise urged against the principle of legislation for the individual citizens of America. will generally possess over the people.

and a number of subordinate vassals. in proportion. falling less immediately under the observation of the mass of the citizens. more than any other circumstance. and. most universal. unless the force of that principle should be destroyed by a much better administration of the latter. affection. The power of the head of the nation was commonly too weak. and most attractive source of popular obedience and attachment. is the most powerful. which answered. on the other hand. independent of all other causes of influence. and in many instances his dominion was entirely thrown off. within his particular demesnes. having its benefits and its terrors in constant activity before the public eye. dangerous rivals to the power of the Union. which will diffuse itself almost wholly through the channels of the particular governments. It is a known fact in human nature. cannot be particularized. and which will form so many rivulets of influence. This. whose authority extended over the whole nation. and of all others which have borne the least analogy to them. either to preserve the public peace. to impressing upon the minds of the people. and an active sentiment of attachment. to the persons of whom they held it. The variety of more minute interests. and reverence towards the government. the times of feudal anarchy. or to protect the people against the oppressions of their immediate lords. This great cement of society. they will be less apt to come home to the feelings of the people. -. This strong propensity of the human heart would find powerful auxiliaries in the objects of State regulation. It is that which. the benefits derived from it will chiefly be perceived and attended to by speculative men. that its affections are commonly weak in proportion to the distance or diffusiveness of the object. and the great fiefs were erected into independent principalities or . and numerous trains of INFERIOR vassals or retainers. regulating all those personal interests and familiar concerns to which the sensibility of individuals is more immediately awake. to his neighborhood than to the community at large. Each principal vassal was a kind of sovereign. and. Upon the same principle that a man is more attached to his family than to his neighborhood. Though the ancient feudal systems were not. The reasoning on this head has been abundantly exemplified by the experience of all federal constitutions with which we are acquainted. strictly speaking. The consequences of this situation were a continual opposition to authority of the sovereign. There was a common head. There is one transcendant advantage belonging to the province of the State governments.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 51 The superiority of influence in favor of the particular governments would result partly from the diffusive construction of the national government. who had large portions of land allotted to them. and frequent wars between the great barons or chief feudatories themselves. When the sovereign happened to be a man of vigorous and warlike temper and of superior abilities. But in general. who occupied and cultivated that land upon the tenure of fealty or obedience. but chiefly from the nature of the objects to which the attention of the State administrations would be directed. which will necessarily fall under the superintendence of the local administrations. the people of each State would be apt to feel a stronger bias towards their local governments than towards the government of the Union. for the time. the power of the barons triumphed over that of the prince. yet they partook of the nature of that species of association. of all others. which alone suffices to place the matter in a clear and satisfactory light. or sovereign. without involving a detail too tedious and uninteresting to compensate for the instruction it might afford. less likely to inspire an habitual sense of obligation. not unfrequently.I mean the ordinary administration of criminal and civil justice. would insure them so decided an empire over their respective citizens as to render them at all times a complete counterpoise. running through every part of the society. confederacies. Relating to more general interests. This period of European affairs is emphatically styled by historians. being the immediate and visible guardian of life and property. chieftain. contributes. he would acquire a personal weight and influence. esteem. or feudatories. The operations of the national government. the purpose of a more regular authority.

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States. In those instances in which the monarch finally prevailed over his vassals, his success was chiefly owing to the tyranny of those vassals over their dependents. The barons, or nobles, equally the enemies of the sovereign and the oppressors of the common people, were dreaded and detested by both; till mutual danger and mutual interest effected a union between them fatal to the power of the aristocracy. Had the nobles, by a conduct of clemency and justice, preserved the fidelity and devotion of their retainers and followers, the contests between them and the prince must almost always have ended in their favor, and in the abridgment or subversion of the royal authority. This is not an assertion founded merely in speculation or conjecture. Among other illustrations of its truth which might be cited, Scotland will furnish a cogent example. The spirit of clanship which was, at an early day, introduced into that kingdom, uniting the nobles and their dependants by ties equivalent to those of kindred, rendered the aristocracy a constant overmatch for the power of the monarch, till the incorporation with England subdued its fierce and ungovernable spirit, and reduced it within those rules of subordination which a more rational and more energetic system of civil polity had previously established in the latter kingdom. The separate governments in a confederacy may aptly be compared with the feudal baronies; with this advantage in their favor, that from the reasons already explained, they will generally possess the confidence and good-will of the people, and with so important a support, will be able effectually to oppose all encroachments of the national government. It will be well if they are not able to counteract its legitimate and necessary authority. The points of similitude consist in the rivalship of power, applicable to both, and in the CONCENTRATION of large portions of the strength of the community into particular DEPOSITORIES, in one case at the disposal of individuals, in the other case at the disposal of political bodies. A concise review of the events that have attended confederate governments will further illustrate this important doctrine; an inattention to which has been the great source of our political mistakes, and has given our jealousy a direction to the wrong side. This review shall form the subject of some ensuing papers. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. 18 The Same Subject Continued (The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union) For the New York Packet. Friday, December 7, 1787 MADISON, with HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: AMONG the confederacies of antiquity, the most considerable was that of the Grecian republics, associated under the Amphictyonic council. From the best accounts transmitted of this celebrated institution, it bore a very instructive analogy to the present Confederation of the American States. The members retained the character of independent and sovereign states, and had equal votes in the federal council. This council had a general authority to propose and resolve whatever it judged necessary for the common welfare of Greece; to declare and carry on war; to decide, in the last resort, all controversies between the members; to fine the aggressing party; to employ the whole force of the confederacy against the disobedient; to admit new members. The Amphictyons were the guardians of religion, and of the immense riches belonging to the temple of Delphos, where they had the right of jurisdiction in controversies between the inhabitants and those who came to consult the oracle. As a further provision for the efficacy of the federal

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powers, they took an oath mutually to defend and protect the united cities, to punish the violators of this oath, and to inflict vengeance on sacrilegious despoilers of the temple. In theory, and upon paper, this apparatus of powers seems amply sufficient for all general purposes. In several material instances, they exceed the powers enumerated in the articles of confederation. The Amphictyons had in their hands the superstition of the times, one of the principal engines by which government was then maintained; they had a declared authority to use coercion against refractory cities, and were bound by oath to exert this authority on the necessary occasions. Very different, nevertheless, was the experiment from the theory. The powers, like those of the present Congress, were administered by deputies appointed wholly by the cities in their political capacities; and exercised over them in the same capacities. Hence the weakness, the disorders, and finally the destruction of the confederacy. The more powerful members, instead of being kept in awe and subordination, tyrannized successively over all the rest. Athens, as we learn from Demosthenes, was the arbiter of Greece seventy-three years. The Lacedaemonians next governed it twenty-nine years; at a subsequent period, after the battle of Leuctra, the Thebans had their turn of domination. It happened but too often, according to Plutarch, that the deputies of the strongest cities awed and corrupted those of the weaker; and that judgment went in favor of the most powerful party. Even in the midst of defensive and dangerous wars with Persia and Macedon, the members never acted in concert, and were, more or fewer of them, eternally the dupes or the hirelings of the common enemy. The intervals of foreign war were filled up by domestic vicissitudes convulsions, and carnage. After the conclusion of the war with Xerxes, it appears that the Lacedaemonians required that a number of the cities should be turned out of the confederacy for the unfaithful part they had acted. The Athenians, finding that the Lacedaemonians would lose fewer partisans by such a measure than themselves, and would become masters of the public deliberations, vigorously opposed and defeated the attempt. This piece of history proves at once the inefficiency of the union, the ambition and jealousy of its most powerful members, and the dependent and degraded condition of the rest. The smaller members, though entitled by the theory of their system to revolve in equal pride and majesty around the common center, had become, in fact, satellites of the orbs of primary magnitude. Had the Greeks, says the Abbe Milot, been as wise as they were courageous, they would have been admonished by experience of the necessity of a closer union, and would have availed themselves of the peace which followed their success against the Persian arms, to establish such a reformation. Instead of this obvious policy, Athens and Sparta, inflated with the victories and the glory they had acquired, became first rivals and then enemies; and did each other infinitely more mischief than they had suffered from Xerxes. Their mutual jealousies, fears, hatreds, and injuries ended in the celebrated Peloponnesian war; which itself ended in the ruin and slavery of the Athenians who had begun it. As a weak government, when not at war, is ever agitated by internal dissentions, so these never fail to bring on fresh calamities from abroad. The Phocians having ploughed up some consecrated ground belonging to the temple of Apollo, the Amphictyonic council, according to the superstition of the age, imposed a fine on the sacrilegious offenders. The Phocians, being abetted by Athens and Sparta, refused to submit to the decree. The Thebans, with others of the cities, undertook to maintain the authority of the Amphictyons, and to avenge the violated god. The latter, being the weaker party, invited the assistance of Philip of Macedon, who had secretly fostered the contest. Philip gladly seized the opportunity of executing the designs he had long planned against the liberties of Greece. By his intrigues and bribes he won over to his interests the popular leaders of several cities; by their influence and votes, gained admission into the Amphictyonic council; and by his arts and his arms, made himself master of the confederacy.

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Such were the consequences of the fallacious principle on which this interesting establishment was founded. Had Greece, says a judicious observer on her fate, been united by a stricter confederation, and persevered in her union, she would never have worn the chains of Macedon; and might have proved a barrier to the vast projects of Rome. The Achaean league, as it is called, was another society of Grecian republics, which supplies us with valuable instruction. The Union here was far more intimate, and its organization much wiser, than in the preceding instance. It will accordingly appear, that though not exempt from a similar catastrophe, it by no means equally deserved it. The cities composing this league retained their municipal jurisdiction, appointed their own officers, and enjoyed a perfect equality. The senate, in which they were represented, had the sole and exclusive right of peace and war; of sending and receiving ambassadors; of entering into treaties and alliances; of appointing a chief magistrate or praetor, as he was called, who commanded their armies, and who, with the advice and consent of ten of the senators, not only administered the government in the recess of the senate, but had a great share in its deliberations, when assembled. According to the primitive constitution, there were two praetors associated in the administration; but on trial a single one was preferred. It appears that the cities had all the same laws and customs, the same weights and measures, and the same money. But how far this effect proceeded from the authority of the federal council is left in uncertainty. It is said only that the cities were in a manner compelled to receive the same laws and usages. When Lacedaemon was brought into the league by Philopoemen, it was attended with an abolition of the institutions and laws of Lycurgus, and an adoption of those of the Achaeans. The Amphictyonic confederacy, of which she had been a member, left her in the full exercise of her government and her legislation. This circumstance alone proves a very material difference in the genius of the two systems. It is much to be regretted that such imperfect monuments remain of this curious political fabric. Could its interior structure and regular operation be ascertained, it is probable that more light would be thrown by it on the science of federal government, than by any of the like experiments with which we are acquainted. One important fact seems to be witnessed by all the historians who take notice of Achaean affairs. It is, that as well after the renovation of the league by Aratus, as before its dissolution by the arts of Macedon, there was infinitely more of moderation and justice in the administration of its government, and less of violence and sedition in the people, than were to be found in any of the cities exercising SINGLY all the prerogatives of sovereignty. The Abbe Mably, in his observations on Greece, says that the popular government, which was so tempestuous elsewhere, caused no disorders in the members of the Achaean republic, BECAUSE IT WAS THERE TEMPERED BY THE GENERAL AUTHORITY AND LAWS OF THE CONFEDERACY. We are not to conclude too hastily, however, that faction did not, in a certain degree, agitate the particular cities; much less that a due subordination and harmony reigned in the general system. The contrary is sufficiently displayed in the vicissitudes and fate of the republic. Whilst the Amphictyonic confederacy remained, that of the Achaeans, which comprehended the less important cities only, made little figure on the theatre of Greece. When the former became a victim to Macedon, the latter was spared by the policy of Philip and Alexander. Under the successors of these princes, however, a different policy prevailed. The arts of division were practiced among the Achaeans. Each city was seduced into a separate interest; the union was dissolved. Some of the cities fell under the tyranny of Macedonian garrisons; others under that of usurpers springing out of their own confusions. Shame and oppression erelong awaken their love of liberty. A few cities reunited. Their example was followed by others, as opportunities were found of cutting off their tyrants. The league soon embraced almost the whole Peloponnesus. Macedon saw its progress; but was hindered by internal dissensions from stopping it. All Greece caught the enthusiasm

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and seemed ready to unite in one confederacy, when the jealousy and envy in Sparta and Athens, of the rising glory of the Achaeans, threw a fatal damp on the enterprise. The dread of the Macedonian power induced the league to court the alliance of the Kings of Egypt and Syria, who, as successors of Alexander, were rivals of the king of Macedon. This policy was defeated by Cleomenes, king of Sparta, who was led by his ambition to make an unprovoked attack on his neighbors, the Achaeans, and who, as an enemy to Macedon, had interest enough with the Egyptian and Syrian princes to effect a breach of their engagements with the league. The Achaeans were now reduced to the dilemma of submitting to Cleomenes, or of supplicating the aid of Macedon, its former oppressor. The latter expedient was adopted. The contests of the Greeks always afforded a pleasing opportunity to that powerful neighbor of intermeddling in their affairs. A Macedonian army quickly appeared. Cleomenes was vanquished. The Achaeans soon experienced, as often happens, that a victorious and powerful ally is but another name for a master. All that their most abject compliances could obtain from him was a toleration of the exercise of their laws. Philip, who was now on the throne of Macedon, soon provoked by his tyrannies, fresh combinations among the Greeks. The Achaeans, though weakenened by internal dissensions and by the revolt of Messene, one of its members, being joined by the AEtolians and Athenians, erected the standard of opposition. Finding themselves, though thus supported, unequal to the undertaking, they once more had recourse to the dangerous expedient of introducing the succor of foreign arms. The Romans, to whom the invitation was made, eagerly embraced it. Philip was conquered; Macedon subdued. A new crisis ensued to the league. Dissensions broke out among it members. These the Romans fostered. Callicrates and other popular leaders became mercenary instruments for inveigling their countrymen. The more effectually to nourish discord and disorder the Romans had, to the astonishment of those who confided in their sincerity, already proclaimed universal liberty[1] throughout Greece. With the same insidious views, they now seduced the members from the league, by representing to their pride the violation it committed on their sovereignty. By these arts this union, the last hope of Greece, the last hope of ancient liberty, was torn into pieces; and such imbecility and distraction introduced, that the arms of Rome found little difficulty in completing the ruin which their arts had commenced. The Achaeans were cut to pieces, and Achaia loaded with chains, under which it is groaning at this hour. I have thought it not superfluous to give the outlines of this important portion of history; both because it teaches more than one lesson, and because, as a supplement to the outlines of the Achaean constitution, it emphatically illustrates the tendency of federal bodies rather to anarchy among the members, than to tyranny in the head. PUBLIUS 1. This was but another name more specious for the independence of the members on the federal head. __ FEDERALIST No. 19 The Same Subject Continued (The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union) For the Independent Journal. Saturday, December 8, 1787 MADISON, with HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE examples of ancient confederacies, cited in my last paper, have not exhausted the source of experimental instruction on this subject. There are existing institutions, founded on a similar principle, which merit particular consideration. The first which presents itself is the Germanic body.

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In the early ages of Christianity, Germany was occupied by seven distinct nations, who had no common chief. The Franks, one of the number, having conquered the Gauls, established the kingdom which has taken its name from them. In the ninth century Charlemagne, its warlike monarch, carried his victorious arms in every direction; and Germany became a part of his vast dominions. On the dismemberment, which took place under his sons, this part was erected into a separate and independent empire. Charlemagne and his immediate descendants possessed the reality, as well as the ensigns and dignity of imperial power. But the principal vassals, whose fiefs had become hereditary, and who composed the national diets which Charlemagne had not abolished, gradually threw off the yoke and advanced to sovereign jurisdiction and independence. The force of imperial sovereignty was insufficient to restrain such powerful dependants; or to preserve the unity and tranquillity of the empire. The most furious private wars, accompanied with every species of calamity, were carried on between the different princes and states. The imperial authority, unable to maintain the public order, declined by degrees till it was almost extinct in the anarchy, which agitated the long interval between the death of the last emperor of the Suabian, and the accession of the first emperor of the Austrian lines. In the eleventh century the emperors enjoyed full sovereignty: In the fifteenth they had little more than the symbols and decorations of power. Out of this feudal system, which has itself many of the important features of a confederacy, has grown the federal system which constitutes the Germanic empire. Its powers are vested in a diet representing the component members of the confederacy; in the emperor, who is the executive magistrate, with a negative on the decrees of the diet; and in the imperial chamber and the aulic council, two judiciary tribunals having supreme jurisdiction in controversies which concern the empire, or which happen among its members. The diet possesses the general power of legislating for the empire; of making war and peace; contracting alliances; assessing quotas of troops and money; constructing fortresses; regulating coin; admitting new members; and subjecting disobedient members to the ban of the empire, by which the party is degraded from his sovereign rights and his possessions forfeited. The members of the confederacy are expressly restricted from entering into compacts prejudicial to the empire; from imposing tolls and duties on their mutual intercourse, without the consent of the emperor and diet; from altering the value of money; from doing injustice to one another; or from affording assistance or retreat to disturbers of the public peace. And the ban is denounced against such as shall violate any of these restrictions. The members of the diet, as such, are subject in all cases to be judged by the emperor and diet, and in their private capacities by the aulic council and imperial chamber. The prerogatives of the emperor are numerous. The most important of them are: his exclusive right to make propositions to the diet; to negative its resolutions; to name ambassadors; to confer dignities and titles; to fill vacant electorates; to found universities; to grant privileges not injurious to the states of the empire; to receive and apply the public revenues; and generally to watch over the public safety. In certain cases, the electors form a council to him. In quality of emperor, he possesses no territory within the empire, nor receives any revenue for his support. But his revenue and dominions, in other qualities, constitute him one of the most powerful princes in Europe. From such a parade of constitutional powers, in the representatives and head of this confederacy, the natural supposition would be, that it must form an exception to the general character which belongs to its kindred systems. Nothing would be further from the reality. The fundamental principle on which it rests, that the empire is a community of sovereigns, that the diet is a representation of sovereigns and that the laws are addressed to sovereigns, renders the empire a nerveless body, incapable of regulating its own members, insecure against external dangers, and agitated with unceasing fermentations in its own bowels. The history of Germany is a history of wars between the emperor and the princes and states; of wars among the princes and states themselves; of the licentiousness of the strong, and the oppression of the weak; of foreign intrusions, and foreign intrigues; of requisitions of men and money disregarded, or partially complied with; of attempts to enforce them, altogether abortive, or attended with slaughter and desolation, involving

as he had secretly intended from the beginning. and clashing pretensions of sovereign bodies. The small body of national troops. pride. the Abbe de St. and the Duke of Bavaria. on any emergency.these causes support a feeble and precarious Union. on the pretext that his ancestors had suffered the place to be dismembered from his territory. badly paid. separate views. Germany was desolated by a war of thirty years. incident to the nature of sovereignty. Foreign nations have long considered themselves as interested in the changes made by events in this constitution. and have. to revive an antiquated claim. They either fail to execute their commissions.[1] he took possession of it in his own name. disarmed. and supported by irregular and disproportionate contributions to the treasury. and the articles of it. with the other half. In Donawerth. and before the federal troops are ready to take it. the vast weight and influence which the emperor derives from his separate and heriditary dominions. or they do it with all the devastation and carnage of civil war. was on one side. and reannexed the city to his domains. and then they increase the mischief which they were instituted to remedy. . the emperor himself was put to flight. what has so long kept this disjointed machine from falling entirely to pieces? The answer is obvious: The weakness of most of the members. its situation is still deplorable. The late king of Prussia was more than once pitted against his imperial sovereign. was seen engaged against the other princes and states. and the interest he feels in preserving a system with which his family pride is connected. the emperor. with one half of the empire. -. perhaps. with one part of the empire on his side. confusion. In the exercise of these. Each circle is the miniature picture of the deformities of this political monster. betrayed their policy of perpetuating its anarchy and weakness. and commonly proved an overmatch for him.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor the innocent with the guilty. of giving them an interior organization. and finding it a fit occasion. which has been judged necessary in time of peace. to which foreign powers are parties. It may be asked. though director of another circle. The consequence was that the city was put under the ban of the empire. Controversies and wars among the members themselves have been so common. and misery. produced the experiment of dividing the empire into nine or ten circles or districts. that the German annals are crowded with the bloody pages which describe them. in which the emperor. and which time continually strengthens. Peace was at length negotiated. on various occasions. He soon appeared before the city with a corps of ten thousand troops. on the opposite side. and of charging them with the military execution of the laws against delinquent and contumacious members. This experiment has only served to demonstrate more fully the radical vice of the constitution. and dictated by foreign powers. infected with local prejudices. is defectively kept up. and Sweden. to be more united by the necessity of self-defense. 57 In the sixteenth century. Previous to the peace of Westphalia. the weakness of most of the principal members. who are unwilling to expose themselves to the mercy of foreign powers. are retiring into winter quarters. the enemy are in the field. In one of the conflicts. If the nation happens. The impossibility of maintaining order and dispensing justice among these sovereign subjects. Nor is it to be imagined. whilst the repellant quality. that before the diet can settle the arrangements. compared with the formidable powers all around them. on some public occasions. and which constitutes him the first prince in Europe. arising from the jealousies. Sometimes whole circles are defaulters. founded on a proper consolidation. made a fundamental part of the Germanic constitution. and very near being made prisoner by the elector of Saxony. We may form some judgment of this scheme of military coercion from a sample given by Thuanus. Croix enjoyed certain immunities which had been reserved to him. obtained an appointment to enforce it. if this obstacle could be surmounted. Military preparations must be preceded by so many tedious discussions. and punished the inhabitants. of general inbecility. a free and imperial city of the circle of Suabia. outrages were committed on him by the people of the city. that the neighboring powers would suffer a revolution to take place which would give to the empire the force and preeminence to which it is entitled. prevents any reform whatever.

So far as the peculiarity of their case will admit of comparison with that of the United States. PUBLIUS 1. might not improperly be taken notice of. __ FEDERALIST No. It produced opposite alliances with foreign powers: of Berne. They are kept together by the peculiarity of their topographical position. Whatever efficacy the union may have had in ordinary cases. which merits attention. nor any other common mark of sovereignty. Chronol. with the United Provinces. to one of which they were formerly subject. no common coin. choose an umpire. by the mutual aid they stand in need of. under an oath of impartiality. may be said. by their joint interest in their dependent possessions. with HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE United Netherlands are a confederacy of republics. Tuesday. and of Luzerne. They have no common treasury. at the head of the Catholic association. Equally unfit for self-government and self-defense.. December 11. to have severed the league. The competency of this regulation may be estimated by a clause in their treaty of 1683. no common judicatory. de l'Hist. 20 The Same Subject Continued (The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union) From the New York Packet. it has long been at the mercy of its powerful neighbors. The provision is. it appears that the moment a cause of difference sprang up. d'Allemagne. that the parties at variance shall each choose four judges out of the neutral cantons. it failed. "Nouvel Abrég. as a government over local sovereigns.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 58 If more direct examples were wanting. with France. capable of trying its strength. which in three instances have kindled violent and bloody contests. at the head of the Protestant association.. This tribunal. who. in which he obliges himself to interpose as mediator in disputes between the cantons. it serves to confirm the principle intended to be established. and by the necessity of some regular and permanent provision for accomodating disputes among the cantons. who have lately had the mercy to disburden it of one third of its people and territories. by the fear of powerful neighbors. or rather of aristocracies of a very remarkable . if necessary. and which have left the general diet little other business than to take care of the common bailages. Nor could any proof more striking be given of the calamities flowing from such institutions. by their individual weakness and insignificancy." says the pretext was to indemnify himself for the expense of the expedition. an aid expressly stipulated and often required and afforded. etc. Pfeffel. with Victor Amadeus of Savoy. no common troops even in war. 1787. by the few sources of contention among a people of such simple and homogeneous manners. and to employ force. That separation had another consequence. The Protestant and Catholic cantons have since had their separate diets. The controversies on the subject of religion. The connection among the Swiss cantons scarcely amounts to a confederacy. Poland. which all the cantons are bound to enforce. pronounces definitive sentence. in fact. MADISON. for suppressing insurrections and rebellions. against the contumacious party. where all the most important concerns are adjusted. in case of disagreement. though it is sometimes cited as an instance of the stability of such institutions.

59 The union is composed of seven coequal and sovereign states. from colonels to ensigns. In all important cases. seemingly sufficient to secure harmony. The States-General have authority to enter into treaties and alliances. to provide for the collection of duties on imports and exports. and in general regulates military affairs. a chamber of accounts. It was long ago remarked by Grotius. In his marine capacity he is admiral-general. His principal weight and influence in the republic are derived from this independent title. The sovereignty of the Union is represented by the States-General. reposes an authority in the States-General. presides in the admiralties in person or by proxy. In his political capacity he has authority to settle disputes between the provinces. They hold their seats. The executive magistrate of the union is the stadtholder. and one years. and peculiar calamities from war. and superintends and directs every thing relative to naval forces and other naval affairs. and at their particular conferences. some for six.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor texture. and. when other methods fail. appoints lieutenant-admirals and other officers. considerable prerogatives. exclusive of his private income. They have authority to appoint and receive ambassadors. In all these cases. and has throughout the power of pardon. and of the governments and posts of fortified towns. unanimity and the sanction of their constituents are requisite. from establishing imposts injurious to others. however. Such is the nature of the celebrated Belgic confederacy. to assist at the deliberations of the States-General. some for life. in which provincial quality he has the appointment of town magistrates under certain regulations. to raise armies and equip fleets. disposes of all appointments. from his great patrimonial estates. but the jealousy in each province renders the practice very different from the . however. yet confirming all the lessons derived from those which we have already reviewed. who is now an hereditary prince. provides for garrisons. he has. as delineated on parchment. or charging their neighbors with higher duties than their own subjects. as well as for the union. aid and fortify the federal administration. and each state or province is a composition of equal and independent cities. executes provincial decrees. amounts to three hundred thousand florins. whose sentences are not executed till he approves them. As stadtholder of the union. that nothing but the hatred of his countrymen to the house of Austria kept them from being ruined by the vices of their constitution. from two provinces they continue in appointment during pleasure. The provinces are restrained. discord among the provinces. to ascertain quotas and demand contributions. to regulate the mint. from his being stadtholder in the several provinces. with five colleges of admiralty. In his military capacity he commands the federal troops. His revenue. unless with the general consent. perhaps. not only the provinces but the cities must be unanimous. a precarious existence in peace. to govern as sovereigns the dependent territories. to execute treaties and alliances already formed. The union of Utrecht. What are the characters which practice has stamped upon it? Imbecility in the government. to make war and peace. from his family connections with some of the chief potentates of Europe. more than all. three. to give audiences to foreign ambassadors. consisting usually of about fifty deputies appointed by the provinces. from entering into foreign treaties. A council of state. and establishes councils of war. with a saving to the provincial rights. and to keep agents for his particular affairs at foreign courts. foreign influence and indignities. says another respectable writer. presides when he pleases in the provincial tribunals. The standing army which he commands consists of about forty thousand men.

or otherwise. Even as recently as the last treaty of peace with Great Britain. In critical emergencies." It is remarked by Sir William Temple. Whether the usurpation. at the same time that they nourish by their intrigues the constitutional vices which keep the republic in some degree always at their mercy. Notwithstanding the calamities produced by the stadtholdership. or go forward to the dangerous extreme. by which their independence was formerly and finally recognized. to apply a remedy. Holland. A weak constitution must necessarily terminate in dissolution. who was himself a foreign minister. was concluded without the consent of Zealand. that the deficiencies had to be ultimately collected at the point of the bayonet. and equal singly to a vigorous and persevering defense. for one moment. obliges each province to levy certain contributions. cannot pay an equal quota. or the usurpation of powers requisite for the public safety. called for. "Under such a government. the fatal evils of the existing constitution. a thing practicable. and then to obtain reimbursement from the others. the treaty of Hanover was delayed by these means a whole year. Foreign ministers. for the propitious concord which has distinguished the consultations for our political happiness. The treaty of Westphalia. and where several of them are too small to meditate resistance. As many times has their laudable zeal found it impossible to UNITE THE PUBLIC COUNCILS in reforming the known. though dreadful. will stop at the salutary point. which drew the others into a sort of dependence. It has more than once happened. elude matters taken ad referendum. without waiting for the others. several of which are equal to each other in strength and resources. when once begun. the acknowledged. in a confedracy where one of the members exceeds in force all the rest. . In 1688. 60 The same instrument. if the provinces had not a spring within themselves. but utterly impracticable in one composed of members. who have little commerce. be executed. Instances of a like nature are numerous and notorious. than out of the full exercise of the largest constitutional authorities." These are not the only circumstances which have controlled the tendency to anarchy and dissolution. by tampering with the provinces and cities. on pressing exigencies." says the Abbe Mably. the States-General are often compelled to overleap their constitutional bounds. In matters of contribution. for want of proper powers. Tyranny has perhaps oftener grown out of the assumptions of power. must depend on the contingencies of the moment. In 1726. This spring is the stadtholder. by deputations. "that in the intermissions of the stadtholdership. capable of quickening their tardiness. because the inland provinces. and with the tear that drops for the calamities brought on mankind by their adverse opinions and selfish passions. and compelling them to the same way of thinking. the constitutional principle of unanimity was departed from. and probably never will. Let us pause. The true patriots have long bewailed the fatal tendency of these vices. convened for the special purpose. and have made no less than four regular experiments by EXTRAORDINARY ASSEMBLIES. as they can. the causes of anarchy manifest in the confederacy would long ago have dissolved it. says another. says Sir William Temple. by her riches and her authority. my fellow-citizens. by a defective constitution.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor theory. it is the practice to waive the articles of the constitution. "the Union could never have subsisted. let our gratitude mingle an ejaculation to Heaven. supplied the place. in 1648. The danger of delay obliges the consenting provinces to furnish their quotas. it has been supposed that without his influence in the individual provinces. which are frequent. The surrounding powers impose an absolute necessity of union to a certain degree. The great wealth and influence of the province of Holland enable her to effect both these purposes. but this article never could. over this melancholy and monitory lesson of history. they concluded a treaty of themselves at the risk of their heads.

and if such a right should be ascribed to the federal head. as it is a solecism in theory. This also had its adversaries and failed. To form a safe and satisfactory judgment of the proper remedy. a striking absurdity in supposing that a right of this kind does not exist. has been the subject of much plausible animadversion. The first wish prompted by humanity is. from the specimens which have been cited. it must be by inference and construction. from dissensions among the states. The United States. or by any other constitutional mode. by substituting VIOLENCE in place of LAW. I make no apology for having dwelt so long on the contemplation of these federal precedents. and severe criticism. The next most palpable defect of the subsisting Confederation. a legislation for communities. is the total want of a SANCTION to its laws. 1787 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. by which it is declared. If we are unwilling to impair the force of this applauded provision. There is no express delegation of authority to them to use force against delinquent members. . that this severe trial may issue in such a revolution of their government as will establish their union.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor A design was also conceived of establishing a general tax to be administered by the federal authority. which it unequivocally pronounces in the present case. The important truth. they ought to be conclusive and sacred. and from the actual invasion of foreign arms. may receive and console them for the catastrophe of their own. as now composed. so in practice it is subversive of the order and ends of civil polity." There is. "that each State shall retain every power. stands discriminated from every other institution of a similar kind. Experience is the oracle of truth. the crisis of their distiny. 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. we trust. have no powers to exact obedience. Wednesday. and where its responses are unequivocal. 21 Other Defects of the Present Confederation For the Independent Journal. that the United States afford the extraordinary spectacle of a government destitute even of the shadow of constitutional power to enforce the execution of its own laws. it is absolutely necessary that we should be well acquainted with the extent and malignity of the disease. and the want of which. not EXPRESSLY delegated to the United States in Congress assembled. that the American Confederacy. by a suspension or divestiture of privileges. All nations have their eyes fixed on the awful spectacle. preposterous as it may seem. a government over governments. or the destructive COERCION of the SWORD in place of the mild and salutary COERCION of the MAGISTRACY. and right. which has been of late a repeated theme of the eulogies of those who oppose the new Constitution. 61 This unhappy people seem to be now suffering from popular convulsions. or of contravening or explaining away a provision. the enjoyment of these blessings will speedily be secured in this country. in this particular. December 12. freedom and happiness: The next. and render it the parent of tranquillity. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. It will appear. we shall be obliged to conclude. as contradistinguished from individuals. that the asylum under which. as resulting from the nature of the social compact between the States. doubtless. but we are reduced to the dilemma either of embracing that supposition. or punish disobedience to their resolutions. in that plan. either by pecuniary mulcts. in the face of that part of the second article. is that a sovereignty over sovereigns. jurisdiction.

while no succor could constitutionally be afforded by the Union to the friends and supporters of the government. nor the numbers of the people. than to imply a tacit power of coercion from the like considerations. The natural cure for an ill-administration. No man who is acquainted with the State of New York will doubt that the active wealth of King's County bears a much greater proportion . A successful faction may erect a tyranny on the ruins of order and law. Neither the value of lands. if the malcontents had been headed by a Caesar or by a Cromwell? Who can predict what effect a despotism. in a popular or representative constitution. Usurpation may rear its crest in each State. The peace of society and the stability of government depend absolutely on the efficacy of the precautions adopted on this head. I speak of it now solely with a view to equality among the States. and trample upon the liberties of the people. though it might in its consequences endanger the Union. is a change of men. The guaranty could only operate against changes to be effected by violence. or even of France. it would furnish a like result. A guaranty by the national authority would be as much levelled against the usurpations of rulers as against the ferments and outrages of faction and sedition in the community. and has sufficiently appeared from the trial which has been made of it. It could be no impediment to reforms of the State constitution by a majority of the people in a legal and peaceable mode. there is the less pretense for the use of violent remedies in partial or occasional distempers of the State. as involving an officious interference in the domestic concerns of the members. If the like parallel were to be run between several of the American States. The principle of regulating the contributions of the States to the common treasury by QUOTAS is another fundamental error in the Confederation. Pennsylvania with Connecticut. does not so immediately attack its existence as the want of a constitutional sanction to its laws. The tempestuous situation from which Massachusetts has scarcely emerged. would have upon the liberties of New Hampshire or Rhode Island. Without a guaranty the assistance to be derived from the Union in repelling those domestic dangers which may sometimes threaten the existence of the State constitutions. The position may be equally illustrated by a similar process between the counties of the same State. The want of a guaranty. and we shall be convinced that the respective abilities of those States.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor and exhibits a new and unexampled phenomenon in the political world. in relation to revenue. There is nothing of this kind declared in the articles that compose it. must be satisfied that there is no common standard or barometer by which the degrees of it can be ascertained. and if we at the same time compare the total value of the lands and the aggregate population of that contracted district with the total value of the lands and the aggregate population of the immense regions of either of the three last-mentioned countries. evinces that dangers of this kind are not merely speculative. Let Virginia be contrasted with North Carolina. of Connecticut or New York? The inordinate pride of State importance has suggested to some minds an objection to the principle of a guaranty in the federal government. Who can determine what might have been the issue of her late convulsions. established in Massachusetts. would be a still more flagrant departure from the clause which has been mentioned. must be renounced. which have been successively proposed as the rule of State contributions. or Maryland with New Jersey. This right would remain undiminished. we shall at once discover that there is no comparison between the proportion of either of these two objects and that of the relative wealth of those nations. and to imply a tacit guaranty from considerations of utility. A scruple of this kind would deprive us of one of the principal advantages to be expected from union. while the national government could legally do nothing more than behold its encroachments with indignation and regret. has any pretension to being a just representative. Where the whole power of the government is in the hands of the people. bear little or no analogy to their comparative stock in lands or to their comparative population. Its repugnancy to an adequate supply of the national exigencies has been already pointed out. too many checks cannot be provided. Towards the preventions of calamities of this kind. 62 The want of a mutual guaranty of the State governments is another capital imperfection in the federal plan. Those who have been accustomed to contemplate the circumstances which produce and constitute national wealth. and can only flow from a misapprehension of the nature of the provision itself. If we compare the wealth of the United Netherlands with that of Russia or Germany.

may serve as a standard. these circumstances and many more. The amount to be contributed by each citizen will in a degree be at his own option. find its level with the means of paying them. in the view of simplicity and certainty. the nature of the government. the establishment of a fixed rule. In the course of time and things. the nature of the productions. the difficulties are increased almost to impracticability. occasion differences hardly conceivable in the relative opulence and riches of different countries. are entitled to a preference. This. an equilibrium. these will. a formidable objection. in a country imperfectly settled and progressive in improvement. and. of arts. nor so odious in their appearance. Either the value of land. soil. of industry. The expense of an accurate valuation is. cannot fail to be productive of glaring inequality and extreme oppression. This forms a complete barrier against any material oppression of the citizens by taxes of this class. numbers. too complex. which will. "in political arithmetic. all duties upon articles of consumption. And. in all situations. The rich may be extravagant." If duties are too high. and private oppression may always be avoided by a judicious selection of objects proper for such impositions. The state of agriculture and the populousness of a country have been considered as nearly connected with each other. in all probability. as far as it is attainable in so complicated a subject. If inequalities should arise in some States from duties on particular objects. Impositions of this kind usually fall under the denomination of indirect taxes. The consequence clearly is that there can be no common measure of national wealth. not incompatible with the end. will be established everywhere. excises. but by authorizing the national government to raise its own revenues in its own way. the state of commerce. and must for a long time constitute the chief part of the revenue raised in this country. The attempt. an extension of the revenue. upon any scale that can possibly be devised. minute. or the number of the people. from the duties on other objects. climate. that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. There is no method of steering clear of this inconvenience. they lessen the consumption. in general. and can be regulated by an attention to his resources. may be attended with fewer inconveniences than to leave that discretion altogether at large. the genius of the citizens. which cannot be exceeded without defeating the end proposed. if any mode of enforcing a compliance with its requisitions could be devised. They prescribe their own limit. of course. therefore. as those which would necessarily spring from quotas. be counterbalanced by proportional inequalities in other States. if inequalities should still exist. the saying is as just as it is witty. . Or. In every country it is a herculean task to obtain a valuation of the land. Situation. however. When applied to this object. and which was calculated to impoverish and oppress the citizens of some States. two and two do not always make four. they would neither be so great in their degree. This inequality would of itself be sufficient in America to work the eventual destruction of the Union.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor to that of Montgomery than it would appear to be if we should take either the total value of the lands or the total number of the people as a criterion! 63 The wealth of nations depends upon an infinite variety of causes. is an evil inseparable from the principle of quotas and requisitions. as a rule. Those of the direct kind. while those of others would scarcely be conscious of the small proportion of the weight they were required to sustain. It is a signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption. may be compared to a fluid. to regulate the contributions of the members of a confederacy by any such rule. may admit of a rule of apportionment. Imposts. which principally relate to land and buildings. the poor can be frugal. and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds. and is itself a natural limitation of the power of imposing them. no general or stationary rule by which the ability of a state to pay taxes can be determined. in time. and. The suffering States would not long consent to remain associated upon a principle which distributes the public burdens with so unequal a hand. or adventitious to admit of a particular specification. for the purpose intended. the degree of information they possess. so uniform in their operation. the collection is eluded. In a branch of taxation where no limits to the discretion of the government are to be found in the nature of things. that is. that.

and that it would be prudent to persist in the plan until it should appear whether the American government was likely or not to acquire greater consistency. in different instances. as well as from the universal conviction entertained upon the subject. by means of which the fine streams and navigable rivers with which Germany is so happily watered are rendered almost useless. to be wondered at that Mr. that there is no object. The want of it has already operated as a bar to the formation of beneficial treaties with foreign powers. to influence the conduct of that kingdom in this particular. given just cause of umbrage and complaint to others. would be multiplied and extended till they became not less serious sources of animosity and discord than injurious impediments to the intcrcourse between the different parts of the Confederacy. The interfering and unneighborly regulations of some States. It is not. there are others of not less importance. December 14. . that the citizens of each would at length come to be considered and treated by the others in no better light than that of foreigners and aliens." Though the genius of the people of this country might never permit this description to be strictly applicable to us. is merely a power of making requisitions upon the States for quotas of men. therefore. restrictions. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: IN ADDITION to the defects already enumerated in the existing federal system. "The commerce of the German empire[2] is in continual trammels from the multiplicity of the duties which the several princes and states exact upon the merchandises passing through their territories.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. either as it respects the interests of trade or finance. contrary to the true spirit of the Union. The power of raising armies. Friday. and while they found from experience that they might enjoy every advantage they desired in our markets. on the most superficial view. little need be added in this place. 1787. that more strongly demands a federal superintendence. by which they conceded privileges of any importance to them. This practice in the course of the late war. arising from the want of a general authority and from clashing and dissimilar views in the State. yet we may reasonably expect. in ushering into the House of Commons a bill for regulating the temporary intercourse between the two countries. 22 The Same Subject Continued (Other Defects of the Present Confederation) From the New York Packet. and it is to be feared that examples of this nature. while they were apprised that the engagements on the part of the Union might at any moment be violated by its members. from the gradual conflicts of State regulations. if not restrained by a national control. by the most obvious construction of the articles of the Confederation. but the want of concert. should preface its introduction by a declaration that similar provisions in former bills had been found to answer every purpose to the commerce of Great Britain. Jenkinson. and for this reason. have. which concur in rendering it altogether unfit for the administration of the affairs of the Union. and will continue to do so as long as the same obstacles to a uniformity of measures continue to exist. and has given occasions of dissatisfaction between the States. has hitherto frustrated every experiment of the kind. It is indeed evident. without granting us any return but such as their momentary convenience might suggest. The utility of such a power has been anticipated under the first head of our inquiries. No nation acquainted with the nature of our political association would be unwise enough to enter into stipulations with the United States. by separate prohibitions.[1] Several States have endeavored. and exclusions. 64 The want of a power to regulate commerce is by all parties allowed to be of the number.

This method of raising troops is not more unfriendly to economy and vigor than it is to an equal distribution of the burden. there are matters of considerable moment determinable by a bare majority. nor just to require the last. whether it be applied to men or money. and of inequality and injustice among the members. for the most part. Its operation contradicts the fundamental maxim of republican government. and to Deleware an equal voice in the national deliberations with Pennsylvania.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 65 was found replete with obstructions to a vigorous and to an economical system of defense. In addition to this. influenced by motives of self-preservation. The immediate pressure of this inequality was not in this case. Every idea of proportion and every rule of fair representation conspire to condemn a principle. would prove fatal to its duration. nor is the inference accurate in point of fact. however. in reality. or Connecticut. The right of equal suffrage among the States is another exceptionable part of the Confederation. that not seven but nine States. also. and disinclined them from engaging for any considerable periods. or New York. It may happen that this majority of States is a small minority of the people of America. when we consider how little prospect there is.[4] and it is constitutionally possible that these nine may give the vote. Hence. to submit their interests to the management and disposal of one third. it is to be observed that there is a probability of an increase in the number of States. and there are others. is. It may be objected to this. for we can enumerate nine States which contain less than a majority of the people. if interpreted in favor of the sufficiency of a vote of seven States. must consent to the most important resolutions. But this is not all: what at first sight may seem a remedy. Besides. if not relinquished. alleviated by the hope of a final liquidation. would extend its operation to interests of the first magnitude. ought readily to renounce a pretension which. The States near the seat of war. Hence. and it may be thence inferred that nine States would always comprehend a majority of the Union. and that a majority of the votes of the States will be a majority of confederated America. that sovereigns are equal. continual fluctuations in the troops. considering how peculiarly their safety and welfare depend on union. The hope of a still further increase afforded an inducement to those who were disposed to serve to procrastinate their enlistment.[3] and two thirds of the people of America could not long be persuaded. Sophistry may reply. To give a minority a negative . made efforts to furnish their quotas. they outbid each other till bounties grew to an enormous and insupportable size. slow and scanty levies of men. ruinous to their discipline and subjecting the public safety frequently to the perilous crisis of a disbanded army. or Virginia. We shall not. those oppressive expedients for raising men which were upon several occasions practiced. or North Carolina. is. see much reason to reget the want of this hope. as in that of the contributions of money. a poison. as remiss as the others were diligent. The system of quotas and requisitions. But this does not obviate the impropriety of an equal vote between States of the most unequal dimensions and populousness. which even exceeded their abilities. and which nothing but the enthusiasm of liberty would have induced the people to endure. It gave birth to a competition between the States which created a kind of auction for men. but even to sacrifice the desire of equality. The larger States would after a while revolt from the idea of receiving the law from the smaller. in the most critical emergencies of our affairs. while those at a distance from danger were. and no provision for a proportional augmentation of the ratio of votes. in their exertions. To acquiesce in such a privation of their due importance in the political scale. would be not merely to be insensible to the love of power. but no account could be formed of the deficiencies in the supplies of men. But this kind of logical legerdemain will never counteract the plain suggestions of justice and common-sense. upon the credit of artificial distinctions and syllogistic subtleties. which gives to Rhode Island an equal weight in the scale of power with Massachusetts. a system of imbecility in the Union. The smaller States. The States which did not pay their proportions of money might at least be charged with their deficiencies. It is neither rational to expect the first. or two thirds of the whole number. in every view. In order to furnish the quotas required of them. short enlistments at an unparalleled expense. which requires that the sense of the majority should prevail. which. that the most delinquent States will ever be able to make compensation for their pecuniary failures. concerning which doubts have been entertained.

where a single VOTE has been sufficient to put a stop to all their movements. that a principle of this kind gives greater scope to foreign corruption. The necessity of unanimity in public bodies. Upon the same principle. In such a state of things. contemptible compromises of the public good. we are apt to rest satisfied that all is safe. If a pertinacious minority can control the opinion of a majority. a greater number. continual negotiation and intrigue. than that which permits the sense of the majority to decide. and of keeping affairs in the same unfavorable posture in which they may happen to stand at particular periods. there is commonly a necessity for action. which is about the proportion of Delaware and Rhode Island. Its situation must always savor of weakness. this ally of ours would evidently find it much easier. kept in a state of inaction. has been founded upon a supposition that it would contribute to security. to tie up the hands of government from making peace. has several times been able to oppose an entire bar to its operations. in the last. in conjunction with one foreign nation. we may be subjected to similar inconveniences. to subject the sense of the greater number to that of the lesser. is that they afford too easy an inlet to foreign corruption. The public business must. Evils of this description ought not to be regarded as imaginary. The mistake has proceeded from not attending with due care to the mischiefs that may be occasioned by obstructing the progress of government at certain critical seasons. though often disposed to sacrifice his subjects to his ambition. is of the greatest importance. In those emergencies of a nation. could with much greater facility prevent our forming a connection with her competitor in trade. or corrupt junto. against another. by the suffrages of their fellow-citizens. or artifices of an insignificant. It is not difficult to discover. But its real operation is to embarrass the administration. has so great a personal interest in the government and in the external glory of the nation. with views that might justify us in making separate terms. in order that something may be done. among their numerous advantages. This is one of those refinements which. in practice. but we forget how much good may be prevented. it would be much easier for a foreign power with which we were at war to perplex our councils and embarrass our exertions. and then the measures of government must be injuriously suspended. A nation.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 66 upon the majority (which is always the case where more than a majority is requisite to a decision). and the interest or ambition of our ally led him to seek the prosecution of the war. by the impracticability of obtaining the concurrence of the necessary number of votes. by his bribes and intrigues. in such a system. And yet. in which the goodness or badness. as well as to domestic faction. go forward. it is even happy when such compromises can take place: for upon some occasions things will not admit of accommodation. or of something approaching towards it. by the power of hindering the doing what may be necessary. where two thirds of all the votes were requisite to that object. and to substitute the pleasure. or fatally defeated. persons elevated from the mass of the community. for instance. to . the weakness or strength of its government. An hereditary monarch. and give a tone to the national proceedings. the majority. because nothing improper will be likely TO BE DONE. is. In the first case. And. in some way or other. must conform to the views of the minority. has an effect the reverse of what is expected from it in theory. to the regular deliberations and decisions of a respectable majority. have been frequently in the situation of a Polish diet. than where a simple majority would suffice. One of the weak sides of republics. and thus the sense of the smaller number will overrule that of the greater. and how much ill may be produced. The world has accordingly been witness to few examples of this species of royal prostitution. we were engaged in a war. respecting the best mode of conducting it. A sixtieth part of the Union. though such a connection should be ever so beneficial to ourselves. Congress. When the concurrence of a large number is required by the Constitution to the doing of any national act. It is often. that it is not easy for a foreign power to give him an equivalent for what he would sacrifice by treachery to the state. though the contrary of this has been presumed. in a commercial view. from the nonattendance of a few States. though there have been abundant specimens of every other kind. Suppose the necessity of our situation demanded peace. in its tendency. caprice. turbulent. Suppose. sometimes border upon anarchy. In republics. Hence. he would have to corrupt a smaller number. tedious delays. to destroy the energy of the government. with which we might have a treaty of commerce.

As often as such an interference was to happen. and as many different courts of final jurisdiction. are thus continually at the mercy of the prejudices. must. on so precarious a foundation? In this review of the Confederation. The Earl of Chesterfield (if my memory serves me right). The treaties of the United States. under the present Constitution. It must be by this time evident to all men of reflection. may find compensations for betraying their trust. to have any force at all. and was a principal cause that the most limited monarch in Europe. their happiness. In this case. the passions. may appear to exceed the proportion of interest they have in the common stock. And this tribunal ought to be instituted under the same authority which forms the treaties themselves. which. the peace of the whole Union. as far as respects individuals.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 67 stations of great pre-eminence and power. Is it possible that foreign nations can either respect or confide in such a government? Is it possible that the people of America will longer consent to trust their honor. And in Sweden the parties were alternately bought by France and England in so barefaced and notorious a manner that it excited universal disgust in the nation. to one SUPREME TRIBUNAL. There are endless diversities in the opinions of men. for nothing is more natural to men in office than to look with peculiar deference towards that authority to which they owe their official existence. been purchased by the emissaries of the neighboring kingdoms. like all other laws. and the interests of every member of which it is composed. If there is in each State a court of final jurisdiction. in the last resort. or opposition. if the particular tribunals are invested with a right of ultimate jurisdiction. Laws are a dead letter without courts to expound and define their true meaning and operation. violence. intimates that his success in an important negotiation must depend on his obtaining a major's commission for one of those deputies. and from the interference of local regulations. and authorized to settle and declare in the last resort a uniform rule of civil justice. the want of a judiciary power. A single assembly may be a proper receptacle of those slender. there will be much to fear from the bias of local views and prejudices. there would be reason to apprehend that the provisions of the particular laws might be preferred to those of the general laws. I have confined myself to the exhibition of its most material defects. who can divest themselves of the prepossessions of preconceived opinions. It is well known that the deputies of the United Provinces have. possessing a general superintendence. in various instances. without tumult. This is the more necessary where the frame of the government is so compounded that the laws of the whole are in danger of being contravened by the laws of the parts. . became one of the most absolute and uncontrolled. The treaties of the United States. must be considered as part of the law of the land. The organization of Congress is itself utterly improper for the exercise of those powers which are necessary to be deposited in the Union. in a letter to his court. besides the contradictions to be expected from difference of opinion. These ingredients are both indispensable. How much this contributed to the ruin of the ancient commonwealths has been already delineated. they ought to be submitted. in a single day. A circumstance which crowns the defects of the Confederation remains yet to be mentioned. the reputation. that it is a system so radically vicious and unsound. The faith. acting under the authority of those legislatures. be ascertained by judicial determinations. to any but minds animated and guided by superior virtue. there may be as many different final determinations on the same point as there are courts. all nations have found it necessary to establish one court paramount to the rest. are liable to the infractions of thirteen different legislatures. Their true import. passing over those imperfections in its details by which even a great part of the power intended to be conferred upon it has been in a great measure rendered abortive. or rather fettered. and to overbalance the obligations of duty. To produce uniformity in these determinations. their safety. Hence it is that history furnishes us with so many mortifying examples of the prevalency of foreign corruption in republican governments. We often see not only different courts but the judges of the came court differing from each other. To avoid the confusion which would unavoidably result from the contradictory decisions of a number of independent judicatories. as to admit not of amendment but by an entire change in its leading features and characters.

2. even the moderate and more rational adversaries of the proposed Constitution admit. the quantity of power necessary to the accomplishment of those objects. as they are now constituted. but it would be inconsistent with all the principles of good government. by successive augmentations of its force an energy. or affect to be. is the point at the examination of which we are now arrived. Tuesday. in spite of our ill-judged efforts to prop it. The streams of national power ought to flow immediately from that pure. Owing its ratification to the law of a State. as nearly as I can recollect." 3. ought to reside in the United States. 4. Delaware. in some instances. or. and they will be less than a majority. Encyclopedia. we should create in reality that very tyranny which the adversaries of the new Constitution either are. the persons upon whom . New Jersey. was the sense of his speech on introducing the last bill. it has been contended that the same authority might repeal the law by which it was ratified. __ FEDERALIST No. However gross a heresy it may be to maintain that a PARTY to a COMPACT has a right to revoke that COMPACT. that it never had a ratification by the PEOPLE. Resting on no better foundation than the consent of the several legislatures. 23 The Necessity of a Government as Energetic as the One Proposed to the Preservation of the Union From the New York Packet. at least equally energetic with the one proposed. The possibility of a question of this nature proves the necessity of laying the foundations of our national government deeper than in the mere sanction of delegated authority. This. This inquiry will naturally divide itself into three branches -. If that plan should not be adopted. Georgia. and thus entail upon our posterity one of the most execrable forms of government that human infatuation ever contrived. and has. as necessity might prompt. to intrust it with those additional powers which. all the most important prerogatives of sovereignty. the probability would be. to the preservation of the Union. PUBLIUS 1. 1787. that we should run into the project of conferring supplementary powers upon Congress. will moulder into pieces. Rhode Island. which have been heretofore delegated to the federal head. and Maryland are a majority of the whole number of the States. article "Empire.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 68 authorities. Thus. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE necessity of a Constitution. South Carolina. but they do not contain one third of the people. Add New York and Connecticut to the foregoing seven. It has not a little contributed to the infirmities of the existing federal system. the doctrine itself has had respectable advocates. in a single body. solicitous to avert. and if the necessity of the Union should be able to withstand the ambitious aims of those men who may indulge magnificent schemes of personal aggrandizement from its dissolution. New Hampshire. and either the machine. we shall finally accumulate.the objects to be provided for by the federal government. from the intrinsic feebleness of its structure. it has been exposed to frequent and intricate questions concerning the validity of its powers. December 18. given birth to the enormous doctrine of a right of legislative repeal. The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. original fountain of all legitimate authority.

and the observations. ought to possess the MEANS by which it is to be attained. would be found sufficient pledges for the punctual performance of the duty of the members to the federal head." It was presumed that a sense of their true interests. The experiment has. it must be admitted. that if we are in earnest about giving the Union energy and duration. is a question in the first instance. it will follow. The result from all this is that the Union ought to be invested with full power to levy troops. the superintendence of our intercourse. the persons. however. DIRECTION. that that government ought to be clothed with all the powers requisite to complete execution of its trust. will. and ought to be under the direction of the same councils which are appointed to preside over the common defense. BECAUSE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FORESEE OR DEFINE THE EXTENT AND VARIETY OF NATIONAL EXIGENCIES. to direct their operations. but cannot be made plainer by argument or reasoning. we must discard the fallacious scheme of quotas and requisitions. made under the last head. that there can be no limitation of that authority which is to provide for the defense and protection of the community. the regulation of commerce with other nations and between the States. as equally impracticable and unjust. in any matter essential to its efficacy that is. or SUPPORT of the NATIONAL FORCES. unless the contrary of this position can be fairly and rationally disputed. to provide for their support. the intention evidently was that the United States should command whatever resources were by them judged requisite to the "common defense and general welfare. 69 The authorities essential to the common defense are these: to raise armies. as a necessary consequence. and may be obscured. have sufficed to convince the impartial and discerning.the common defense of the members. . who are in fact under the most solemn obligations to furnish the supplies required of them. open for discussion. and for this reason no constitutional shackles can wisely be imposed on the power to which the care of it is committed. And unless it can be shown that the circumstances which may affect the public safety are reducible within certain determinate limits. and a regard to the dictates of good faith. This power ought to be coextensive with all the possible combinations of such circumstances. political and commercial. to build and equip fleets. Defective as the present Confederation has been proved to be. As their requisitions are made constitutionally binding upon the States. that there is an absolute necessity for an entire change in the first principles of the system. It rests upon axioms as simple as they are universal. carries its own evidence along with it. we must abandon the vain project of legislating upon the States in their collective capacities. but the moment it is decided in the affirmative. this principle appears to have been fully recognized by the framers of it. in the customary and ordinary modes practiced in other governments. the MEANS ought to be proportioned to the END. from whose agency the attainment of any END is expected. The principal purposes to be answered by union are these -. we must extend the laws of the federal government to the individual citizens of America. These powers ought to exist without limitation. to prescribe rules for the government of both. to a correct and unprejudiced mind. Congress have an unlimited discretion to make requisitions of men and money. This is one of those truths which. the preservation of the public peace as well against internal convulsions as external attacks. demonstrated that this expectation was ill-founded and illusory. OR THE CORRESPONDENT EXTENT AND VARIETY OF THE MEANS WHICH MAY BE NECESSARY TO SATISFY THEM. with foreign countries. to govern the army and navy. though they have not made proper or adequate provision for its exercise. to direct their operations. The circumstances that endanger the safety of nations are infinite. Whether there ought to be a federal government intrusted with the care of the common defense. Its distribution and organization will more properly claim our attention under the succeeding head. I imagine. and to raise the revenues which will be required for the formation and support of an army and navy. in any matter essential to the FORMATION.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor that power ought to operate. to build and equip fleets.

If any plan which has been. upon a dispassionate inspection. Not to confer in each case a degree of power commensurate to the end. or. will serve to convince us. I am greatly mistaken. This is the true result of all just reasoning upon the subject. in other words. to see that it be modeled in such a manner as to admit of its being safely vested with the requisite powers. that the impracticability of one general system cannot be shown. the coincident powers may safely accompany them. and resort to the expedient of separate confederacies. the constitution of which renders it unfit to be trusted with all the powers which a free people ought to delegate to any government. and that the extent of the country will not permit us to form a government in which such ample powers can safely be reposed. and which. which shall appertain to the different provinces or departments of power. and to make all regulations which have relation to them. will best understand the extent and urgency of the dangers that threaten.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 70 If the circumstances of our country are such as to demand a compound instead of a simple. Who is likely to make suitable provisions for the public defense. by the extension of its authority throughout the States. should not. be found to answer this description. as far as it can be done. for the management of our NATIONAL INTERESTS. And the adversaries of the plan promulgated by the convention ought to have confined themselves to showing. would be an unsafe and improper depositary of the NATIONAL INTERESTS. however. disorder. as that body to which the guardianship of the public safety is confided. and improvidently to trust the great interests of the nation to hands which are disabled from managing them with vigor and success. It will indeed deserve the most vigilant and careful attention of the people. it ought to be rejected. or may be. Shall the Union be constituted the guardian of the common safety? Are fleets and armies and revenues necessary to this purpose? The government of the Union must be empowered to pass all laws. and I flatter myself. that the internal structure of the proposed government was such as to render it unworthy of the confidence of the people. Is the administration of justice between the citizens of the same State the proper department of the local governments? These must possess all the authorities which are connected with this object. The same must be the case in respect to commerce. which. the essential point which will remain to be adjusted will be to discriminate the OBJECTS. government. Let us not attempt to reconcile contradictions. and leaving in the State governments the EFFECTIVE powers by which it is to be provided for? Is not a want of co-operation the infallible consequence of such a system? And will not weakness. but firmly embrace a rational alternative. which will move within more practicable spheres. will be most sensibly impressed with the necessity of proper exertions. allowing to each the most ample authority for fulfilling the objects committed to its charge. If it be true. from the responsibility implied in the duty assigned to it. For the absurdity must continually stare us in the face of confiding to a government the direction of the most essential national interests. it would prove that we ought to contract our views. a confederate instead of a sole. as the representative of the WHOLE. offered to our consideration. would be to violate the most obvious rules of prudence and propriety. which. and to every other matter to which its jurisdiction is permitted to extend. will feel itself most deeply interested in the preservation of every part. as the centre of information. as candid inquirers after truth. that it is both unwise and dangerous to deny the federal government an unconfined authority. as has been insinuated by some of the writers on the other side. an unnecessary and intolerable increase of expense. if any thing of weight has yet been advanced of this tendency. as to all those objects which are intrusted to its management. can alone establish uniformity and concert in the plans and measures by which the common safety is to be secured? Is there not a manifest inconsistency in devolving upon the federal government the care of the general defense. The POWERS are not too extensive for the OBJECTS of federal administration. and with every other that may be allotted to their particular cognizance and direction. be its natural and inevitable concomitants? Have we not had unequivocal experience of its effects in the course of the revolution which we have just accomplished? Every view we may take of the subject. without daring to trust it to the authorities which are indispensible to their proper and efficient management. that the difficulty arises from the nature of the thing. that the observations which . nor can any satisfactory argument be framed to show that they are chargeable with such an excess. Wherever THESE can with propriety be confided. They ought not to have wandered into inflammatory declamations and unmeaning cavils about the extent of the powers. I trust. A government. an undue distribution of the burdens and calamities of war.

and rejected in all the rest. This. drawn from the extent of the country. If he came afterwards to peruse the plan itself. for any other can certainly never preserve the Union of so large an empire. in that clause which forbids the appropriation of money for the support of an army for any longer period than two years a precaution which. that standing armies should be kept up in time of peace. who was to read our newspapers at the present juncture. Disappointed in his first surmise. the person I have supposed would be apt to pursue his conjectures a little further. December 19. have. If we embrace the tenets of those who oppose the adoption of the proposed Constitution. and to the general sense of America. that the whole power of raising armies was lodged in the LEGISLATURE. in respect to the creation and direction of the national forces. it is impossible that all this vehement and pathetic declamation can be without some colorable pretext.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 71 have been made in the course of these papers have served to place the reverse of that position in as clear a light as any matter still in the womb of time and experience can be susceptible of. there was to be found. is the strongest argument in favor of an energetic government. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. to the control of the legislature. is this. that neither the one nor the other was the case. as expressed in most of the existing constitutions. Wednesday. as the standard of our political creed. the moment it is recollected that the objection under consideration turns upon a supposed necessity of restraining the LEGISLATIVE authority of the nation. an objection which. I have met with but one specific objection. except in one or two of our State constitutions. consisting of the representatives of the people periodically elected. I shall now endeavor to show. we cannot fail to verify the gloomy doctrines which predict the impracticability of a national system pervading entire limits of the present Confederacy. an important qualification even of the legislative discretion. he would be surprised to discover. that proper provision has not been made against the existence of standing armies in time of peace. The proprietory of this remark will appear. without subjecting his discretion. supported only by bold assertions. 24 The Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further Considered For the Independent Journal. rests on weak and unsubstantial foundations. It must needs be that this people. 1787 HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: TO THE powers proposed to be conferred upon the federal government. at all events. or that it vested in the EXECUTIVE the whole power of levying troops. if I understand it right. would be naturally led to one of two conclusions: either that it contained a positive injunction. that this legislature was to be a popular body. in all . in contradiction to the practice of other free nations. He would naturally say to himself. and that instead of the provision he had supposed in favor of standing armies. not in the EXECUTIVE. It has indeed been brought forward in the most vague and general form. in any shape. without the appearance of argument. a principle unheard of. will appear to be a great and real security against the keeping up of troops without evident necessity. which. so jealous of their liberties. that the very difficulty itself. A stranger to our politics. without having previously inspected the plan reported by the convention. in the article of military establishments. upon a nearer view of it. without even the sanction of theoretical opinions. in respect to this object. must be evident.

he would say. Even such a man could hardly forbear remarking. inserted the most precise and rigid precautions on this point. he happened to be a man of calm and dispassionate feelings. would be improper to be imposed. and a departure from this model. The savage tribes on our Western frontier ought to be regarded as our natural enemies. rather than to convince them by arguments addressed to their understandings.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 72 the preceding models of the constitutions which they have established. he would indulge a sigh for the frailty of human nature. at the unexpected discovery. it may be satisfactory to take a nearer view of its intrinsic merits. that he would be likely to find the precautions he was in search of in the primitive compact between the States. has given birth to all this apprehension and clamor. rendered distant nations. are colonies and establishments subject to the dominion of Spain. are growing settlements subject to the dominion of Britain. he could now no longer refrain from regarding these clamors as the dishonest artifices of a sinister and unprincipled opposition to a plan which ought at least to receive a fair and candid examination from all sincere lovers of their country! How else. about a point in which it seems to have conformed itself to the general sense of America as declared in its different forms of government. that these articles. that it was nothing more than an experiment upon the public credulity. would be unlikely to be observed. had not imposed a single restraint on that of the United States. in the new plan. dictated either by a deliberate intention to deceive. On the other side. From a close examination it will appear that restraints upon the discretion of the legislature in respect to military establishments in time of peace. while any source of information remained unexplored. or ardent temper. in respect to their American possessions and in relation to us. No doubt. restricted the authority of the State legislatures in this particular. he would expect to meet with a solution of the enigma. Here. or by the overflowings of a zeal too intemperate to be ingenuous. It would probably occur to him. yet there are various considerations that warn us against an excess of confidence or security. and most to hope from them. their natural allies. the true merits of the question should be perplexed and entangled by expedients so unfriendly to an impartial and right determination. and extending to meet the British settlements. The . the existing Confederation must contain the most explicit provisions against military establishments in time of peace. and though they had. the omission of which. a common interest. neighbors. Still. how great would be his disappointment to find that TWO ONLY of them[1] contained an interdiction of standing armies in time of peace. he would observe to himself. The improvements in the art of navigation have. his astonishment would not only be increased. He would never be able to imagine. Though a wide ocean separates the United States from Europe. instead of containing the prohibition he looked for. that in a matter so interesting to the happiness of millions. If he should now apply himself to a careful and critical survey of the articles of Confederation. because they have most to fear from us. and in which it has even superadded a new and powerful guard unknown to any of them? If. that the other eleven had either observed a profound silence on the subject. from the necessities of society. could the authors of them have been tempted to vent such loud censures upon that plan. If. with jealous circumspection. belonging to these two powers create between them. A future concert of views between these nations ought not to be regarded as improbable. and would lament. under this impression. but would acquire a mixture of indignation. or had in express terms admitted the right of the Legislature to authorize their existence. in a great measure. If he happened to be a man of quick sensibility. he proceeded to pass in review the several State constitutions. has occasioned the discontent which appears to influence these political champions. at length. that a conduct of this kind has too much the appearance of an intention to mislead the people by alarming their passions. however he would be persuaded that there must be some plausible foundation for the cry raised on this head. This situation and the vicinity of the West India Islands. and stretching far into our rear. in a favorite point. On one side of us. Britain and Spain are among the principal maritime powers of Europe. even by precedents among ourselves. as to the facility of communication. and if imposed. on the contrary. But however little this objection may be countenanced.

submit to be dragged from their occupations and families to perform that most disagreeable duty in times of profound peace. if it should only be against the ravages and depredations of the Indians. No bills of rights appear annexed to the constitutions of the other States. I am told. however that one or two States have bills of rights which do not appear in this collection. Pennsylvania and North Carolina are the two which contain the interdiction in these words: "As standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty. in truth. but not the less real for being small. would form conclusive objections to the scheme. and sometimes of the fleet itself. the possession of which will include the command of large districts of territory. or even to be secure on our Atlantic side. to have a navy. When a nation has become so powerful by sea that it can protect its dock-yards by its fleets. If we should not be willing to be exposed. admonish us not to be too sanguine in considering ourselves as entirely out of the reach of danger. and her constitution says not a word about the matter. New Hampshire. in all likelihood. PUBLIUS 1 This statement of the matter is taken from the printed collection of State constitutions. There are. and the necessity of leaving the matter to the discretion and prudence of the legislature. and the loss of labor and disconcertion of the industrious pursuits of individuals. in each of their bils of rights. as soon as possible. It would be as burdensome and injurious to the public as ruinous to private citizens. particular posts. Can any man think it would be wise to leave such posts in a situation to be at any instant seized by one or the other of two neighboring and formidable powers? To act this part would be to desert all the usual maxims of prudence and policy. a small one. except the foregoing. but that those also recognize the right of the legislative authority in this respect. to their insults and encroachments. It may be added that some of those posts will be keys to the trade with the Indian nations. The first is impracticable. be found an indispensable security against descents for the destruction of the arsenals and dock-yards. No person can doubt that these will continue to be indispensable. and ever since the peace. this supersedes the necessity of garrisons for that purpose. The latter resource of permanent corps in the pay of the government amounts to a standing army in time of peace. would be pernicious." This is. and for the defense of these. And politicians have ever with great reason considered the ties of blood as feeble and precarious links of political connection. if at all. and facilitate future invasions of the remainder. Massachusetts. and will be. it is probable. it may be said certain. and Maryland have. and ought not to be raised or kept up WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE LEGISLATURE". there has been a constant necessity for keeping small garrisons on our Western frontier. in a naked and defenseless condition. These circumstances combined. that shows us at once the impropriety of a constitutional interdiction of such establishments. Here is a simple view of the subject. and their constitutions are equally silent. or by permanent corps in the pay of the government. which is a formal admission of the authority of the Legislature. we must endeavor. a clause to this effect: "Standing armies are dangerous to liberty. we should find it expedient to increase our frontier garrisons in some ratio to the force by which our Western settlements might be annoyed. rather a CAUTION than a PROHIBITION.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 73 increasing remoteness of consanguinity is every day diminishing the force of the family compact between France and Spain. In proportion to our increase in strength. If we mean to be a commercial people. __ FEDERALIST No. and probably garrisons. The militia would not long. fortifications. And if they could be prevailed upon or compelled to do it. indeed. 25 . that Britain and Spain would augment their military establishments in our neighborhood. nay. THEY OUGHT NOT to be kept up. Delaware. but where naval establishments are in their infancy. and if practicable. To this purpose there must be dock-yards and arsenals. These garrisons must either be furnished by occasional detachments from the militia. Previous to the Revolution. the increased expense of a frequent rotation of service. moderate garrisons will. New York has no bills of rights.

to bear the burden of competent provisions. It happens that some States. in reality. Various inconveniences would attend such a system. and pretenses could easily be contrived. Friday. the other States would quickly take the alarm at seeing the whole military force of the Union in the hands of two or three of its members. New York would have to sustain the whole weight of the establishments requisite to her immediate safety. But this would be. New York is of this class. fully aware of the danger to the Union from the separate possession of military forces by the States. Spain. its provisions should be proportionally enlarged. For it is a truth. In this situation. is therefore common. the liberty of the people would be less safe in this state of things than in that which left the national forces in the hands of the national government. They would each choose to have some counterpoise. would be as little able as willing. which has been . to whose lot it might fall to support the necessary establishments. If the resources of such part becoming more abundant and extensive. Upon the plan of separate provisions. as it would in practice transfer the care of the common defense from the federal head to the individual members: a project oppressive to some States. though in different degrees. would be apt to swell beyond their natural or proper size. This would neither be equitable as it respected New York nor safe as it respected the other States. December 21. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: IT MAY perhaps be urged that the objects enumerated in the preceding number ought to be provided for by the State governments. in like manner. The security of all would thus be subjected to the parsimony. As far as an army may be considered as a dangerous weapon of power. The territories of Britain. If. the constitutional authority of the Union. The States. and to the mediate or ultimate protection of her neighbors. The danger. Reasons have been already given to induce a supposition that the State governments will too naturally be prone to a rivalship with that of the Union. nourished by mutual jealousy. or inability of a part. and those probably amongst the most powerful. and of the Indian nations in our neighborhood do not border on particular States. and being at the separate disposal of the members. 1787. to be the objects of common councils and of a common treasury. military establishments. On the other hand. that the existence of a federal government and military establishments under State authority are not less at variance with each other than a due supply of the federal treasury and the system of quotas and requisitions. And the means of guarding against it ought. which the experience of ages has attested. an inversion of the primary principle of our political association. they would be engines for the abridgment or demolition of the national authority. There are other lights besides those already taken notice of. and that in any contest between the federal head and one of its members the people will be most apt to unite with their local government. it would afford too strong a temptation and too great a facility to them to make enterprises upon. it had better be in those hands of which the people are most likely to be jealous than in those of which they are least likely to be jealous. the ambition of the members should be stimulated by the separate and independent possession of military forces. The design of the objection. are more directly exposed. and finally to subvert. improvidence. from local situation. in express terms. in which the impropriety of restraints on the discretion of the national legislature will be equally manifest. The framers of the existing Confederation. the foundation of which will be the love of power. for a considerable time to come. The truth is. but encircle the Union from Maine to Georgia. have. prohibited them from having either ships or troops. under the direction of the Union.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 74 The Same Subject Continued (The Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further Considered) From the New York Packet. unless with the consent of Congress. dangerous to all. and baneful to the Confederacy. that the people are always most in danger when the means of injuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion. in addition to this immense advantage.

dependent on our will. as contrary to the genuine maxims of a free government. All that kind of policy by which nations anticipate distant danger. created by our choice. the presence of an enemy within our territories must be waited for. instigated by Spain or Britain. If we can reasonably presume such a combination to have been formed. confirm this position. affords an example of the truth of this remark. defeats itself. by perserverance. The facts which. before it was actually invaded. War. If. Should this at any time happen. and invite them by our weakness to seize the naked and defenseless prey. to obviate this consequence. would always be at hand. or on whatever pretext. like most other things. Here I expect we shall be told that the militia of the country is its natural bulwark. not less than of stability and vigor. in some scheme of usurpation. and might afterwards keep them on foot as long as they supposed the peace or safety of the community was in any degree of jeopardy. as it is contrary to the natural and experienced course of human affairs. when once raised. against threatening or impending danger. or at least possibility. it should be resolved to extend the prohibition to the RAISING of armies in time of peace. Pennsylvania. a year? Or shall we say they may be continued as long as the danger which occasioned their being raised continues? This would be to admit that they might be kept up IN TIME OF PEACE. and the matter would then be brought to this issue. erected eternal monuments to their fame. Who shall judge of the continuance of the danger? This must undoubtedly be submitted to the national government. and would be at all times equal to the national defense. has resolved to raise a body of troops. As the ceremony of a formal denunciation of war has of late fallen into disuse. The steady operations of war against a regular and disciplined army can only be successfully conducted by a force of the same kind. from whatever cause. This doctrine. We must expose our property and liberty to the mercy of foreign invaders. in the course of the late war. must be abstained from. from the existence of partial disorders in one or two of her counties. and to introduce an extensive latitude of construction. might in the first instance raise troops. of a combination between the executive and the legislative. The Bill of Rights of that State declares that standing armies are dangerous to liberty. and appeased again by timely concessions. It cost millions to the United States that might have been saved. nevertheless. and ought not to be kept up in time of peace. but the bravest of them feel and know that the liberty of their country could not have been established by their efforts alone. whether to raising armies as well as to KEEPING THEM UP in a season of tranquillity or not. had like to have lost us our independence. forbid a reliance of this kind. and by practice. It is easy to perceive that a discretion so latitudinary as this would afford ample room for eluding the force of the provision. that the national government. a month. at this instant. and in all probability will keep them up as long as . If it be confined to the latter it will have no precise signification. and meet the gathering storm. The supposed utility of a provision of this kind can only be founded on the supposed probability. have. are too recent to permit us to be the dupes of such a suggestion. by their valor on numerous occasions. Provocations to produce the desired appearances might even be given to some foreign power. Pennsylvania. that of a nation incapacitated by its Constitution to prepare for defense. by time. may be applied to the execution of the project. from our own experience. is a science to be acquired and perfected by diligence. Considerations of economy. as the legal warrant to the government to begin its levies of men for the protection of the State. by an abuse of the means necessary to its preservation. before we could even prepare to return it. the army. the United States would then exhibit the most extraordinary spectacle which the world has yet seen." contrary to the sense of the Constitution? What time shall be requisite to ascertain the violation? Shall it be a week. and that the enterprise is warranted by a sufficient prospect of success.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 75 mentioned. The American militia. in substance. how easy would it be to fabricate pretenses of approaching danger! Indian hostilities. because we are afraid that rulers. which would be at once to deviate from the literal meaning of the prohibition. is to preclude standing armies in time of peace. All violent policy. in a time of profound peace. however great and valuable they were. though we have never been informed how far it is designed the prohibition should extend. When armies are once raised what shall be denominated "keeping them up. might endanger that liberty. and it will be ineffectual for the purpose intended. We must receive the blow. to provide against apprehended danger.

Pennsylvania and North Carolina are the only two States by which it has been in any degree patronized. and still keeps a corps in pay to prevent a revival of the spirit of revolt. but the instance is still of use to instruct us that cases are likely to occur under our government. that even in this country. having suffered a severe defeat at sea from the Athenians. or is less urgent and palpable. we may travel from one chimerical project to another. but we shall never be likely to make any material change for the better. that it has not had thus far an extensive prevalency. It also teaches us. A failure in this delicate and important point is the great source of the inconveniences we experience. wisely judging that confidence must be placed somewhere. however. even by its own constituents. how little the rights of a feeble government are likely to be respected. is implied in the very act of delegating . impairs that sacred reverence which ought to be maintained in the breast of rulers towards the constitution of a country. that the post of admiral should not be conferred twice on the same person. This instance is selected from among a multitude that might be cited to confirm the truth already advanced and illustrated by domestic examples. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. in our future attempts to rectify and ameliorate our system. and that all the others have refused to give it the least countenance. 26 The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense Considered For the Independent Journal. The Peloponnesian confederates. is one of those refinements which owe their origin to a zeal for liberty more ardent than enlightened. and if we are not cautious to avoid a repetition of the error. The particular constitution of Massachusetts opposed no obstacle to the measure. 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. which will sometimes render a military force in time of peace essential to the security of the society. We have seen. and combines the energy of government with the security of private rights. though on different ground. And it teaches us. December 22. and forms a precedent for other breaches where the same plea of necessity does not exist at all. in the means of providing for the national defense. and yet preserve the semblance of an adherence to their ancient institutions. we may try change after change. to command the combined fleets.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 76 there is any appearance of danger to the public peace. demanded Lysander. as the articles of the Confederation require) was compelled to raise troops to quell a domestic insurrection. that nations pay little regard to rules and maxims calculated in their very nature to run counter to the necessities of society. as well as under those of other nations. who had before served with success in that capacity. in addition to the rest. The idea of restraining the legislative authority. Wise politicians will be cautious about fettering the government with restrictions that cannot be observed. that the necessity of doing it. though dictated by necessity. The conduct of Massachusetts affords a lesson on the same subject. under the nominal title of vice-admiral. which is. Saturday. had recourse to the flimsy subterfuge of investing Lysander with the real power of admiral. The Lacedaemonians. It was a fundamental maxim of the Lacedaemonian commonwealth. because they know that every breach of the fundamental laws. in its application to the United States. and that it is therefore improper in this respect to control the legislative discretion. That State (without waiting for the sanction of Congress. where it made its first appearance. how unequal parchment provisions are to a struggle with public necessity. to gratify their allies.

The patriots. UNLESS WITH THE CONSENT OF PARLIAMENT. were too temperate. which elevated the Prince of Orange to the throne of Great Britain.000. The principles which had taught us to be jealous of the power of an hereditary monarch were by an injudicious excess extended to the representatives of the people in their popular assemblies. they appear disposed to conduct us into others still more dangerous. can by no construction be deemed to reside anywhere else. that a power equal to every possible contingency must exist somewhere in the government: and that when they referred the exercise of that power to the judgment of the legislature. They were aware that a certain number of troops for guards and garrisons were indispensable. in time of peace. they would utterly unfit the people of this country for any species of government whatever. where this error was not adopted. the general decision of America. increased to 30. they had arrived at the ultimate point of precaution which was reconcilable with the safety of the community. till the greatest part of its most formidable pretensions became extinct. because the reason which had introduced a similar provision into the English Bill of Rights is not applicable to any of the State constitutions. had. and instead of being taught by experience the propriety of correcting any extremes into which we may have heretofore run. it became an article of the Bill of Rights then framed. Though in speculative minds it may arise from a contemplation of the nature and tendency of such institutions. and that it is better to hazard the abuse of that confidence than to embarrass the government and endanger the public safety by impolitic restrictions on the legislative authority. by expedients which. no security against the danger of standing armies was thought requisite. And I am much mistaken. to think of any restraint on the legislative discretion. it must be traced to those habits of thinking which we derive from the nation from whom the inhabitants of these States have in general sprung. upon other occasions. an acknowledged prerogative of the crown. to abolish the exercise of so dangerous an authority. As if the tone of government had been found too high. was against law. From the same source. And this number James II. and more extravagant. under those constitutions. first by the barons. that no precise bounds could be set to the national exigencies. and afterwards by the people. and in some instances raise the warmth of our zeal beyond the degree which consisted with the due temperature of the body politic. we find unnecessary declarations that standing armies ought not to be kept up. Even in some of the States. yet as a national sentiment. WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE LEGISLATURE. the authority of the monarch was almost unlimited. or too rigid. that greater energy of government is essential to the welfare and prosperity of the community. The attempts of two of the States to restrict the authority of the legislature in the article of military establishments. than in the . too wellinformed. which aims at the exclusion of military establishments in time of peace. on various points. In England. I call them unnecessary. if experience has not wrought a deep and solemn conviction in the public mind. when the pulse of liberty was at its highest pitch. the doctrines they teach are calculated to induce us to depress or to relax it. The opponents of the proposed Constitution combat. kept on foot in time of peace a body of 5.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 77 power. It may be affirmed without the imputation of invective. the people of America may be said to have derived an hereditary impression of danger to liberty. At the revolution. that English liberty was completely triumphant. Inroads were gradually made upon the prerogative. have been condemned or forborne. are of the number of these instances. It may not be amiss in this place concisely to remark the origin and progress of the idea. who effected that memorable revolution. in this respect. who were paid out of his civil list. in favor of liberty." In that kingdom. from standing armies in time of peace. But it was not till the revolution in 1688.000 regular troops. for a long time after the Norman Conquest. Charles II. As incident to the undefined power of making war. that "the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace. The power of raising armies at all. The citizens of America have too much discernment to be argued into anarchy. by his own authority. The circumstances of a revolution quickened the public sensibility on every point connected with the security of popular rights. beyond a prohibition of their being raised or kept up by the mere authority of the executive magistrate. could so far obtain as to become the popular creed. But a danger of this kind is not to be apprehended. that if the principles they inculcate. fortified by the events that have happened in other ages and countries.

An army. Schemes to subvert the liberties of a great community REQUIRE TIME to mature them for execution. by this provision. to declare that a matter should not be done without the consent of a body. if they were even incautious enough to be willing to repose in it so improper a confidence. It is not said. that every man. as one of the best of the forms of government established in this country. Can it be doubted that such a provision. must be expected to infect all political bodies. the ARM of their discontent. would be interpreted by the legislature into a mere admonition. that even in the two States which seem to have meditated an interdiction of military establishments in time of peace. the latter. as often as the period of discussion arrived. The legislature of the United States will be OBLIGED. by steering clear of an imprudent extreme. and among others. would commence a traitor to his constituents and to his country? Can it be supposed that there would not be found one man. to come to a new resolution on the point. and by being perfectly compatible with a proper provision for the exigencies of the nation. is calculated to effect nothing. will have a salutary and powerful operation. the State legislatures. if any thing improper appears. there ought at once to be an end of all delegated . so large as seriously to menace those liberties. What then (it may be asked) is the use of such a provision. and it was superfluous. decide. will constantly have their attention awake to the conduct of the national rulers. and if the majority should be really disposed to exceed the proper limits. by aiming at too much. or bold or honest enough to apprise his constituents of their danger? If such presumptions can fairly be made. It is remarkable. and the persuasion that an absolute exclusion would be unwise and unsafe. for restraining the appropriations of money for military purposes to the period of two years. which has been justly celebrated. in different degrees. between the desire of excluding such establishments at all events. between the provision alluded to and that which is contained in the new Constitution. Independent of parties in the national legislature itself. which alone had the power of doing it. This ambiguity of terms appears to have been the result of a conflict between jealousy and conviction. and will be ready enough. persons in the national legislature willing enough to arraign the measures and criminate the views of the majority. and not only to be the VOICE. could only be formed by progressive augmentations. the mode of expression made use of is rather cautionary than prohibitory. not merely a temporary combination between the legislature and executive. if not absurd. whenever the situation of public affairs was understood to require a departure from it. Is it probable that such a combination would exist at all? Is it probable that it would be persevered in. in some of these constitutions. discerning enough to detect so atrocious a conspiracy. As the spirit of party. to deliberate upon the propriety of keeping a military force on foot. in time of peace. but that they OUGHT NOT to be kept up. As often as the question comes forward. if necessary. The provision for the support of a military force will always be a favorable topic for declamation. which would suppose. and to declare their sense of the matter. They are not AT LIBERTY to vest in the executive department permanent funds for the support of an army. and would be made to yield to the necessities or supposed necessities of the State? Let the fact already mentioned. the community will be warned of the danger. there will be. and will have an opportunity of taking measures to guard against it. once at least in every two years. Accordingly. by a formal vote in the face of their constituents. there is a total silence upon the subject. The former. with respect to Pennsylvania. the public attention will be roused and attracted to the subject. that standing armies SHALL NOT BE kept up. which biennial elections would naturally produce in both houses? Is it presumable. to sound the alarm to the people. both in Europe and America. but. who will always be not only vigilant but suspicious and jealous guardians of the rights of the citizens against encroachments from the federal government. by the party in opposition. the instant he took his seat in the national Senate or House of Representatives. in point of efficacy. but a continued conspiracy for a series of time. and transmitted along through all the successive variations in a representative body.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 78 legislatures themselves. in that of this State of New York. if it cease to operate the moment there is an inclination to disregard it? Let us examine whether there be any comparison. no doubt.

in order that they may be able to manage their own concerns in person. if it should ever be necessary for the confederates or allies to form an army for common defense. 1787. It would be announced. as to demand a force considerable enough to place our liberties in the least jeopardy. it might even result from a simple league offensive and defensive. like most other things that have been alleged on that side. then it becomes a case not within the principles of the objection. by the very circumstance of augmenting the army to so great an extent in time of profound peace. and to divide themselves into as many States as there are counties. it seems to originate in a presupposition that the people will be disinclined to the exercise of federal authority in any matter of an internal nature. and of the projectors. for this is levelled against the power of keeping up troops in time of peace. let us inquire what ground there . HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: IT HAS been urged. Waiving any exception that might be taken to the inaccuracy or inexplicitness of the distinction between internal and external. and if the defense of the community under such circumstances should make it necessary to have an army so numerous as to hazard its liberty. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. Few persons will be so visionary as seriously to contend that military forces ought not to be raised to quell a rebellion or resist an invasion. the contrary of this supposition would become not only probable. for any duration. It is not easy to conceive a possibility that dangers so formidable can assail the whole Union. unsupported by any precise or intelligible designation of the reasons upon which it is founded. however. that a Constitution of the kind proposed by the convention cannot operate without the aid of a military force to execute its laws. rests on mere general assertion. December 25. it may be safely asserted that it is an evil altogether unlikely to attend us in the latter situation. But in a state of disunion (as has been fully shown in another place). for such vast augmentations of the military force? It is impossible that the people could be long deceived. What colorable reason could be assigned. when once possessed of a force large enough to awe the people into submission. in a country so situated. because the Executive. As far as I have been able to divine the latent meaning of the objectors. Tuesday. would find resources in that very force sufficient to enable him to dispense with supplies from the acts of the legislature. The people should resolve to recall all the powers they have heretofore parted with out of their own hands. still the concealment of the design. This. 27 The Same Subject Continued (The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense Considered) From the New York Packet. But the question again recurs. If such suppositions could even be reasonably made. would quickly follow the discovery. especially if we take into our view the aid to be derived from the militia. It has been said that the provision which limits the appropriation of money for the support of an army to the period of two years would be unavailing. this is one of those calamaties for which there is neither preventative nor cure. which ought always to be counted upon as a valuable and powerful auxiliary. in different shapes. and the destruction of the project. would be impracticable. nay. But it is an evil infinitely less likely to attend us in a united than in a disunited state. It cannot be provided against by any possible form of government. but almost unavoidable.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 79 authority. upon what pretense could he be put in possession of a force of that magnitude in time of peace? If we suppose it to have been created in consequence of some domestic insurrection or foreign war.

which is. but these exceptions depend so entirely on accidental causes. there can be no reasonable foundation for the supposition that the laws of the Union will meet with any greater obstruction from them. Several additional reasons of considerable force. or will stand in need of any other methods to enforce their execution. and will have less occasion to recur to force. Man is very much a creature of habit. and engender schemes which. These can only be judged of by general principles and maxims. the more it is familiarized to their sight and to their feelings. Will not the government of the Union. there seems to be no room for the presumption of ill-will. which. at all events. the . One thing. or temporary prejudices and propensities. that until satisfactory reasons can be assigned to justify an opinion. which. and the affections of the citizens towards it. which can only command the resources within itself? A turbulent faction in a State may easily suppose itself able to contend with the friends to the government in that State. to induce a probability that the general government will be better administered than the particular governments. will occur when we come to survey. the more the citizens are accustomed to meet with it in the common occurrences of their political life. if possessed of a due degree of power. or latitude of choice. frequently contaminate the public councils. rather than weakened. that they cannot be considered as having any relation to the intrinsic merits or demerits of a constitution. by its extension to what are called matters of internal concern. The hope of impunity is a strong incitement to sedition. terminate in general distress. to the people. be more likely to repress the FORMER sentiment and to inspire the LATTER. which will not be the less just because to some it may appear new. in this place. that the authority of the Union. If this reflection be just. that the more the operations of the national authority are intermingled in the ordinary exercise of government. than that of a single State. or opposition in the people. and which are to appoint the members of the national Senate there is reason to expect that this branch will generally be composed with peculiar care and judgment. the interior structure of the edifice which we are invited to erect. the principal of which reasons are that the extension of the spheres of election will present a greater option. A thing that rarely strikes his senses will generally have but little influence upon his mind. can call to its aid the collective resources of the whole Confederacy. It will be sufficient here to remark. Various reasons have been suggested. beget injustice and oppression of a part of the community. and disgust. I will. Unless we presume at the same time that the powers of the general government will be worse administered than those of the State government. hazard an observation. I believe it may be laid down as a general rule that their confidence in and obedience to a government will commonly be proportioned to the goodness or badness of its administration. dissatisfaction. The more it circulates through those channls and currents in which the passions of mankind naturally flow. that the federal government is likely to be administered in such a manner as to render it odious or contemptible to the people. but it can hardly be so infatuated as to imagine itself a match for the combined efforts of the Union. in the course of these papers. The inference is. that these circumstances promise greater knowledge and more extensive information in the national councils. though they gratify a momentary inclination or desire. A government continually at a distance and out of sight can hardly be expected to interest the sensations of the people. the greater will be the probability that it will conciliate the respect and attachment of the community. with a more critical eye. the dread of punishment. the less will it require the aid of the violent and perilous expedients of compulsion. will be strengthened. than that species of league contend for by most of its opponents. in proportion to the familiarity and comprehensiveness of its agency. that through the medium of the State legislatures which are select bodies of men.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 80 is to presuppose that disinclination in the people. the further it enters into those objects which touch the most sensible chords and put in motion the most active springs of the human heart. to fortify that probability. that a government like the one proposed would bid much fairer to avoid the necessity of using force. than the laws of the particular members. must be evident. disaffection. there is less danger of resistance from irregular combinations of individuals to the authority of the Confederacy than to that of a single member. and that they will be less apt to be tainted by the spirit of faction. and more out of the reach of those occasional ill-humors. in smaller societies. a proportionably strong discouragement to it. It must be admitted that there are exceptions to this rule.

and that as often as these happen. by an injudicious exercise of the authorities of the best government that ever was. that the laws of the Confederacy. will be bound by the sanctity of an oath. Wednesday. that seditions and insurrections are. in addition to the influence on public opinion which will result from the important consideration of its having power to call to its assistance and support the resources of the whole Union. If we will arbitrarily suppose the contrary. and will be rendered auxiliary to the enforcement of its laws. or ever can be instituted. will become the SUPREME LAW of the land. we may deduce any inferences we please from the supposition. has no place but in the reveries of those political doctors whose sagacity disdains the admonitions of experimental instruction. that frequent delinquencies in the members are the natural offspring of the very frame of the government. for it is certainly possible. in its will. the consequences of this situation. executive. But though the adversaries of the proposed Constitution should presume that the national rulers would be insensible to the motives of public good. cannot be denied. unhappily. as to the ENUMERATED and LEGITIMATE objects of its jurisdiction. __ FEDERALIST No. maladies as inseparable from the body politic as tumors and eruptions from the natural body. in the common apprehension. of the respective members. they can only be redressed. to the observance of which all officers. that the idea of governing at all times by the simple force of law (which we have been told is the only admissible principle of republican government). It merits particular attention in this place. in the execution of its laws. in its proper place. in each State. It is easy to perceive that this will tend to destroy. Thus the legislatures. 28 The Same Subject Continued (The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense Considered) For the Independent Journal. 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. if its powers are administered with a common share of prudence. by his own reflections.[1] Any man who will pursue. will be incorporated into the operations of the national government AS FAR AS ITS JUST AND CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY EXTENDS.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 81 authority of which should only operate upon the States in their political or collective capacities. Should such emergencies at any time happen under the national government. all distinction between the sources from which they might proceed. by extending the authority of the federal head to the individual citizens of the several States. and will give the federal government the same advantage for securing a due obedience to its authority which is enjoyed by the government of each State. courts. by war and violence. The sophistry which has been employed to show that this will tend to the destruction of the State governments. to provoke and precipitate the people into the wildest excesses. The plan reported by the convention. legislative. however constituted. will enable the government to employ the ordinary magistracy of each. or to the obligations of duty. It has been shown that in such a Confederacy there can be no sanction for the laws but force. or the views of encroachment. Our own experience has corroborated the lessons taught by the examples of other nations. be fully detected. December 26. I would still ask them how the interests of ambition. will. that emergencies of this sort will sometimes arise in all societies. there could be no remedy but . and judicial. and magistrates. can be promoted by such a conduct? PUBLIUS 1. if at all. will perceive that there is good ground to calculate upon a regular and peaceable execution of the laws of the Union.

If it should be a slight commotion in a small part of a State. and when these happened. if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers. on the contrary. has thought proper to have recourse to the same measure. from the mere apprehension of commotions among a part of her citizens. after all. In a single state.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 82 force. The smaller the extent of the territory. be more ready or more able to support the federal authority than in the case of a general union? All candid and intelligent men must. the different parcels. and if the general government should be found in practice conducive to the prosperity and felicity of the people. it is a full answer to those who require a more peremptory provision against military establishments in time of peace. eventually endangers all government. or a principal part of it. in lieu of one general system. is an inevitable consequence of civil society upon an enlarged scale? Who would not prefer that possibility to the unceasing agitations and frequent revolutions which are the continual scourges of petty republics? Let us pursue this examination in another light. two. whatever may be its immediate cause. Regard to the public peace. Independent of all other reasonings upon the subject. without resource. that the national government might be under a like necessity. and the national presumption is that they would be ready to do their duty. is applicable to the State governments themselves. may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. in this supposition. Suppose. the insurrection should pervade a whole State. or districts of which it consists. without system. there might sometimes be a necessity to make use of a force constituted differently from the militia. could she have hoped for success in such an enterprise from the efforts of the militia alone? Would she not have been compelled to raise and to maintain a more regular force for the execution of her design? If it must then be admitted that the necessity of recurring to a force different from the militia. can too often crush the opposition in embryo. to preserve the peace of the community and to maintain the just authority of the laws against those violent invasions of them which amount to insurrections and rebellions. If. be made an objection to its existence? Is it not surprising that men who declare an attachment to the Union in the abstract. should urge as an objection to the proposed Constitution what applies with tenfold weight to the plan for which they contend. the employment of a different kind of force might become unavoidable. as far as it has any foundation in truth. or even if there should be an entire separation of the States. only efficacious security for the rights and privileges of the people. or three. that Pennsylvania. be obliged to have recourse to the same expedients for upholding its authority which are objected to in a government for all the States? Would the militia. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms. and which against the usurpations of the national rulers. why should the possibility. which is attainable in civil society. acknowledge that the principle of the objection is equally applicable to either of the two cases. Suppose the State of New York had been inclined to re-establish her lost jurisdiction over the inhabitants of Vermont. subdivisions. and the more easy will it be to defeat their early efforts.[1] If the representatives of the people betray their constituents. in cases of this extraordinary nature. except in their courage and despair. The means to be employed must be proportioned to the extent of the mischief. without concert. would not the same difficulty oppose itself to the operations of either of these Confederacies? Would not each of them be exposed to the same casualties. would engage the citizens to whom the contagion had not communicated itself to oppose the insurgents. clothed with the forms of legal authority. and that whether we have one government for all the States. the militia of the residue would be adequate to its suppression. having no distinct government in each. Intelligence can be more speedily obtained of their . It appears that Massachusetts found it necessary to raise troops for repressing the disorders within that State. and. can take no regular measures for defense. The usurpers. or different governments for different parcels of them. there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government. and what. if not to the rights of the Union. the more difficult will it be for the people to form a regular or systematic plan of opposition. it were irrational to believe that they would be disinclined to its support. in similar extremities. upon due consideration. An insurrection. to say that the whole power of the proposed government is to be in the hands of the representatives of the people. This is the essential. or even four Confederacies were to be formed.

The natural strength of the people in a large community. and as the means of doing this increase. who are in a situation. They can discover the danger at a distance. the general government will at all times stand ready to check the usurpations of the state governments. and possessing all the organs of civil power. Power being almost always the rival of power. for which there can be found no cure in the resources of argument and reasoning. at all events. and of course more competent to a struggle with the attempts of the government to establish a tyranny. They can readily communicate with each other in the different States. We have already experienced its utility against the attacks of a foreign power. 1788 HAMILTON . and unite their common forces for the protection of their common liberty. We should recollect that the extent of the military force must. provided the citizens understand their rights and are disposed to defend them. to take measures for their own defense. When will the time arrive that the federal government can raise and maintain an army capable of erecting a despotism over the great body of the people of an immense empire. in which they can combine all the resources of the community. The great extent of the country is a further security. as of the people at large. in all possible contingencies. and system of independent nations? The apprehension may be considered as a disease. __ FEDERALIST No. The legislatures will have better means of information. is greater than in a small. In this situation there must be a peculiar coincidence of circumstances to insure success to the popular resistance. may be said to be entirely the masters of their own fate. If their rights are invaded by either. Projects of usurpation cannot be masked under pretenses so likely to escape the penetration of select bodies of men. regularity. and the moment the part which had been reduced to submission was left to itself. Wednesday. by throwing themselves into either scale. they can at once adopt a regular plan of opposition. Its full efficacy will be examined hereafter. they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress. in proportion to the artificial strength of the government. For a long time to come. But in a confederacy the people. 29 Concerning the Militia From the New York Packet. PUBLIUS 1. and the military force in the possession of the usurpers can be more rapidly directed against the part where the opposition has begun. through the medium of their State governments. with all the celerity. without exaggeration. and the confidence of the people. And it would have precisely the same effect against the enterprises of ambitious rulers in the national councils. The people. 83 The obstacles to usurpation and the facilities of resistance increase with the increased extent of the state. the distant States would have it in their power to make head with fresh forces. and its resistance revive. The advantages obtained in one place must be abandoned to subdue the opposition in others. How wise will it be in them by cherishing the union to preserve to themselves an advantage which can never be too highly prized! It may safely be received as an axiom in our political system. will infallibly make it preponderate. afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority. that the State governments will. it will not be possible to maintain a large army. and these will have the same disposition towards the general government. the population and natural strength of the community will proportionably increase. January 9.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor preparations and movements. If the federal army should be able to quell the resistance of one State. be regulated by the resources of the country. its efforts would be renewed.

or of abolishing the trial by jury in cases relating to it. There is a striking incoherence in the objections which have appeared. This desirable uniformity can only be accomplished by confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority. we are even taught to apprehend danger from the militia itself. If standing armies are dangerous to liberty. it can the better dispense with the employment of a different kind of force. It is observed that select corps may be formed. that it has not authority sufficient even to call out the POSSE COMITATUS. and of commanding its services in times of insurrection and invasion are natural incidents to the duties of superintending the common defense. It would enable them to discharge the duties of the camp and of the field with mutual intelligence and concert an advantage of peculiar moment in the operations of an army. If the federal government can command the aid of the militia in those emergencies which call for the military arm in support of the civil magistrate.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor To the People of the State of New York: 84 THE power of regulating the militia. To render an army unnecessary. it will follow. arming. is as uncandid as it is illogical. an efficacious power over the militia. as it would be to believe. AND THE AUTHORITY OF TRAINING THE MILITIA ACCORDING TO THE DISCIPLINE PRESCRIBED BY CONGRESS. it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security. or is so untenable in itself. in its application to the authority of the federal government over the militia. not much calculated to inspire a very favorable opinion of the sincerity or fair dealing of their authors. . It would be as absurd to doubt. it has been remarked that there is nowhere any provision in the proposed Constitution for calling out the POSSE COMITATUS. in the body to whose care the protection of the State is committed. What reason could there be to infer. to take away the inducement and the pretext to such unfriendly institutions. is as much short of the truth as the former exceeds it. It is. that the conclusion which has been drawn from it. The same persons who tell us in one breath. as far as possible. that a right to pass all laws NECESSARY AND PROPER to execute its declared powers. In order to cast an odium upon the power of calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union. that a right to enact laws necessary and proper for the imposition and collection of taxes would involve that of varying the rules of descent and of the alienation of landed property. that the powers of the federal government will be despotic and unlimited. there is none that was so little to have been expected. and sometimes even from the same quarter. merely because there is a power to make use of it when necessary? What shall we think of the motives which could induce men of sense to reason in this manner? How shall we prevent a conflict between charity and conviction? By a curious refinement upon the spirit of republican jealousy. ought. fortunately. inform us in the next. as the one from which this particular provision has been attacked. that military force was intended to be his only auxiliary. will be a more certain method of preventing its existence than a thousand prohibitions upon paper. in the hands of the federal government. and disciplining the militia. that force was intended to be the sole instrument of authority. that the plan of the convention proposes to empower the Union "to provide for organizing. RESERVING TO THE STATES RESPECTIVELY THE APPOINTMENT OF THE OFFICERS. with the most evident propriety. to assist the magistrate in the execution of his duty. it will be obliged to recur to the latter. whence it has been inferred. The latter. and of watching over the internal peace of the Confederacy." Of the different grounds which have been taken in opposition to the plan of the convention. and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States. whenever they were called into service for the public defense. therefore. If it cannot avail itself of the former. It requires no skill in the science of war to discern that uniformity in the organization and discipline of the militia would be attended with the most beneficial effects. would include that of requiring the assistance of the citizens to the officers who may be intrusted with the execution of those laws. and it would fit them much sooner to acquire the degree of proficiency in military functions which would be essential to their usefulness. It being therefore evident that the supposition of a want of power to require the aid of the POSSE COMITATUS is entirely destitute of color. If a well-regulated militia be the most natural defense of a free country.

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composed of the young and ardent, who may be rendered subservient to the views of arbitrary power. What plan for the regulation of the militia may be pursued by the national government, is impossible to be foreseen. But so far from viewing the matter in the same light with those who object to select corps as dangerous, were the Constitution ratified, and were I to deliver my sentiments to a member of the federal legislature from this State on the subject of a militia establishment, I should hold to him, in substance, the following discourse: "The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious, if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss. It would form an annual deduction from the productive labor of the country, to an amount which, calculating upon the present numbers of the people, would not fall far short of the whole expense of the civil establishments of all the States. To attempt a thing which would abridge the mass of labor and industry to so considerable an extent, would be unwise: and the experiment, if made, could not succeed, because it would not long be endured. Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year. "But though the scheme of disciplining the whole nation must be abandoned as mischievous or impracticable; yet it is a matter of the utmost importance that a well-digested plan should, as soon as possible, be adopted for the proper establishment of the militia. The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate extent, upon such principles as will really fit them for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia, ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist." Thus differently from the adversaries of the proposed Constitution should I reason on the same subject, deducing arguments of safety from the very sources which they represent as fraught with danger and perdition. But how the national legislature may reason on the point, is a thing which neither they nor I can foresee. There is something so far-fetched and so extravagant in the idea of danger to liberty from the militia, that one is at a loss whether to treat it with gravity or with raillery; whether to consider it as a mere trial of skill, like the paradoxes of rhetoricians; as a disingenuous artifice to instil prejudices at any price; or as the serious offspring of political fanaticism. Where in the name of common-sense, are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens? What shadow of danger can there be from men who are daily mingling with the rest of their countrymen and who participate with them in the same feelings, sentiments, habits and interests? What reasonable cause of apprehension can be inferred from a power in the Union to prescribe regulations for the militia, and to command its services when necessary, while the particular States are to have the SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE APPOINTMENT OF THE OFFICERS? If it were possible seriously to indulge a jealousy of the militia upon any conceivable establishment under the federal government, the circumstance of the officers being in the appointment of the States ought at once to extinguish it. There can be no doubt that this circumstance will always secure to them a preponderating influence over the militia. In reading many of the publications against the Constitution, a man is apt to imagine that he is perusing some

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ill-written tale or romance, which instead of natural and agreeable images, exhibits to the mind nothing but frightful and distorted shapes -"Gorgons, hydras, and chimeras dire"; discoloring and disfiguring whatever it represents, and transforming everything it touches into a monster. A sample of this is to be observed in the exaggerated and improbable suggestions which have taken place respecting the power of calling for the services of the militia. That of New Hampshire is to be marched to Georgia, of Georgia to New Hampshire, of New York to Kentucky, and of Kentucky to Lake Champlain. Nay, the debts due to the French and Dutch are to be paid in militiamen instead of louis d'ors and ducats. At one moment there is to be a large army to lay prostrate the liberties of the people; at another moment the militia of Virginia are to be dragged from their homes five or six hundred miles, to tame the republican contumacy of Massachusetts; and that of Massachusetts is to be transported an equal distance to subdue the refractory haughtiness of the aristocratic Virginians. Do the persons who rave at this rate imagine that their art or their eloquence can impose any conceits or absurdities upon the people of America for infallible truths? If there should be an army to be made use of as the engine of despotism, what need of the militia? If there should be no army, whither would the militia, irritated by being called upon to undertake a distant and hopeless expedition, for the purpose of riveting the chains of slavery upon a part of their countrymen, direct their course, but to the seat of the tyrants, who had meditated so foolish as well as so wicked a project, to crush them in their imagined intrenchments of power, and to make them an example of the just vengeance of an abused and incensed people? Is this the way in which usurpers stride to dominion over a numerous and enlightened nation? Do they begin by exciting the detestation of the very instruments of their intended usurpations? Do they usually commence their career by wanton and disgustful acts of power, calculated to answer no end, but to draw upon themselves universal hatred and execration? Are suppositions of this sort the sober admonitions of discerning patriots to a discerning people? Or are they the inflammatory ravings of incendiaries or distempered enthusiasts? If we were even to suppose the national rulers actuated by the most ungovernable ambition, it is impossible to believe that they would employ such preposterous means to accomplish their designs. In times of insurrection, or invasion, it would be natural and proper that the militia of a neighboring State should be marched into another, to resist a common enemy, or to guard the republic against the violence of faction or sedition. This was frequently the case, in respect to the first object, in the course of the late war; and this mutual succor is, indeed, a principal end of our political association. If the power of affording it be placed under the direction of the Union, there will be no danger of a supine and listless inattention to the dangers of a neighbor, till its near approach had superadded the incitements of self-preservation to the too feeble impulses of duty and sympathy. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. 30 Concerning the General Power of Taxation From the New York Packet. Friday, December 28, 1787. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: IT HAS been already observed that the federal government ought to possess the power of providing for the

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support of the national forces; in which proposition was intended to be included the expense of raising troops, of building and equipping fleets, and all other expenses in any wise connected with military arrangements and operations. But these are not the only objects to which the jurisdiction of the Union, in respect to revenue, must necessarily be empowered to extend. It must embrace a provision for the support of the national civil list; for the payment of the national debts contracted, or that may be contracted; and, in general, for all those matters which will call for disbursements out of the national treasury. The conclusion is, that there must be interwoven, in the frame of the government, a general power of taxation, in one shape or another. Money is, with propriety, considered as the vital principle of the body politic; as that which sustains its life and motion, and enables it to perform its most essential functions. A complete power, therefore, to procure a regular and adequate supply of it, as far as the resources of the community will permit, may be regarded as an indispensable ingredient in every constitution. From a deficiency in this particular, one of two evils must ensue; either the people must be subjected to continual plunder, as a substitute for a more eligible mode of supplying the public wants, or the government must sink into a fatal atrophy, and, in a short course of time, perish. In the Ottoman or Turkish empire, the sovereign, though in other respects absolute master of the lives and fortunes of his subjects, has no right to impose a new tax. The consequence is that he permits the bashaws or governors of provinces to pillage the people without mercy; and, in turn, squeezes out of them the sums of which he stands in need, to satisfy his own exigencies and those of the state. In America, from a like cause, the government of the Union has gradually dwindled into a state of decay, approaching nearly to annihilation. Who can doubt, that the happiness of the people in both countries would be promoted by competent authorities in the proper hands, to provide the revenues which the necessities of the public might require? The present Confederation, feeble as it is intended to repose in the United States, an unlimited power of providing for the pecuniary wants of the Union. But proceeding upon an erroneous principle, it has been done in such a manner as entirely to have frustrated the intention. Congress, by the articles which compose that compact (as has already been stated), are authorized to ascertain and call for any sums of money necessary, in their judgment, to the service of the United States; and their requisitions, if conformable to the rule of apportionment, are in every constitutional sense obligatory upon the States. These have no right to question the propriety of the demand; no discretion beyond that of devising the ways and means of furnishing the sums demanded. But though this be strictly and truly the case; though the assumption of such a right would be an infringement of the articles of Union; though it may seldom or never have been avowedly claimed, yet in practice it has been constantly exercised, and would continue to be so, as long as the revenues of the Confederacy should remain dependent on the intermediate agency of its members. What the consequences of this system have been, is within the knowledge of every man the least conversant in our public affairs, and has been amply unfolded in different parts of these inquiries. It is this which has chiefly contributed to reduce us to a situation, which affords ample cause both of mortification to ourselves, and of triumph to our enemies. What remedy can there be for this situation, but in a change of the system which has produced it in a change of the fallacious and delusive system of quotas and requisitions? What substitute can there be imagined for this ignis fatuus in finance, but that of permitting the national government to raise its own revenues by the ordinary methods of taxation authorized in every well-ordered constitution of civil government? Ingenious men may declaim with plausibility on any subject; but no human ingenuity can point out any other expedient to rescue us from the inconveniences and embarrassments naturally resulting from defective supplies of the public treasury. The more intelligent adversaries of the new Constitution admit the force of this reasoning; but they qualify their admission by a distinction between what they call INTERNAL and EXTERNAL taxation. The former they would reserve to the State governments; the latter, which they explain into commercial imposts, or rather duties on imported articles, they declare themselves willing to concede to the federal head. This distinction, however, would violate the maxim of good sense and sound policy, which dictates that every POWER ought to

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be in proportion to its OBJECT; and would still leave the general government in a kind of tutelage to the State governments, inconsistent with every idea of vigor or efficiency. Who can pretend that commercial imposts are, or would be, alone equal to the present and future exigencies of the Union? Taking into the account the existing debt, foreign and domestic, upon any plan of extinguishment which a man moderately impressed with the importance of public justice and public credit could approve, in addition to the establishments which all parties will acknowledge to be necessary, we could not reasonably flatter ourselves, that this resource alone, upon the most improved scale, would even suffice for its present necessities. Its future necessities admit not of calculation or limitation; and upon the principle, more than once adverted to, the power of making provision for them as they arise ought to be equally unconfined. I believe it may be regarded as a position warranted by the history of mankind, that, IN THE USUAL PROGRESS OF THINGS, THE NECESSITIES OF A NATION, IN EVERY STAGE OF ITS EXISTENCE, WILL BE FOUND AT LEAST EQUAL TO ITS RESOURCES. To say that deficiencies may be provided for by requisitions upon the States, is on the one hand to acknowledge that this system cannot be depended upon, and on the other hand to depend upon it for every thing beyond a certain limit. Those who have carefully attended to its vices and deformities as they have been exhibited by experience or delineated in the course of these papers, must feel invincible repugnancy to trusting the national interests in any degree to its operation. Its inevitable tendency, whenever it is brought into activity, must be to enfeeble the Union, and sow the seeds of discord and contention between the federal head and its members, and between the members themselves. Can it be expected that the deficiencies would be better supplied in this mode than the total wants of the Union have heretofore been supplied in the same mode? It ought to be recollected that if less will be required from the States, they will have proportionably less means to answer the demand. If the opinions of those who contend for the distinction which has been mentioned were to be received as evidence of truth, one would be led to conclude that there was some known point in the economy of national affairs at which it would be safe to stop and to say: Thus far the ends of public happiness will be promoted by supplying the wants of government, and all beyond this is unworthy of our care or anxiety. How is it possible that a government half supplied and always necessitous, can fulfill the purposes of its institution, can provide for the security, advance the prosperity, or support the reputation of the commonwealth? How can it ever possess either energy or stability, dignity or credit, confidence at home or respectability abroad? How can its administration be any thing else than a succession of expedients temporizing, impotent, disgraceful? How will it be able to avoid a frequent sacrifice of its engagements to immediate necessity? How can it undertake or execute any liberal or enlarged plans of public good? Let us attend to what would be the effects of this situation in the very first war in which we should happen to be engaged. We will presume, for argument's sake, that the revenue arising from the impost duties answers the purposes of a provision for the public debt and of a peace establishment for the Union. Thus circumstanced, a war breaks out. What would be the probable conduct of the government in such an emergency? Taught by experience that proper dependence could not be placed on the success of requisitions, unable by its own authority to lay hold of fresh resources, and urged by considerations of national danger, would it not be driven to the expedient of diverting the funds already appropriated from their proper objects to the defense of the State? It is not easy to see how a step of this kind could be avoided; and if it should be taken, it is evident that it would prove the destruction of public credit at the very moment that it was becoming essential to the public safety. To imagine that at such a crisis credit might be dispensed with, would be the extreme of infatuation. In the modern system of war, nations the most wealthy are obliged to have recourse to large loans. A country so little opulent as ours must feel this necessity in a much stronger degree. But who would lend to a government that prefaced its overtures for borrowing by an act which demonstrated that no reliance could be placed on the steadiness of its measures for paying? The loans it might be able to procure would be as limited in their extent as burdensome in their conditions. They would be made upon the same principles that usurers commonly lend to bankrupt and fraudulent debtors, with a sparing hand and at enormous premiums. It may perhaps be imagined that, from the scantiness of the resources of the country, the necessity of diverting

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the established funds in the case supposed would exist, though the national government should possess an unrestrained power of taxation. But two considerations will serve to quiet all apprehension on this head: one is, that we are sure the resources of the community, in their full extent, will be brought into activity for the benefit of the Union; the other is, that whatever deficiences there may be, can without difficulty be supplied by loans. The power of creating new funds upon new objects of taxation, by its own authority, would enable the national government to borrow as far as its necessities might require. Foreigners, as well as the citizens of America, could then reasonably repose confidence in its engagements; but to depend upon a government that must itself depend upon thirteen other governments for the means of fulfilling its contracts, when once its situation is clearly understood, would require a degree of credulity not often to be met with in the pecuniary transactions of mankind, and little reconcilable with the usual sharp-sightedness of avarice. Reflections of this kind may have trifling weight with men who hope to see realized in America the halcyon scenes of the poetic or fabulous age; but to those who believe we are likely to experience a common portion of the vicissitudes and calamities which have fallen to the lot of other nations, they must appear entitled to serious attention. Such men must behold the actual situation of their country with painful solicitude, and deprecate the evils which ambition or revenge might, with too much facility, inflict upon it. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. 31 The Same Subject Continued (Concerning the General Power of Taxation) From the New York Packet. Tuesday, January 1, 1788. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: IN DISQUISITIONS of every kind, there are certain primary truths, or first principles, upon which all subsequent reasonings must depend. These contain an internal evidence which, antecedent to all reflection or combination, commands the assent of the mind. Where it produces not this effect, it must proceed either from some defect or disorder in the organs of perception, or from the influence of some strong interest, or passion, or prejudice. Of this nature are the maxims in geometry, that "the whole is greater than its part; things equal to the same are equal to one another; two straight lines cannot enclose a space; and all right angles are equal to each other." Of the same nature are these other maxims in ethics and politics, that there cannot be an effect without a cause; that the means ought to be proportioned to the end; that every power ought to be commensurate with its object; that there ought to be no limitation of a power destined to effect a purpose which is itself incapable of limitation. And there are other truths in the two latter sciences which, if they cannot pretend to rank in the class of axioms, are yet such direct inferences from them, and so obvious in themselves, and so agreeable to the natural and unsophisticated dictates of common-sense, that they challenge the assent of a sound and unbiased mind, with a degree of force and conviction almost equally irresistible. The objects of geometrical inquiry are so entirely abstracted from those pursuits which stir up and put in motion the unruly passions of the human heart, that mankind, without difficulty, adopt not only the more simple theorems of the science, but even those abstruse paradoxes which, however they may appear susceptible of demonstration, are at variance with the natural conceptions which the mind, without the aid of philosophy, would be led to entertain upon the subject. The INFINITE DIVISIBILITY of matter, or, in other

do not give their own understandings fair play. the federal government must of necessity be invested with an unqualified power of taxation in the ordinary modes. and to the complete execution of the trusts for which it is responsible. the same degree of certainty with those of the mathematics. as that the national government should possess the like faculty in respect to the wants of the Union. against which the batteries of infidelity have been so industriously leveled. they entangle themselves in words and confound themselves in subtleties. we should be disposed to allow them. but. as introductory to an examination of what may have been offered by way of objection to them. seem in substance to amount to this: "It is not true. To a certain degree. Those of them which have been most labored with that view. Revenue is as requisite to the purposes of the local administrations as to those of the Union. it is right and useful that this should be the case. and probably would in time. it would be natural to conclude that the propriety of a general power of taxation in the national government might safely be permitted to rest on the evidence of these propositions. the INFINITE divisibility of a FINITE thing. 90 But in the sciences of morals and politics. that positions so clear as those which manifest the necessity of a general power of taxation in the government of the Union. or disingenuity. in general. in fact. Men. that the antagonists of the proposed Constitution. But we find. free from every other control but a regard to the public good and to the sense of the people. the power of making that provision ought to know no other bounds than the exigencies of the nation and the resources of the community. The obscurity is much oftener in the passions and prejudices of the reasoner than in the subject. It is. and the former are at least of equal importance with the latter to the happiness of the people. is a point agreed among geometricians. As revenue is the essential engine by which the means of answering the national exigencies must be procured. seem to make their principal and most zealous effort against this part of the plan. yet they have much better claims in this respect than. though not less incomprehensible to common-sense than any of those mysteries in religion. that its power of laying taxes ought to be unconfined. as necessary that the State governments should be able to command the means of supplying their wants. They are in substance as follows: A government ought to contain in itself every power requisite to the full accomplishment of the objects committed to its care. Did not experience evince the contrary. therefore. How else could it happen (if we admit the objectors to be sincere in their opposition). and may degenerate into obstinacy. Caution and investigation are a necessary armor against error and imposition. extending even to the minutest atom.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor words. unassisted by any additional arguments or illustrations. But an indefinite power of taxation in the LATTER might. men are found far less tractable. and would subject them entirely to the mercy of the national . Though it cannot be pretended that the principles of moral and political knowledge have. they will perhaps not be improperly recapitulated in this place. But this untractableness may be carried too far. upon too many occasions. the power of procuring that article in its full extent must necessarily be comprehended in that of providing for those exigencies. deprive the FORMER of the means of providing for their own necessities. because the exigencies of the Union may not be susceptible of limitation. so far from acquiescing in their justness or truth. yielding to some untoward bias. It may therefore be satisfactory to analyze the arguments with which they combat it. perverseness. to judge from the conduct of men in particular situations. should have to encounter any adversaries among men of discernment? Though these positions have been elsewhere fully stated. As the duties of superintending the national defense and of securing the public peace against foreign or domestic violence involve a provision for casualties and dangers to which no possible limits can be assigned. As theory and practice conspire to prove that the power of procuring revenue is unavailing when exercised over the States in their collective capacities.

upon an impartial examination of it. must depend on the means which the contending parties could employ toward insuring success. that all observations founded upon the danger of usurpation ought to be referred to the composition and structure of the government. than by the federal head upon the members. and fairly put ourselves out of the reach of all reasoning. It might allege a necessity of doing this in order to give efficacy to the national revenues. as they will hold the scales in their own hands. January 2. But it is evident that all conjectures of this kind must be extremely vague and fallible: and that it is by far the safest course to lay them altogether aside. In what does our security consist against usurpation from that quarter? Doubtless in the manner of their formation. it will not be difficult to obviate the objections which have been made to an indefinite power of taxation in the United States. It should not be forgotten that a disposition in the State governments to encroach upon the rights of the Union is quite as probable as a disposition in the Union to encroach upon the rights of the State governments.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 91 legislature. at other times it seems to be designed only as a deduction from the constitutional operation of its intended powers. all apprehensions on the score of usurpation ought to be discarded. 32 The Same Subject Continued (Concerning the General Power of Taxation) From the Independent Journal. and by indulging an excess of jealousy and timidity. Imagination may range at pleasure till it gets bewildered amidst the labyrinths of an enchanted castle. the same species of security. and in a due dependence of those who are to administer them upon the people. it is easy to imagine an endless train of possible dangers. to be such as to afford. to the entire exclusion and destruction of the State governments. and to confine our attention wholly to the nature and extent of the powers as they are delineated in the Constitution. and knows not on which side to turn to extricate itself from the perplexities into which it has so rashly adventured. the national government might at any time abolish the taxes imposed for State objects upon the pretense of an interference with its own. it is to be hoped." This mode of reasoning appears sometimes to turn upon the supposition of usurpation in the national government. by their original constitutions. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: . What side would be likely to prevail in such a conflict. which is evidently the true one. The moment we launch into conjectures about the usurpations of the federal government. The State governments. I repeat here what I have observed in substance in another place. not to the nature or extent of its powers. Every thing beyond this must be left to the prudence and firmness of the people. and as there are weighty reasons to induce a belief that the State governments will commonly possess most influence over them. 1788. Wednesday. And thus all the resources of taxation might by degrees become the subjects of federal monopoly. Upon this ground. will always take care to preserve the constitutional equilibrium between the general and the State governments. we get into an unfathomable abyss. As the laws of the Union are to become the supreme law of the land. the natural conclusion is that such contests will be most apt to end to the disadvantage of the Union. as it is to have power to pass all laws that may be NECESSARY for carrying into execution the authorities with which it is proposed to vest it. are invested with complete sovereignty. As in republics strength is always on the side of the people. who. we may bring ourselves to a state of absolute scepticism and irresolution. to a proper extent. Whatever may be the limits or modifications of the powers of the Union. If the proposed construction of the federal government be found. It is only in the latter light that it can be admitted to have any pretensions to fairness. and that there is greater probability of encroachments by the members upon the federal head.

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ALTHOUGH I am of opinion that there would be no real danger of the consequences which seem to be apprehended to the State governments from a power in the Union to control them in the levies of money, because I am persuaded that the sense of the people, the extreme hazard of provoking the resentments of the State governments, and a conviction of the utility and necessity of local administrations for local purposes, would be a complete barrier against the oppressive use of such a power; yet I am willing here to allow, in its full extent, the justness of the reasoning which requires that the individual States should possess an independent and uncontrollable authority to raise their own revenues for the supply of their own wants. And making this concession, I affirm that (with the sole exception of duties on imports and exports) they would, under the plan of the convention, retain that authority in the most absolute and unqualified sense; and that an attempt on the part of the national government to abridge them in the exercise of it, would be a violent assumption of power, unwarranted by any article or clause of its Constitution. An entire consolidation of the States into one complete national sovereignty would imply an entire subordination of the parts; and whatever powers might remain in them, would be altogether dependent on the general will. But as the plan of the convention aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, EXCLUSIVELY delegated to the United States. This exclusive delegation, or rather this alienation, of State sovereignty, would only exist in three cases: where the Constitution in express terms granted an exclusive authority to the Union; where it granted in one instance an authority to the Union, and in another prohibited the States from exercising the like authority; and where it granted an authority to the Union, to which a similar authority in the States would be absolutely and totally CONTRADICTORY and REPUGNANT. I use these terms to distinguish this last case from another which might appear to resemble it, but which would, in fact, be essentially different; I mean where the exercise of a concurrent jurisdiction might be productive of occasional interferences in the POLICY of any branch of administration, but would not imply any direct contradiction or repugnancy in point of constitutional authority. These three cases of exclusive jurisdiction in the federal government may be exemplified by the following instances: The last clause but one in the eighth section of the first article provides expressly that Congress shall exercise "EXCLUSIVE LEGISLATION" over the district to be appropriated as the seat of government. This answers to the first case. The first clause of the same section empowers Congress "to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises"; and the second clause of the tenth section of the same article declares that, "NO STATE SHALL, without the consent of Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except for the purpose of executing its inspection laws." Hence would result an exclusive power in the Union to lay duties on imports and exports, with the particular exception mentioned; but this power is abridged by another clause, which declares that no tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any State; in consequence of which qualification, it now only extends to the DUTIES ON IMPORTS. This answers to the second case. The third will be found in that clause which declares that Congress shall have power "to establish an UNIFORM RULE of naturalization throughout the United States." This must necessarily be exclusive; because if each State had power to prescribe a DISTINCT RULE, there could not be a UNIFORM RULE. A case which may perhaps be thought to resemble the latter, but which is in fact widely different, affects the question immediately under consideration. I mean the power of imposing taxes on all articles other than exports and imports. This, I contend, is manifestly a concurrent and coequal authority in the United States and in the individual States. There is plainly no expression in the granting clause which makes that power EXCLUSIVE in the Union. There is no independent clause or sentence which prohibits the States from exercising it. So far is this from being the case, that a plain and conclusive argument to the contrary is to be deduced from the restraint laid upon the States in relation to duties on imports and exports. This restriction implies an admission that, if it were not inserted, the States would possess the power it excludes; and it implies a further admission, that as to all other taxes, the authority of the States remains undiminished. In any other view it would be both unnecessary and dangerous; it would be unnecessary, because if the grant to the Union of the power of laying such duties implied the exclusion of the States, or even their subordination in this particular, there could be no need of such a restriction; it would be dangerous, because the introduction of it leads directly to the conclusion which has been mentioned, and which, if the reasoning of the objectors be

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just, could not have been intended; I mean that the States, in all cases to which the restriction did not apply, would have a concurrent power of taxation with the Union. The restriction in question amounts to what lawyers call a NEGATIVE PREGNANT that is, a NEGATION of one thing, and an AFFIRMANCE of another; a negation of the authority of the States to impose taxes on imports and exports, and an affirmance of their authority to impose them on all other articles. It would be mere sophistry to argue that it was meant to exclude them ABSOLUTELY from the imposition of taxes of the former kind, and to leave them at liberty to lay others SUBJECT TO THE CONTROL of the national legislature. The restraining or prohibitory clause only says, that they shall not, WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF CONGRESS, lay such duties; and if we are to understand this in the sense last mentioned, the Constitution would then be made to introduce a formal provision for the sake of a very absurd conclusion; which is, that the States, WITH THE CONSENT of the national legislature, might tax imports and exports; and that they might tax every other article, UNLESS CONTROLLED by the same body. If this was the intention, why not leave it, in the first instance, to what is alleged to be the natural operation of the original clause, conferring a general power of taxation upon the Union? It is evident that this could not have been the intention, and that it will not bear a construction of the kind. As to a supposition of repugnancy between the power of taxation in the States and in the Union, it cannot be supported in that sense which would be requisite to work an exclusion of the States. It is, indeed, possible that a tax might be laid on a particular article by a State which might render it INEXPEDIENT that thus a further tax should be laid on the same article by the Union; but it would not imply a constitutional inability to impose a further tax. The quantity of the imposition, the expediency or inexpediency of an increase on either side, would be mutually questions of prudence; but there would be involved no direct contradiction of power. The particular policy of the national and of the State systems of finance might now and then not exactly coincide, and might require reciprocal forbearances. It is not, however a mere possibility of inconvenience in the exercise of powers, but an immediate constitutional repugnancy that can by implication alienate and extinguish a pre-existing right of sovereignty. The necessity of a concurrent jurisdiction in certain cases results from the division of the sovereign power; and the rule that all authorities, of which the States are not explicitly divested in favor of the Union, remain with them in full vigor, is not a theoretical consequence of that division, but is clearly admitted by the whole tenor of the instrument which contains the articles of the proposed Constitution. We there find that, notwithstanding the affirmative grants of general authorities, there has been the most pointed care in those cases where it was deemed improper that the like authorities should reside in the States, to insert negative clauses prohibiting the exercise of them by the States. The tenth section of the first article consists altogether of such provisions. This circumstance is a clear indication of the sense of the convention, and furnishes a rule of interpretation out of the body of the act, which justifies the position I have advanced and refutes every hypothesis to the contrary. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. 33 The Same Subject Continued (Concerning the General Power of Taxation) From the Independent Journal. Wednesday, January 2, 1788. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE residue of the argument against the provisions of the Constitution in respect to taxation is ingrafted upon

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the following clause. The last clause of the eighth section of the first article of the plan under consideration authorizes the national legislature "to make all laws which shall be NECESSARY and PROPER for carrying into execution THE POWERS by that Constitution vested in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof"; and the second clause of the sixth article declares, "that the Constitution and the laws of the United States made IN PURSUANCE THEREOF, and the treaties made by their authority shall be the SUPREME LAW of the land, any thing in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding." These two clauses have been the source of much virulent invective and petulant declamation against the proposed Constitution. They have been held up to the people in all the exaggerated colors of misrepresentation as the pernicious engines by which their local governments were to be destroyed and their liberties exterminated; as the hideous monster whose devouring jaws would spare neither sex nor age, nor high nor low, nor sacred nor profane; and yet, strange as it may appear, after all this clamor, to those who may not have happened to contemplate them in the same light, it may be affirmed with perfect confidence that the constitutional operation of the intended government would be precisely the same, if these clauses were entirely obliterated, as if they were repeated in every article. They are only declaratory of a truth which would have resulted by necessary and unavoidable implication from the very act of constituting a federal government, and vesting it with certain specified powers. This is so clear a proposition, that moderation itself can scarcely listen to the railings which have been so copiously vented against this part of the plan, without emotions that disturb its equanimity. What is a power, but the ability or faculty of doing a thing? What is the ability to do a thing, but the power of employing the MEANS necessary to its execution? What is a LEGISLATIVE power, but a power of making LAWS? What are the MEANS to execute a LEGISLATIVE power but LAWS? What is the power of laying and collecting taxes, but a LEGISLATIVE POWER, or a power of MAKING LAWS, to lay and collect taxes? What are the propermeans of executing such a power, but NECESSARY and PROPER laws? This simple train of inquiry furnishes us at once with a test by which to judge of the true nature of the clause complained of. It conducts us to this palpable truth, that a power to lay and collect taxes must be a power to pass all laws NECESSARY and PROPER for the execution of that power; and what does the unfortunate and culumniated provision in question do more than declare the same truth, to wit, that the national legislature, to whom the power of laying and collecting taxes had been previously given, might, in the execution of that power, pass all laws NECESSARY and PROPER to carry it into effect? I have applied these observations thus particularly to the power of taxation, because it is the immediate subject under consideration, and because it is the most important of the authorities proposed to be conferred upon the Union. But the same process will lead to the same result, in relation to all other powers declared in the Constitution. And it is EXPRESSLY to execute these powers that the sweeping clause, as it has been affectedly called, authorizes the national legislature to pass all NECESSARY and PROPER laws. If there is any thing exceptionable, it must be sought for in the specific powers upon which this general declaration is predicated. The declaration itself, though it may be chargeable with tautology or redundancy, is at least perfectly harmless. But SUSPICION may ask, Why then was it introduced? The answer is, that it could only have been done for greater caution, and to guard against all cavilling refinements in those who might hereafter feel a disposition to curtail and evade the legitimatb authorities of the Union. The Convention probably foresaw, what it has been a principal aim of these papers to inculcate, that the danger which most threatens our political welfare is that the State governments will finally sap the foundations of the Union; and might therefore think it necessary, in so cardinal a point, to leave nothing to construction. Whatever may have been the inducement to it, the wisdom of the precaution is evident from the cry which has been raised against it; as that very cry betrays a disposition to question the great and essential truth which it is manifestly the object of that provision to declare. But it may be again asked, Who is to judge of the NECESSITY and PROPRIETY of the laws to be passed for

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executing the powers of the Union? I answer, first, that this question arises as well and as fully upon the simple grant of those powers as upon the declaratory clause; and I answer, in the second place, that the national government, like every other, must judge, in the first instance, of the proper exercise of its powers, and its constituents in the last. If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify. The propriety of a law, in a constitutional light, must always be determined by the nature of the powers upon which it is founded. Suppose, by some forced constructions of its authority (which, indeed, cannot easily be imagined), the Federal legislature should attempt to vary the law of descent in any State, would it not be evident that, in making such an attempt, it had exceeded its jurisdiction, and infringed upon that of the State? Suppose, again, that upon the pretense of an interference with its revenues, it should undertake to abrogate a landtax imposed by the authority of a State; would it not be equally evident that this was an invasion of that concurrent jurisdiction in respect to this species of tax, which its Constitution plainly supposes to exist in the State governments? If there ever should be a doubt on this head, the credit of it will be entirely due to those reasoners who, in the imprudent zeal of their animosity to the plan of the convention, have labored to envelop it in a cloud calculated to obscure the plainest and simplest truths. But it is said that the laws of the Union are to be the SUPREME LAW of the land. But what inference can be drawn from this, or what would they amount to, if they were not to be supreme? It is evident they would amount to nothing. A LAW, by the very meaning of the term, includes supremacy. It is a rule which those to whom it is prescribed are bound to observe. This results from every political association. If individuals enter into a state of society, the laws of that society must be the supreme regulator of their conduct. If a number of political societies enter into a larger political society, the laws which the latter may enact, pursuant to the powers intrusted to it by its constitution, must necessarily be supreme over those societies, and the individuals of whom they are composed. It would otherwise be a mere treaty, dependent on the good faith of the parties, and not a goverment, which is only another word for POLITICAL POWER AND SUPREMACY. But it will not follow from this doctrine that acts of the large society which are NOT PURSUANT to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of the smaller societies, will become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such. Hence we perceive that the clause which declares the supremacy of the laws of the Union, like the one we have just before considered, only declares a truth, which flows immediately and necessarily from the institution of a federal government. It will not, I presume, have escaped observation, that it EXPRESSLY confines this supremacy to laws made PURSUANT TO THE CONSTITUTION; which I mention merely as an instance of caution in the convention; since that limitation would have been to be understood, though it had not been expressed. Though a law, therefore, laying a tax for the use of the United States would be supreme in its nature, and could not legally be opposed or controlled, yet a law for abrogating or preventing the collection of a tax laid by the authority of the State, (unless upon imports and exports), would not be the supreme law of the land, but a usurpation of power not granted by the Constitution. As far as an improper accumulation of taxes on the same object might tend to render the collection difficult or precarious, this would be a mutual inconvenience, not arising from a superiority or defect of power on either side, but from an injudicious exercise of power by one or the other, in a manner equally disadvantageous to both. It is to be hoped and presumed, however, that mutual interest would dictate a concert in this respect which would avoid any material inconvenience. The inference from the whole is, that the individual States would, under the proposed Constitution, retain an independent and uncontrollable authority to raise revenue to any extent of which they may stand in need, by every kind of taxation, except duties on imports and exports. It will be shown in the next paper that this CONCURRENT JURISDICTION in the article of taxation was the only admissible substitute for an entire subordination, in respect to this branch of power, of the State authority to that of the Union. PUBLIUS

Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor __ FEDERALIST No. 34 The Same Subject Continued (Concerning the General Power of Taxation) From the Independent Journal. Saturday, January 5, 1788. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York:


I FLATTER myself it has been clearly shown in my last number that the particular States, under the proposed Constitution, would have COEQUAL authority with the Union in the article of revenue, except as to duties on imports. As this leaves open to the States far the greatest part of the resources of the community, there can be no color for the assertion that they would not possess means as abundant as could be desired for the supply of their own wants, independent of all external control. That the field is sufficiently wide will more fully appear when we come to advert to the inconsiderable share of the public expenses for which it will fall to the lot of the State governments to provide. To argue upon abstract principles that this co-ordinate authority cannot exist, is to set up supposition and theory against fact and reality. However proper such reasonings might be to show that a thing OUGHT NOT TO EXIST, they are wholly to be rejected when they are made use of to prove that it does not exist contrary to the evidence of the fact itself. It is well known that in the Roman republic the legislative authority, in the last resort, resided for ages in two different political bodies not as branches of the same legislature, but as distinct and independent legislatures, in each of which an opposite interest prevailed: in one the patrician; in the other, the plebian. Many arguments might have been adduced to prove the unfitness of two such seemingly contradictory authorities, each having power to ANNUL or REPEAL the acts of the other. But a man would have been regarded as frantic who should have attempted at Rome to disprove their existence. It will be readily understood that I allude to the COMITIA CENTURIATA and the COMITIA TRIBUTA. The former, in which the people voted by centuries, was so arranged as to give a superiority to the patrician interest; in the latter, in which numbers prevailed, the plebian interest had an entire predominancy. And yet these two legislatures coexisted for ages, and the Roman republic attained to the utmost height of human greatness. In the case particularly under consideration, there is no such contradiction as appears in the example cited; there is no power on either side to annul the acts of the other. And in practice there is little reason to apprehend any inconvenience; because, in a short course of time, the wants of the States will naturally reduce themselves within A VERY NARROW COMPASS; and in the interim, the United States will, in all probability, find it convenient to abstain wholly from those objects to which the particular States would be inclined to resort. To form a more precise judgment of the true merits of this question, it will be well to advert to the proportion between the objects that will require a federal provision in respect to revenue, and those which will require a State provision. We shall discover that the former are altogether unlimited, and that the latter are circumscribed within very moderate bounds. In pursuing this inquiry, we must bear in mind that we are not to confine our view to the present period, but to look forward to remote futurity. Constitutions of civil government are not to be framed upon a calculation of existing exigencies, but upon a combination of these with the probable exigencies of ages, according to the natural and tried course of human affairs. Nothing, therefore, can be more fallacious than to infer the extent of any power, proper to be lodged in the national government, from an estimate of its immediate necessities. There ought to be a CAPACITY to provide for future contingencies as they may happen; and as these are illimitable in their nature, it is impossible safely to limit that capacity. It is true, perhaps, that a computation might be made with sufficient accuracy to answer the purpose of the quantity of revenue requisite to discharge the subsisting engagements of the Union, and to

to stop at this point. on the contrary. by foreign war or domestic convulsions? If. or would it not rather be the extreme of folly. on the one hand. and in the maintenance of fleets and armies. on the other hand. and judicial departments. the possibility of forming a rational judgment of a due provision against probable dangers. would suffice in time of peace. in general terms. are insignificant in comparison with those which relate to the national defense. executive. yet we may safely challenge those who make the assertion to bring forward their data. and to the encouragement of agriculture and manufactures (which will comprehend almost all the objects of state expenditure). would so soon have looked with so hostile an aspect upon each other? To judge from the history of mankind. the other fourteen fifteenths are absorbed in the payment of the interest of debts contracted for carrying on the wars in which that country has been engaged. though even these will admit of no satisfactory calculation: but if we mean to be a commercial people. The support of a navy and of naval wars would involve contingencies that must baffle all the efforts of political arithmetic. and to leave the government intrusted with the care of the national defense in a state of absolute incapacity to provide for the protection of the community against future invasions of the public peace. the proportion may still be considered as holding good. The expenses arising from those institutions which are relative to the mere domestic police of a state. and the frugality and economy which in that particular become the modest simplicity of republican government. What are the chief sources of expense in every government? What has occasioned that enormous accumulation of debts with which several of the European nations are oppressed? The answers plainly is. or hope to extinguish the ambition of others. But let us advert to the large debt which we have ourselves contracted in a single war. where can we stop. is to calculate on the weaker springs of the human character. not above a fifteenth part of the annual income of the nation is appropriated to the class of expenses last mentioned. If it should break forth into a storm. Admitting that we ought to try the novel and absurd experiment in politics of tying up the hands of government from offensive war founded upon reasons of state. In the kingdom of Great Britain. where all the ostentatious apparatus of monarchy is to be provided for. Or if the combustible materials that now seem to be collecting should be dissipated without coming to maturity. A cloud has been for some time hanging over the European world. Observations confined to the mere prospects of internal attacks can deserve no weight. we shall be compelled to conclude that the fiery and destructive passions of war reign in the human breast with much more powerful sway than the mild and beneficent sentiments of peace. it should be observed that the expenses incurred in the prosecution of the ambitious enterprises and vainglorious pursuits of a monarchy are not a proper standard by which to judge of those which might be necessary in a republic. we ought to exceed this point. to be remarked that there should be as great a disproportion between the profusion and extravagance of a wealthy kingdom in its domestic administration. and that to model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquillity. wearied and exhausted as they both were. If we balance a proper deduction from one side against that which it is supposed ought to be made from the other. Who could have imagined at the conclusion of the last war that France and Britain. If. wars and rebellions. yet certainly we ought not to disable it from guarding the community against the ambition or enmity of other nations. short of an indefinite power of providing for emergencies as they may arise? Though it is easy to assert. and may affirm that they would be found as vague and uncertain as any that could be produced to establish the probable duration of the world. But would it be wise. it must form a part of our policy to be able one day to defend that commerce. with their different appendages. for some time to come.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 97 maintain those establishments which. what security can we have that our tranquillity will long remain undisturbed from some other cause or from some other quarter? Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option. who can insure us that in its progress a part of its fury would not be spent upon us? No reasonable man would hastily pronounce that we are entirely out of its reach. it ought. to the support of its legislative. that however moderate or unambitious we may be. the support of those institutions which are necessary to guard the body politic against these two most mortal diseases of society. we cannot count upon the moderation. and let us only . or if a flame should be kindled without extending to us.

will be for the mere support of their respective civil list.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 98 calculate on a common share of the events which disturb the peace of nations. between the Union and its members. January 5. to which. to defray from nine tenths to nineteen twentieths of its expenses. There remain a few other lights. and when these debts are discharged. this would leave to the States. in perpetuity. what particular fund could have been selected for the use of the States. it would have been inadequate to the discharge of the existing debts of the particular States. of State authority to that of the Union. the possession of one third of the resources of the community to supply. If any fund could have been selected and appropriated. which are an excrescence of the late war. that would not either have been too much or too little too little for their present. if we add all contingencies. too much for their future wants? As to the line of separation between external and internal taxes. the total amount in every State ought to fall considerably short of two hundred thousand pounds. 35 The Same Subject Continued (Concerning the General Power of Taxation) For the Independent Journal. that there must always be an immense disproportion between the objects of federal and state expenditures. and would have left them dependent on the Union for a provision for this purpose. separately. one third of the resources of the community. at a rough computation. in EXCLUSION of the authority of the Union. without the aid of any elaborate illustration. there would still be a great disproportion between the MEANS and the END. in PROPORTION to their comparative necessities. Saturday. Suppose. we ought. are encumbered with considerable debts. the command of two thirds of the resources of the community to defray from a tenth to a twentieth part of its expenses. then. would have amounted to a sacrifice of the great INTERESTS of the Union to the POWER of the individual States. while the exigencies of the Union could be susceptible of no limits. But this cannot happen again. an EXCLUSIVE source of revenue for any sum beyond the extent of two hundred thousand pounds? To extend its power further. and we shall instantly perceive. if the proposed system be adopted. If this principle be a just one our attention would be directed to a provision in favor of the State governments for an annual sum of about two hundred thousand pounds. in which this important subject of taxation will claim a further consideration. one tenth of its wants. 1788 . that "A CONCURRENT JURISDICTION in the article of taxation was the only admissible substitute for an entire subordination. by what logic can it be maintained that the local governments ought to command. the convention had been inclined to proceed upon the principle of a repartition of the objects of revenue. in those provisions which are designed to be permanent. would be to take the resources of the community out of those hands which stood in need of them for the public welfare. not on temporary. even in imagination. in respect to this branch of power. and it is evident that it has at least the merit of reconciling an indefinite constitutional power of taxation in the Federal government with an adequate and independent power in the States to provide for their own necessities. equal to and not greater than the object. The preceding train of observation will justify the position which has been elsewhere laid down. In this view of the subject. but on permanent causes of expense. If we desert this boundary and content ourselves with leaving to the States an exclusive power of taxing houses and lands. The convention thought the concurrent jurisdiction preferable to that subordination. to calculate. in order to put them into other hands which could have no just or proper occasion for them. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. In framing a government for posterity as well as ourselves. which the State governments will continue to experience. at most. It is true that several of the States. and to the Union. the only call for revenue of any consequence." Any separation of the objects of revenue that could have been fallen upon.

it would naturally occasion an undue proportion of the public burdens to fall upon those objects. Suppose. In this view they are productive of inequality among the States. is so much oftener true than the reverse of the proposition. but when the markets happen to be overstocked. They would not. New York is more deeply interested in these considerations than such of her citizens as contend for limiting the power of the Union to external taxation may be aware of. more often happens than is commonly imagined. the federal power of taxation were to be confined to duties on imports. by their own manufactures. I readily admit that this would be the case. should be restricted to particular objects. Two evils would spring from this source: the oppression of particular branches of industry. I am apt to think that a division of the duty. but if the avenues to them were closed. is often under a necessity of keeping prices down in order to a more expeditious sale. There are persons who imagine that they can never be carried to too great a length. and in the last place. it is evident that the government. a manufacturing State. and to promote domestic manufactures. suffer in a double light from restraining the jurisdiction of the Union to commercial imposts. as has been contended for. the more it is alleged they will tend to discourage an extravagant consumption. I shall make one general remark. When the demand is equal to the quantity of goods at market. since the higher they are. the consumer generally pays the duty. and is not likely speedily to be. The States which can go farthest towards the supply of their own wants. When they are paid by the merchant they operate as an additional tax upon the importing State. But it is not so generally true as to render it equitable. in the article of revenue. that it is far more equitable that the duties on imports should go into a common stock. they sometimes force industry out of its more natural channels into others in which it flows with less advantage. according to their numbers or wealth. consume so great a proportion of imported articles as those States which are not in the same favorable situation. The merchant. The maxim that the consumer is the payer. but breaks in upon his capital.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: 99 BEFORE we proceed to examine any other objections to an indefinite power of taxation in the Union. the proper objects of which are particular kinds of manufactures. and an unequal distribution of the taxes. and sometimes not only exhausts his profits. of course. which is. between the manufacturing and the non-manufacturing States. But all extremes are pernicious in various ways. The confinement of the national revenues to this species of imposts would be attended with inequality. as long as other resources were open. that those duties should form the only national fund. conformably to a remark made in another part of these papers. New York is an importing State. which is always prejudicial to the fair trader. they oppress the merchant. will not. that if the jurisdiction of the national government. It is not always possible to raise the price of a commodity in exact proportion to every additional imposition laid upon it. therefore. to whom they give a premature monopoly of the markets. as well among the several States as among the citizens of the same State. from a different cause. in this mode alone contribute to the public treasury in a ratio to their abilities. She would. To make them do this it is necessary that recourse be had to excises. a great proportion falls upon the merchant. So far as these observations tend to inculcate a danger of the import duties being extended to an injurious extreme it may be observed. and eventually to the revenue itself: they tend to render other classes of the community tributary. Exorbitant duties on imported articles would beget a general spirit of smuggling. stimulated by . would frequently be tempted to extend these duties to an injurious excess. which inequality would be increased with the increased extent of the duties. to any great extent. than that they should redound to the exclusive benefit of the importing States. that the interest of the revenue itself would be a sufficient guard against such an extreme. to the manufacturing classes. especially in a country of small commercial capital. who is often obliged to pay them himself without any retribution from the consumer. whose citizens pay their proportion of them in the character of consumers. between the seller and the buyer. HOPE. to produce a favorable balance of trade. for want of being able to command other resources. in an improper degree.

Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 100 necessity. and particularly in relation to taxes. is. and shall content myself with examining here the particular use which has been made of a contrary supposition. and they are aware. But if we even could suppose a distinction of interest between the opulent landholder and the middling farmer. in reference to the immediate subject of our inquiries. indeed. in order to combine the interests and feelings of every part of the community. that each different occupation should send one or more members. what reason is there to conclude. that the House of Representatives is not sufficiently numerous for the reception of all the different classes of citizens. and this. I reserve for another place the discussion of the question which relates to the sufficiency of the representative body in respect to numbers. false reasonings. Those discerning citizens are well aware that the mechanic and manufacturing arts furnish the materials of mercantile enterprise and industry. unfriendly to the manufacturing and trading interests. The object it seems to aim at is. But even if this supposed excess should not be a consequence of the limitation of the federal power of taxation. and common interest may always be reckoned upon as the surest bond of sympathy. and in the sense in which it is contended for. and according to their situation and talents. is altogether visionary. we shall find that moderate proprietors of land prevail in both. But when we come to dissect it with attention. The first success would be apt to inspire false opinions. than in the assembly. and experience confirms it. that artisans and manufacturers will commonly be disposed to bestow their votes upon merchants and those whom they recommend. by persons of each class. One which. We must therefore consider merchants as the natural representatives of all these classes of the community. is unnecessary. Every landholder will therefore have a common interest to keep the taxes on land as low as possible. The idea of an actual representation of all classes of the people. especially in politics. and that the influence and weight. the inequalities spoken of would still ensue. for a time. will be indiscriminately the objects of the confidence and choice of each other. impracticable. the greatest natural abilities are for the most part useless. till there had been leisure to contrive expedients to elude these new precautions. are immediately connected with the operations of commerce. Where the qualifications of the electors are the . Let us now return to the examination of objections. They are sensible that their habits in life have not been such as to give them those acquired endowments. These considerations. with few exceptions. Unless it were expressly provided in the Constitution. They know that the merchant is their natural patron and friend. nor is this less the case in the senate. little need be observed. which it might require a long course of subsequent experience to correct. from the wealthiest landlord down to the poorest tenant. and superior acquirements of the merchants render them more equal to a contest with any spirit which might happen to infuse itself into the public councils. in a deliberative assembly. though not in the same degree. With regard to the learned professions. Nothing remains but the landed interest. and is well calculated to lay hold of the prejudices of those to whom it is addressed. seems most to be relied on. This argument presents itself under a very specious and seducing form. their interests can be more effectually promoted by the merchant than by themselves. the thing would never take place in practice. No tax can be laid on land which will not affect the proprietor of millions of acres as well as the proprietor of a single acre. from the other causes that have been noticed. and to produce a due sympathy between the representative body and its constituents. they truly form no distinct interest in society. that however great the confidence they may justly feel in their own good sense. fortified by rigorous precautions and additional penalties. would have the intended effect. often occasions false hopes. and look into our own senate and assembly. and of other parts of the community. in a political view. which. in the first place. would beget experiments. in preference to persons of their own professions or trades. Necessity. it will appear to be made up of nothing but fair-sounding words. and a system of measures correspondingly erroneous. which is composed of a greater number. to give their votes to merchants. and many others that might be mentioned prove. without which. Mechanics and manufacturers will always be inclined. I take to be perfectly united. if we may judge from the frequency of its repetition. Many of them. that the first would stand a better chance of being deputed to the national legislature than the last? If we take fact as our guide. which consists of a smaller number.

and to which a wise administration will never be inattentive. by the laws to which he gives his assent.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 101 same. is the man whose situation leads to extensive inquiry and information less likely to be a competent judge of their nature. who will feel a neutrality to the rivalships between the different branches of industry. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. Tuesday. and with the resources of the country. There is no part of the administration of government that requires extensive information and a thorough knowledge of the principles of political economy. It is said to be necessary. from his own interest in that species of property. the representative body. But where is the danger that the interests and feelings of the different classes of citizens will not be understood or attended to by these three descriptions of men? Will not the landholder know and feel whatever will promote or insure the interest of landed property? And will he not. so far as it shall appear to him conducive to the general interests of the society? If we take into the account the momentary humors or dispositions which may happen to prevail in particular parts of the society. habits. There can be no doubt that in order to a judicious exercise of the power of taxation. and foundation than one whose observation does not travel beyond the circle of his neighbors and acquaintances? Is it not natural that a man who is a candidate for the favor of the people. extent. and men of the learned professions. that all classes of citizens should have some of their own number in the representative body. or sacrifice any particular class of citizens to the procurement of revenue. and they are the strong chords of sympathy between the representative and the constituent. or of moderate property. January 8. And in that sense let every considerate citizen judge for himself where the requisite qualification is most likely to be found. And this is all that can be reasonably meant by a knowledge of the interests and feelings of the people. and the necessity of being bound himself. should take care to inform himself of their dispositions and inclinations. In any other sense the proposition has either no meaning. But we have seen that this will never happen under any arrangement that leaves the votes of the people free. are the true. or an absurd one. to which his commerce is so nearly allied? Will not the man of the learned profession. and should be willing to allow them their proper degree of influence upon his conduct? This dependence. be likely to prove an impartial arbiter between them. merchants. their votes will fall upon those in whom they have most confidence. as far as may be proper. and who is dependent on the suffrages of his fellow-citizens for the continuance of his public honors. so much as the business of taxation. with too few exceptions to have any influence on the spirit of the government. 1788. 36 The Same Subject Continued (Concerning the General Power of Taxation) From the New York Packet. whether these happen to be men of large fortunes. and modes of thinking of the people at large. HAMILTON . and his posterity. Where this is the case. be sufficiently prone to resist every attempt to prejudice or encumber it? Will not the merchant understand and be disposed to cultivate. in order that their feelings and interests may be the better understood and attended to. It might be demonstrated that the most productive system of finance will always be the least burdensome. ready to promote either. whether they have to choose a small or a large number. the interests of the mechanic and manufacturing arts. will be composed of landholders. or of no property at all. The man who understands those principles best will be least likely to resort to oppressive expedients. it is necessary that the person in whose hands it should be acquainted with the general genius.

It has been asserted that a power of internal taxation in the national legislature could never be exercised with advantage. and the linen manufacturer or stocking weaver. a minute topographical acquaintance with all the mountains. and will command the tribute due to their merit. with the state of its agriculture. I answer that it is admitted there are exceptions to the rule. that from the natural operation of the different interests and views of the various classes of the community. highways. The supposition of a want of proper knowledge seems to be entirely destitute of foundation. property. and I trust. Inquisitive and enlightened statesmen are deemed everywhere best qualified to make a judicious selection of the objects proper for revenue. in the first instance. usually commit the administration of their finances to single men or to boards composed of a few individuals. to which the foregoing number has been principally devoted. and bypaths in each State. rivers. by which must be understood duties and excises on articles of consumption. even under governments of the more popular kind. unless the representative body were to be far more numerous than would be consistent with any idea of regularity or wisdom in its deliberations. There are strong minds in every walk of life that will rise superior to the disadvantages of situation. What greater affinity or relation of interest can be conceived between the carpenter and blacksmith. The subject might be placed in several other lights that would all lead to the same result. the plans of taxation. is. whether the representation of the people be more or less numerous. it will consist almost entirely of proprietors of land. which are afterwards passed into laws by the authority of the sovereign or legislature. Though the objection be made to both. that we shall see examples of such vigorous plants flourishing in the soil of federal as well as of State legislation. but not in sufficient number to influence the general complexion or character of the government. The door ought to be equally open to all. with the different degrees and kinds of its wealth. it is impossible that what seems to be the spirit of the objection we have been considering should ever be realized in practice. and in particular it might be asked. of the species of knowledge of local circumstances requisite to the purposes of taxation. as well from the want of a sufficient knowledge of local circumstances. streams. and of members of the learned professions. commerce. how is it acquired? No doubt from the information of the members of the county.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor To the People of the State of New York: 102 WE HAVE seen that the result of the observations. as applied to taxation. of merchants. Cannot the like knowledge be obtained in the national legislature from the representatives of each State? And is it not to be presumed that the men who will generally be sent there will be possessed of the necessary degree of intelligence to be able to communicate that information? Is the knowledge of local circumstances. which demands a knowledge of local details. And indeed. but occasional instances of this sort will not render the reasoning founded upon the general course of things. for the credit of human nature. so that. with the nature of its products and consumptions. There is another objection of a somewhat more precise nature that claims our attention. manufactures. not only from the classes to which they particularly belong. as to the latter. The taxes intended to be comprised under the general denomination of internal taxes may be subdivided into those of the DIRECT and those of the INDIRECT kind. one is at a loss to conceive what can be the nature . who will truly represent all those different interests and views. as from an interference between the revenue laws of the Union and of the particular States. than between the merchant and either of them? It is notorious that there are often as great rivalships between different branches of the mechanic or manufacturing arts as there are between any of the departments of labor and industry. and industry? Nations in general. but from the society in general. which is a clear indication. less conclusive. who digest and prepare. as far as the sense of mankind can have weight in the question. or is it a general acquaintance with its situation and resources. But I forbear to dwell any longer on a matter which has hitherto worn too loose a garb to admit even of an accurate inspection of its real shape or tendency. yet the reasoning upon it seems to be confined to the former branch. If any question is depending in a State legislature respecting one of the counties. If it should be objected that we have seen other descriptions of men in the local legislatures.

which alone requires the knowledge of local details. it has been triumphantly asked. The laws cannot. in a legal sense. it will be a powerful motive for exertion on their part. By way of answer to this. when applied to real property or to houses and lands. and easy to be comprehended. there is a provision that "all duties. especially of the mercantile class. as well as from the information of the members from the several States. indeed. simple. As to the interference of the revenue laws of the Union. must be devolved upon discreet persons in the character of commissioners or assessors. and rely upon the latter resource? Two solid answers may be given. but is to be determined by the numbers of each State. each will have an obvious and sensible interest in this reciprocal forbearance. imposts. the federal government may then forbear the use of it. and have recourse to requisitions in its stead. more foundation. as described in the second section of the first article. that if the exercise of the power of internal taxation by the Union should be discovered on experiment to be really inconvenient. or according to the best judgment. An actual census or enumeration of the people must furnish the rule. be adopted and employed by the federal government. that the existence of such a power in the Constitution will have a strong influence in giving efficacy to requisitions. The national legislature can make use of the SYSTEM OF EACH STATE WITHIN THAT STATE. and there could be no difficulty in ascertaining the revenue system of each. All that the law can do must be to name the persons or to prescribe the manner of their election or appointment. must be referred to those who are to execute the plan. appears to have. the EXECUTION of the business. that it cannot be advantageously exercised. The second answer is. we may safely count upon its operation. The objection. the possibility almost of interference will vanish. because it will be more effectual. a circumstance which effectually shuts the door to partiality or oppression. local details. would be to avoid those articles which had been previously appropriated to the use of a particular State.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 103 of the difficulties apprehended. but even in this view it will not bear a close examination. and it is far from impossible to avoid an interference even in the policy of their different systems." It has been very properly observed by different speakers and writers on the side of the Constitution. at the discretion. interfere with each other. The principal thing to be attended to. A small land tax will answer the purpose of the States. therefore. The knowledge relating to them must evidently be of a kind that will either be suggested by the nature of the article itself. This could always be known from the respective codes of laws. at first sight. The circumstances that may distinguish its situation in one State from its situation in another must be few. and will be their most simple and most fit resource. But there is a simple point of view in which this matter may be placed that must be altogether satisfactory. to fix their numbers and qualifications and to draw the general outlines of their powers and duties. that the exercise of that power. When the States know that the Union can apply itself without their agency. of certain officers whose duty it is to make them. if convenient. to abstain from those objects which either side may have first had recourse to. permanent or periodical. The first is. And what is there in all this that cannot as well be performed by the national legislature as by a State legislature? The attention of either can only reach to general principles. In either case. The contrary. The method of laying and collecting this species of taxes in each State can. and of its members. appears most probable. In addition to the precaution just mentioned. Let it be recollected that the proportion of these taxes is not to be left to the discretion of the national legislature. will be preferable. An effectual expedient for this purpose will be. Land taxes are co monly laid in one of two modes. and it is impossible to prove in theory. elected by the people or appointed by the government for the purpose. and excises shall be UNIFORM throughout the United States. we have already seen that there can be no clashing or repugnancy of authority. And where there is an IMMEDIATE common interest. or can easily be procured from any well-informed man. or by OCCASIONAL assessments. . as already observed. As neither can CONTROL the other. When the particular debts of the States are done away. or otherwise than by the experiment. either by ACTUAL valuations. in all its parts. mutually. Why not in the first instance omit that ambiguous power. The abuse of this power of taxation seems to have been provided against with guarded circumspection. and their expenses come to be limited within their natural compass.

There are certain emergencies of nations. and ought to be banished from the consideration of the great question before the people. and to attach them to the Union by an accumulation of their emoluments. and yet in several of them they are unknown in practice. have been played off with all the ingenious dexterity of political legerdemain. I. instead of making federal influence flow in an opposite and adverse current. because they possess this power? If they are not. if to be done by the authority of the federal government. and of course will render it less necessary to recur to more inconvenient methods. and the frightful forms of odious and oppressive poll-taxes. with this advantage. or will make use of the State officers and State regulations for collecting the additional imposition. Happy it is when the interest which the government has in the preservation of its own power. is a reason peculiar to itself. But all suppositions of this kind are invidious. I still feel a thorough conviction that the power of having recourse to it ought to exist in the federal government. and tends to guard the least wealthy part of the community from oppression! As to poll taxes. a duplication of their burdens by double taxations. can be prudently improved to a much greater extent under federal than under State regulation. They can answer no other end than to cast a mist over the truth. where the right of imposing the tax is exclusively vested in the Union. As to any argument derived from a supposed system of influence. that in the ordinary state of things ought to be forborne. which applies to the duties on imports. with what propriety can the like power justify such a charge against the national government. that as far as there may be any real difficulty in the exercise of the power of internal taxation. here is a practicable expedient for avoiding such an inconvenience. it will impose a disposition to greater care in the choice and arrangement of the means. it is a sufficient answer to say that it ought not to be presumed. In other cases. And the government. but the supposition is susceptible of a more precise answer. if the provision is to be made by the Union that the capital resource of commercial imposts. At all events. the most certain road to the accomplishment of its aim would be to employ the State officers as much as possible. The wants of the Union are to be supplied in one way or another. the answer is plain. become essential to the public weal. where the object has not fallen under any State regulation or provision. or even be urged as an obstacle to its adoption? As little friendly as I am to the species of imposition. coincides with a proper distribution of the public burdens. confess my disapprobation of them. and with this further advantage. it will not be to be done by that of the State government. the other. But does it follow because there is a power to lay them that they will actually be laid? Every State in the Union has power to impose taxes of this kind.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 104 Many spectres have been raised out of this power of internal taxation. As to the suggestion of double taxation. to excite the apprehensions of the people: double sets of revenue officers. there are two cases in which there can be no room for double sets of officers: one. There may exist . without scruple. for not abridging the discretion of the national councils in this respect. The real scarcity of objects in this country. This would serve to turn the tide of State influence into the channels of the national government. the probability is that the United States will either wholly abstain from the objects preoccupied for local purposes. which may be considered as productive sources of revenue. ought ever to have the option of making use of them. in order to diminish the necessity of those impositions which might create dissatisfaction in the poorer and most numerous classes of the society. I should lament to see them introduced into practice under the national government. The quantity of taxes to be paid by the community must be the same in either case. and will best avoid any occasion of disgust to the State governments and to the people. and must naturally tend to make it a fixed point of policy in the national administration to go as far as may be practicable in making the luxury of the rich tributary to the public treasury. which may be applicable to a variety of objects. Are the State governments to be stigmatized as tyrannies. If such a spirit should infest the councils of the Union. and though they have prevailed from an early period in those States[1] which have uniformly been the most tenacious of their rights. from the possibility of such emergencies. and nothing more can be required than to show that evils predicted to not necessarily result from the plan. As to the first point. This will best answer the views of revenue. which is the most convenient branch of revenue. in which expedients. because it will save expense in the collection.

The mass of judiciary power. __ FEDERALIST No. and more honorable for human nature. in which a poll tax may become an inestimable resource. I equally flatter myself that a further and more critical investigation of the system will serve to recommend it still more to every sincere and disinterested advocate for good government and will leave no doubt with men of this character of the propriety and expediency of adopting it. 1788. Friday. or of too manifest propriety to admit of controversy. had it not been for the consideration that its organization and its extent may be more advantageously considered in connection. which are either too inconsiderable to have been thought worthy of the hostilities of the opponents of the Constitution. and which were most formidable in their first appearance. and calculating its probable effects. 37 Concerning the Difficulties of the Convention in Devising a Proper Form of Government From the Daily Advertiser. Two versions of this paragraph appear in different editions. and showing that they cannot be supplied by a government of less energy than that before the public. That this remaining task may be executed . [I have now gone through the examination of such of the powers proposed to be vested in the United States. E1.][E1] [I have now gone through the examination of those powers proposed to be conferred upon the federal government which relate more peculiarly to its energy. might have claimed an investigation under this head. I acknowledge my aversion to every project that is calculated to disarm the government of a single weapon. But as the ultimate object of these papers is to determine clearly and fully the merits of this Constitution. This has determined me to refer it to the branch of our inquiries upon which we shall next enter. comparing it in all its parts. January 11. but if they had operated in the formation of the plan. and have endeavored to answer the principal objections which have been made to them. The New England States. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: IN REVIEWING the defects of the existing Confederation. several of the most important principles of the latter fell of course under consideration. I flatter myself the progress already made will have sufficed to satisfy the candid and judicious part of the community that some of the objections which have been most strenuously urged against the Constitution. our plan cannot be complete without taking a more critical and thorough survey of the work of the convention. are not only destitute of substance. and to its efficiency for answering the great and primary objects of union. however. which may be considered as having an immediate relation to the energy of the government. in order to render the view of the subject more complete. without examining it on all its sides. Happy will it be for ourselves. I have passed over in silence those minor authorities. and the expediency of adopting it.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 105 certain critical and tempestuous conjunctures of the State. And as I know nothing to exempt this portion of the globe from the common calamities that have befallen other parts of it. be taken notice of under the next head of our inquiries. if we have wisdom and virtue enough to set so glorious an example to mankind!][E1] PUBLIUS 1. will. though omitted here. which in any possible contingency might be usefully employed for the general defense and security. There are others which. would have rendered it incompetent to the great ends of public happiness and national prosperity.

Among the difficulties encountered by the convention. as well as from considerations of a sinister nature. was to avoid the errors suggested by the past experience of other countries. In some. I wish not to insinuate that there may not be a material difference in the purity of their intentions. The most that the convention could do in such a situation. An irregular and mutable . It is but just to remark in favor of the latter description. It has been shown. that we must consequently change this first foundation. with the inviolable attention due to liberty and to the republican form. To those who have been led by experience to attend to this consideration. it has been too evident from their own publications. as well as to that repose and confidence in the minds of the people. with respect to the weight of their opinions. They solicit the attention of those only. It is a misfortune. that they have scanned the proposed Constitution. inseparable from human affairs. it could not appear surprising. The views of the last cannot be upright. but will keep in mind. which give warning of the course to be shunned. The predetermined adversary. but with a predetermination to condemn. which candor previously suggests. these different characters on a level. who add to a sincere zeal for the happiness of their country. and can therefore furnish no other light than that of beacons. as a body of men. however. and with it the superstructure resting upon it. were liable. both on one side and on the other. and must be culpable. It has been shown in the course of these papers. that as our situation is universally admitted to be peculiarly critical. and to provide a convenient mode of rectifying their own errors.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 106 under impressions conducive to a just and fair result. and to require indispensably that something should be done for our relief. and which touches the springs of so many passions and interests. Energy in government is essential to that security against external and internal danger. The intentions of the first may be upright. as future experiences may unfold them. Without substantially accomplishing this part of their undertaking. Nor will they barely make allowances for the errors which may be chargeable on the fallibility to which the convention. Persons of this character will proceed to an examination of the plan submitted by the convention. that public measures are rarely investigated with that spirit of moderation which is essential to a just estimate of their real tendency to advance or obstruct the public good. that these papers are not addressed to persons falling under either of these characters. which may be viewed in so many lights and relations. that the other confederacies which could be consulted as precedents have been vitiated by the same erroneous principles. which must render their opinions also of little moment in the question. and ought not to assume an infallibility in rejudging the fallible opinions of others. they would have very imperfectly fulfilled the object of their appointment. that the act of the convention. which are among the chief blessings of civil society. should find or excite dispositions unfriendly. some reflections must in this place be indulged. not only with a predisposition to censure. or the expectation of the public. that the existing Confederation is founded on principles which are fallacious. Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it. can have been governed by no venial motive whatever. many allowances ought to be made for the difficulties inherent in the very nature of the undertaking referred to the convention. a temper favorable to a just estimate of the means of promoting it. that besides these inducements to candor. as well as of our own. that they themselves also are but men. yet that it could not be easily accomplished. and to that prompt and salutary execution of the laws which enter into the very definition of good government. the predetermined patron of what has been actually done may have taken his bias from the weight of these considerations. But the truth is. on the other hand. as the language held by others betrays an opposite predetermination or bias. that a faultless plan was not to be expected. With equal readiness will it be perceived. which recommends so many important changes and innovations. a very important one must have lain in combining the requisite stability and energy in government. without pointing out that which ought to be pursued. and that this spirit is more apt to be diminished than promoted. not only without a disposition to find or to magnify faults. by those occasions which require an unusual exercise of it. In placing. The novelty of the undertaking immediately strikes us. will be denied by no one who is unwilling to betray his ignorance of the subject. as they may on the contrary be culpable. but will see the propriety of reflecting. to a fair discussion and accurate judgment of its merits.

and the statute law. afford another illustration of the same important truth. Questions daily occur in the course of practice. are considered as more or less obscure and equivocal. or even the privileges and powers of the different legislative branches. A frequent change of men will result from a frequent return of elections. but a number of hands. Every man will be sensible of this difficulty. with satisfactory precision. The most sagacious and laborious naturalists have never yet succeeded in tracing with certainty the line which separates the district of vegetable life from the neighboring region of unorganized matter. in which the obscurity arises as well from the object itself as from the organ by which it is contemplated. executive. All new laws. its three great provinces the legislative. sufficiently denoting the indeterminate limits by which they are respectively circumscribed. Experience has instructed us that no skill in the science of government has yet been able to discriminate and define. and other local laws and customs. etc. The boundaries between the great kingdom of nature. into which they are subdivided. is not less a source of frequent and intricate discussions. requires that the hands in which power is lodged should continue for a length of time the same. the law of corporations. and it may be pronounced with assurance that the people of this country. enlightened as they are with regard to the nature. The faculties of the mind itself have never yet been distinguished and defined. however. by all the efforts of the most acute and metaphysical philosophers. these valuable ingredients with the vital principles of liberty. has been equally unsuccessful in delineating the several objects and limits of different codes of laws and different tribunals of justice. by a short duration of their appointments.. perception. The experience of ages. and appear to be otherwise only from the imperfection of the eye which surveys them. and. The jurisdiction of her several courts. and lesser portions. and interested. we must perceive at once the difficulty of mingling them together in their due proportions. in the effects of good government. it must clearly appear to have been an arduous part.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 107 legislation is not more an evil in itself than it is odious to the people. desire. the ecclesiastical law. general and local. between the various provinces. Sense. judgment. the maritime law. to the institutions of man. memory. with the continued and combined labors of the most enlightened legislatures and jurists. on the contrary. until their meaning be liquidated and ascertained by a series of particular . though penned with the greatest technical skill. and a frequent change of measures from a frequent change of men: whilst energy in government requires not only a certain duration of power. The genius of republican liberty seems to demand on one side. will better appear on a more accurate view of it. but the execution of it by a single hand. we must perceive the necessity of moderating still further our expectations and hopes from the efforts of human sagacity. How far the convention may have succeeded in this part of their work. A still greater obscurity lies in the distinctive characters by which the objects in each of these great departments of nature have been arranged and assorted. volition. From the cursory view here taken. not only that all power should be derived from the people. in which all the delineations are perfectly accurate. On comparing. and judiciary. which prove the obscurity which reins in these subjects. where accuracy in such subjects has been more industriously pursued than in any other part of the world. still more. The precise extent of the common law. Stability. as the great body of them are. in proportion as he has been accustomed to contemplate and discriminate objects extensive and complicated in their nature. are found to be separated by such delicate shades and minute gradations that their boundaries have eluded the most subtle investigations. and remain a pregnant source of ingenious disquisition and controversy. and which puzzle the greatest adepts in political science. of equity. of admiralty. or which marks the ermination of the former and the commencement of the animal empire. with sufficient certainty. but that those intrusted with it should be kept in independence on the people. remains still to be clearly and finally established in Great Britain. imagination. Not less arduous must have been the task of marking the proper line of partition between the authority of the general and that of the State governments. will never be satisfied till some remedy be applied to the vicissitudes and uncertainties which characterize the State administrations. When we pass from the works of nature. and passed on the fullest and most mature deliberation. of law. and that even during this short period the trust should be placed not in a few.

But no language is so copious as to supply words and phrases for every complex idea. We had occasion. his meaning. in forming which they had respectively obtained the greatest share of influence. Hence it must happen that however accurately objects may be discriminated in themselves. this very compromise must have produced a fresh struggle between the same parties. and surmounted with a unanimity almost as unprecedented as it must have been unexpected. And although this variety of interests. then. as would increase the importance of the branches. Any one of these must produce a certain degree of obscurity. under the pressure of all these difficulties. We may well suppose that neither side would entirely yield to the other. The history of almost all the great councils and consultations held among mankind for reconciling their discordant opinions. requires not only that the ideas should be distinctly formed. As every State may be divided into different districts. to give such a turn to the organization of the government. the definition of them may be rendered inaccurate by the inaccuracy of the terms in which it is delivered. also. When the Almighty himself condescends to address mankind in their own language. and the imperfection of the human faculties. assuaging their mutual jealousies. must have created additional difficulties. and to the distribution of its powers. are three sources of vague and incorrect definitions: indistinctness of the object. may have a salutary influence on the administration of the government when formed. the convention should have been forced into some deviations from that artificial structure and regular symmetry which an abstract view of the subject might lead an ingenious theorist to bestow on a Constitution planned in his closet or in his imagination? The real wonder is that so many difficulties should have been surmounted. fully proportioned to their superior wealth and importance. that after the ratio of representation had been adjusted. Perspicuity.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 108 discussions and adjudications. The convention. and that the latter would not be less tenacious of the equality at present enjoyed by them. There are features in the Constitution which warrant each of these suppositions. imperfection of the organ of conception. which would marshal themselves in opposition to each other on various points. so the different parts of the United States are distinguished from each other by a variety of circumstances. Other combinations. which give birth to contending interests and local jealousies. for reasons sufficiently explained in a former paper. is rendered dim and doubtful by the cloudy medium through which it is communicated. . it shows that the convention must have been compelled to sacrifice theoretical propriety to the force of extraneous considerations. inadequateness of the vehicle of ideas. Besides the obscurity arising from the complexity of objects. in delineating the boundary between the federal and State jurisdictions. according to the complexity and novelty of the objects defined. It is impossible for any man of candor to reflect on this circumstance without partaking of the astonishment. must have experienced the full effect of them all. It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution. the medium through which the conceptions of men are conveyed to each other adds a fresh embarrassment. yet every one must be sensible of the contrary influence. but that they should be expressed by words distinctly and exclusively appropriate to them. Nor could it have been the large and small States only. and however accurately the discrimination may be considered. resulting from a difference of local position and policy. luminous as it must be. It is extremely probable. Would it be wonderful if. and adjusting their respective interests. To the difficulties already mentioned may be added the interfering pretensions of the larger and smaller States. and its citizens into different classes. and consequently that the struggle could be terminated only by compromise. to take notice of the repeated trials which have been unsuccessfully made in the United Netherlands for reforming the baneful and notorious vices of their constitution. which produce a like effect on a larger scale. And this unavoidable inaccuracy must be greater or less. Here. is a history of factions. The use of words is to express ideas. in a former paper. therefore. We cannot err in supposing that the former would contend for a participation in the government. and as far as either of them is well founded. or so correct as not to include many equivocally denoting different ideas. which must have been experienced in the task of forming it.

In revolving the causes from which these exceptions result. they all turned their eyes towards the single efforts of that celebrated patriot and sage. and by a despair of seeing this necessity diminished by delays or by new experiments. and after him Draco and Solon. This remark is applicable to confederate governments also. 1788. 38 The Same Subject Continued. a people who would not suffer an army to be commanded by fewer than ten generals. And Solon. an exemption from the pestilential influence of party animosities the disease most incident to deliberative bodies. and applying them to the particular instances before us. or how far they might be clothed with the legitimate authority of the people. and most apt to contaminate their proceedings. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: IT IS not a little remarkable that in every case reported by ancient history. Numa and Tullius Hostilius. a brighter aspect is presented. by the universal suffrage of his fellow-citizens. who stepped forward with a project for such a reform. __ FEDERALIST No. and to which his address obtained the assent and ratification of the senate and people. Draco appears to have been intrusted by the people of Athens with indefinite powers to reform its government and laws. Minos. or were induced to accede to it by a deep conviction of the necessity of sacrificing private opinions and partial interests to the public good. and its second from Aratus.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 109 contentions. The foundation of the original government of Rome was laid by Romulus. and disappointments. but as far as the advocates for a regular reform could prevail. to take upon him the sole and absolute power of new-modeling the constitution. that the Athenians. jealous as the Greeks were of their liberty. and may be classed among the most dark and degraded pictures which display the infirmities and depravities of the human character. but has been performed by some individual citizen of preeminent wisdom and approved integrity. the proceeding was strictly regular. The proceedings under Lycurgus were less regular. cannot in every instance be ascertained. should so far abandon the rules of caution as to place their destiny in the hands of a single citizen? Whence could it have proceeded. was the primitive founder of the government of Crete. and by their lustre to darken the gloom of the adverse prospect to which they are contrasted. according to Plutarch. we are told. Amphictyon. What degree of agency these reputed lawgivers might have in their respective establishments. If. he alleged. as Zaleucus was of that of the Locrians. instead of seeking to bring about a revolution by the intervention of a deliberative body of citizens. however. Saturday. that a people. Lycurgus was the lawgiver of Sparta. and the work completed by two of his elective successors. we learn. had been prepared by Tullius Hostilius. instituted the government of Athens. that the convention must have enjoyed. was the author of that which bore his name. In some. Whence could it have proceeded. and the Incoherence of the Objections to the New Plan Exposed From the Independent Journal. January 12. which. The first is. in which government has been established with deliberation and consent. they serve only as exceptions to admonish us of the general truth. The Achaean league received its first birth from Achaeus. we are necessarily led to two important conclusions. and who required no other proof of danger to their liberties than the illustrious merit of a fellow-citizen. The second conclusion is that all the deputations composing the convention were satisfactorily accommodated by the final act. Theseus first. the task of framing it has not been committed to an assembly of men. should consider one illustrious citizen as a more eligible depositary of the fortunes of . in a few scattered instances. in a very singular degree. was in a manner compelled. On the abolition of royalty the consular administration was substituted by Brutus.

Nor was her pliancy in the end effected by a less motive. with proper and timely relief. more true to his object. but most tolerable to their prejudices. nevertheless. If these lessons teach us. was under the necessity of mixing a portion of violence with the authority of superstition. to admire the improvement made by America on the ancient mode of preparing and establishing regular plans of government. they serve not less. History informs us. than a select body of citizens. first of his country. not one is found which alludes to the great and radical error which on actual trial has discovered itself. and then of his life. Might not the patient reasonably demand. under pain of certain death. from whose common deliberations more wisdom. Solon. rather than be hearkening to those who could neither deny the necessity of a speedy remedy. that the authors of it should at least agree among themselves on some other remedy to be substituted? And if he found them differing as much from one another as from his first counsellors. to suppose that immaterial as these objections were. Every candid reader will make the proper reflections on these important facts. selects and calls in such of them as he judges most capable of administering relief. and. She has been sensible of her malady. She has obtained a regular and unanimous advice from men of her own deliberate choice. they would have been adhered to with a very dangerous inflexibility. Do the monitors deny the reality of her danger? No. There is abundant reason. we may remember. They are equally unanimous in prescribing the remedy. to make use of it. or rather in the very bowels of our country. that it may be made to issue in an improvement of his constitution. the case of the patient is carefully examined. assure the patient that the prescription will be poison to his constitution. when these articles were submitted for their ratification. A patient who finds his disorder daily growing worse. One State. And if we except the observations which New Jersey was led to make. would he not act prudently in trying the experiment unanimously recommended by the latter. of the difficulties with which these celebrated reformers had to contend. might have been expected? These questions cannot be fully answered. as well as the expedients which they were obliged to employ in order to carry their reforms into effect. It is observable that among the numerous objections and amendments suggested by the several States. than the fear of being chargeable with protracting the public calamities. on one hand. consequently such as will not be ascertained until an actual trial shall have pointed them out? This conjecture is rendered probable. likewise. The prescription is no sooner made known. after coolly revolving his situation. than by her peculiar foresight. had not a zeal for their opinions and supposed interests been stifled by the more powerful sentiment of selfpreservation. but that the case. nor agree in proposing one? Such a patient and in such a situation is America at this moment. than from a want of accuracy or care in the investigation of it. is so far from being desperate. confessed that he had not given to his countrymen the government best suited to their happiness.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 110 themselves and their posterity. and that an efficacious remedy can no longer be delayed without extreme danger. rather by her local situation. persisted for several years in refusing her concurrence. Are they . however. a consultation is held. and. to admonish us of the hazards and difficulties incident to such experiments. and endangering the event of the contest. and of securing his final success by a voluntary renunciation. by which this happy effect is to be produced. than a number of persons interpose. in some States. The physicians attend. without supposing that the fears of discord and disunion among a number of counsellors exceeded the apprehension of treachery or incapacity in a single individual. they are unanimously agreed that the symptoms are critical. although the enemy remained the whole period at our gates. and of the great imprudence of unnecessarily multiplying them. Is it an unreasonable conjecture. who seems to have indulged a more temporizing policy. and forbid him. and the characters of different physicians. on the other. before he ventured to follow this advice. but by the particular case of the Articles of Confederation. that the errors which may be contained in the plan of the convention are such as have resulted rather from the defect of antecedent experience on this complicated and difficult subject. without denying the reality or danger of the disorder. and best entitled to his confidence. not only by many considerations of a general nature. Do they deny the necessity of some speedy and powerful remedy? No. And she is warned by others against following this advice under pain of the most fatal consequences. And Lycurgus. it may be questioned whether a single suggestion was of sufficient moment to justify a revision of the system. as well as more safety.

"in the objection to this part of the plan. which is alternately a member both of the legislative and executive departments. are any two of them agreed. and that the government would be far less objectionable if the number and the expense were doubled. As it can give no umbrage to the writers against the plan of the federal Constitution. I leave it to be decided by the sample of opinions just exhibited. whilst a fourth is not wanting. we are alarmed with the amazing expense." reply others. and scarce any two are exactly agreed upon the subject. because it is not a confederation of the States. but a government over individuals. that the weight on that side will not be sufficient to keep it upright and firm against its opposite propensities. but of the rights reserved to the States in their political capacity. and that the plan would be unexceptionable but for the fatal power of regulating the times and places of election. the exclusion of the House of Representatives. and for the express purpose of revising and remoulding the work of the first. that as they are the most zealous. This one tells us that the proposed Constitution ought to be rejected. on another occasion. is equally obnoxious. A patriot in a State that does not import or export. and that a wiser and better plan might and ought to be substituted. with full powers. Another would prefer a larger number. This politician discovers in the Constitution a direct and irresistible tendency to monarchy. is more inadmissible than the trial of impeachments by the Senate. whether. With another. is an unpardonable violation of the maxims of republican jealousy. with all their enmity to their . let us suppose. but to the want of a bill of rights.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 111 agreed. there are but a few who lend their sanction to it. With another class of adversaries to the Constitution the language is that the legislative. and considers it as a fundamental condition that the appointment should be made by the President himself. so they are also the most sagacious. No part of the arrangement. From another quarter. "We concur fully. when this power so evidently belonged to the judiciary department. that is equally sure it will end in aristocracy. To another. and should accordingly proceed to form them into a second convention. An objector in a large State exclaims loudly against the unreasonable equality of representation in the Senate. or in the proper one to be substituted? Let them speak for themselves. An objector in a small State is equally loud against the dangerous inequality in the House of Representatives. instead of vesting this executive power in the Executive alone. is the vicious part of the organization. or to the extent proposed. not of the personal rights of individuals. but contends that it ought to be declaratory. and sometimes from the same quarter. Our principal dislike to the organization arises from the extensive powers already lodged in that department. discerns insuperable objections against the power of direct taxation. the admission of the President into any share of a power which ever must be a dangerous engine in the hands of the executive magistrate. Were the experiment to be seriously made. in their objections to the remedy proposed. the cry is that the Congress will be but a shadow of a representation. Let each one come forward with his particular explanation. Whilst this objection circulates in vague and general expressions. whose numbers alone could be a due security against corruption and partiality in the exercise of such a power. of those who think the late convention were unequal to the task assigned them. A third does not object to the government over individuals. The demand of one gentleman is. The patriotic adversary in a State of great exports and imports. both in this favorable opinion of their merits. Let us further suppose that their country should concur. A fourth concurs in the absolute necessity of a bill of rights. and in their unfavorable opinion of the convention. is not less dissatisfied that the whole burden of taxes may be thrown on consumption. but we can never agree that a reference of impeachments to the judiciary authority would be an amendment of the error. but by no means to the extent proposed." Even among the zealous patrons of a council of state the most irreconcilable variance is discovered concerning the mode in which it ought to be constituted. according to some. from the number of persons who are to administer the new government. Another admits that it ought to be a government over individuals to a certain extent. In the eyes of one the junction of the Senate with the President in the responsible function of appointing to offices. that the council should consist of a small number to be appointed by the most numerous branch of the legislature. A fifth is of opinion that a bill of rights of any sort would be superfluous and misplaced. though it required some effort to view it seriously even in fiction. who with no less confidence affirms that the Constitution is so far from having a bias towards either of these dangers. and judiciary departments are intermixed in such a manner as to contradict all the ideas of regular government and all the requisite precautions in favor of liberty. Another is puzzled to say which of these shapes it will ultimately assume. but sees clearly it must be one or other of them. executive. From this quarter.

. to erect temporary governments. liberal tributes to the federal treasury. they would. No man would refuse to quit a shattered and tottering habitation for a firm and commodious building. into the same hands? The Confederation places them both in the hands of Congress. Is it particularly dangerous to give the keys of the treasury. as in the discord and ferment that would mark their own deliberations. under proper management. which tends to realize all the dangers that can be apprehended from a defective construction of the supreme government of the Union. that however large the mass of powers may be. But this is not all. are the sole depositary of all the federal powers. and done without the least color of constitutional authority. to yield any regular supplies for the public expenses. Out of this lifeless mass has already grown an excrescent power.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 112 predecessors. and. they can borrow. it is sufficient that the latter is more imperfect. But waiving illustrations of this sort. a single body of men. by making its change to depend on his own return from exile and death. because the latter had some alloy in it. and they have already begun to make use of it. will soon become a national stock. We may calculate. who can RAISE TROOPS to an INDEFINITE NUMBER. that those who raise so many objections against the new Constitution should never call to mind the defects of that which is to be exchanged for it. in the first place. and it may with reason be expected that the remaining States will not persist in withholding similar proofs of their equity and generosity. or the ceilings a little higher or lower than his fancy would have planned them. with the concurrence of the Executive. It is not necessary that the former should be perfect. the contrast just stated will hold good. and appropriate money to their support for an INDEFINITE PERIOD OF TIME. It is a matter both of wonder and regret. It is now no longer a point of speculation and hope. that the Western territory is a mine of vast wealth to the United States. it is rendered harmless by the dependence of Congress on the State for the means of carrying them into practice. of an area equal to the inhabited extent of the United States. and no better government be substituted. that if the Union is to continue. without any such control. Is it an objection against the new Constitution. that the Confederation is chargeable with the still greater folly of declaring certain powers in the federal government to be absolutely necessary. depart so widely from their example. I shall be told. to make treaties which are to be the laws of the land? The existing Congress. yet must it hereafter be able. effective powers must either be granted to. because the latter had not a porch to it. or because some of the rooms might be a little larger or smaller. All this has been done. Is the importation of slaves permitted by the new Constitution for twenty years? By the old it is permitted forever. no alarm has been sounded. and to prescribe the conditions on which such States shall be admitted into the Confederacy. and whether the Constitution. Congress have assumed the administration of this stock. both abroad and at home. and to furnish. Yet no blame has been whispered. can make treaties which they themselves have declared. and were to continue in force. No man would refuse to give brass for silver or gold. now before the public. not until a BETTER. or assumed by. for a certain period. Congress have undertaken to do more: they have proceeded to form new States. They have begun to render it productive. therefore. in either of which events. if it were to be immediately adopted. to appoint officers for them. A GREAT and INDEPENDENT fund of revenue is passing into the hands of a SINGLE BODY of men. that it empowers the Senate. that however dangerous this mixture of powers may be in theory. Then. in any one point. it is in fact a lifeless mass. that a rich and fertile country. to be the supreme law of the land. say I. Is an indefinite power to raise troops dangerous? The Confederation gives to Congress that power also. in the next place. and although it is not of such a nature as to extricate them from their present distresses. would not stand as fair a chance for immortality. as Lycurgus gave to that of Sparta. and at the same time rendering them absolutely nugatory. but until ANOTHER should be agreed upon by this new assembly of lawgivers. A very large proportion of this fund has been already surrendered by individual States. as long as a shilling will be lent. and most of the States have recognized. and the States are constitutionally bound to furnish them. and the command of the army. is it not manifest that most of the capital objections urged against the new system lie with tenfold weight against the existing Confederation? Is an indefinite power to raise money dangerous in the hands of the federal government? The present Congress can make requisitions to any amount they please. they can emit bills of credit as long as they will pay for the paper. or for some time to come. Is it improper and unsafe to intermix the different powers of government in the same body of men? Congress. Is a bill of rights essential to liberty? The Confederation has no bill of rights. both to effect a gradual discharge of the domestic debt. the existing Congress.

by a small body of hereditary nobles. than to save it from the dangers threatened by the present impotency of that Assembly? I mean not. but who are advocates for the system which exhibits it. in which no particle of the supreme authority is derived from the people. and. by any thing here said. It is evident that no other form would be reconcilable with the genius of the people of America. Wednesday. or with that honorable determination which animates every votary of freedom. to throw censure on the measures which have been pursued by Congress. The government of England. has. at the same time. Poland. January 16. in urging the establishment of the latter. has been dignified with the same appellation. who have not only been silent spectators of this prospect. show the extreme inaccuracy with which the term has been used in political disquisitions. with the fundamental principles of the Revolution. its advocates must abandon it as no longer defensible. But is not the fact an alarming proof of the danger resulting from a government which does not possess regular powers commensurate to its objects? A dissolution or usurpation is the dreadful dilemma to which it is continually exposed. but in the application of the term by political writers. combined with an hereditary aristocracy and monarchy. If the plan of the convention.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 113 And yet there are men. for a limited period. and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure. as no less necessary to guard the Union against the future powers and resources of a body constructed like the existing Congress. the necessity of the case. Would they not act with more consistency. which is a mixture of aristocracy and of monarchy in their worst forms. 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. These examples. Holland. we now proceed to the execution of that part of our undertaking. imposed upon them the task of overleaping their constitutional limits. or during good behavior. has passed almost universally under the denomination of a republic. If we resort for a criterion to the different principles on which different forms of government are established. which are nearly as dissimilar to each other as to a genuine republic. which has one republican branch only. to rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government. with equal impropriety. not by recurring to principles. It is ESSENTIAL to such a government that it be derived from the great body of the society. no satisfactory one would ever be found. I am sensible they could not have done otherwise. a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. been frequently placed on the list of republics. The public interest. where absolute power over the great body of the people is exercised. urge against the new system the objections which we have heard. not from an inconsiderable proportion. The first question that offers itself is. or at least may bestow that name on. The same title has been bestowed on Venice. What. then. whether the general form and aspect of the government be strictly republican. to the constitution of different States. are the distinctive characters of the republican form? Were an answer to this question to be sought. 39 The Conformity of the Plan to Republican Principles For the Independent Journal. be found to depart from the republican character. we may define a republic to be. therefore. or a favored class . in the most absolute manner.

The tenure by which the judges are to hold their places. both within the legislative and executive departments. both under the federal and the State governments. conformably to the reason of the case and the example of the State constitutions. And in Delaware and Virginia he is not impeachable till out of office. no constitutional provision is made for the impeachment of the chief magistrate. it will be necessary to a just estimate of its force. conformable to it. and in its express guaranty of the republican form to each of the latter. again. and the Senate of Maryland. "for the convention to adhere to the republican form. the tenure of the highest offices is extended to a definite period. On comparing the Constitution planned by the convention with the standard here fixed. we perceive at once that it is. to ascertain the real character of the government in question. like the present Congress. they have framed a NATIONAL government. According to all the constitutions. will. and in many instances. however. the chief magistrate is elected for three years. of the people themselves. According to the constitution of every State in the Union." And it is asked by what authority this bold and radical innovation was undertaken? The handle which has been made of this objection requires that it should be examined with some precision. be the choice. this mode of appointment is extended to one of the co-ordinate branches of the legislature. Without inquiring into the accuracy of the distinction on which the objection is founded. to inquire how far the convention were authorized to propose such a government. to . And according to one. and for the period of two years. which is but one year more than the period of the Senate of Maryland. and that they hold their appointments by either of the tenures just specified. is. as in New York and Delaware. and but two more than that of the Senates of New York and Virginia. as well as every other popular government that has been or can be well organized or well executed. exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers. First. to have preserved the FEDERAL form. In order to ascertain the real character of the government. otherwise every government in the United States. and to the model of State constitutions The House of Representatives is periodically elective. first. It is SUFFICIENT for such a government that the persons administering it be appointed. According to the provisions of most of the constitutions. Even the judges. for the period of six years. They ought. The Senate. According to most of them. The President of the United States is impeachable at any time during his continuance in office. In the other States the election is annual. which regards the Union as a CONFEDERACY of sovereign states. as in all the States. The Senate is elective. either directly or indirectly. The tenure of the ministerial offices generally. as it unquestionably ought to be. as in the State of South Carolina. like that of one branch at least of all the State legislatures. as well as according to the most respectable and received opinions on the subject. In several of the States. with equal care. The President is to continue in office for the period of four years. secondly. to a period of years. with all other officers of the Union. that of good behavior. might aspire to the rank of republicans. and in South Carolina for two years.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 114 of it. by the people. as in the several States. also. which regards the Union as a CONSOLIDATION of the States. "But it was not sufficient. is elected immediately by the great body of the people. Could any further proof be required of the republican complexion of this system. the members of the judiciary department are to retain their offices by the firm tenure of good behavior. to the sources from which its ordinary powers are to be drawn. and thirdly. The President is indirectly derived from the choice of the people. instead of which. the chief magistrate himself is so appointed. according to the example in most of the States. though a remote choice. it may be considered in relation to the foundation on which it is to be established. the duration of the appointments is equally conformable to the republican standard. how far the duty they owed to their country could supply any defect of regular authority. in the most rigid sense." say the adversaries of the proposed Constitution. derives its appointment indirectly from the people. and claim for their government the honorable title of republic. some or other of the officers of government are appointed indirectly only by the people. will be a subject of legal regulation. The House of Representatives. the most decisive one might be found in its absolute prohibition of titles of nobility. would be degraded from the republican character. otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles.

The Senate. but in this particular act they are to be thrown into the form of individual delegations. therefore. the new Constitution will. So far the government is NATIONAL. in ratifying the Constitution. The immediate election of the President is to be made by the States in their political characters. that it is to result neither from the decision of a MAJORITY of the people of the Union. differing no otherwise from their ordinary assent than in its being expressed. and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. or by considering the will of the majority of the States as evidence of the will of a majority of the people of the United States. in the same manner as the majority in each State must bind the minority. from so many distinct and coequal bodies politic. partly as unequal members of the same society. but by that of the people themselves. in their individual capacities. a NATIONAL government. on the individual citizens composing the nation. On trying the Constitution by this criterion. So far the national countenance of the government on this side seems to be disfigured by a few federal features. as these terms are understood by the objectors. to the extent of them. as political and coequal societies. The executive power will be derived from a very compound source. not FEDERAL. and on the same principle. Neither of these rules have been adopted. on one hand. Were the people regarded in this transaction as forming one nation. designate it. is considered as a sovereign body. in its ordinary and most essential proceedings. will not be a NATIONAL. and to the authority by which future changes in the government are to be introduced. 115 On examining the first relation. as they now are in the existing Congress. not as individuals composing one entire nation. be a FEDERAL. but a FEDERAL act. but as composing the distinct and independent States to which they respectively belong. The difference between a federal and national government. The next relation is. not by the legislative authority. The House of Representatives will derive its powers from the people of America. But this blemish is perhaps unavoidable in any plan. which considers them partly as distinct and coequal societies. the will of the majority of the whole people of the United States would bind the minority. The eventual election. on the other. they must be viewed and proceeded against in their collective and political capacities only. again. it changes its aspect again . In this relation. not NATIONAL. will derive its powers from the States. but. That it will be a federal and not a national act. in their political capacities. and particularly in the trial of controversies to which States may be parties. It must result from the UNANIMOUS assent of the several States that are parties to it. and the people will be represented in the same proportion. then. in the latter. that the Constitution is to be founded on the assent and ratification of the people of America. nor from that of a MAJORITY of the States. is obvious from this single consideration. as forming so many independent States. and these will be represented on the principle of equality in the Senate. So far the government is FEDERAL. as they are in the legislature of a particular State. in this relation. is supposed to consist in this. on the whole. on the other hand. and the will of the majority must be determined either by a comparison of the individual votes. if established. is to be made by that branch of the legislature which consists of the national representatives. derived from the supreme authority in each State. though perhaps not so completely as has been understood. establishing the Constitution.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor the operation of those powers. the authority of the people themselves. The votes allotted to them are in a compound ratio. the act of the people. that this assent and ratification is to be given by the people. From this aspect of the government it appears to be of a mixed character. as it relates to the OPERATION OF THE GOVERNMENT. independent of all others. Each State. in their individual capacities. that in the former the powers operate on the political bodies composing the Confederacy. not as forming one aggregate nation. not the FEDERAL character. In several cases. may. and the operation of the government on the people. The act. and not a NATIONAL constitution. it falls under the NATIONAL. But if the government be national with regard to the OPERATION of its powers. It is to be the assent and ratification of the several States. it appears. given by deputies elected for the special purpose. presenting at least as many FEDERAL as NATIONAL features. to the sources from which the ordinary powers of government are to be derived.

PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. the tribunal which is ultimately to decide. The mode provided by the plan of the convention is not founded on either of these principles. January 18. The decision is to be impartially made. in the operation of these powers. not national. the concurrence of each State in the Union would be essential to every alteration that would be binding on all. directed. the proposed government cannot be deemed a NATIONAL one. on the other hand. and principles. therefore. or. Among communities united for particular purposes. In its foundation it is federal. according to the rules of the Constitution. Were it wholly national. or abolished by it at pleasure. and that it ought to be established under the general rather than under the local governments. Were it wholly federal. it is national. but a composition of both. not by CITIZENS. is. But this does not change the principle of the case. not national. not only an authority over the individual citizens. in the extent of them. is to be established under the general government. and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all other objects. it is neither wholly federal nor wholly national. and all the usual and most effectual precautions are taken to secure this impartiality. is a position not likely to be combated. so far as they are objects of lawful government. then. and. and this authority would be competent at all times. in the authoritative mode of introducing amendments. The proposed Constitution. In this relation. within their respective spheres. whether the convention were authorized to frame and propose this mixed Constitution. this supremacy is completely vested in the national legislature. to speak more properly. not federal. like that of a majority of every national society. no more subject. since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only. it loses again the FEDERAL and partakes of the NATIONAL character. In the latter. the supreme and ultimate authority would reside in the MAJORITY of the people of the Union. all local authorities are subordinate to the supreme. .Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 116 when we contemplate it in relation to the EXTENT of its powers. neither a national nor a federal Constitution. and particularly in computing the proportion by STATES. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: THE SECOND point to be examined is. it departs from the NATIONAL and advances towards the FEDERAL character. 1788. within its own sphere. 40 On the Powers of the Convention to Form a Mixed Government Examined and Sustained For the New York Packet. to alter or abolish its established government. to the general authority. In the former case. Among a people consolidated into one nation. it is vested partly in the general and partly in the municipal legislatures. Friday. it is federal. it is partly federal and partly national. we find it neither wholly NATIONAL nor wholly FEDERAL. that it could be safely established under the first alone. again. but an indefinite supremacy over all persons and things. If we try the Constitution by its last relation to the authority by which amendments are to be made. It is true that in controversies relating to the boundary between the two jurisdictions. in the sources from which the ordinary powers of the government are drawn. In requiring more than a majority. In requiring more than a majority. finally. and may be controlled. the local or municipal authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy. in rendering the concurrence of less than the whole number of States sufficient. in strictness. Some such tribunal is clearly essential to prevent an appeal to the sword and a dissolution of the compact. The idea of a national government involves in it. than the general authority is subject to them.

as a mean to remedy which. rather than the end to the means. that this government was to be such as would be ADEQUATE TO THE EXIGENCIES OF GOVERNMENT and THE PRESERVATION OF THE UNION. will effectually provide for the same. 1st. in strictness. which part of the definition ought to have been embraced. that the alterations and provisions were to be reported to Congress. when agreed to in Congress. The other is. as well as founded on legal axioms. 2d. The one is. the less important should give way to the more important part. adequate to the EXIGENCIES OF GOVERNMENT. and be made to conspire to some common end. if possible. and which rejected? Which was the more important. in order to be agreed to by the former and confirmed by the latter. or by SUCH FURTHER PROVISIONS AS SHOULD APPEAR NECESSARY. and whereas experience hath evinced. Suppose. it will be sufficient to recur to these particular acts. and to the States. in September. and PARTICULARLY THE STATE OF NEW YORK. to the United States in Congress assembled. that where the several parts cannot be made to coincide. that a NATIONAL and ADEQUATE GOVERNMENT could not possibly. and OF THE UNION. 4th. is to be deduced the authority under which the convention acted. it appears. the means should be sacrificed to the end. by the assent of a Congress of the United States. dictated by plain reason. 1787. render the federal Constitution ADEQUATE TO THE EXIGENCIES OF GOVERNMENT AND THE PRESERVATION OF THE UNION. that the object of the convention was to establish. and afterwards confirmed by the legislature of every State. that these purposes were to be effected by ALTERATIONS AND PROVISIONS IN THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION. which the means? Let the most scrupulous expositors of delegated powers. be affected by ALTERATIONS and PROVISIONS in the ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION." From these two acts. be held at Philadelphia. who shall have been appointed by the several States. that there are defects in the present Confederation. That in the opinion of Congress it is expedient. and to reduce the articles of Confederation into such form as to accomplish these purposes. There are two rules of construction. in the judgment of the convention. and such convention appearing to be the most probable mean of establishing in these States A FIRM NATIONAL GOVERNMENT: "Resolved. however. in February. that the expressions defining the authority of the convention were irreconcilably at variance with each other. A FIRM NATIONAL GOVERNMENT. 3d. From a comparison and fair construction of these several modes of expression. .Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 117 The powers of the convention ought." The recommendatory act of Congress is in the words following: "WHEREAS. for the sole and express purpose OF REVISING THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION. as it is expressed in the act of Congress. as shall. as when agreed to by them. which the less important part? Which the end. that every part of the expression ought. several of the States. and to report such an act for that purpose. and confirmed by the States. had reference. to be allowed some meaning. for making alterations therein. that on the second Monday of May next a convention of delegates. let the most inveterate objectors against those exercised by the convention. The act from Annapolis recommends the "appointment of commissioners to take into consideration the situation of the United States. have suggested a convention for the purposes expressed in the following resolution. As all of these. 1786. and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such ALTERATIONS AND PROVISIONS THEREIN. in these States. and of the legislatures of the several States. or to that from Congress. They were to frame a NATIONAL GOVERNMENT. by express instructions to their delegates in Congress. to be determined by an inspection of the commissions given to the members by their respective constituents. either to the recommendation from the meeting at Annapolis. as it stands in the recommendatory act from Annapolis. There is provision in the articles of Confederation and perpetual Union. then. to devise SUCH FURTHER PROVISIONS as shall appear to them necessary to render the Constitution of the federal government ADEQUATE TO THE EXIGENCIES OF THE UNION.

of the post office. as in the old. of piracy. that the articles of Confederation should be disregarded. adequate to the national happiness. Let them declare. of claims under grants of land by different States. to alter old ones. Here then is a power to change the title. and the articles of Confederation preserved. not from the people of the States? One branch of the new government is to be appointed by these legislatures. in the case of trials by courts-marshal in the army and navy. particularly. beyond this limit. NEW PROVISIONS therein are also expressly authorized. into such a government as has been proposed by the convention? No stress. that no tax should be levied without the intermediate agency of the States? The Confederation itself authorizes a direct tax. was the end at which these articles themselves originally aimed. Do they require that the powers of the government should act on the States. between that degree of change which lies within the compass of ALTERATIONS AND FURTHER PROVISIONS. and that the States. to insert new articles. Do they require that the members of the government should derive their appointment from the legislatures. In some instances. be laid on the TITLE. that no ALTERATIONS or PROVISIONS in the articles of the confederation could possibly mould them into a national and adequate government. or even of a civil magistrate. The power of coinage has been so construed by Congress as to levy a tribute immediately from that source also. so long as a part of the old articles remain? Those who maintain the affirmative ought at least to mark the boundary between authorized and usurped innovations. in the establishment of the Constitution. are left in the enjoyment of their sovereign and independent jurisdiction. as insufficient means. had not New York herself. a change of that could never be deemed an exercise of ungranted power. so far complied with the plan of Congress as to recognize the PRINCIPLE of the innovation? Do these principles. the States should be left in possession of their sovereignty and independence? We have seen that in the new government. in all unenumerated cases. Will it be said that the alterations ought not to have touched the substance of the Confederation? The States would never have appointed a convention with so much solemnity. What are these principles? Do they require that. if some SUBSTANTIAL reform had not been in contemplation. will. on the post office. was it not an acknowledged object of the convention and the universal expectation of the people.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 118 answer these questions. it is presumed. whether it was of most importance to the happiness of the people of America. the powers of the new government will act on the States in their collective characters. nor described its objects with so much latitude. and that which amounts to a TRANSMUTATION of the government. The . than as the expansion of principles which are found in the articles of Confederation. the delegates to Congress MAY ALL be appointed immediately by the people. whether the preservation of these articles was the end. to have been sacrificed. those of the existing government act immediately on individuals. But pretermitting these instances. in all these cases the powers of the Confederation operate immediately on the persons and interests of individual citizens. Must it of necessity be admitted that this power is infringed. in fine. The truth is. But is it necessary to suppose that these expressions are absolutely irreconcilable to each other. weights. ALTERATIONS in the body of the instrument are expressly authorized. to a certain extent. In cases of capture. Will it be said that the FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES of the Confederation were not within the purview of the convention. and. that the regulation of trade should be submitted to the general government in such a form as would render it an immediate source of general revenue? Had not Congress repeatedly recommended this measure as not inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the Confederation? Had not every State but one. and to which they ought. also. Do these fundamental principles require. Let them declare. of coins. for securing which a reform of the government was to be introduced as the means. require that the powers of the general government should be limited. and not immediately on individuals? In some instances. above all. as has been shown. or whether the establishment of a government. and an adequate government be provided. and measures. by which death may be inflicted without the intervention of a jury. or that an adequate government should be omitted. of trade with the Indians. the general powers are limited. in this case. and the Union preserved. and that. and in two States[1] are actually so appointed. and ought not to have been varied? I ask. the States should be regarded as distinct and independent sovereigns? They are so regarded by the Constitution proposed. and under the Confederation. that the great principles of the Constitution proposed by the convention may be considered less as absolutely new.

would render nominal and nugatory the transcendent and precious right of the people to "abolish or alter their governments as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. as if they had been real and final powers for the establishment of a Constitution for the United States. They had seen the LIBERTY ASSUMED by a VERY FEW deputies from a VERY FEW States. that they were so meant by the States. convened at Annapolis. and that the latter have accordingly planned and proposed a Constitution which is to be of no more consequence than the paper on which it is written. Let us view the ground on which the convention stood. that a rigid adherence in such cases to the former. the alacrity with which the PROPOSITION. and by the same rules. which had led their country almost with one voice to make so singular and solemn an experiment for correcting the errors of a system by which this crisis had been produced. of recommending a great and critical object. that they were deeply and unanimously impressed with the crisis."[2] since it is impossible for the people spontaneously and universally to move in concert towards their object. by occasions and objects infinitely less urgent than those by which their conduct was to be governed. powers. and so understood by the convention. but of operative. not only of recommendatory. In the preceding inquiries the powers of the convention have been analyzed and tried with the same rigor. has been in a manner waived by those who have criticised the powers of the convention. in a variety of instances. and may be carried into effect by NINE STATES ONLY. It could not be unknown to them that the hopes and expectations of the great body of citizens. It may be collected from their proceedings. comprising fifty-nine sixtieths of the people an example still fresh in the memory and indignation of every citizen who has felt for the wounded honor and prosperity of his country. Instead of reporting a plan requiring the confirmation OF THE LEGISLATURES OF ALL THE STATES. that these principles are so feeble and confined as to justify all the charges of inefficiency which have been urged against it. They must have recollected that it was by this irregular and assumed privilege of proposing to the people plans for their safety and happiness. made by a single State (Virginia). They must have reflected. This reflection places the subject in a point of view altogether different. towards a partial amendment of the Confederation. They had seen in the origin and progress of the experiment. I dismiss it without further observation. were turned with the keenest anxiety to the event of their deliberations. throughout this great empire. that in all great changes of established governments. though the most plausible. from the example of inflexible opposition given by a MAJORITY of one sixtieth of the people of America to a measure approved and called for by the voice of twelve States. and it is therefore essential that such changes be instituted by some INFORMAL AND UNAUTHORIZED PROPOSITIONS. made by some patriotic and respectable citizen or number of citizens. assumptions by Congress. It is time now to recollect that the powers were merely advisory and recommendatory. The forbearance can only have proceeded from an irresistible conviction of the absurdity of subjecting the fate of twelve States to the perverseness or corruption of a thirteenth. they have reported a plan which is to be confirmed by the PEOPLE. forms ought to give way to substance. and will enable us to judge with propriety of the course taken by the convention. As this objection. In one particular it is admitted that the convention have departed from the tenor of their commission. warranted. in the public estimation. and to require a degree of enlargement which gives to the new system the aspect of an entire transformation of the old. therefore. has been the least urged in the publications which have swarmed against the convention. not only justified by the public opinion. The THIRD point to be inquired into is. wholly foreign to their commission.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 119 misfortune under the latter system has been. It is worthy of remark that this objection. had been attended to and promoted. but actually carried into effect by twelve out of the thirteen States. unless it be stamped with the approbation of those to whom it is addressed. that the States were first united against the danger with which they were . They had every reason to believe that the contrary sentiments agitated the minds and bosoms of every external and internal foe to the liberty and prosperity of the United States. that they were no less deeply and unanimously convinced that such a reform as they have proposed was absolutely necessary to effect the purposes of their appointment. They had seen. We have seen in what manner they have borne the trial even on that supposition. how far considerations of duty arising out of the case itself could have supplied any defect of regular authority.

ought surely to be. that as the plan to be framed and proposed was to be submitted TO THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES. as the confidential servants of their country. let me then ask what sentence he has in reserve for the twelve States who USURPED THE POWER of sending deputies to the convention. by the circumstances in which they were placed. It might even have occurred to them. as whether the advice be GOOD. of committing the dearest interests of their country to the uncertainties of delay and the hazard of events. under these masks. Had the convention. nor could it have been forgotten that no little ill-timed scruples. for that reason alone. in particular. Saturday. instead of exercising a manly confidence in their country. How far this character is due to the Constitution. to be rejected? If. their neglect to execute the degree of power vested in them. in proposing a Constitution. who recommended the appointment of this body. they were not only warranted. on the conduct and character of this assembly? Or if there be a man whose propensity to condemn is susceptible of no control. under all these impressions. is the subject under investigation. has no foundation to support it. except in one instance little urged by the objectors. shall we set the ignoble example of refusing such advice even when it is offered by our friends? The prudent inquiry. not so much FROM WHOM the advice comes. 41 General View of the Powers Conferred by The Constitution For the Independent Journal. their secret enmity to the substance contended for. PUBLIUS 1. __ FEDERALIST No. equally unknown to the Confederation. than a recommendation at once of a measure fully commensurate to the national exigencies. the disapprobation of this supreme authority would destroy it forever. in all cases. January . it be lawful to accept good advice even from an enemy. this ought nevertheless to be embraced. for Congress. of securing its happiness. and that CONVENTIONS were ELECTED in THE SEVERAL STATES for establishing the constitutions under which they are now governed. a body utterly unknown to their constitutions. which first urged and then complied with this unauthorized interposition? But that the objectors may be disarmed of every pretext. except in those who wished to indulge. but required. according to the noble precept. and still more their recommendation of any measure whatever. that committees and congresses were formed for concentrating their efforts and defending their rights. what judgment ought to have been pronounced by the impartial world. who can awaken in his bosom one patriotic emotion. and of pointing out a system capable. 2. and for the State of New York. nor justified by circumstances in proposing a Constitution for their country: does it follow that the Constitution ought. in their judgment. of sacrificing substance to forms. its approbation blot out antecedent errors and irregularities. let me ask the man who can raise his mind to one elevated conception. that if they had exceeded their powers. They must have borne in mind. if they had violated both their powers and their obligations. Declaration of Independence. would not less excite animadversion. no zeal for adhering to ordinary forms. The sum of what has been here advanced and proved is. to exercise the liberty which they assume. if it be calculated to accomplish the views and happiness of the people of America. that where a disposition to cavil prevailed. that the charge against the convention of exceeding their powers. and in the midst of all these considerations.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 120 threatened by their ancient government. by every virtuous citizen. by the friends of mankind. were anywhere seen. taken the cold and sullen resolution of disappointing its ardent hopes. Connecticut and Rhode Island. not warranted by their commission. by whose confidence they had been so peculiarly distinguished. it shall be granted for a moment that the convention were neither authorized by their commission. and that finally.

5. as the next will be. it may open a boundless field for rhetoric and declamation. Whether the entire mass of them be dangerous to the portion of jurisdiction left in the several States? Is the aggregate power of the general government greater than ought to have been vested in it? This is the FIRST question. 4. That we may form a correct judgment on this subject. Provisions for giving due efficacy to all these powers. it will be proper to review the several powers conferred on the government of the Union. two important questions arise: 1. and on the possible abuses which must be incident to every power or trust. They have chosen rather to dwell on the inconveniences which must be unavoidably blended with all political advantages. it may inflame the passions of the unthinking. Certain miscellaneous objects of general utility. Is the power of raising armies and equipping fleets necessary? This is involved in the foregoing power. 6. 2. that the authors of them have very little considered how far these powers were necessary means of attaining a necessary end. Security against foreign danger. Is the power of declaring war necessary? No man will answer this question in the negative. whether such a power be necessary to the public good. of regulating and calling forth the militia. of which a beneficial use can be made. and the distribution of this power among its several branches. and that in every political institution. that the choice must always be made. and that this may be the more conveniently done they may be reduced into different classes as they relate to the following different objects: 1. Regulation of the intercourse with foreign nations. in case of an affirmative decision. The powers requisite for attaining it must be effectually confided to the federal councils. It is . including the restraints imposed on the States. The FIRST relates to the sum or quantity of power which it vests in the government. The powers falling within the FIRST class are those of declaring war and granting letters of marque. Maintenance of harmony and proper intercourse among the States. a power to advance the public happiness involves a discretion which may be misapplied and abused. of levying and borrowing money. therefore. This method of handling the subject cannot impose on the good sense of the people of America. 1788 MADISON To the People of the State of New York: 121 THE Constitution proposed by the convention may be considered under two general points of view. the point first to be decided is. and may confirm the prejudices of the misthinking: but cool and candid people will at once reflect. Whether any part of the powers transferred to the general government be unnecessary or improper? 2. good. to guard as effectually as possible against a perversion of the power to the public detriment. if not of the lesser evil. It would be superfluous. that the purest of human blessings must have a portion of alloy in them. 3. Under the FIRST view of the subject. therefore. to the particular structure of the government. to enter into a proof of the affirmative. Security against foreign danger is one of the primitive objects of civil society. of providing armies and fleets. at least of the GREATER. not the PERFECT. It is an avowed and essential object of the American Union.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 19. It cannot have escaped those who have attended with candor to the arguments employed against the extensive powers of the government. The existing Confederation establishes this power in the most ample form. Restraint of the States from certain injurious acts. They will see. that in all cases where power is to be conferred. It may display the subtlety of the writer. The SECOND.

They will. because it plants in the Constitution itself necessary usurpations of power. on a former occasion. The sources of evil in the latter are confined to her own . in like manner. the example. at the same time that it may be a necessary. destroys every pretext for a military establishment which could be dangerous. whilst it does not rashly preclude itself from any resource which may become essential to its safety. America united. as well as providing fleets. A wise nation will combine all these considerations. every precedent of which is a germ of unnecessary and multiplied repetitions. the same event might follow. But let it never. The Union itself. with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat. It is worse than in vain. and of maintaining both in PEACE. All Europe has followed. and that the liberties of Europe. which it cements and secures. the rulers of Great Britain have never been able. did in the Old World. A dangerous establishment can never be necessary or plausible. that the want of this pretext had saved the liberties of one nation in Europe. Being rendered by her insular situation and her maritime resources impregnable to the armies of her neighbors. then indeed might it prudently chain the discretion of its own government. to cheat the public into an extensive peace establishment. On any scale it is an object of laudable circumspection and precaution. by real or artificial dangers. in fact. With what color of propriety could the force necessary for defense be limited by those who cannot limit the force of offense? If a federal Constitution could chain the ambition or set bounds to the exertions of all other nations. Were every nation except France now to disband its peace establishments. be forgotten that they are indebted for this advantage to the Union alone. will exert all its prudence in diminishing both the necessity and the danger of resorting to one which may be inauspicious to its liberties. Had the example not been followed by other nations. It will present liberty everywhere crushed between standing armies and perpetual taxes. the preparations and establishments of every hostile nation? The means of security can only be regulated by the means and the danger of attack. therefore. it obliges the most pacific nations who may be within the reach of its enterprises to take corresponding precautions. Not the less true is it. as well as in WAR? The answer to these questions has been too far anticipated in another place to admit an extensive discussion of them in this place. that the liberties of Rome proved the final victim to her military triumphs. all Europe must long ago have worn the chains of a universal monarch. have. The moment of its dissolution will be the date of a new order of things. A standing force. the face of America will be but a copy of that of the continent of Europe. and. The fifteenth century was the unhappy epoch of military establishments in the time of peace. is a dangerous. On the smallest scale it has its inconveniences. They were introduced by Charles VII. of France. been the price of her military establishments. or without a single soldier. The answer indeed seems to be so obvious and conclusive as scarcely to justify such a discussion in any place. 122 But was it necessary to give an INDEFINITE POWER of raising TROOPS. The example will be followed here from the same motives which produced universal imitation there. so long as they continue a united people. If one nation maintains constantly a disciplined army. or been forced into. The distance of the United States from the powerful nations of the world gives them the same happy security. as far as they ever existed. be ever determined by these rules. or the ambition of the stronger States. will set the same example in the New. exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited. unless we could prohibit. for a moment. On an extensive scale its consequences may be fatal. and by no others.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor involved in the power of self-defense. with few exceptions. It is in vain to oppose constitutional barriers to the impulse of self-preservation. and set bounds to the exertions for its own safety. The fortunes of disunited America will be even more disastrous than those of Europe. The veteran legions of Rome were an overmatch for the undisciplined valor of all other nations and rendered her the mistress of the world. Instead of deriving from our situation the precious advantage which Great Britain has derived from hers. with a handful of troops. The fears of the weaker. The clearest marks of this prudence are stamped on the proposed Constitution. How could a readiness for war in time of peace be safely prohibited. It was remarked. provision. as Charles VII. ready for the service of ambition or revenge. or Confederacies.

must be tolerable to the former and safe to the latter. The batteries most capable of repelling foreign enterprises . that as her Union will be the only source of her maritime strength. and which no other quarter of the earth bears to Europe. jealousy. But it may not be improper to take notice of an argument against this part of the Constitution. and the representatives so corrupted by the Crown. whereas the American Constitution has lengthened this critical period to two years. every man who loves liberty. not only that the constitution has provided the most effectual guards against danger from that quarter. In America the miseries springing from her internal jealousies. to extend the term beyond a single year. would form a part only of her lot. without desiring. and be able to set a due value on the means of preserving it. of these establishments in each. This precaution the Constitution has prudently added. but that nothing short of a Constitution fully adequate to the national defense and the preservation of the Union. and wars. elected FREELY by the WHOLE BODY of the people. it would have stood thus: The term for which supplies may be appropriated to the army establishment. so this will be a principal source of her security against danger from abroad. and from such a progressive augmentation. been limited by parliamentary discretion to a single year. the representative body can possess a power to make appropriations to the army for an indefinite term. where the electors are so corrupted by the representatives. I will not repeat here the observations which I flatter myself have placed this subject in a just and satisfactory light. as the longest admissible term. No superior powers of another quarter of the globe intrigue among her rival nations. which has spared few other parts. which has been drawn from the policy and practice of Great Britain. The palpable necessity of the power to provide and maintain a navy has protected that part of the Constitution against a spirit of censure. and render them the instruments of foreign ambition. Had the argument from the British example been truly stated. Next to the effectual establishment of the Union. be numbered among the greatest blessings of America. It must. in practice. where the House of Commons is elected for seven years. In this respect our situation bears another likeness to the insular advantage of Great Britain. indeed. where so great a proportion of the members are elected by so small a proportion of the people. The attempt has awakened fully the public attention to that important subject. This picture of the consequences of disunion cannot be too highly colored. or without daring. But among all the blunders which have been committed. Now. ought to have it ever before his eyes. and revenge. every man who loves his country. and has led to investigations which must terminate in a thorough and universal conviction. inflame their mutual animosities. as will render them as burdensome to the properties and ominous to the liberties of the people. and that the American ties down the legislature to two years. as any establishment that can become necessary. expressly limited to the short period of TWO YEARS? A bad cause seldom fails to betray itself. Every man who loves peace. none is more striking than the attempt to enlist on that side the prudent jealousy entertained by the people. the management of the opposition to the federal government is an unvaried exemplification. under a united and efficient government. can save America from as many standing armies as it may be split into States or Confederacies. of standing armies. or too often exhibited. Of this truth. though unlimited by the British Constitution.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 123 limits. it cannot be unknown to the authors of the fallacy themselves. This is the form in which the comparison is usually stated to the public: but is it a just form? Is it a fair comparison? Does the British Constitution restrain the parliamentary discretion to one year? Does the American impose on the Congress appropriations for two years? On the contrary. every SECOND YEAR. in pretending that the representatives of the United States. if in Great Britain. the best possible precaution against danger from standing armies is a limitation of the term for which revenue may be appropriated to their support. has nevertheless. that he may cherish in his heart a due attachment to the Union of America. cannot be safely intrusted with the discretion over such appropriations. A plentiful addition of evils would have their source in that relation in which Europe stands to this quarter of the earth. contentions. It is said that the continuance of an army in that kingdom requires an annual vote of the legislature. ought not suspicion herself to blush. that the British Constitution fixes no limit whatever to the discretion of the legislature.

and if they have hitherto been suffered to sleep quietly in their beds. these instances of good fortune are not to be ascribed to the capacity of the existing government for the protection of those from whom it claims allegiance. and has. both in the extent and form given to it by the Constitution. not only on that element. or even with the rapacious demands of pirates and barbarians. Some.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor on our safety. As long as agriculture continues the sole field of labor. to pay the debts. In a more remote stage. I will address one additional reflection only to those who contend that the power ought to have been restrained to external -. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections. Should a war be the result of the precarious situation of European affairs. 124 The inhabitants of the Atlantic frontier are all of them deeply interested in this provision for naval protection. on the language in which it is defined. by yielding to the exactions of daring and sudden invaders. that at this moment it is an essential one. the authors of the objection might have had some color for it. and be able to accommodate itself to them. also. the object to be protected would be almost consumed by the means of protecting them. Her seacoast is extensive. A power to destroy the freedom of the press. lies every moment at the mercy of events. taxes on articles imported from other countries. the trial by jury. therefore. who have not denied the necessity of the power of taxation. A system of government. But we may form very mistaken ideas on this subject. that the power "to lay and collect taxes. If we except perhaps Virginia and Maryland. The power of levying and borrowing money. which are peculiarly vulnerable on their eastern frontiers. the States more immediately exposed to these calamities have nothing to hope from the phantom of a general government which now exists." amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. and will. The power of regulating and calling forth the militia has been already sufficiently vindicated and explained. the great reservoir of its wealth. that the extent of revenue drawn from foreign commerce must vary with the variations. but every part of the other bordering on it. are happily such as can never be turned by a perfidious government against our liberties. will be truly miraculous. no part of the Union ought to feel more anxiety on this subject than New York.taxation by which they mean. require rather the encouragement of bounties. and all the unruly passions attending it be let loose on the ocean. the imported manufactures will decrease as the numbers of people increase. that for a considerable time it must be a principal source. and if their single resources were equal to the task of fortifying themselves against the danger. which will be wrought into articles for exportation. than their stooping to such a misconstruction. been clearly shown to be necessary. I trust. A very important district of the State is an island. ought to contemplate these revolutions. is properly thrown into the same class with it. As soon as domestic manufactures are begun by the hands not called for by agriculture. duties. being the sinew of that which is to be exerted in the national defense. and may almost be regarded as a hostage for ignominious compliances with the dictates of a foreign enemy. and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. and that these variations do not correspond with the progress of population. than the general expressions just cited. or even to regulate the course of . The great emporium of its commerce. if their property has remained safe against the predatory spirit of licentious adventurers. have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution. our escape from insults and depredations. It cannot be doubted that this will always be a valuable source of revenue. It has been urged and echoed. The State itself is penetrated by a large navigable river for more than fifty leagues. than to be loaded with discouraging duties. has been examined already with much attention. but to causes that are fugitive and fallacious. though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases. Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution. if their maritime towns have not yet been compelled to ransom themselves from the terrors of a conflagration. and excises. This power. In the present condition of America. meant for duration. the importation of manufactures must increase as the consumers multiply. both in the extent and the kind of imports. the imports may consist in a considerable part of raw materials. which must be the general measure of the public wants. if we do not call to mind in our calculations. imposts.

Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 125 descents. to wit: to make treaties. to send and receive ambassadors. when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning. is an absurdity. A similar language again occurs in article ninth. and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded. which. as to give meaning to every part which will bear it." But what color can the objection have. had not its origin with the latter. and they vest in the existing Congress a power to legislate in all cases whatsoever. as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution. attaching themselves to these general expressions. as a discouragement to such importations. if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase. if. This class of powers forms an obvious and essential branch of the federal administration. lodged in the general government. January 22. . shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning. and allowed by the United States in Congress. and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted. are "their common defense. 42 The Powers Conferred by the Constitution Further Considered From the New York Packet. as described in article third. Tuesday. after the year 1808. whether they would in that case have employed the same reasoning in justification of Congress as they now make use of against the convention. they had exercised an unlimited power of providing for the common defense and general welfare? I appeal to the objectors themselves. But what would have been thought of that assembly. and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead. and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. security of their liberties. and offenses against the law of nations. The objection here is the more extraordinary. as it appears that the language used by the convention is a copy from the articles of Confederation. we must take the liberty of supposing. and disregarding the specifications which ascertain and limit their import. and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent. or the forms of conveyances. shall be defrayed out of a common treasury. the importation of slaves. it clearly ought to be in respect to other nations. How difficult it is for error to escape its own condemnation! PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: THE SECOND class of powers. 1788. including a power to prohibit. must be very singularly expressed by the terms "to raise money for the general welfare. and to lay an intermediate duty of ten dollars per head." etc." The terms of article eighth are still more identical: "All charges of war and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare. consists of those which regulate the intercourse with foreign nations. If we are to be one nation in any respect. to regulate foreign commerce. other public ministers. Construe either of these articles by the rules which would justify the construction put on the new Constitution. to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas. and consuls. and mutual and general welfare. The objects of the Union among the States.

and that where no such treaties exist. But the admission of consuls into the United States. under which treaties might be substantially frustrated by regulations of the States. that the power of prohibiting the importation of slaves had not been postponed until the year 1808. the power of defining felonies in this case was in every respect necessary and proper. by a concurrence of the few States which continue the . a traffic which has so long and so loudly upbraided the barbarism of modern policy. that a period of twenty years may terminate forever. has been too fully discussed to need additional proofs here of its being properly submitted to the federal administration.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 126 The powers to make treaties and to send and receive ambassadors. as defined in the codes of the several States. within these States. The provision of the federal articles on the subject of piracies and felonies extends no further than to the establishment of courts for the trial of these offenses. into violations of their chartered authorities." is expressly and very properly added to the former provision concerning ambassadors. It were doubtless to be wished. But it is not difficult to account. These articles contain no provision for the case of offenses against the law of nations. and would be no inconsiderable argument in favor of the new Constitution. or rather that it had been suffered to have immediate operation. the mission of American consuls into foreign countries may PERHAPS be covered under the authority. by the plan of the convention. if taken strictly. having fallen within several views which have been taken of this subject. seems to have been nowhere provided for. A list of the cases in which Congress have been betrayed. or forced by the defects of the Confederation. speak their own propriety. would be as impracticable as the former would be a dishonorable and illegitimate guide. The regulation of foreign commerce. ought to be a standard for the proceedings of this. But the most minute provisions become important when they tend to obviate the necessity or the pretext for gradual and unobserved usurpations of power. than the more obvious and striking defects of the old. It ought to be considered as a great point gained in favor of humanity. where foreign embassies may be necessary. It is not precisely the same in any two of the States. The term ambassador. and of various import in the statute law of that kingdom. as seems to be required by the second of the articles of Confederation. to employ the inferior grades of public ministers. and consequently leave it in the power of any indiscreet member to embroil the Confederacy with foreign nations. would not a little surprise those who have paid no attention to the subject. The meaning of the term. But neither the common nor the statute law of that. perhaps. Both of them are comprised in the articles of Confederation. The definition of piracies might. and offenses against the law of nations. and excludes the grades which the United States will be most likely to prefer. the admission of foreign consuls may fall within the power of making commercial treaties. to appoint all such civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs of the United States. even in the common law of England. belongs with equal propriety to the general government. Yet it has been found expedient. that where treaties of commerce stipulate for the mutual appointment of consuls. therefore. For the sake of certainty and uniformity. Felony is a term of loose signification. it will receive a considerable discouragement from the federal government. unless previously made its own by legislative adoption. be left to the law of nations. with this difference only. and has been the practice of Congress. and to send and receive consuls. whose functions are connected with commerce. without inconveniency. and may be totally abolished. And under no latitude of construction will the term comprehend consuls. The power to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas. though a legislative definition of them is found in most municipal codes. and is a still greater improvement on the articles of Confederation. and that a power of appointing and receiving "other public ministers and consuls. of an exception. or of any other nation. or for the manner in which the whole clause is expressed. either for this restriction on the general government. and varies in each with every revision of its criminal laws. which seems to have provided no less studiously for the lesser. A definition of felonies on the high seas is evidently requisite. comprehends the highest grade only of public ministers. A supply of the omission is one of the lesser instances in which the convention have improved on the model before them. given by the ninth article of the Confederation. that within that period. where no previous treaty has stipulated it. It is true. that the former is disembarrassed.

by the clamors of an impatient avidity for immediate and immoderate gain. Were these at liberty to regulate the trade between State and State. since it would stimulate the injured party. an indirect revenue from their uncommercial neighbors. and certain powers of the judicial department. without an augmentation of the tolls. or passages. and uniform laws of bankruptcy. in any form.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 127 unnatural traffic. regulate the value thereof. if an equal prospect lay before them of being redeemed from the oppressions of their European brethren! Attempts have been made to pervert this clause into an objection against the Constitution. rivers. Under this head might be included the particular restraints imposed on the authority of the States. during the passage through their jurisdiction. is in the number of those which have been clearly pointed out by experience. by representing it on one side as a criminal toleration of an illicit practice. from the improper contributions levied on them by the latter. with duties which would fall on the makers of the latter and the consumers of the former. and the latter will be particularly examined when we arrive at the structure and organization of the government. but as specimens of the manner and spirit in which some have thought fit to conduct their opposition to the proposed government. The defect of power in the existing Confederacy to regulate the commerce between its several members. records. must appear not less impolitic than it is unfair. by resentment as well as interest. and of foreign coin. and the effect they shall have in other States. and to establish post offices and post roads. In Switzerland. to prescribe the manner in which the public acts. before public bodies as well as individuals. and on another as calculated to prevent voluntary and beneficial emigrations from Europe to America. and has produced there the mischiefs which have been foreseen here. In Germany it is a law of the empire. and judicial proceedings of each State shall be proved. the desire of the commercial States to collect. to wit: to regulate commerce among the several States and the Indian tribes. that it would nourish unceasing animosities. pleading the cause of an enlarged and permanent interest. that they shall not establish imposts disadvantageous to their neighbors. one is. Happy would it be for the unfortunate Africans. A very material object of this power was the relief of the States which import and export through other States. for they deserve none. The necessity of a superintending authority over the reciprocal trade of confederated States. The powers included in the THIRD class are those which provide for the harmony and proper intercourse among the States. has been illustrated by other examples as well as our own. as in many other instances in that confederacy. that the princes and states shall not lay tolls or customs on bridges. in the prohibitory example which has been given by so great a majority of the Union. without the general permission. to coin money. to establish a uniform rule of naturalization. and both by that and a common knowledge of human affairs. I mention these misconstructions. it must be foreseen that ways would be found out to load the articles of import and export. To those who do not view the question through the medium of passion or of interest. But the mild voice of reason. and not improbably terminate in serious interruptions of the public tranquillity. without the consent of the emperor and the diet. . but the former are reserved for a distinct class. that the practice in this. We may be assured by past experience. though it appears from a quotation in an antecedent paper. has not followed the law. not with a view to give them an answer. to fix the standard of weights and measures. is but too often drowned. to resort to less convenient channels for their foreign trade. the great and essential power of regulating foreign commerce would have been incomplete and ineffectual. where the Union is so very slight. To the proofs and remarks which former papers have brought into view on this subject. I shall confine myself to a cursory review of the remaining powers comprehended under this third description. Among the restraints imposed by the Union of the Netherlands on its members. it may be added that without this supplemental provision. that such a practice would be introduced by future contrivances. each canton is obliged to allow to merchandises a passage through its jurisdiction into other cantons. to provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the current coin and secureties of the United States.

within the jurisdiction of the other. And how the trade with Indians. which is remarkable. by taking away a part. What would have been the consequence. can be regulated by an external authority. and letting the whole remain. is submitted of course to that authority which is to secure the value of both. shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of FREE CITIZENS in the several States. In the fourth article of the Confederation. though not members of a State. What description of Indians are to be deemed members of a State. is." etc." cannot easily be determined. FREE CITIZENS in another. although not citizens of such State. are entitled.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 128 The regulation of commerce with the Indian tribes is very properly unfettered from two limitations in the articles of Confederation. or rather every State is laid under a necessity. There is a confusion of language here. and is not to violate or infringe the legislative right of any State within its own limits. or that of the respective States. The authority of the existing Congress is restrained to the regulation of coin STRUCK by their own authority. and then asserted their rights as such. By the laws of several States. with complete sovereignty in the States. paupers. the Constitution has supplied a material omission in the articles of Confederation. as well as the current coin. not removed. The very improper power would still be retained by each State. All that need be remarked on the power to coin money. vagabonds. other consequences would probably have resulted. Why the terms FREE INHABITANTS are used in one part of the article. and PEOPLE in another. The dissimilarity in the rules of naturalization has long been remarked as a fault in our system. by residence or otherwise. or what was meant by superadding to "all privileges and immunities of free citizens. however. certain descriptions of aliens. both to residence and citizenship. that very serious embarrassments on this subject have been hitherto escaped. without so far intruding on the internal rights of legislation. and has been a question of frequent perplexity and contention in the federal councils. it is declared "that the FREE INHABITANTS of each of these States. But were an exposition of the term "inhabitants" to be admitted which would confine the stipulated privileges to citizens alone. by previous residence only in the former. in every other. to all the privileges of FREE CITIZENS of the latter. in every other State. the difficulty is diminished only. and as laying a foundation for intricate and delicate questions. who had rendered themselves obnoxious. which render the provision obscure and contradictory. had acquired the character of citizens under the laws of another State. is not yet settled. An alien. The punishment of counterfeiting the public securities. enjoy all the privileges of trade and commerce. that those who come under the denomination of FREE INHABITANTS of a State. that by providing for this last case. may. In one State. were laid under interdicts inconsistent not only with the rights of citizenship but with the privilege of residence. to subvert a mathematical axiom. and THE PEOPLE of each State shall. not only to confer the rights of citizenship in other States upon any whom it may admit to such rights within itself. that is. and of foreign coin. legally incapacitated for certain rights in the latter. to reconcile a partial sovereignty in the Union. to greater privileges than they may be entitled to in their own State: so that it may be in the power of a particular State." "all the privileges of trade and commerce. It seems to be a construction scarcely avoidable. of too serious a nature not to be provided . residence for a short term confirms all the rights of citizenship: in another. of naturalizing aliens in every other State. The power is there restrained to Indians. The regulation of weights and measures is transferred from the articles of Confederation. within the State proscribing them? Whatever the legal consequences might have been. elude his incapacity. excepted. therefore. qualifications of greater importance are required. and fugitives from justice. We owe it to mere casualty. regulate the value thereof. and is founded on like considerations with the preceding power of regulating coin. yet residing within its legislative jurisdiction. and thus the law of one State be preposterously rendered paramount to the law of another. not members of any of the States. It must be seen at once that the proposed uniformity in the VALUE of the current coin might be destroyed by subjecting that of foreign coin to the different regulations of the different States. but upon any whom it may allow to become inhabitants within its jurisdiction. if such persons. is absolutely incomprehensible. This is not the only case in which the articles of Confederation have inconsiderately endeavored to accomplish impossibilities.

and most of them have anticipated the decision of this point. by judicious management. be a harmless power. magazines." The utility of this power will scarcely be questioned. within a foreign jurisdiction. I might say of the world. and the effect they shall have in other States. and be particularly beneficial on the borders of contiguous States. and may. 2. The copyright of authors has been solemnly adjudged. by securing. and can be of little importance under any interpretation which it will bear. in all cases whatsoever.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 129 against. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. It is a power exercised by every legislature of the Union." The indispensable necessity of complete authority at the seat of government. made provision against them. A power "to promote the progress of science and useful arts. and other needful buildings. become the seat of the government of the United States. and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislatures of the States in which the same shall be. is an evident and valuable improvement on the clause relating to this subject in the articles of Confederation. to be a right of common law. January 23. in every view. that the expediency of it seems not likely to be drawn into question. arsenals. and will prevent so many frauds where the parties or their property may lie or be removed into different States. where the effects liable to justice may be suddenly and secretly translated. to authors and inventors. Wednesday. The power of establishing post roads must. and all others proceeding from the defect of the Confederation on this head. "To exercise exclusive legislation. in any stage of the process. for the erection of forts. The power of establishing uniform laws of bankruptcy is so intimately connected with the regulation of commerce. The power of prescribing by general laws. become productive of great public conveniency. by laws passed at the instance of Congress. by cession of particular States and the acceptance of Congress. dockyards. records and judicial proceedings of each State shall be proved. in Great Britain. The States cannot separately make effectual provisions for either of the cases. over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may. 1788 MADISON To the People of the State of New York: THE FOURTH class comprises the following miscellaneous powers: 1. the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries. The power here established may be rendered a very convenient instrument of justice. The meaning of the latter is extremely indeterminate. 43 The Same Subject Continued (The Powers Conferred by the Constitution Further Considered) For the Independent Journal. for a limited time. Nothing which tends to facilitate the intercourse between the States can be deemed unworthy of the public care. carries its own evidence with it. The public good fully coincides in both cases with the claims of individuals. by virtue of its general . perhaps. The right to useful inventions seems with equal reason to belong to the inventors. by authorizing the general government to establish a uniform rule of naturalization throughout the United States. with great propriety. the manner in which the public acts. The new Constitution has accordingly.

Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 130 supremacy. "To declare the punishment of treason. magazines. might bring on the national councils an imputation of awe or influence. established by the general government. And as it is to be appropriated to this use with the consent of the State ceding it. without the consent of the legislatures of the States concerned. to be in any degree dependent on a particular member of it. in every such establishment. will be derived from the whole people of the State in their adoption of the Constitution. Nor would it be proper for the places on which the security of the entire Union may depend. not only the public authority might be insulted and its proceedings interrupted with impunity. or of any particular State. With great propriety. 3. to concur in the cession. the convention have. the natural offspring of free government." with a proviso." As treason may be committed against the United States. for protection in the exercise of their duty.. Without it. The eventual establishment of NEW STATES seems to have been overlooked by the compilers of that instrument." . by requiring the concurrence of the States concerned. as a municipal legislature for local purposes. The general precaution. The public money expended on such places. nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States. as still further to abridge its necessary independence. equally dishonorable to the government and dissatisfactory to the other members of the Confederacy. 4. against a junction of States without their consent. fixing the proof necessary for conviction of it. with great judgment. But as new-fangled and artificial treasons have been the great engines by which violent factions. and the public property deposited in them. as the State will no doubt provide in the compact for the rights and the consent of the citizens inhabiting it. even in punishing it. as well as of the Congress. is consonant to the principles which ought to govern such transactions. and of the inhabitants of the ceded part of it. requires that they should be exempt from the authority of the particular State. "To admit new States into the Union. as that of the smaller is quieted by a like precaution. by inserting a constitutional definition of the crime. and the assumption of power into which Congress have been led by it. every imaginable objection seems to be obviated. have usually wreaked their alternate malignity on each other. but a dependence of the members of the general government on the State comprehending the seat of the government. except during the life of the person attained. as the inhabitants will find sufficient inducements of interest to become willing parties to the cession. The extent of this federal district is sufficiently circumscribed to satisfy every jealousy of an opposite nature. therefore. by the partition of a State without its consent. but no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State. as the gradual accumulation of public improvements at the stationary residence of the government would be both too great a public pledge to be left in the hands of a single State. etc. and restraining the Congress. or parts of States. is not less evident. opposed a barrier to this peculiar danger. and that of the States concerned. quiets the jealousy of the larger States. 5. that no new States shall be formed. no provision is found on this important subject. and would create so many obstacles to a removal of the government. without the concurrence of the federal authority. The necessity of a like authority over forts. but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood. has the new system supplied the defect. "To dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States. Canada was to be admitted of right. at the discretion of nine States. by which were evidently meant the other British colonies. that "nothing in the Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States. as they will have had their voice in the election of the government which is to exercise authority over them. All objections and scruples are here also obviated. and the other COLONIES. derived from their own suffrages. will of course be allowed them. the authority of the United States ought to be enabled to punish it. The particular precaution against the erection of new States. from extending the consequences of guilt beyond the person of its author. or forfeiture. and as the authority of the legislature of the State. This consideration has the more weight. on her joining in the measures of the United States. We have seen the inconvenience of this omission." In the articles of Confederation.

against domestic violence. especially a small State as by a majority of a county. the disproportionate force. as well as the monarchical form. are not under one government. But theoretic reasoning. and the greater right to insist that the forms of government under which the compact was entered into should be SUBSTANTIALLY maintained. But who can say what experiments may be produced by the caprice of particular States. Whenever the States may choose to substitute other republican forms. to suppose. The latitude of the expression here used seems to secure each State. it will be. that if the general government should interpose by virtue of this constitutional authority. to protect each of them against invasion. had its share of influence on the events.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor This is a power of very great importance. either that a majority have not the right. must be qualified by the lessons of practice. Protection against domestic violence is added with equal propriety. that the federal interposition can never be required. proves that the weaker members of the union ought not to be insensible to the policy of this article. and consequently. and if the authority of the State ought. bound to pursue the authority. These questions admit of ready answers. the greater interest have the members in the political institutions of each other. as the existing republican forms are continued by the States. "As the confederate republic of Germany. the provision for such an event will be a harmless superfluity only in the Constitution. properly speaking. than where it is deposited by the Constitution? Governments of dissimilar principles and forms have been found less adapted to a federal coalition of any sort. they have a right to do so. as the other cantons. that even among the Swiss cantons. "To guarantee to every State in the Union a republican form of government. As long. or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened). A protection against invasion is due from every society to the parts composing it. in this as in most other cases. A recent and well-known event among ourselves has warned us to be prepared for emergencies of a like nature. But a right implies a remedy. The history. It may possibly be asked. to protect the local magistracy. it is presumed. and composed of republican members. 131 6. by the ambition of enterprising leaders. which. that they shall not exchange republican for antirepublican Constitutions. The only restriction imposed on them is. or that a minority will have the force. to subvert a government. will hardly be considered as a grievance. it might seem not to square with the republican theory. therefore. than those of a kindred nature. subject to different princes." he adds. of course. or by the intrigues and influence of foreign powers? To the second question it may be answered. and the history of that league informs us that mutual aid is frequently claimed and afforded. ought not the federal authority. and where else could the remedy be deposited. or a district of the same State. they are guaranteed by the federal Constitution. not only against foreign hostility. no doubt. Why may not illicit combinations. and required by considerations similar to those which show the propriety of the former. At first view. of the new confederate. "as soon as the king of Macedon obtained a seat among the Amphictyons. in the latter case." says Montesquieu. provision is made for this object. The proviso annexed is proper in itself." "Greece was undone. experience shows us that it is more imperfect than that of Holland and Switzerland. to support the State authority? Besides. "consists of free cities and petty states. If the interposition of the general government should not be needed." In the latter case. be formed as well by a majority of a State. the superintending government ought clearly to possess authority to defend the system against aristocratic or monarchial innovations. there . without the concurrence of the States themselves. both of ancient and modern confederacies. and whether it may not become a pretext for alterations in the State governments. which supposes a pre-existing government of the form which is to be guaranteed. for purposes of violence. and was probably rendered absolutely necessary by jealousies and questions concerning the Western territory sufficiently known to the public. but when it would be improper. and to claim the federal guaranty for the latter. but against ambitious or vindictive enterprises of its more powerful neighbors." In a confederacy founded on republican principles. in the former. a restriction which. But the authority extends no further than to a GUARANTY of a republican form of government. what need there could be of such a precaution. It has been remarked. and on application of the legislature. and as well by the most democratic. The more intimate the nature of such a union may be.

what better umpires could be desired by two violent factions. not heated by the local flame? To the impartiality of judges. of military talents and experience. that the minority of CITIZENS may become a majority of PERSONS. or of those whom the constitution of the State has not admitted to the rights of suffrage? I take no notice of an unhappy species of population abounding in some of the States." This can only be considered as a declaratory proposition. they are reformed by those that remain sound. so it is fortunately not within the compass of human probability. who cannot be strangers to the pretended doctrine. as well as against them. an assertion of their validity on one side. flying to arms. Should abuses creep into one part. than the representatives of confederate States. and give a superiority of strength to any party with which they may associate themselves. what few others need to be informed of. and engagements entered into. among other reasons. that a change in the political form of civil society has the magical effect of dissolving its moral obligations. of a casual concourse of adventurers. or which determine the event of an election! May it not happen. during the calm of regular government. for the satisfaction of the foreign creditors of the United States. It will be much better that the violence in such cases should be repressed by the superintending power. "To consider all debts contracted. that every . that it diminishes the risk of a calamity for which no possible constitution can provide a cure. it has been remarked that the validity of engagements ought to have been asserted in favor of the United States. or of secret succors from foreign powers. and that as the article is merely declaratory. will generally prevent the necessity of exerting it. under this Constitution. and comprising a superiority of the entire force. may emerge into the human character. than that the majority should be left to maintain their cause by a bloody and obstinate contest. as being no less valid against the United States. They may be further told. as will render it superior also in an appeal to the sword? May not a more compact and advantageous position turn the scale on the same side. who. are sunk below the level of men. an important one is. the others are able to quell it. against a superior number so situated as to be less capable of a prompt and collected exertion of its strength? Nothing can be more chimerical than to imagine that in a trial of actual force. before the adoption of this Constitution. than under the Confederation. The existence of a right to interpose. victory may be calculated by the rules which prevail in a census of the inhabitants. though not a constitutional right? the answer must be. that such a case. what is to be the redress for an insurrection pervading all the States. and in the spirit which usually characterizes little critics. if a project equally effectual could be established for the universal peace of mankind! Should it be asked. that a violent blow cannot be given to the one without communicating the wound to the other. "that should a popular insurrection happen in one of the States. and tearing a State to pieces. The authors of this discovery may be told. Among the lesser criticisms which have been exercised on the Constitution. in the tempestuous scenes of civil violence. Is it true that force and right are necessarily on the same side in republican governments? May not the minor party possess such a superiority of pecuniary resources." 7. the omission has been transformed and magnified into a plot against the national rights. as it would be without the compass of human remedies. in fine. unless the number concerned in them bear some proportion to the friends of government. the establishment of the principle in one case is sufficient for every case. In cases where it may be doubtful on which side justice lies. they would unite the affection of friends. Among the advantages of a confederate republic enumerated by Montesquieu. and may have been inserted. and that it is a sufficient recommendation of the federal Constitution. necessarily involves a validity on the other side. but who.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 132 are certain parts of the State constitutions which are so interwoven with the federal Constitution. that as engagements are in their nature reciprocal. by the accession of alien residents. Happy would it be if such a remedy for its infirmities could be enjoyed by all free governments. Insurrections in a State will rarely induce a federal interposition.

committed by either of the parties. PERHAPS. and with it the part which the same motives dictate. both on one side and on the other. The express authority of the people alone could give due validity to the Constitution. was probably meant as a palladium to the residuary sovereignty of the States. that a mode for introducing them should be provided. therefore. would have subjected the essential interests of the whole to the caprice or corruption of a single member. It. to the great principle of self-preservation.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 133 constitution must limit its precautions to dangers that are not altogether imaginary. It guards equally against that extreme facility. To have required the unanimous ratification of the thirteen States." That useful alterations will be suggested by experience. will be . moreover. which might perpetuate its discovered faults. On what principle the Confederation. yet the moral relations will remain uncancelled. to remit the debts justly due to the public. and the flattering prospect of its being merely hypothetical forbids an overcurious discussion of it. absolves the others. The scene is now changed. to the transcendent law of nature and of nature's God. It would have marked a want of foresight in the convention. implied and secured by that principle of representation in one branch of the legislature. and to which all such institutions must be sacrificed. that although no political relation can subsist between the assenting and dissenting States. Should it unhappily be necessary to appeal to these delicate truths for a justification for dispensing with the consent of particular States to a dissolution of the federal pact. and authorizes them. or on the other." This article speaks for itself. It is one of those cases which must be left to provide for itself. The principle of reciprocality seems to require that its obligation on the other States should be reduced to the same standard. can pretend to no higher validity than a league or treaty between the parties. It is an established doctrine on the subject of treaties. What relation is to subsist between the nine or more States ratifying the Constitution. which would render the Constitution too mutable. and that a breach. an answer may be found without searching beyond the principles of the compact itself. or even without. A compact between independent sovereigns. will not the complaining parties find it a difficult task to answer the MULTIPLIED and IMPORTANT infractions with which they may be confronted? The time has been when it was incumbent on us all to veil the ideas which this paragraph exhibits. which declares that the safety and happiness of society are the objects at which all political institutions aim. on the pretext here condemned. to pronounce the compact violated and void. that all the articles are mutually conditions of each other. ratifying the same. and the remaining few who do not become parties to it? The first question is answered at once by recurring to the absolute necessity of the case. The claims of justice. which our own experience would have rendered inexcusable. if they please. with. that a breach of any one article is a breach of the whole treaty. as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side. this constitutional declaration before it. 8. It was requisite. The mode preferred by the convention seems to be stamped with every mark of propriety. also. The other exception must have been admitted on the same considerations which produced the privilege defended by it. could not but be foreseen. founded on ordinary acts of legislative authority. "To provide for amendments to be ratified by three fourths of the States under two exceptions only. Two questions of a very delicate nature present themselves on this occasion: 1. and was probably insisted on by the States particularly attached to that equality. which stands in the solemn form of a compact among the States. It has been heretofore noted among the defects of the Confederation. The second question is not less delicate. and that no real danger can exist that the government would DARE. that in many of the States it had received no higher sanction than a mere legislative ratification. and that extreme difficulty. In general. it may be observed. The exception in favor of the equality of suffrage in the Senate. equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors. can be superseded without the unanimous consent of the parties to it? 2. "The ratification of the conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the States. 9.

The prohibition of letters of marque is another part of the old system. was left in their hands by the Confederation. but is somewhat extended in the new. The right of coining money. coin money. on the industry and morals of the people. as well during war as previous to its declaration. and must be fulfilled. or grant any title of nobility. According to the former. Had every State a right to . as a concurrent right with that of Congress. on the necessary confidence in the public councils. the new provision is an improvement on the old. and. a right of coinage in the particular States could have no other effect than to multiply expensive mints and diversify the forms and weights of the circulating pieces. constitutes an enormous debt against the States chargeable with this unadvised measure. prove with equal force that they ought not to be at liberty to substitute a paper medium in the place of coin. in proportion to his love of justice and his knowledge of the true springs of public prosperity. it may be observed. under an exception in favor of the exclusive right of Congress to regulate the alloy and value. which must long remain unsatisfied. will. which is here taken from the States. is copied into the new Constitution. the rights of humanity must in all cases be duly and mutually respected. not urge in vain MODERATION on one side. and of immediate responsibility to the nation in all those for whose conduct the nation itself is to be responsible. In this instance. letters of marque could be granted by the States after a declaration of war. which can be expiated no otherwise than by a voluntary sacrifice on the altar of justice. or law impairing the obligation of contracts. these licenses must be obtained. according to the latter. that the same reasons which show the necessity of denying to the States the power of regulating coin. "No State shall enter into any treaty. and PRUDENCE on the other. of the power which has been the instrument of it. whilst considerations of a common interest. The loss which America has sustained since the peace. from the pestilent effects of paper money on the necessary confidence between man and man. or rather an accumulation of guilt. 1788. January 25.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 134 in force. make any thing but gold and silver a legal tender in payment of debts. the end can be as well attained by local mints established under the general authority. Whilst the alloy and value depended on the general authority. alliance. also. or confederation. above all. from the government of the United States. and as far as the former might prevent an inconvenient remittance of gold and silver to the central mint for recoinage. alliances. In addition to these persuasive considerations. 44 Restrictions on the Authority of the Several States From the New York Packet. The latter inconveniency defeats one purpose for which the power was originally submitted to the federal head. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: A FIFTH class of provisions in favor of the federal authority consists of the following restrictions on the authority of the several States: 1. and the anticipation of a speedy triumph over the obstacles to reunion. the remembrance of the endearing scenes which are past. grant letters of marque and reprisal. it is hoped. The extension of the prohibition to bills of credit must give pleasure to every citizen. and on the character of republican government. Friday." The prohibition against treaties. ex post facto law. This alteration is fully justified by the advantage of uniformity in all points which relate to foreign powers. and confederations makes a part of the existing articles of Union. pass any bill of attainder. and for reasons which need no explanation. emit bills of credit.

But have they considered whether a better form . that they may be passed over without remark. than that the manner in which the restraint is qualified seems well calculated at once to secure to the States a reasonable discretion in providing for the conveniency of their imports and exports. that one legislative interference is but the first link of a long chain of repetitions. and animosities be kindled among the States themselves. 1. inspire a general prudence and industry. and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States. No one of these mischiefs is less incident to a power in the States to emit paper money. in so doing." The restraint on the power of the States over imports and exports is enforced by all the arguments which prove the necessity of submitting the regulation of trade to the federal councils. every subsequent interference being naturally produced by the effects of the preceding. and I am much deceived if they have not. no part can appear more completely invulnerable. and to the United States a reasonable check against the abuse of this discretion. The two former are expressly prohibited by the declarations prefixed to some of the State constitutions. as faithfully consulted the genuine sentiments as the undoubted interests of their constituents. and hence the Union be discredited and embroiled by the indiscretion of a single member. lay any duty on tonnage. lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports. The SIXTH and last class consists of the several powers and provisions by which efficacy is given to all the rest. No State shall. have the convention added this constitutional bulwark in favor of personal security and private rights. retrospective alterations in its value might be made. that additional fences against these dangers ought not to be omitted. enter into any agreement or compact with another State. that some thorough reform is wanting. yet on a fair investigation of it. the "power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers. without the consent of Congress. It is needless. "No State shall. are contrary to the first principles of the social compact. the whole Constitution would be a dead letter. there might be as many different currencies as States. They very rightly infer. and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress. therefore. keep troops or ships of war in time of peace. Our own experience has taught us. or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay." Few parts of the Constitution have been assailed with more intemperance than this. nevertheless. Bills of attainder. can only mean that the FORM of the provision is improper. They have seen. than to coin gold or silver. Those who object to the article. The prohibition with respect to titles of nobility is copied from the articles of Confederation and needs no comment. The remaining particulars of this clause fall within reasonings which are either so obvious. Of these the first is. ex post facto laws. and thus the citizens of other States be injured. therefore. is withdrawn from the States.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 135 regulate the value of its coin. or in any department or officer thereof. or have been so fully developed. too. except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws. in cases affecting personal rights. and the net produce of all duties and imposts laid by any State on imports or exports. The power to make any thing but gold and silver a tender in payment of debts. The subjects of foreign powers might suffer from the same cause. and to every principle of sound legislation. and thus the intercourse among them would be impeded. which will banish speculations on public measures. and all of them are prohibited by the spirit and scope of these fundamental charters. or engage in war unless actually invaded. Without the SUBSTANCE of this power. and give a regular course to the business of society. become jobs in the hands of enterprising and influential speculators. to remark further on this head. The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils. and laws impairing the obligation of contracts. or with a foreign power. as a part of the Constitution. shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States. on the same principle with that of issuing a paper currency. They have seen with regret and indignation that sudden changes and legislative interferences. therefore. therefore. 2. and snares to the more-industrious and lessinformed part of the community. Very properly. without the consent of the Congress.

the same. or in reason. would be less forcibly excepted. at the same time. delegated by the articles of Confederation. the PARTICULAR POWERS. in case the Congress shall misconstrue this part of the Constitution. wherever a general power to do a thing is given. as their predecessors have been. if it were necessary. but to all the possible changes which futurity may produce. Had they attempted to enumerate the particular powers or means not necessary or proper for carrying the general powers into execution. the task would have been no less chimerical. not only to the existing state of things. They might have copied the second article of the existing Confederation. they might have been altogether silent on the subject. every particular power necessary for doing it is included.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor could have been substituted? 136 There are four other possible methods which the Constitution might have taken on this subject. and that the unnecessary and improper powers included in the residuum. every objection now urged against their plan would remain in all its plausibility. they might have attempted a positive enumeration of the powers comprehended under the general terms "necessary and proper". I answer. and any one of these were to be violated. As the powers delegated under the new system are more extensive. been pursued by the convention. Had the Constitution been silent on this head. and described the residue by the general terms. as to disarm the government of all real authority whatever. than if no partial enumeration had been made. and be often properly varied whilst the object remains the same. which would have prohibited the exercise of any power not EXPRESSLY delegated. In the first instance. which are to expound and give effect to the legislative . the attempt would have involved a complete digest of laws on every subject to which the Constitution relates. to the alternative of construing the term "EXPRESSLY" with so much rigor. by unavoidable implication. to avoid this consequence. Had the convention attempted a positive enumeration of the powers necessary and proper for carrying their other powers into effect. by specifying the powers excepted from the general definition. but. the same as if they should misconstrue or enlarge any other power vested in them. or of violating the Constitution by exercising powers indispensably necessary and proper. It would be easy to show. has been or can be executed by Congress. If it be asked what is to be the consequence. If. leaving these necessary and proper powers to construction and inference. the success of the usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments. without recurring more or less to the doctrine of CONSTRUCTION or IMPLICATION. which are the means of attaining the OBJECT of the general power. or with so much latitude as to destroy altogether the force of the restriction. and exercise powers not warranted by its true meaning. and would have been liable to this further objection. NOT NECESSARY OR PROPER. for in every new application of a general power. there can be no doubt that all the particular powers requisite as means of executing the general powers would have resulted to the government. than that wherever the end is required. because the enumeration would of course select such as would be least necessary or proper. accommodated too. as if the general power had been reduced to particulars. they might have attempted a negative enumeration of them. it is evident that the new Congress would be continually exposed. as if the State legislatures should violate the irrespective constitutional authorities. Had the convention taken the first method of adopting the second article of Confederation. that no important power. No axiom is more clearly established in law. the government which is to administer it would find itself still more distressed with the alternative of betraying the public interests by doing nothing. they had attempted a partial enumeration of the exceptions. it must have happened that the enumeration would comprehend a few of the excepted powers only. must always necessarily vary with that object. not EXPRESSLY granted. Had this last method. that these would be such as would be least likely to be assumed or tolerated. the means are authorized. that every defect in the enumeration would have been equivalent to a positive grant of authority. therefore. and the real inconveniency would be incurred of not removing a pretext which may be seized on critical occasions for drawing into question the essential powers of the Union. in short.

and the new Congress would have been reduced to the same impotent condition with their predecessors. both of the United States and the several States. it would have seen a monster. 3. so far as they exceed those enumerated in the Confederation. that the State magistracy should be bound to support the federal Constitution. that this ultimate redress may be more confided in against unconstitutional acts of the federal than of the State legislatures. would interfere with some and not with other constitutions. The members and officers of the State governments. forever be conducted by the officers. these will be ever ready to mark the innovation. in all cases not excepted by the existing articles of Confederation. a system of government founded on an inversion of the fundamental principles of all government. The truth is. and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby. In fine. as these constitutions invest the State legislatures with absolute sovereignty. for the first time. it would have seen the authority of the whole society every where subordinate to the authority of the parts. under the authority of the United States. on the legislatures of the several States. an express saving of the supremacy of the former would. that as every such act of the former will be an invasion of the rights of the latter. shall be the supreme law of the land. in such States. In the third place. at the same time that it would have no effect in others. in favor of the State constitutions. The members of the federal government will have no agency in carrying the State constitutions into effect. or which shall be made. There being no such intermediate body between the State legislatures and the people interested in watching the conduct of the former. which is obvious and conclusive. In the next place. and will. in all cases.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 137 acts. To be fully sensible of this. and unnecessary that a like oath should be imposed on the officers of the United States. and to exert their local influence in effecting a change of federal representatives. "The Senators and Representatives. it might happen that a treaty or national law. the world would have seen. and would consequently be valid in some of the States." It has been asked why it was thought necessary. have brought into question every power contained in the proposed Constitution. any thing in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. on the contrary. of great and equal importance to the States. by the election of more faithful representatives. we need only suppose for a moment that the supremacy of the State constitutions had been left complete by a saving clause in their favor. all the authorities contained in the proposed Constitution. will have an essential agency in giving effect to the federal Constitution. and . annul the acts of the usurpers. in which the head was under the direction of the members. The election of the President and Senate will depend. without which it would have been evidently and radically defective. I content myself with one. as the constitutions of some of the States do not even expressly and fully recognize the existing powers of the Confederacy. shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution. "This Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof." The indiscreet zeal of the adversaries to the Constitution has betrayed them into an attack on this part of it also. for this plain reason. as the constitutions of the States differ much from each other. and all executive and judicial officers. and the members of the several State legislatures. would have been annulled. violations of the State constitutions are more likely to remain unnoticed and unredressed. probably. In the first place. and in the last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people who can. to sound the alarm to the people. and all treaties made. 2. And the election of the House of Representatives will equally depend on the same authority in the first instance. Several reasons might be assigned for the distinction.

whether this amount of power shall be granted or not. the Union be essential to the happiness of the people of America. and that no form of government whatever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object. might enjoy a certain extent of power. without which the objects of the Union cannot be attained. was the precious blood of thousands spilt. as far as the sovereignty of the States cannot be reconciled to the . or. not that the people of America should enjoy peace. if it be essential to their security against contentions and wars among the different States. The adversaries to the plan of the convention. that such a government may derogate from the importance of the governments of the individual States? Was. in other words. Were the plan of the convention adverse to the public happiness. as has been shown. the American Revolution effected. We have now reviewed. then. the real welfare of the great body of the people. instead of considering in the first place what degree of power was absolutely necessary for the purposes of the federal government. therefore. that no part of the power is unnecessary or improper for accomplishing the necessary objects of the Union. 138 4. 45 The Alleged Danger From the Powers of the Union to the State Governments Considered For the Independent Fournal. The question. to urge as an objection to a government. that the people were made for kings. in a word. But if the Union. but that the government of the individual States. In like manner. and are brought to this undeniable conclusion.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor according to the laws. Is the same doctrine to be revived in the New. in another shape that the solid happiness of the people is to be sacrificed to the views of political institutions of a different form? It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public good. all the articles composing the sum or quantity of power delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government. and safety. if it be essential to guard them against those violent and oppressive factions which embitter the blessings of liberty. January 26. have exhausted themselves in a secondary inquiry into the possible consequences of the proposed degree of power to the governments of the particular States. it would be. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. and against those military establishments which must gradually poison its very fountain. Among the provisions for giving efficacy to the federal powers might be added those which belong to the executive and judiciary departments: but as these are reserved for particular examination in another place. in detail. resolves itself into another question. that particular municipal establishments. the next question to be considered is. is the supreme object to be pursued. Abolish the Union. Were the Union itself inconsistent with the public happiness. and be arrayed with certain dignities and attributes of sovereignty? We have heard of the impious doctrine in the Old World. was the American Confederacy formed. 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. whether or not a government commensurate to the exigencies of the Union shall be established. Reject the plan. and the hard-earned substance of millions lavished. of the States. not kings for the people. my voice would be. I pass them over in this. whether the Union itself shall be preserved. be essential to the security of the people of America against foreign danger. Saturday. whether the whole mass of them will be dangerous to the portion of authority left in the several States. is it not preposterous. if. liberty.

On the contrary. under the proposed Constitution. into one consolidated government. Yet history does not inform us that either of them ever degenerated. and finally the disunion. the more fully I am persuaded that the balance is much more likely to be disturbed by the preponderancy of the last than of the first scale. The State governments may be regarded as constituent and essential parts of the federal government. a very extensive portion of active sovereignty. or tended to degenerate. in most cases. and very little. whilst the latter is nowise essential to the operation or organization of the former. as far as its principles and form are transmitted. though drawn immediately from the people. In the Achaean league it is probable that the federal head had a degree and species of power. Without the intervention of the State legislatures. to the disposition and faculty of resisting and frustrating the measures of each other. and to each other. with a very ineffectual capacity in the latter to defend itself against the encroachments. whether we compare them in respect to the immediate dependence of the one on the other. and the sympathy in some instances between the general sovereign and the latter. yet. The Lycian Confederacy. The State governments will have the advantage of the Federal government. in all the examples of ancient and modern confederacies. which is much more likely to beget a disposition too obsequious than too overbearing towards them. as the States will retain. to the weight of personal influence which each side will possess. On the other side. as the external causes by which the component parts were pressed together were much more numerous and powerful than in our case. Although. the great kingdoms in Europe would at this time consist of as many independent princes as there were formerly feudatory barons. Had no external dangers enforced internal harmony and subordination. The Senate will be elected absolutely and exclusively by the State legislatures. Let the former be sacrificed to the latter. In the feudal system. we have seen a similar propensity exemplified. we know that the ruin of one of them proceeded from the incapacity of the federal authority to prevent the dissensions. to the local influence of its members. There will consequently be less of personal influence on the . the system has been so dissimilar from that under consideration as greatly to weaken any inference concerning the latter from the fate of the former. How far the sacrifice is necessary. has been shown. which discountenance the supposition that the operation of the federal government will by degrees prove fatal to the State governments. These cases are the more worthy of our attention. Thus. whose influence over the people obtains for themselves an election into the State legislatures. which gave it a considerable likeness to the government framed by the convention. the strongest tendency continually betraying itself in the members. the inference ought not to be wholly disregarded. had the local sovereigns possessed the affections of the people. How far the unsacrificed residue will be endangered. to the predilection and probable support of the people. Notwithstanding the want of proper sympathy in every instance between the local sovereigns and the people. in most of these examples. Even the House of Representatives. it usually happened that the local sovereigns prevailed in the rivalship for encroachments. to the powers respectively vested in them. is the question before us. The more I revolve the subject. of themselves determine it. and consequently less powerful ligaments within would be sufficient to bind the members to the head. and will. the voice of every good citizen must be. will be chosen very much under the influence of that class of men. the President of the United States cannot be elected at all. must have borne a still greater analogy to it. the component parts of the State governments will in no instance be indebted for their appointment to the direct agency of the federal government. The number of individuals employed under the Constitution of the United States will be much smaller than the number employed under the particular States. of the subordinate authorities.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 139 happiness of the people. perhaps. if at all. Several important considerations have been touched in the course of these papers. and must consequently feel a dependence. each of the principal branches of the federal government will owe its existence more or less to the favor of the State governments. to despoil the general government of its authorities. We have seen. They must in all cases have a great share in his appointment. and particularly.

and from which no apprehensions are entertained. The powers relating to war and peace. If the federal government is to have collectors of revenue. is a new power. and having particular acquaintance with every class and circle of people. the less frequent will be those scenes of danger which might favor their ascendancy over the governments of the particular States. The former will be exercised principally on external objects. be connected. in times of peace and security. or even more. officers of different descriptions. As the former periods will probably bear a small proportion to the latter. and in this view alone. but it is probable that this power will not be resorted to. as the future Congress will have to require them of individual citizens. in the ordinary course of affairs. but that seems to be an addition which few oppose. beyond all proportion. executive. peace. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. whilst those of the latter will be spread over the face of the country. ministerial officers of justice. those of the State governments. both in number and influence. the federal powers may be rendered to the national defense. whose influence would lie on the side of the State. intermixed. and judiciary departments of thirteen and more States. officers of militia. that in other instances. or could their compliance have been enforced by as peaceable means as may be used with . and that the eventual collection. the State governments will have theirs also. Should it happen. Compare the members of the three great departments of the thirteen States. armies and fleets. concern the lives. Had the States complied punctually with the articles of Confederation. except for supplemental purposes of revenue. and properties of the people. The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government. than in the invigoration of its ORIGINAL POWERS. will generally be made by the officers. for the most part.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 140 side of the former than of the latter. it only substitutes a more effectual mode of administering them. Within every district to which a federal collector would be allotted. we may pronounce the advantage of the States to be decisive. I may add. The change relating to taxation may be regarded as the most important. with the members of the corresponding departments of the single government of the Union. and the latter will be no more bound than the States themselves have been. the justices of peace. and may exercise. of possibility. it will be found that the change which it proposes consists much less in the addition of NEW POWERS to the Union. improvement. the power of collecting internal as well as external taxes throughout the States. and yet the present Congress have as complete authority to REQUIRE of the States indefinite supplies of money for the common defense and general welfare. that separate collectors of internal revenue should be appointed under the federal government. and will be very numerous. The proposed change does not enlarge these powers. or. the advantage in this view also lies on the same side. excluding from the judiciary department the justices of peace. are few and defined. however. It is true. Indeed it is extremely probable. corporation. indeed. with the other more considerable powers. the State governments will here enjoy another advantage over the federal government. and the internal order. and town officers. for three millions and more of people. are all vested in the existing Congress by the articles of Confederation. to pay the quotas respectively taxed on them. that an option will then be given to the States to supply their quotas by previous collections of their own. The regulation of commerce. particularly in the organization of the judicial power. The members of the legislative. as war. under the immediate authority of the Union. there would not be less than thirty or forty. appointed by the several States. must exceed. and many of them persons of character and weight. that the Confederacy is to possess. liberties. those of every description who will be employed in the administration of the federal system. with which last the power of taxation will. If the new Constitution be examined with accuracy and candor. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which. and prosperity of the State. The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger. it is true. compare the militia officers of three millions of people with the military and marine officers of any establishment which is within the compass of probability. treaties and finance. and not very numerous. and foreign commerce. and according to the rules. And as those of the former will be principally on the seacoast. the influence of the whole number would not bear a comparison with that of the multitude of State officers in the opposite scale. The more adequate. the officers of the States will be clothed with the correspondent authority of the Union. with all the county. negotiation.

It was. that the existence of the State governments is incompatible with any system whatever that accomplishes the essental purposes of the Union. all the more domestic and personal interests of the people will be regulated and provided for. Experience speaks the same language in this case. and designed for different purposes. From the gift of these a greater number of offices and emoluments will flow. invariably found. resides in the people alone. They must be told that the ultimate authority. whether either. after the transient enthusiasm for the early Congresses was over. or which of them. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. but as uncontrolled by any common superior in their efforts to usurp the authorities of each other. had. and the acquisition of everything that could be desirable to the people at large. not only as mutual rivals and enemies. seem to place it beyond doubt that the first and most natural attachment of the people will be to the governments of their respective States. The federal and State governments are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people. 46 The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared From the New York Packet. nevertheless. and that opposition to . our past experience is very far from countenancing an opinion. To maintain that such an event would have ensued. Tuesday. I assume this position here as it respects the first. in a course of measures which had for their object the protection of everything that was dear. By the superintending care of these. that the attention and attachment of the people were turned anew to their own particular governments. constituted with different powers. an activity and importance as great as it can well have in any future circumstances whatever. on the side of these. Notwithstanding the different modes in which they are appointed. though hitherto very defective in comparison with what may be hoped under a better system. wherever the derivative may be found. will be able to enlarge its sphere of jurisdiction at the expense of the other. And with the members of these. during the war. and of family and party attachments. Into the administration of these a greater number of individuals will expect to rise. that the federal council was at no time the idol of popular favor. January 29. With the affairs of these. These gentlemen must here be reminded of their error. Many considerations. the people will be more familiarly and minutely conversant. and that it will not depend merely on the comparative ambition or address of the different governments. therefore. and have gradually undergone an entire consolidation. would be to say at once. that the State governments would have lost their constitutional powers. no less than decency. reserving the proofs for another place.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 141 success towards single persons. 1788. we must consider both of them as substantially dependent on the great body of the citizens of the United States. besides those suggested on a former occasion. Truth. and particularly whilst the independent fund of paper emissions was in credit. requires that the event in every case should be supposed to depend on the sentiments and sanction of their common constituents. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: RESUMING the subject of the last paper. I proceed to inquire whether the federal government or the State governments will have the advantage with regard to the predilection and support of the people. the popular bias may well be expected most strongly to incline. too. and to have viewed these different establishments. The federal administration. The adversaries of the Constitution seem to have lost sight of the people altogether in their reasonings on this subject. It was engaged. will a greater proportion of the people have the ties of personal acquaintance and friendship.

The prepossessions. that its views will be as confined as those of the State legislatures. will be overruled by no reciprocal predispositions in the members. but only that it will partake sufficiently of the spirit of both. The States will be to the latter what counties and towns are to the former. the change can only result from such manifest and irresistible proofs of a better administration. will generally be favorable to the States. are the disposition and the faculty they may respectively possess. that the members have but too frequently displayed the character. but on the prejudices. and pursuits of the governments and people of the individual States. the objects of their affections and consultations? For the same reason that the members of the State legislatures will be unlikely to attach themselves sufficiently to national objects. that the Federal government may feel an equal disposition with the State governments to extend its power beyond the due limits. 142 If. the people should in future become more partial to the federal than to the State governments. to be disinclined to invade the rights of the individual States. would but inflame the zeal of all parties on . to resist and frustrate the measures of each other. or the interposition of federal officers. the people ought not surely to be precluded from giving most of their confidence where they may discover it to be most due. to the aggrandizement of the federal government. the great interests of the nation have suffered on a hundred. however. So far as the disposition of each towards the other may be influenced by these causes. how can it be imagined that they will make the aggregate prosperity of the Union. that the new federal government will not embrace a more enlarged plan of policy than the existing government may have pursued. And in that case. than a national spirit will prevail in the legislatures of the particular States. A local spirit will infallibly prevail much more in the members of Congress. that the members of the State governments will carry into the public councils a bias in favor of the general government. because it is only within a certain sphere that the federal power can. I mean not by these reflections to insinuate. the latter would still have the advantage in the means of defeating such encroachments. by means on the spot and depending on the State alone. that where on one occasion improper sacrifices have been made of local considerations. It has appeared also. interests. The remaining points on which I propose to compare the federal and State governments. interests. it is executed immediately and. But in a distinct and very important point of view. or the preorgatives of their governments. which the members themselves will carry into the federal government. And if they do not sufficiently enlarge their policy to embrace the collective welfare of their particular State. on whom both will depend. and the dignity and respectability of its government. than the latter will be on the former. and views of the particular States. Every one knows that a great proportion of the errors committed by the State legislatures proceeds from the disposition of the members to sacrifice the comprehensive and permanent interest of the State. as well as the candid acknowledgments of such as have had a seat in that assembly. as will overcome all their antecedent propensities. Measures will too often be decided according to their probable effect. be advantageously administered. to augment their prerogatives by defalcations from the federal government. the State governments must clearly have the advantage. rather of partisans of their respective States.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor proposed enlargements of its powers and importance was the side usually taken by the men who wished to build their political consequence on the prepossessions of their fellow-citizens. What is the spirit that has in general characterized the proceedings of Congress? A perusal of their journals. the advantage will lie on the same side. to the particular and separate views of the counties or districts in which they reside. of course. will be more on the side of the State governments. be generally popular in that State and should not too grossly violate the oaths of the State officers. therefore. whilst it will rarely happen. the members of the federal legislature will be likely to attach themselves too much to local objects. Were it admitted. If an act of a particular State. but even in that case the State governments could have little to apprehend. from an undue attention to the local prejudices. not on the national prosperity and happiness. The motives on the part of the State governments. than of the federal government. It has been already proved that the members of the federal will be more dependent on the members of the State governments. The opposition of the federal government. in the nature of things. much less. as has been elsewhere remarked. will inform us. though unfriendly to the national government. that the prepossessions of the people. than of impartial guardians of a common interest.

which are carried as far as the public resources will bear. to which the people are attached. will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls. and by which the militia officers are appointed. a standing army can be carried in any country. uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment. as was produced by the dread of a foreign. Let a regular army. and continue to supply the materials. more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. in the United States. The highest number to which. one part of the empire was employed against the other. without the employment of means which must always be resorted to with reluctance and difficulty. The more numerous part invaded the rights of the less numerous part. The attempt was unjust and unwise. and unless the projected innovations should be voluntarily renounced. which may sometimes be the case. throughout this period. Besides the advantage of being armed. would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter. or of a few States only. would form. fully equal to the resources of the country. than like the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism. officered by men chosen from among themselves. on the authority of the State governments. should an unwarrantable measure of the federal government be unpopular in particular States. On the other hand. The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition. refusal to co-operate with the officers of the Union. the frowns of the executive magistracy of the State. for a sufficient period of time. and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government. would oppose. or rather one set of representatives would be contending against thirteen sets of representatives. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands. according to the best computation. the embarrassments created by legislative devices. A correspondence would be opened. Every government would espouse the common cause.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 143 the side of the State. and the evil could not be prevented or repaired. In the contest with Great Britain. But ambitious encroachments of the federal government. would not excite the opposition of a single State. The same combinations. which would often be added on such occasions. They would be signals of general alarm. the same appeal to a trial of force would be made in the one case as was made in the other. But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity. the existence of subordinate governments. or the misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal. forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition. elect an uninterupted succession of men ready to betray both. their repugnance and. with the people on their side. be formed. which would seldom fail to be the case. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms. and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. yoke. that the State governments. and where the sentiments of several adjoining States happened to be in unison. with the whole body of their common constituents on the side of the latter. in a large State. would be able to repel the danger. that the traitors should. But what would be the contest in the case we are supposing? Who would be the parties? A few representatives of the people would be opposed to the people themselves. until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads. an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. in short. must appear to every one more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy. very serious impediments. or even a warrantable measure be so. let it however be made. perhaps. The disquietude of the people. still it would not be going too far to say. if at all. difficulties not to be despised. but it was not in speculation absolutely chimerical. The reasonings contained in these papers must have been employed to little purpose indeed. That the people and the States should. which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. fighting for their common liberties. Extravagant as the supposition is. in any State. And it is not certain. if it could be necessary now to disprove the reality of this danger. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe. the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. It may well be doubted. that with this aid . This proportion would not yield. Plans of resistance would be concerted. the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand. would result from an apprehension of the federal. that the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm. One spirit would animate and conduct the whole.

Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion. The argument under the present head may be put into a very concise form. 47 The Particular Structure of the New Government and the Distribution of Power Among Its Different Parts For the Independent Journal. executive. No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value. it will be restrained by that dependence from forming schemes obnoxious to their constituents. One of the principal objections inculcated by the more respectable adversaries to the Constitution. and judiciary. or it will not. by these governments. The accumulation of all powers. or many. that the legislative. 1788. by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it. they seem to amount to the most convincing evidence. seems to have been paid to this essential precaution in favor of liberty. and the distribution of this mass of power among its constituent parts. The several departments of power are distributed and blended in such a manner as at once to destroy all symmetry and beauty of form. On the other supposition. January 30.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 144 alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. is its supposed violation of the political maxim. must. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves. and that all those alarms which have been sounded. that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession. and its schemes of usurpation will be easily defeated by the State governments. on the most favorable interpretation. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment. and judiciary departments ought to be separate and distinct. which appears altogether conclusive. than that on which the objection is founded. it is said. and attached both to them and to the militia. . and to expose some of the essential parts of the edifice to the danger of being crushed by the disproportionate weight of other parts. it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: HAVING reviewed the general form of the proposed government and the general mass of power allotted to it. be ascribed to the chimerical fears of the authors of them. as they are indispensably necessary to accomplish the purposes of the Union. a few. executive. In the structure of the federal government. Either the mode in which the federal government is to be constructed will render it sufficiently dependent on the people. who will be supported by the people. that the powers proposed to be lodged in the federal government are as little formidable to those reserved to the individual States. and whether hereditary. Wednesday. in the same hands. it will not possess the confidence of the people. whether of one. I proceed to examine the particular structure of this government. no regard. and of officers appointed out of the militia. who could collect the national will and direct the national force. of a meditated and consequential annihilation of the State governments. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty. that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it. On the first supposition. legislative. On summing up the considerations stated in this and the last paper.

In order to form correct ideas on this important subject. not to mistake his meaning in this case. though they are shoots from the executive stock. no further arguments would be necessary to inspire a universal reprobation of the system. is not among the vices of that constitution. the acts of each other. and judiciary departments are by no means totally separate and distinct from each other. He alone has the prerogative of making treaties with foreign sovereigns. as the mirror of political liberty. or if the entire legislative body had possessed the supreme judiciary. The British Constitution was to Montesquieu what Homer has been to the didactic writers on epic poetry. to ascertain his meaning on this point. Let us endeavor. by which Montesquieu was guided. it may clearly be inferred that. that where the WHOLE power of one department is exercised by the same hands which possess the WHOLE power of another department. or the supreme administration of justice." or. The executive magistrate forms an integral part of the legislative authority. as his own words import. had possessed also the complete legislative power. or body of magistrates. and form. on another hand. and is invested with the supreme appellate jurisdiction in all other cases. then. when made. the fundamental principles of a free constitution are subverted. when he pleases to consult them. the force of legislative acts. can be removed by him on the address of the two Houses of Parliament. again. The entire legislature. The judges can exercise no executive prerogative. All the members of the judiciary department are appointed by him. as. Were the federal Constitution. As the latter have considered the work of the immortal bard as the perfect model from which the principles and rules of the epic art were to be drawn. which. on the impeachment of a third. we must perceive that the legislative. though he has the appointment of those who do administer it. let us recur to the source from which the maxim was drawn. and by which all similar works were to be judged. and though one of its branches is possessed of the judicial power in the last resort. This would have been the case in the constitution examined by him. and that the maxim on which it relies has been totally misconceived and misapplied. If he be not the author of this invaluable precept in the science of politics. This. therefore. so this great political critic appears to have viewed the Constitution of England as the standard." he did not mean that these departments ought to have no PARTIAL AGENCY in. nor administer justice in person. though they may be advised with by the legislative councils. however. nor any legislative function. His meaning. however. From these facts. in saying "There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person. The judges. it is the sole depositary of judicial power in cases of impeachment. One branch of the legislative department forms also a great constitutional council to the executive chief. really chargeable with the accumulation of power. can exercise no executive prerogative. if the king. in the form of elementary truths. may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. under certain limitations. though not admitted to a legislative vote. that the charge cannot be supported. having a dangerous tendency to such an accumulation. or with a mixture of powers. or no CONTROL over. or the supreme executive authority. executive. again. On the slightest view of the British Constitution. The entire legislature can perform no judiciary act. I persuade myself. and another. who is the sole executive magistrate. can try and condemn all the subordinate officers in . The oracle who is always consulted and cited on this subject is the celebrated Montesquieu.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 145 selfappointed. and to have delivered. "if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers. That we may be sure. or elective. or to use his own expression. can amount to no more than this. it will be proper to investigate the sense in which the preservation of liberty requires that the three great departments of power should be separate and distinct. though by the joint act of two of its branches the judges may be removed from their offices. one of his constitutional councils. are so far connected with the legislative department as often to attend and participate in its deliberations. The magistrate in whom the whole executive power resides cannot of himself make a law. that it will be made apparent to every one. though he can put a negative on every law. and still more conclusively as illustrated by the example in his eye. though one of its branches constitutes the supreme executive magistracy. have. the several characteristic principles of that particular system. in the first place. he has the merit at least of displaying and recommending it most effectually to the attention of mankind.

or either of them. and the Senate. has a casting vote in case of a tie. and. 146 The reasons on which Montesquieu grounds his maxim are a further demonstration of his meaning. Lastly. which is a branch of the legislative department. Several of the officers of state are also appointed by the legislature. in this last point at least. and." Some of these reasons are more fully explained in other passages. gives a like control to the judiciary department. Were it joined to the executive power. The executive magistrate has a qualified negative on the legislative body. we find that. And the members of the judiciary department are appointed by the executive department. besides an equal vote in all cases. executive. particularly executive offices. but briefly stated as they are here. As the appointment to offices. and is not in a single point violated by the plan of the convention. which is a part of the legislature. each other AS THE NATURE OF A FREE GOVERNMENT WILL ADMIT. I pass over the constitutions of Rhode Island and Connecticut. a partial control over the legislative department. "there can be no liberty. The constitution of New York contains no declaration on this subject. for THE JUDGE would then be THE LEGISLATOR. are appointable by the executive department. the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary control. as it has been explained. OR AS IS CONSISTENT WITH THAT CHAIN OF CONNECTION THAT BINDS THE WHOLE FABRIC OF THE CONSTITUTION IN ONE INDISSOLUBLE BOND OF UNITY AND AMITY. The President. a number of the officers of government are annually appointed by the legislative department. nevertheless. It goes no farther than to prohibit any one of the entire departments from exercising the powers of another department. seems to have been fully aware of the impossibility and inexpediency of avoiding any mixture whatever of these departments. the compilers of the Constitution have. is the presiding member also of the Senate. and independent of. The Senate. the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers. the unqualified terms in which this axiom has been laid down. New Hampshire. again." Again: "Were the power of judging joined with the legislative. a partial mixture of powers has been admitted. If we look into the constitutions of the several States. and judiciary powers ought to be kept as separate from. in expressing this fundamental article of liberty. And its court for the trial of impeachments and correction of errors is to consist of one branch of the legislature and the principal . The constitution of Massachusetts has observed a sufficient though less pointed caution. The executive head is himself eventually elective every year by the legislative department. both executive and judiciary. whose constitution was the last formed. is in its nature an executive function. who is the head of the executive department. but appears very clearly to have been framed with an eye to the danger of improperly blending the different departments. is also a judicial tribunal for the trial of impeachments. The members of the judiciary department. to the executive magistrate. or either of them. they sufficiently establish the meaning which we have put on this celebrated maxim of this celebrated author. in some instances. In its council of appointment members of the legislative are associated with the executive authority. It gives. and even before the principle under examination had become an object of political attention." says he. and has qualified the doctrine by declaring "that the legislative. notwithstanding the emphatical and. because they were formed prior to the Revolution. and even blends the executive and judiciary departments in the exercise of this control. the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers. violated the rule established by themselves. because apprehensions may arise lest THE SAME monarch or senate should ENACT tyrannical laws to EXECUTE them in a tyrannical manner. THE JUDGE might behave with all the violence of AN OPPRESSOR.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor the executive department." This declaration corresponds precisely with the doctrine of Montesquieu. there is not a single instance in which the several departments of power have been kept absolutely separate and distinct. in the appointment of officers. and his council is every year chosen by and from the members of the same department. is a court of impeachment for members both of the executive and judiciary departments." Her constitution accordingly mixes these departments in several respects. or either of them. and removable by the same authority on the address of the two legislative branches. In the very Constitution to which it is prefixed. It declares "that the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers. what is more. "When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person or body.

the members of one branch of it are EX-OFFICIO justices of the peace. In conjunction with an executive council. with his executive council. judiciary as well as executive. The governor. with a casting vote. is annually elected by a vote in which the legislative department predominates. at the same time." Yet we find not only this express exception. as are also the members of the executive council. The same legislative branch acts again as executive council of the governor. and with him constitutes the Court of Appeals. In Delaware. except that the justices of county courts shall be eligible to either House of Assembly. of one of the legislative branches. with six others. The members of the executive counoil are made EX-OFFICIO justices of peace throughout the State. According to the constitution of Pennsylvania. The speakers of the two legislative branches are vice-presidents in the executive department. executive.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor members of the judiciary department. All officers may be removed on address of the legislature. are appointable by the legislature. the president. but that the chief magistrate. or surrogate of the State. and that all the principal offices. he is joined with the legislative department in the appointment of the other judges. "that the legislative. The members of the judiciary department are appointed by the legislative department and removable by one branch of it. Her constitution declares. where it is declared "that the legislative. the appointment of the members of the judiciary department. is a member of the Supreme Court of Appeals. is in one case vested in the legislative department. also." refers. so that neither exercise the powers properly belonging to the other. in this State. to the legislative department. down to captains in the army and navy of the State. The constitution of North Carolina. and the members of the judiciary by the executive department. executive. The language of Virginia is still more pointed on this subject. executive. he appoints the members of the judiciary department. and forms a court of impeachment for trial of all officers. declaring that the legislative. 147 The constitution of New Jersey has blended the different powers of government more than any of the preceding. makes the executive magistrate appointable by the legislative department. Throughout the States. The principal officers of the executive department are appointed by the legislative. The executive prerogative of pardon. both executive and judiciary. which declares "that the legislative. is appointed by the legislature. Her constitution. who is the executive magistrate. and supreme judicial powers of government ought to be forever separate and distinct from each other. notwithstanding. It gives to the latter. and judicial powers of government ought to be forever separate and distinct from each other. but all the principal officers within both that and the judiciary department. the appointment not only of the executive chief. the constitution makes the executive magistracy eligible by the legislative department. to be referred to the same department. In the constitution of Georgia. appointed. it appears that the members of the legislature may at the same time be justices of the peace. and one branch of the latter forms a court of impeachments. In South Carolina. the chief executive magistrate is annually elected by the legislative department. and judiciary departments shall be separate and distinct. are filled by the same department. executive. who is the head of the executive department. and judiciary departments . that two members of the latter are triennially displaced at the pleasure of the legislature. also. nor shall any person exercise the powers of more than one of them at the same time. is chancellor and ordinary. and the appointment of officers in the executive department. and president. including even justices of the peace and sheriffs. and the executive power of pardoning in certain cases. Maryland has adopted the maxim in the most unqualified terms. on the impeachment of the other. The judges of the Supreme Court and justices of the peace seem also to be removable by the legislature. with respect to the members of the irferior courts. The executive chief. three by each of the legislative branches constitutes the Supreme Court of Appeals.

I wish not to be regarded as an advocate for the particular organizations of the several State governments. that the efficacy of the provision has been greatly overrated. 48 These Departments Should Not Be So Far Separated as to Have No Constitutional Control Over Each Other From the New York Packet. It is equally evident. This interesting subject will be resumed in the ensuing paper. It is agreed on all sides. I shall undertake. executive. I am fully aware that among the many excellent principles which they exemplify. and judiciary departments have not been kept totally separate and distinct. in the constitution of the government. the several classes of power. and judiciary departments should be wholly unconnected with each other. executive. . is the great problem to be solved. that power is of an encroaching nature. It is but too obvious that in some instances the fundamental principle under consideration has been violated by too great a mixture. Will it be sufficient to mark. in the next place. an overruling influence over the others. After discriminating. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. and the executive prerogative of pardon to be finally exercised by the same authority. Even justices of the peace are to be appointed by the legislature. and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it. What I have wished to evince is. the boundaries of these departments. and that some more adequate defense is indispensably necessary for the more feeble. It will not be denied.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 148 shall be separate and distinct. as they may in their nature be legislative. of violating the sacred maxim of free government. nor by the sense in which it has hitherto been understood in America. that the powers properly belonging to one of the departments ought not to be directly and completely administered by either of the other departments. and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex. 1788. and even an actual consolidation. with precision. against the invasion of the others." we find that the executive department is to be filled by appointments of the legislature. In citing these cases. under which they were framed. members of the government. in theory. so that neither exercise the powers properly belonging to the other. of the different powers. in which the legislative. that none of them ought to possess. to show that unless these departments be so far connected and blended as to give to each a constitutional control over the others. can never in practice be duly maintained. and still stronger of the inexperience. and to trust to these parchment barriers against the encroaching spirit of power? This is the security which appears to have been principally relied on by the compilers of most of the American constitutions. But experience assures us. the next and most difficult task is to provide some practical security for each. What this security ought to be. and that in no instance has a competent provision been made for maintaining in practice the separation delineated on paper. The legislative department is everywhere extending the sphere of its activity. February 1. Friday. executive. directly or indirectly. the degree of separation which the maxim requires. against the more powerful. as essential to a free government. 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. therefore. they carry strong marks of the haste. that the charge brought against the proposed Constitution. in the administration of their respective powers. or judiciary. is warranted neither by the real meaning annexed to that maxim by its author.

which. result to the legislative body. The authority in support of it is Mr. evidence. It is not unfrequently a question of real nicety in legislative bodies. projects of usurpation by either of these departments would immediately betray and defeat themselves. besides his other advantages for remarking the operation of the government. who. by their incapacity for regular deliberation and concerted measures. under complicated and indirect measures. and are continually exposed. with an intrepid confidence in its own strength. the course of public administrations. legislative. yet not so numerous as to be incapable of pursuing the objects of its passions. Jefferson. An ELECTIVE DESPOTISM was not the government we fought for. obliges us to remark. must lead to the same tyranny as is threatened by executive usurpations. As little will it avail us. on some favorable emergency. I might find a witness in every citizen who has shared in. which gives still greater facility to encroachments of the former. and being more simple in its nature. and at the same time equally satisfactory. but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of . But as a more concise. was himself the chief magistrate of it. Nor is this all: as the legislative department alone has access to the pockets of the people.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 149 The founders of our republics have so much merit for the wisdom which they have displayed. In a democracy. to the ambitious intrigues of their executive magistrates. by means which reason prescribes. or will not. both in the extent and the duration of its power. In order to convey fully the ideas with which his experience had impressed him on this subject. and has in some constitutions full discretion. to start up in the same quarter. supported and fortified by an hereditary branch of the legislative authority. whether the operation of a particular measure will. which is sufficiently numerous to feel all the passions which actuate a multitude. and watched with all the jealousy which a zeal for liberty ought to inspire. the executive department is very justly regarded as the source of danger. I will refer to the example of two States. The legislative department derives a superiority in our governments from other circumstances. I might collect vouchers in abundance from the records and archives of every State in the Union. Let those who doubt it. The concentrating these in the same hands. with the greater facility. which is inspired. it will be necessary to quote a passage of some length from his very interesting Notes on the State of Virginia. executive. attested by two unexceptionable authorities. and where the legislative power is exercised by an assembly. In a government where numerous and extensive prerogatives are placed in the hands of an hereditary monarch. turn their eyes on the republic of Venice. is precisely the definition of despotic government. however. by a supposed influence over the people. and less susceptible of precise limits. tyranny may well be apprehended. It will be no alleviation. the executive power being restrained within a narrower compass. A respect for truth. They seem never to have recollected the danger from legislative usurpations. Its constitutional powers being at once more extensive. mask. p. has expressly declared in its constitution. "All the powers of government. extend beyond the legislative sphere. as we have seen. and in all a prevailing influence. the encroachments which it makes on the co-ordinate departments. over the pecuniary rewards of those who fill the other departments. and the judiciary being described by landmarks still less uncertain. a dependence is thus created in the latter. On the other side. and judiciary. 195. and not by a single one. by assembling all power in the same hands. or been attentive to. that the three great departments ought not to be intermixed. but one which should not only be founded on free principles. a State which. that they are chosen by ourselves. that they seem never for a moment to have turned their eyes from the danger to liberty from the overgrown and all-grasping prerogative of an hereditary magistrate. The first example is that of Virginia. One hundred and seventy-three despots would surely be as oppressive as one. where a multitude of people exercise in person the legislative functions. it is against the enterprising ambition of this department that the people ought to indulge all their jealousy and exhaust all their precautions. But in a representative republic. I have appealed to our own experience for the truth of what I advance on this subject. that no task can be less pleasing than that of pointing out the errors into which they have fallen. Were it necessary to verify this experience by particular proofs. where the executive magistracy is carefully limited. it can. that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands. they might be multiplied without end.

but the greater part of them may be considered as the spontaneous shoots of an ill-constituted government. and deriving confidence from mutual example and joint influence. may be imputable to peculiar circumstances connected with the war. however. of course. IN MANY instances. as marked out by the constitution. be more freely hazarded. . than where the executive department is administered by a single hand. that convention which passed the ordinance of government. And being at once exempt from the restraint of an individual responsibility for the acts of the body. nor. which will render them obligatory on the other branches. which ought to be made on this head: FIRST. they conformed either to the declared or the known sentiments of the legislative department. It appears.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 150 magistracy. that the legislative. it will be found. For this reason. The salaries of the judges. if made. and whether the legislative and executive branches of government had performed their duty as guardians of the people. SECOND. laid its foundation on this basis. and the other authority. and judiciary departments should be separate and distinct. If. so that no person should exercise the powers of more than one of them at the same time. therefore. was "to inquire whether the constitution had been preserved inviolate in every part. without being effectually checked and restrained by the others. it appears that the constitution had been flagrantly violated by the legislature in a variety of important instances. the Council of Censors. which the constitution expressly requires to be fixed. or exercised. unauthorized measures would. and cases belonging to the judiciary department frequently drawn within legislative cognizance and determination. and THE DIRECTION OF THE EXECUTIVE. a great proportion of the instances were either immediately produced by the necessities of the war. and to the truth of most of which both sides in the council subscribed. Those who wish to see the several particulars falling under each of these heads. it has as much affinity to a legislative assembly as to an executive council. that the executive department had not been innocent of frequent breaches of the constitution. or assumed to themselves. may consult the journals of the council. The constitutional trial by jury had been violated. can be effectual. DURING THE WHOLE TIME OF THEIR SESSION. and powers assumed which had not been delegated by the constitution. and some of them for their continuance in it. the rule requiring that all bills of a public nature shall be previously printed for the consideration of the people. which are in print. the council were necessarily led to a comparison of both the legislative and executive proceedings. also. had been occasionally varied. without any apparent necessity. with the constitutional powers of these departments. no opposition is likely to be made. There are three observations. They have accordingly. Executive powers had been usurped. IS BECOMING HABITUAL AND FAMILIAR. A part of the duty of this body. violating. other or greater powers than they are entitled to by the constitution. A great number of laws had been passed. in most of the other instances. as that no one could transcend their legal limits. which assembled in the years 1783 and 1784. THIRD. executive. or recommended by Congress or the commander-in-chief. or by a few hands. " In the execution of this trust. and from the facts enumerated. In this respect. Some of them. the executive department of Pennsylvania is distinguished from that of the other States by the number of members composing it. DECIDED RIGHTS which should have been left to JUDICIARY CONTROVERSY. The judiciary and the executive members were left dependent on the legislative for their subsistence in office." The other State which I shall take for an example is Pennsylvania. the legislature assumes executive and judiciary powers. BUT NO BARRIER WAS PROVIDED BETWEEN THESE SEVERAL POWERS. although this is one of the precautions chiefly relied on by the constitution against improper acts of legislature. because in that case they may put their proceedings into the form of acts of Assembly.

I do not dwell. 1788. which had been prepared in order to be laid before a convention. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: THE author of the "Notes on the State of Virginia. but also whenever any one of the departments may commit encroachments on the chartered authorities of the others. not only whenever it may be necessary to enlarge. and is the more worthy of attention as it equally displays a fervent attachment to republican government and an enlightened view of the dangerous propensities against which it ought to be guarded. than against the . If the legislative authority. In the first place. or new-model the powers of the government. for certain great and extraordinary occasions. "that whenever any two of the three branches of government shall concur in opinion. February 2. to recur to the same original authority. that a mere demarcation on parchment of the constitutional limits of the several departments. and accurate. The several departments being perfectly co-ordinate by the terms of their common commission. it is evident. without an appeal to the people themselves." As the people are the only legitimate fountain of power. a convention shall be called for the purpose. original. can alone declare its true meaning. should be able to gain to its interest either of the others. marks a turn of thinking. comprehensive. and as it immediately relates to the subject of our present inquiry. the remaining department could derive no advantage from its remedial provision. and it must be allowed to prove that a constitutional road to the decision of the people ought to be marked out and kept open. is perhaps altogether his own." quoted in the last paper. can pretend to an exclusive or superior right of settling the boundaries between their respective powers. the provision does not reach the case of a combination of two of the departments against the third. has subjoined to that valuable work the draught of a constitution. under which the several branches of government hold their power. But there appear to be insuperable objections against the proposed recurrence to the people. on this objection. diminish. as the grantors of the commissions. and enforce its observance? There is certainly great force in this reasoning. each by the voices of two thirds of their whole number. who. it seems strictly consonant to the republican theory. and how are the encroachments of the stronger to be prevented. 49 Method of Guarding Against the Encroachments of Any One Department of Government by Appealing to the People Through a Convention For the Independent Journal. which possesses so many means of operating on the motives of the other departments.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 151 The conclusion which I am warranted in drawing from these observations is. Saturday. by the legislature. like every thing from the same pen. and on which he appears ultimately to rely as a palladium to the weaker departments of power against the invasions of the stronger. One of the precautions which he proposes. however. expected to be called in 1783. for the establishment of a constitution for that commonwealth. ought not to be overlooked. is derived. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. as a provision in all cases for keeping the several departments of power within their constitutional limits. and it is from them that the constitutional charter. is not a sufficient guard against those encroachments which lead to a tyrannical concentration of all the powers of government in the same hands. His proposition is. or CORRECTING BREACHES OF IT. or even one third of its members. that a convention is necessary for altering the constitution. The plan. because it may be thought to be rather against the modification of the principle. none of them. or the wrongs of the weaker to be redressed.

could mingle its leaven in the operation. The former are generally the objects of jealousy. But the greatest objection of all is. The reason of man. depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. and which does so much honor to the virtue and intelligence of the people of America. deprive the government of that veneration which time bestows on every thing. or who expected to be. it may be considered as an objection inherent in the principle. therefore. on whom every thing depends in such bodies. by the mode of their appointment. of friendship. . this consideration ought to be disregarded. members of the department whose conduct was arraigned. of an enthusiastic confidence of the people in their patriotic leaders. Their connections of blood. who actually were. in a great measure. that as every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government. would be composed chiefly of men who had been. And in every other nation. If this should not be the case with all. The nature of their public trust implies a personal influence among the people.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor principle itself. they are known to have a double effect. the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage to have the prejudices of the community on its side. it must be confessed that the experiments are of too ticklish a nature to be unnecessarily multiplied. They would consequently be parties to the very question to be decided by them. With these advantages. But whether made by one side or the other. When the examples which fortify opinion are ANCIENT as well as NUMEROUS. is a still more serious objection against a frequent reference of constitutional questions to the decision of the whole society. are numberous. and their administration is always liable to be discolored and rendered unpopular. is timid and cautious when left alone. in short. We are to recollect that all the existing constitutions were formed in the midst of a danger which repressed the passions most unfriendly to order and concord. They are distributed and dwell among the people at large. as well as by the nature and permanency of it. and its practical influence on his conduct. and of acquaintance embrace a great proportion of the most influential part of the society. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato. it would probably be the case with many. 152 In the next place. and can be personally known to a small part only of the people. like man himself. would gain them a seat in the convention. would usually be made by the executive and judiciary departments. on the other hand. it can hardly be supposed that the adverse party would have an equal chance for a favorable issue. and that they are more immediately the confidential guardians of the rights and liberties of the people. But the legislative party would not only be able to plead their cause most successfully with the people. The danger of disturbing the public tranquillity by interesting too strongly the public passions. The same influence which had gained them an election into the legislature. A reverence for the laws would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason. it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual. that the decisions which would probably result from such appeals would not answer the purpose of maintaining the constitutional equilibrium of the government. The latter. In a nation of philosophers. and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability. would each side enjoy equal advantages on the trial? Let us view their different situations. produced by a universal resentment and indignation against the ancient government. The future situations in which we must expect to be usually placed. The members of the executive and judiciary departments are few in number. We have seen that the tendency of republican governments is to an aggrandizement of the legislative at the expense of the other departments. which stifled the ordinary diversity of opinions on great national questions. Notwithstanding the success which has attended the revisions of our established forms of government. and pretty certainly with those leading characters. They would probably be constituted themselves the judges. and acquires firmness and confidence in proportion to the number with which it is associated. and whilst no spirit of party connected with the changes to be made. or the abuses to be reformed. are too far removed from the people to share much in their prepossessions. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion. do not present any equivalent security against the danger which is apprehended. The convention. The appeals to the people. frequent appeals would. of a universal ardor for new and opposite forms. The members of the legislative department.

I confine myself to their aptitude for ENFORCING the Constitution. The passions ought to be controlled and regulated by the government. not the REASON. however. the same remark will be applicable to all recent measures. and all of them are framed with singular ingenuity and precision. fifteen. But still it could never be expected to turn on the true merits of the question. that ought to control and regulate the government. and will be connected with all the circumstances which tend to vitiate and pervert the result of occasional revisions. It appears in this. If the periods be separated by short intervals. of the public would sit in judgment. a distant prospect of public censure would be a very feeble restraint on power from those excesses to which it might be urged by the force of present motives. Is it to be imagined that a legislative assembly. We found in the last paper. . which are liable to the objections urged against them. would be arrested in their career. or opponents of. that instead of OCCASIONAL appeals to the people. sometimes happen. of the public. this advantage is inseparable from inconveniences which seem to counterbalance it. the abuses would often have completed their mischievous effects before the remedial provision would be applied. and would not easily be extirpated. A strong party among themselves might take side with the other branches. The PASSIONS. The usurpations of the legislature might be so flagrant and so sudden. 1788. How far the provisions of a different nature contained in the plan above quoted might be adequate. It would be pronounced by the very men who had been agents in. In the first view. It will be attended to. they would be of long standing. the public decision might be less swayed by prepossessions in favor of the legislative party. eagerly bent on some favorite object. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. therefore. Tuesday. and breaking through the restraints of the Constitution in pursuit of it. But it is the reason. February 5. alone. In such a posture of things. consisting of a hundred or two hundred members. I do not examine. or of parties springing out of the question itself. the measures to which the decision would relate. If the periods be distant from each other. that appeals would be made under circumstances less adverse to the executive and judiciary departments. In the first place. PERIODICAL appeals are the proper and adequate means of PREVENTING AND CORRECTING INFRACTIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION. that occasional appeals to the people would be neither a proper nor an effectual provision for that purpose. The executive power might be in the hands of a peculiar favorite of the people. Some of them are unquestionably founded on sound political principles. by considerations drawn from a censorial revision of their conduct at the future distance of ten. the measures to be reviewed and rectified will have been of recent date. would have taken deep root. And in the last place. without particularly considering them as provisions for ALTERING the Constitution itself. It would be connected with persons of distinguished character and extensive influence in the community. and in proportion as the remoteness of the others may favor a dispassionate review of them. perhaps. as to admit of no specious coloring. It would inevitably be connected with the spirit of pre-existing parties.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 153 It might. appeals to the people at fixed periods appear to be nearly as ineligible as appeals on particular occasions as they emerge. or twenty years? In the next place. that in the examination of these expedients. by keeping the several departments of power within their due bounds. where this might not be the case. 50 Periodical Appeals to the People Considered From the New York Packet. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: IT MAY be contended. that mere declarations in the written constitution are not sufficient to restrain the several departments within their legal rights.

they inevitably fall into different opinions on some of them. and a number of others distinguished members. perhaps. . within the period to be reviewed. in order to correct recent breaches of it. it involves some facts. "whether the constitution had been violated. of the legislative assembly within the same period. misconstrue the limits prescribed for the legislative and executive departments. have had any effect in varying the practice founded on legislative constructions. as a single experiment. because an extinction of parties necessarily implies either a universal alarm for the public safety. of its most active members had also been active and leading characters in the parties which pre-existed in the State. unfortunately. It appears. in several points of view. and several other members of the executive council. the inefficacy of the remedy. the face of their proceedings exhibits a proof equally satisfactory. or any individuals of either party. I have never understood that the decisions of the council on constitutional questions. This conclusion cannot be invalidated by alleging that the State in which the experiment was made was at that crisis. at the same or any other given period. the existence of the disease. When they are governed by a common passion. their opinions. and by its example. But as applied to the case under consideration. from the names of the gentlemen who composed the council. and had been for a long time before. It appears that the same active and leading members of the council had been active and influential members of the legislative and executive branches. the same names stand invariably contrasted on the opposite columns. within the seven preceding years. was. therefore. the difficulties would not be obviated. must have presided over their decisions. that. Every page of their proceedings witnesses the effect of all these circumstances on the temper of their deliberations. as we have seen. and at the same time without meaning to reflect on either party. and even patrons or opponents of the very measures to be thus brought to the test of the constitution. Fourth. in several instances. The fact is acknowledged and lamented by themselves. In all questions. whether rightly or erroneously formed. it was split into two fixed and violent parties. It is at least problematical. violently heated and distracted by the rage of party. Second. as a complete and satisfactory illustration of the reasoning which I have employed. or unconnected with each other. In some of them it may. as well as for other purposes. if I mistake not. however unimportant in themselves. instead of reducing and limiting them within their constitutional places. be thought to be not absolutely conclusive. that at any future septennial epoch the same State will be free from parties? Is it to be presumed that any other State. whether the decisions of this body do not. to revise the preceding administration of the government. very particular attention. Were the precaution taken of excluding from the assemblies elected by the people. Throughout the continuance of the council. Two of the members had been vice-presidents of the State. will be exempt from them? Such an event ought to be neither presumed nor desired. not REASON. that in one instance the contemporary legislature denied the constructions of the council. Every unbiased observer may infer. First. if they are so to be called." This important and novel experiment in politics merits. The important task would probably devolve on men. Third. Fifth. When men exercise their reason coolly and freely on a variety of distinct questions. One of the objects of the Council of Censors which met in Pennsylvania in 1783 and 1784. Is it to be presumed. PASSION. made under circumstances somewhat peculiar. by its researches. Had this not been the case. all persons who should have been concerned with the government within the given period. will be the same. has been actually tried in one of the States. This censorial body. that some. which I venture to remark. without danger of mistake. and actually prevailed in the contest. to inquire. It even appears.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 154 The scheme of revising the constitution. One of them had been speaker. at least. or an absolute extinction of liberty. and whether the legislative and executive departments had encroached upon each other. proves at the same time.

and therefore not immediately agents in the measures to be examined. be made commensurate to the danger of attack. and consequently should be so constituted that the members of each should have as little agency as possible in the appointment of the members of the others. or the judges. because the permanent tenure by which the appointments are held in that department. must soon destroy all sense of dependence on the authority conferring them. from the principle must be admitted. through channels having no communication whatever with one another. Some deviations. the primary consideration ought to be to select that mode of choice which best secures these qualifications. it is evident that each department should have a will of its own. would in other respects be little better qualified. Although they might not have been personally concerned in the administration. and some additional expense would attend the execution of it. they would probably have been involved in the parties connected with these measures. which may perhaps place it in a clearer light. be the means of keeping each other in their proper places. consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. for maintaining in practice the necessary partition of power among the several departments. that as all these exterior provisions are found to be inadequate. and judiciary magistracies should be drawn from the same fountain of authority. the defect must be supplied. for the emoluments annexed to their offices. shall we finally resort. as laid down in the Constitution? The only answer that can be given is. that the members of each department should be as little dependent as possible on those of the others. because peculiar qualifications being essential in the members. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. which to a certain extent is admitted on all hands to be essential to the preservation of liberty. But what is government itself. I will hazard a few general observations. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. Some difficulties. their independence in every other would be merely nominal. with inferior capacities. It may be a reflection on human nature. Were the executive magistrate. It is equally evident. it would require that all the appointments for the supreme executive. the people. But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 155 who. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: TO WHAT expedient. but the . Perhaps such a plan of constructing the several departments would be less difficult in practice than it may in contemplation appear. and have been elected under their auspices. by so contriving the interior structure of the government as that its several constituent parts may. Without presuming to undertake a full development of this important idea. secondly. The provision for defense must in this. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. February 6. In the constitution of the judiciary department in particular. Were this principle rigorously adhered to. therefore. Wednesday. however. as in all other cases. 1788. legislative. not independent of the legislature in this particular. In order to lay a due foundation for that separate and distinct exercise of the different powers of government. it might be inexpedient to insist rigorously on the principle: first. that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. by their mutual relations. then. and enable us to form a more correct judgment of the principles and structure of the government planned by the convention. 51 The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments For the Independent Journal.

where the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other -. The remedy for this inconveniency is to divide the legislature into different branches. There are. and then the portion allotted to each subdivided among distinct and separate departments. which place that system in a very interesting point of view. and may possibly be turned against both parties. It may even be necessary to guard against dangerous encroachments by still further precautions. the other. But it is not possible to give to each department an equal power of self-defense.that the private interest of every individual may be a sentinel over the public rights. as I persuade myself they are. the primary control on the government. by different modes of election and different principles of action. Second. the former are infinitely less able to bear such a test. the weakness of the executive may require. by opposite and rival interests. First. The first method prevails in all governments possessing an hereditary or self-appointed authority. May not this defect of an absolute negative be supplied by some qualified connection between this weaker department and the weaker branch of the stronger department. In republican government. The different governments will control each other. but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. that it should be fortified. and to the federal Constitution it will be found that if the latter does not perfectly correspond with them. We see it particularly displayed in all the subordinate distributions of power. if not impracticable. The second method will be exemplified in the . These inventions of prudence cannot be less requisite in the distribution of the supreme powers of the State. on the other hand. As the weight of the legislative authority requires that it should be thus divided. But perhaps it would be neither altogether safe nor alone sufficient. A dependence on the people is. to be the natural defense with which the executive magistrate should be armed. at best. and the usurpations are guarded against by a division of the government into distinct and separate departments. by which the latter may be led to support the constitutional rights of the former. An absolute negative on the legislature appears.that is. In the compound republic of America. by comprehending in the society so many separate descriptions of citizens as will render an unjust combination of a majority of the whole very improbable. but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions. no government would be necessary. moreover. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men. This. as little connected with each other as the nature of their common functions and their common dependence on the society will admit. of the society itself. It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers. Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. might be traced through the whole system of human affairs. at the same time that each will be controlled by itself. the defect of better motives. and they be applied as a criterion to the several State constitutions. at first view. the power surrendered by the people is first divided between two distinct governments. without being too much detached from the rights of its own department? If the principles on which these observations are founded be just. is but a precarious security. the legislative authority necessarily predominates. In a single republic. all the power surrendered by the people is submitted to the administration of a single government. On ordinary occasions it might not be exerted with the requisite firmness. If angels were to govern men. If a majority be united by a common interest. and to render them.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 156 greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels. no doubt. the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed. private as well as public. as the rightful interests of the minor party. because a power independent of the society may as well espouse the unjust views of the major. and in the next place oblige it to control itself. neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. Hence a double security arises to the rights of the people. the rights of the minority will be insecure. two considerations particularly applicable to the federal system of America. and on extraordinary occasions it might be perfidiously abused. This policy of supplying. There are but two methods of providing against this evil: the one by creating a will in the community independent of the majority -.

will the more powerful factions or parties be gradnally induced. It is no less certain than it is important. the only other security. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained. will be in little danger from interested combinations of the majority. under the republican forms. and as. February 8. The first view to be taken of this part of the government relates to the qualifications of the electors and the elected. by a like motive. to submit to a government which may protect the weak as well as themselves. interests. It can be little doubted that if the State of Rhode Island was separated from the Confederacy and left to itself. there must be less pretext. I pass on to a more particular examination of the several parts of the government. or until liberty be lost in the pursuit. and among the great variety of interests. to provide for the security of the former. And happily for the REPUBLICAN CAUSE. by the uncertainty of their condition. It is the end of civil society. by introducing into the government a will not dependent on the latter. by a judicious modification and mixture of the FEDERAL PRINCIPLE. in other words. In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker. I shall begin with the House of Representatives. The degree of security in both cases will depend on the number of interests and sects. anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature. will be diminished: and consequently the stability and independence of some member of the government. parties. or States oppressive combinations of a majority will be facilitated: the best security. notwithstanding the contrary opinions which have been entertained. Those of the former are to be the same with those of the electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures. and sects which it embraces. It consists in the one case in the multiplicity of interests. so. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. and in the other in the multiplicity of sects. 1788. The definition of the right of suffrage is very justly regarded as a fundamental article of . the insecurity of rights under the popular form of government within such narrow limits would be displayed by such reiterated oppressions of factious majorities that some power altogether independent of the people would soon be called for by the voice of the very factions whose misrule had proved the necessity of it. Justice is the end of government. In a free government the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights. where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger. In the extended republic of the United States. to wish for a government which will protect all parties. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: FROM the more general inquiries pursued in the four last papers. or of the minority. a will independent of the society itself. since it shows that in exact proportion as the territory of the Union may be formed into more circumscribed Confederacies. in the former state. whilst there being thus less danger to a minor from the will of a major party. even the stronger individuals are prompted. also. Whilst all authority in it will be derived from and dependent on the society. must be proportionately increased. and classes of citizens. the weaker as well as the more powerful. a coalition of a majority of the whole society could seldom take place on any other principles than those of justice and the general good. in the latter state. that the rights of individuals. the practicable sphere may be carried to a very great extent. and this may be presumed to depend on the extent of country and number of people comprehended under the same government. This view of the subject must particularly recommend a proper federal system to all the sincere and considerate friends of republican government. the more duly capable it will be of self-government. provided it lie within a practical sphere. for the rights of every class of citizens. Friday. that the larger the society. or. the society itself will be broken into so many parts. 52 The House of Representatives From the New York Packet.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 157 federal republic of the United States.

under various pretexts. whether biennial elections will. when a revolution took place in the government. during the time of his service. It will be safe to the United States. not that they were to be ELECTED every year. it was provided by a statute in the reign of Charles II. It must be satisfactory to every State. The term for which the representatives are to be elected falls under a second view which may be taken of this branch. the people. the guide that ought always to be followed whenever it can be found. that the intermissions should not be protracted beyond a period of three years. But what particular degree of frequency may be absolutely necessary for the purpose. and for the additional reason that it would have rendered too dependent on the State governments that branch of the federal government which ought to be dependent on the people alone. To have reduced the different qualifications in the different States to one uniform rule. must be in no office under the United States. would have been improper for the reason just mentioned. and which bear the greatest analogy to our particular case. would probably have been as dissatisfactory to some of the States as it would have been difficult to the convention. anterior to the date of Magna Charta. The first to which this character ought to be applied. two questions must be considered: first. whether native or adoptive. being at most but very imperfectly known to ancient polity. and being at the same time more susceptible of uniformity. the subject was still more seriously resumed. under on alarm for . or which may be established. The qualifications of the elected. to define and establish this right in the Constitution. On the accession of William III. and without regard to poverty or wealth." which had alluded to the triennial period settled in the time of Charles II. A representative of the United States must be of the age of twenty-five years. To have left it open for the occasional regulation of the Congress. In order to decide on the propriety of this article. By another statute. The history of this branch of the English Constitution. And even here. As it is essential to liberty that the government in general should have a common interest with the people. as a substitute for a meeting of the citizens in person. And even these annual sessions were left so much at the discretion of the monarch. very long and dangerous intermissions were often contrived by royal ambition. To remedy this grievance. have been very properly considered and regulated by the convention. must. whether they be necessary or useful. First. and it cannot be feared that the people of the States will alter this part of their constitutions in such a manner as to abridge the rights secured to them by the federal Constitution. Frequent elections are unquestionably the only policy by which this dependence and sympathy can be effectually secured. The scheme of representation. from three to seven years. be safe. being less carefully and properly defined by the State constitutions. The earliest records of subsequent date prove that parliaments were to SIT only every year. because it is conformable to the standard already established. so it is particularly essential that the branch of it under consideration should have an immediate dependence on. secondly. whether young or old. therefore. or to any particular profession of religious faith. is too obscure to yield instruction. at the time of his election. would have been improper for the same reason. The last change. and must depend on a variety of circumstances with which it may be connected. being fixed by the State constitutions. it is in more modern times only that we are to expect instructive examples. is well known to have been introduced pretty early in the present century. It was incumbent on the convention. by the State itself. it will be proper to confine ourselves to the few examples which are best known. and an intimate sympathy with. Let us consult experience. must have been seven years a citizen of the United States. The provision made by the convention appears. the door of this part of the federal government is open to merit of every description. it is not alterable by the State governments. in order to avoid a research too vague and diffusive. is reduced to a precise meaning. therefore. to be the best that lay within their option.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 158 republican government. in this case. be an inhabitant of the State he is to represent. Under these reasonable limitations. and it was declared to be among the fundamental rights of the people that parliaments ought to be held FREQUENTLY. The very existence of it has been made a question among political antiquaries. it being expressly enacted that a new parliament shall be called within three years after the termination of the former. is the House of Commons in Great Britain. that. which passed a few years later in the same reign. because. To have submitted it to the legislative discretion of the States. does not appear to be susceptible of any precise calculation. and. the term "frequently.

it was the first also in espousing. elections under the former government were septennial. if I have not been misinformed. that the federal legislature will possess a part only of that supreme legislative authority which is vested completely in the British Parliament. a period of about thirty-five years. and still less of any advantage in SEPTENNIAL elections. we cannot doubt that a reduction of the period from seven to three years. been shown that the federal legislature will not only be restrained by its dependence on its people. by public act. can throw but little light on the subject. on another occasion. the advantage of biennial elections would secure to them every degree of liberty. moreover. so far as the disposition might exist. And if we may argue from the degree of liberty retained even under septennial elections. Let us bring our inquiries nearer home. In Virginia. The conclusion resulting from these examples will be not a little strengthened by recollecting three circumstances. it has. were regulated entirely by the discretion of the crown. no comparison can be made between the means that will be possessed by the more permanent branches of the federal government for seducing. does not exceed a triennial return of them. as well with regard to the then colonies whose elections were least frequent. the greater the power is. the smaller the power. The parliament which commenced with George II. under the federal system. the shorter ought to be its duration. claims particular attention. and octennial parliaments have besides been established. and. and in the chance of some event which might produce a general new election. They varied from one to seven years. and which vanquished the obstacles to independence. which other legislative bodies are not. that where no other circumstances affect the case. for binding the representatives to their constituents. The first is. was established in all of them. the resolution of independence. that the liberties of the people can be in no danger from BIENNIAL elections. would so far extend the influence of the people over their representatives as to satisfy us that biennial elections. conversely. it must be that if the people of that country have been able under all these disadvantages to retain any liberty whatever. which might depend on a due connection between their representatives and themselves. but that it will be. Elections in Ireland. Of late these shackles. and all the other vicious ingredients in the parliamentary constitution. at the same time that it is so well known as to require little to be said on it. that biennial elections would have been dangerous to the public liberties? The spirit which everywhere displayed itself at the commencement of the struggle. And in the third place. and which. for when compared with a greater frequency they are inadmissible. if they should be disposed to seduce. from this view of it.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 159 the Hanoverian succession. The example of these States. and were seldom repeated. The ability also of the Irish parliament to maintain the rights of their constituents. but merely as a proof. was continued throughout his whole reign. nevertheless. In the second place. watched and controlled by the several collateral legislatures. for the priority in those instances was probably accidental. From these facts it appears that the greatest frequency of elections which has been deemed necessary in that kingdom. except on the accession of a new prince. as other legislative bodies are. The only dependence of the representatives on the people consisted in the right of the latter to supply occasional vacancies by the election of new members. The principle of representation. It is a received and well-founded maxim. prior to the Revolution. Have we any reason to infer. with a few exceptions. This particular example is brought into view. not as a proof of any peculiar merit. What effect may be produced by this partial reform. and I conceive it to be a very substantial proof. The example of Ireland. from the spirit and conduct of the representatives of the people. As far as we can draw any conclusion from it. was extremely shackled by the control of the crown over the subjects of their deliberation. when British colonies. if I mistake not. with the other necessary reforms. is the best of proofs that a sufficient portion of liberty had been everywhere enjoyed to inspire both a sense of its worth and a zeal for its proper enlargement This remark holds good. the more safely may its duration be protracted. or some other contingent event. was exercised by the colonial assemblies and the Irish legislature. in one branch of the legislature at least. as to those whose elections were most frequent Virginia was the colony which stood first in resisting the parliamentary usurpations of Great Britain. must be left to further experience. the House of Representatives from . till of late. But the periods of election were different. have been broken. cannot possibly be dangerous to the requisite dependence of the House of Representatives on their constituents.

Saturday. between a Constitution established by the people and unalterable by the government. or that either the one or the other of these States is distinguished in these respects. it is maintained that the authority of the Parliament is transcendent and uncontrollable. I can discover but one. from the States whose elections are different from both. An attention to these dangerous practices has produced a very natural alarm in the votaries of free government. they are is proposed in the federal government. which afford sufficient latitude for all the variations which may be required by the various situations and circumstances of civil society. as well as annual. but lies within extremes. In searching for the grounds of this doctrine. The important distinction so well understood in America. and if circumstances may require a deviation from the rule on one side. In South Carolina they are biennial -. actually changed. They have in particular. as four to one. changed the period of election. than South Carolina." If it be true. or enjoys a greater share of rational liberty. the federal representatives can be less tempted on one side. Here is a difference. we find them by no means coinciding any more in this instance. Happily for mankind. not only introduced septennial in place of triennial elections. weekly. in this respect. between the longest and shortest periods. 1788. South Carolina excepted. against the danger to which it is exposed. In Connecticut and Rhode Island. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: I SHALL here. be reminded of a current observation. where the principles of political and civil liberty have been most discussed. some of the most fundamental articles of the government. that sayings which become proverbial are generally founded in reason. as in some instances it actually has been. 53 The Same Subject Continued (The House of Representatives) For the Independent Journal. as the ordinary objects of legislative provision. to abuse. and the period within which human virtue can bear the temptations of power. What is the reason on which this proverbial observation is founded? No man will subject himself to the ridicule of pretending that any natural connection subsists between the sun or the seasons. tyranny begins. as has often been remarked. Wherever the supreme power of legislation has resided. by legislative acts. it is not less true. and will be doubly watched on the other. and a law established by the government and alterable by the government. that Connecticut or Rhode Island is better governed. the periods are half-yearly. and the means of influence over the popular branch possessed by the other branches of the government above cited. and yet it would be not easy to show. and. Even in Great Britain. than in the elections of other civil magistrates. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. paramount to the . therefore. With less power. confined to any single point of time. In the other States. daily. on the last occasion. that when once established. but by the same act. has been supposed to reside also a full power to change the form of the government. and has led them to seek for some security to liberty. continued themselves in place four years beyond the term for which they were elected by the people. and where we hear most of the rights of the Constitution. of which frequency of elections is the corner-stone. for the election of the most numerous branches of the State legislatures. in several instances. or monthly. They have accordingly. on several occasions.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 160 their duty to the people. why not also on the other side? Turning our attention to the periods established among ourselves. they are often applied to cases to which the reason of them does not extend. and by these causes. as well with regard to the Constitution. February 9. seems to have been little understood and less observed in any other country. The election of magistrates might be. I need not look for a proof beyond the case before us. and that is wholly inapplicable to our case. "that where annual elections end. liberty is not. Where no Constitution. if it were found expedient. perhaps.

whether biennial elections be necessary or useful. But what necessity can there be of applying this expedient to a government limited. and what better security would the case admit. and are extremely diversified by the local affairs connected with them. Past transactions of the government will be a ready and accurate source of information to new members. and can with difficulty be correctly learnt in any other place than in the central councils to which a knowledge of them will be brought by the representatives of every part of the empire. similar to that established in the United States. without a similar knowledge of many internal circumstances by which the States are distinguished from each other? These are the principal objects of federal legislation. as the federal government will be. of all the States. Another part can only be attained. No man can be a competent legislator who does not add to an upright intention and a sound judgment a certain degree of knowledge of the subjects on which he is to legislate. The laws are so far from being uniform. the ports. or at least thoroughly attained. and hence the doctrine has been inculcated by a laudable zeal. to erect some barrier against the gradual innovations of an unlimited government. and to the general affairs of the State. as a standard for measuring the danger of innovations. than those of any other nation would be. for fixing the national sentiment. and the regulatious of the different States? How can the trade between the different States be duly regulated. Some other security. Yet some knowledge of the affairs. without some knowledge of their relative situations in these and other respects? How can taxes be judiciously imposed and effectually collected. one year. And the increased intercourse among . that the advance towards tyranny was to be calculated by the distance of departure from the fixed point of annual elections. and suggest most forcibly the extensive information which the representatives ought to acquire. The question then may be put into this simple form: does the period of two years bear no greater proportion to the knowledge requisite for federal legislation than one year does to the knowledge requisite for State legislation? The very statement of the question. The propriety of answering this question in the affirmative will appear from several very obvious considerations. to bear some proportion to the extent of practical knowledge requisite to the due performance of the service. but subject to alterations by the ordinary power of the government? The second question stated is. by actual experience in the station which requires the use of it. The period of service. unalterably fixed by such a Constitution. where elections were annual. than that of selecting and appealing to some simple and familiar portion of time. and with which all the citizens are more or less conversant. no constitutional security. A part of this knowledge may be acquired by means of information which lie within the compass of men in private as well as public stations.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 161 government. by degrees. in all such cases. applicable to the subject was that of a year. whilst the public affairs of the Union are spread throughout a very extensive region. which lie within a small compass. The period of legislative service established in most of the States for the more numerous branch is. ought to be possessed by the members from each of the States. if they be not accommodated to the different laws and local circumstances relating to these objects in the different States? How can uniform regulations for the militia be duly provided. and occupy much of the attention and conversation of every class of people. as we have seen. the usages. The affairs of the Union will become more and more objects of curiosity and conversation among the citizens at large. was to be sought for. are not very diversified. The other interior objects will require a proportional degree of information with regard to them. suggests the answer that ought to be given to it. In a single State. It is true that all these difficulties will. without some acquaintance with the commerce. How can foreign trade be properly regulated by uniform laws. either existed or could be obtained. be very much diminished. the requisite knowledge relates to the existing laws which are uniform throughout the State. therefore. The most laborious task will be the proper inauguration of the government and the primeval formation of a federal code. and even of the laws. and for uniting the patriotic exertions? The most simple and familiar portion of time. The great theatre of the United States presents a very different scene. that they vary in every State. ought. or even more frequent. therefore. Improvements on the first draughts will every year become both easier and fewer. in this form. was to be attempted. by the authority of a paramount Constitution? Or who will pretend that the liberties of the people of America will not be more secure under biennial elections.

It is an inconvenience mingled with the advantages of our frequent elections even in single States. If a return can be obtained. but their re-election is considered by the legislative assemblies almost as a matter of course. They are elected annually. and perhaps not unwilling to avail themselves of those advantages. of less importance. than if extended to two years. for that. but which are not unworthy of notice. and whatever improvements may be suggested by experience. is submitted to the federal government. that spurious elections cannot be investigated and annulled in time for the decision to have its due effect.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 162 those of different States will contribute not a little to diffuse a mutual knowledge of their affairs. Each house is. and the arrangements rendered necessary by that circumstance. But with all these abatements. and which has not been mentioned is that of foreign affairs. this practice might become a very serious abuse. and hold but one legislative session in a year. is sure of holding it a sufficient time to answer his purposes. but also with the commercial policy and laws of other nations. and returns of its members. All these considerations taken together warrant us in affirming. perhaps. for simplifying and accelerating the process in disputed cases. those particular branches will frequently deserve attention in the ordinary course of legislation. The distance which many of the representatives will be obliged to travel. by frequent reelections. and all of it will be acquired to best effect by a practical attention to the subject during the period of actual service in the legislature. no matter by what unlawful means. No argument can be drawn on this subject. be acquired in a man's closet. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. The election of the representatives by the people would not be governed by the same principle. that biennial elections will be as useful to the affairs of the public as we have seen that they will be safe to the liberty of the people. as far as it is a proper object of municipal legislation. the irregular member. There are other considerations. so great a portion of a year would unavoidably elapse. In regulating our own commerce he ought to be not only acquainted with the treaties between the United States and other nations. And although the House of Representatives is not immediately to participate in foreign negotiations and arrangements. from the case of the delegates to the existing Congress. but some of it also can only be derived from the public sources of information. as to justify the longer period of service assigned to those who are to transact it. This remark is no less applicable to the relation which will subsist between the House of Representatives and the Senate. He ought not to be altogether ignorant of the law of nations. will be thoroughly masters of the public business. the business of federal legislation must continue so far to exceed. as it necessarily must be. The greater the proportion of new members. qualifications. as happens in all such assemblies. it is true. for obtaining irregular returns. A few of the members. Hence. as this again will contribute to a general assimilation of their manners and laws. where they are large. a very pernicious encouragement is given to the use of unlawful means. yet from the necessary connection between the several branches of public affairs. the legislative business of a single State. who takes his seat of course. Were elections for the federal legislature to be annual. that the prospect of such an event would be little check to unfair and illicit means of obtaining a seat. might be much more serious objections with fit men to this service. the judge of the elections. 54 . will possess superior talents. will. and the less the information of the bulk of the members the more apt will they be to fall into the snares that may be laid for them. if limited to a single year. before an illegitimate member could be dispossessed of his seat. particularly in the more distant States. A branch of knowledge which belongs to the acquirements of a federal representative. become members of long standing. no doubt. and will sometimes demand particular legislative sanction and co-operation. both in novelty and difficulty. Some portion of this knowledge may.

and it will not be denied. not for himself. as a moral person. in some respects. not as a part of the irrational creation. In the latter. but does it follow. the rule is understood to refer to the personal rights of the people. It is not contended that the number of people in each State ought not to be the standard for regulating the proportion of those who are to represent the people of each State. or of slaves combined with free citizens as a ratio of taxation. as I understand it. that these are the proper criterion. But we must deny the fact. by the capricious will of another -. Tuesday. and it is admitted. not as a mere article of property. decides with great propriety on the case of our slaves. The true state of the case is. I shall be equally candid in stating the reasoning which may be offered on the opposite side. and taxation more immediately to property. The establishment of the same rule for the appointment of taxes. Would the convention have been impartial or consistent. "This question may be placed in another light.the slave is no less evidently regarded by the law as a member of the society. when the shares of representation were to be calculated. stated in its full force. will probably be as little contested. and in being punishable himself for all violence committed against others -. and in no respect whatever as persons. of which it is in no case a precise measure. and in ordinary cases a very unfit one. from an admission of numbers for the measure of representation. if they had rejected the slaves from the list of inhabitants. it is evidently the least objectionable among the practicable rules. and we join in the application of this distinction to the case of our slaves. as persons. that a place is disputed them in the computation of numbers. on the other hand. But notwithstanding the imperfection of the rule as applied to the relative wealth and contributions of the States. that numbers are the best scale of wealth and taxation. In the former case.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 163 The Apportionment of Members Among the States From the New York Packet. and in other respects as property. 1788. The federal Constitution. February 12. It is the character bestowed on them by the laws under which they live. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: THE next view which I shall take of the House of Representatives relates to the appointment of its members to the several States which is to be determined by the same rule with that of direct taxes. In being protected. and inserted them on the lists when the tariff of contributions was to be adjusted? Could it be reasonably expected. it will perhaps be said. though the rule itself in this case. "that representation relates more immediately to persons. and had too recently obtained the general sanction of America. This is in fact their true character. It is agreed on all sides. in being vendible by one master to another master. not to have found a ready preference with the convention. "We subscribe to the doctrine." might one of our Southern brethren observe. All this is admitted. that slaves ought to be included in the numerical rule of representation? Slaves are considered as property. In being compelled to labor. and in being subject at all times to be restrained in his liberty and chastised in his body. This is the objection. that the Southern States would concur in a system. therefore. is by no means founded on the same principle. and to be excluded from representation which is regulated by a census of persons. with which it has a natural and universal connection. against the violence of all others. that slaves are considered merely as property. that if the laws were to restore the rights which have been taken away. when it views them in the mixed character of persons and of property. but for a master. the negroes could no longer be refused an equal share of representation with the other inhabitants.the slave may appear to be degraded from the human rank. and classed with those irrational animals which fall under the legal denomination of property. not as persons. They ought therefore to be comprehended in estimates of taxation which are founded on property. in his life and in his limbs. which . as they are the only proper scale of representation. because it is only under the pretext that the laws have transformed the negroes into subjects of property. that they partake of both these qualities: being considered by our laws. it has reference to the proportion of wealth. even the master of his labor and his liberty.

in this respect. of individuals. All that they ask is that equal moderation be shown on the other side. In every State. Nor will the representatives of the larger and richer States possess any other advantage in the federal legislature. than what may result from their superior number alone.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 164 considered their slaves in some degree as men. who. have followed the very laws which have been appealed to as the proper guide. that as the aggregate number of representatives allotted to the several States is to be determined by a federal rule. perhaps. may be considered as represented by those who are charged with the government. in like manner with other inhabitants. ought they to be taken into the federal estimate of representation? In rejecting them altogether. perhaps. "For another reason. therefore. to be paid to property in the choice of those hands. that in several of the States. than of the persons. and not at all to property. should themselves contend. a peculiar one. The one as well as the other. the Constitution would. this policy does not prevail. founded on the aggregate number of inhabitants. arising from superior advantages of fortune. by the policy of other States. and consequently. by insisting that the principle laid down by the convention required that no regard should be had to the policy of particular States towards their own inhabitants. as inhabitants. and particularly in the State of New York. As far. should have been admitted into the census according to their full number. to this principle. Let the compromising expedient of the Constitution be mutually adopted. a certain proportion of inhabitants are deprived of this right by the constitution of the State. is waived by those who would be gainers by it. and is accordingly elected by that part of the society which is most interested in this object of government. A State possesses no such influence over other States. the votes allowed in the federal legislature to the people of each State. but refused to consider them in the same light. The qualifications on which the right of suffrage depend are not. ought to consider this unfortunate race more completely in the unnatural light of property. In the federal Constitution. It is not probable that the richest State in the Confederacy will ever influence the choice of a single representative in any other State. that slaves are not included in the estimate of representatives in any of the States possessing them. but as debased by servitude below the equal level of free inhabitants. In this point of view the Southern States might retort the complaint. the same in any two States. however. States have not. one branch of the government is intended more especially to be the guardian of property. that those who reproach the Southern States with the barbarous policy of considering as property a part of their human brethren. therefore. therefore. are not admitted to all the rights of citizens. like individuals. it ought to be secured to them by a superior share of representation. when burdens were to be imposed. "After all. who will be included in the census by which the federal Constitution apportions the representatives. "This objection is repelled by a single abservation. that the slaves. as it is in truth. In some of the States the difference is very material. Let the case of the slaves be considered. They neither vote themselves nor increase the votes of their masters. and through this imperceptible channel the rights of property are conveyed into the public representation. which regards them as inhabitants. then. as their superior wealth and weight may justly entitle them to any advantage. that the government to which all the States are to be parties. may not another ground be taken on which this article of the Constitution will admit of a still more ready defense? We have hitherto proceeded on the idea that representation related to persons only. The new . The rights of property are committed into the same hands with the personal rights. If the law allows an opulent citizen but a single vote in the choice of his representative. A rigorous adherence. so the right of choosing this allotted number in each State is to be exercised by such part of the inhabitants as the State itself may designate. which regards the SLAVE as divested of two fifths of the MAN. over the representatives of other States. Some attention ought. the respect and consequence which he derives from his fortunate situation very frequently guide the votes of others to the objects of his choice. Upon this principle it is. Upon what principle. an influence over each other. It is a fundamental principle of the proposed Constitution. ought to bear some proportion to the comparative wealth of the States. But is it a just idea? Government is instituted no less for protection of the property. when advantages were to be conferred? Might not some surprise also be expressed. than the very laws of which they complain? "It may be replied.

I must confess that it fully reconciles me to the scale of representation which the convention have established. by the representatives of unequal counties or other districts. a contrary temptation would prevail. in a considerable degree on the disposition. they would have an interest in exaggerating their inhabitants. will have an equal weight and efficacy: in the same manner as the votes individually given in a State legislature. In one respect. that they will be taken from that class of citizens which will sympathize least with the feelings of the mass of the people. that they will not possess a proper knowledge of the local circumstances of their numerous constituents. nor is there . Under the proposed Constitution. yet. or if there be any difference in the case. Hence the states. fourthly. the States will have opposite interests. In each of the latter. which will control and balance each other. though possessing an equal vote in the public councils. by the weight of character and the apparent force of argument with which it has been assailed. 55 The Total Number of the House of Representatives For the Independent Journal. Scarce any article. corresponding with the unequal importance of these subsequent and voluntary resolutions. in this respect. Were the rule to decide their share of taxation alone. Wednesday. if not on the co-operation. it is of great importance that the States should feel as little bias as possible. the efficacy of the federal resolutions depends on the subsequent and voluntary resolutions of the states composing the union. or a State more or less wealthy or powerful.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 165 Constitution is. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. rather than from any regard to the extent of the district from which he comes. that defective as the number will be in the first instance. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: THE number of which the House of Representatives is to consist. and although it may appear to be a little strained in some points. and be most likely to aim at a permanent elevation of the few on the depression of the many. by the increase of the people. whether proceeding from a larger or smaller State. materially different from the existing Confederation. and produce the requisite impartiality. The charges exhibited against it are. that no political problem is less susceptible of a precise solution than that which relates to the number most convenient for a representative legislature. and the obstacles which will prevent a correspondent increase of the representatives. and consequently each vote. have each a precise equality of value and effect. In general it may be remarked on this subject. 1788. As the accuracy of the census to be obtained by the Congress will necessarily depend. indeed. of the States. the federal acts will take effect without the necessary intervention of the individual States. have an unequal influence. on the whole. as well as from that of the United Netherlands. in the whole Constitution seems to be rendered more worthy of attention. it will be more and more disproportionate. thirdly. to swell or to reduce the amount of their numbers. secondly. They will depend merely on the majority of votes in the federal legislature." Such is the reasoning which an advocate for the Southern interests might employ on this subject. first. and other similar confederacies. the establishment of a common measure for representation and taxation will have a very salutary effect. under which this branch of the federal legislature may be contemplated. that so small a number of representatives will be an unsafe depositary of the public interests. forms another and a very interesting point of view. it proceeds from the difference in the personal character of the individual representative. February 13. By extending the rule to both objects. Were their share of representation alone to be governed by this rule.

Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 166 any point on which the policy of the several States is more at variance. It is necessary also to recollect here the observations which were applied to the case of biennial elections. will be sixtyfive. the number of representatives will amount to two hundred. and of fifty years. whether we compare their legislative assemblies directly with each other. of whatever character composed. This is a number which. I should admit the objection to have very great weight indeed. On a contrary supposition. the representatives do not bear a greater proportion to their constituents than of one for every four or five thousand. Another general remark to be made is. Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates. On the other hand. would reduce the representative assembly of the latter to seven or eight members. and twenty or thirty years hence. the number ought at most to be kept within a certain limit. as Delaware. in order to avoid the confusion and intemperance of a multitude. and Massachusetts. if it does not already. New York. and must unavoidably far exceed the proportion in any of the other States. raise the number of representatives to at least one hundred. And if we carry on the supposition to six or seven thousand. has little more than one third of the number of representatives. amount to between four and five hundred. I presume. Within three years a census is to be taken. let us weigh the objections which have been stated against the number of members proposed for the House of Representatives. when the number may be augmented to one for every thirty thousand inhabitants. . at this time. will put an end to all fears arising from the smallness of the body. It is said. and within every successive period of ten years the census is to be renewed. The number of which this branch of the legislature is to consist. And according to the constitution of Georgia. amount to three millions. It will not be thought an extravagant conjecture that the first census will. In all very numerous assemblies. in the first place. The number of representatives in Pennsylvania is not more than one fifth of that in the State last mentioned. and augmentations may continue to be made under the above limitation. in answering the fourth objection. Were the representatives in Virginia to be regulated by the standard in Rhode Island. But it does not follow that six or seven hundred would be proportionably a better depositary. passion never fails to wrest the sceptre from reason. on the other hand. For the same reason that the limited powers of the Congress. the ratio of Pennsylvania. they bear a proportion of at least one for every thousand. the proportion may be carried to one to every ten electors. justify less frequent elections than the public safely might otherwise require. hereafter show. that so small a number cannot be safely trusted with so much power. every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob. if applied to the State of Delaware. where it amounts to between three and four hundred. Sixty or seventy men may be more properly trusted with a given degree of power than six or seven. a very considerable difference is observable among States nearly equal in population. In Pennsylvania. to a thousand. Passing over the difference between the smallest and largest States. and to guard against too easy a combination for improper purposes. As great a disparity prevails between the States of Georgia and Delaware or Rhode Island. Estimating the negroes in the proportion of three fifths. In Rhode Island. The truth is. to four hundred. or consider the proportions which they respectively bear to the number of their constituents. according to the computed rate of increase. at the rate of one for every thirty thousand. and the control of the State legislatures. that in all cases a certain number at least seems to be necessary to secure the benefits of free consultation and discussion. at the outset of the government. the members of the Congress need be less numerous than if they possessed the whole power of legislation. Nothing can be more fallacious than to found our political calculations on arithmetical principles. that the number of representatives will be augmented from time to time in the manner provided by the Constitution. I take for granted here what I shall. that the ratio between the representatives and the people ought not to be the same where the latter are very numerous as where they are very few. they would. whose most numerous branch consists of twenty-one representatives. At the expiration of twenty-five years. With these general ideas in our mind. as. the whole reasoning ought to be reversed. and were under no other than the ordinary restraints of other legislative bodies. whose population is to that of South Carolina as six to five. it can scarcely be doubted that the population of the United States will by that time.

nor has the purity of our public councils in this particular ever suffered. the federal legislature. is to renounce every rule by which events ought to be calculated. be dangerous to the public liberty? Whether sixty-five members for a few years. and from the probable state of them within a moderate period of time. and which possess so many means of counteracting. What change of circumstances. No offices therefore can be dealt out to the existing members but such as may become vacant by ordinary casualties: and to suppose that these would be sufficient to purchase the guardians of the people. From what quarter can the danger proceed? Are we afraid of foreign gold? If foreign gold could so easily corrupt our federal rulers and enable them to ensnare and betray their constituents. nor responsible to. they had the sole transaction of our affairs with foreign nations. Is it here that suspicion rests her charge? Sometimes we are told that this fund of corruption is to be exhausted by the President in subduing the virtue of the Senate. and every second year repeat the choice of. As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust. and a hundred or two hundred for a few more. But. The only means. will be in the dispensation of appointments. for a still longer term. who give themselves up to the extravagancies of this passion. and the principles which are incorporated with the political character of every class of citizens I am unable to conceive that the people of America. which they can possess. whether the smallness of the number. or under any circumstances which can speedily happen. Is the danger apprehended from the other branches of the federal government? But where are the means to be found by the President. and recallable at pleasure. Yet we know by happy experience that the public trust was not betrayed. will choose. they were generally continued for three years. through the whole course of the war they had the fate of their country more in their hands than it is to be hoped will ever be the case with our future representatives. I must pronounce that the liberties of America cannot be unsafe in the number of hands proposed by the federal Constitution. The sincere friends of liberty. it is to be presumed. with which all reasoning must be vain. would fail either to detect or to defeat a conspiracy of the latter against the liberties of their common constituents. which makes no part of my pretensions. They held their consultations always under the veil of secrecy. fortunately. be a safe depositary for a limited and well-guarded power of legislating for the United States? I must own that I could not give a negative answer to this question. But judging from the circumstances now before us. so there are other qualities in human nature which justify a . and the eagerness of the party which lost it. it may well be supposed that the use of other means than force would not have been scrupled. in their present temper. any sixty-five or a hundred men capable of recommending themselves to the choice of the people at large. then. ought alone to quiet this apprehension. I am equally unable to conceive that there are at this time. to betray the solemn trust committed to them. and prior to the ratification of the federal articles. how has it happened that we are at this time a free and independent nation? The Congress which conducted us through the Revolution was a less numerous body than their successors will be. their private fortunes. even from the whispers of calumny. are not aware of the injury they do their own cause. will not. or both? Their emoluments of office. selected by the people themselves. and a fuller population of our country may produce. or the Senate. time. The improbability of such a mercenary and perfidious combination of the several members of government. standing on as different foundations as republican principles will well admit. they were not chosen by. Now. as a temporary regulation. and at the same time accountable to the society over which they are placed. and from the greatness of the prize at stake. sixty-five or a hundred men who would be disposed to form and pursue a scheme of tyranny or treachery. and to substitute an indiscriminate and unbounded jealousy. without first obliterating every impression which I have received with regard to the present genius of the people of America. cannot possibly be sources of danger. as they must allbe American citizens. the Constitution has provided a still further safeguard. I am unable to conceive that the State legislatures.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 167 The true question to be decided then is. who would either desire or dare. the fidelity of the other House is to be the victim. the spirit which actuates the State legislatures. which must feel so many motives to watch. requires a prophetic spirit to declare. or can be in any short time. their fellowcitizens at large. within the short space of two years. or of which the emoluments may be increased. in the United States. more than suffice for very different purposes. during the term of their election. The members of the Congress are rendered ineligible to any civil offices that may be created. and without a previous corruption of the House of Representatives cannot. though appointed from year to year.

of duties which will be involved in the regulation of commerce. and must continue to be made. But this principle can extend no further than to those circumstances and interests to which the authority and care of the representative relate. But will not this also be possessed in sufficient degree by a very few intelligent men. As this objection evidently proceeds from a comparison of the proposed number of representatives with the great extent of the United States.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 168 certain portion of esteem and confidence. Saturday. framed by representatives from every part of it. Taxation will consist. but as far as this information relates to the laws and local situation of each individual State. a more diffusive knowledge of the circumstances of the State may be necessary. than to review the different laws. is consistent with every attribute necessary to a due performance of the legislative trust. will be almost of themselves a sufficient guide. 1788. regulations on this subject which will. without taking into view at the same time the circumstances which will distinguish the Congress from other legislative bodies. and it will be found that there will be no peculiar local interests in either. the laws of the State. An ignorance of a variety of minute and particular objects. as has been elsewhere remarked. and the militia. leave little more to be done by the federal legislature. In determining the extent of information required in the exercise of a particular authority. 56 The Same Subject Continued (The Total Number of the House of Representatives) For the Independent Journal. that it will be too small to possess a due knowledge of the interests of its constituents. In every State there have been made. and reduce them in one general act. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. . A skillful individual in his closet with all the local codes before him. taxation. diffusively elected within the State? Divide the largest State into ten or twelve districts. So far the preceding remark is applicable to this object. the number of their inhabitants. which do not lie within the compass of legislation. What are to be the objects of federal legislation? Those which are of most importance. February 16. are commerce. and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another. that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self-government. which will not be within the knowledge of the representative of the district. Besides this source of information. the inference would be. Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form. in a great measure. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: THE SECOND charge against the House of Representatives is. a very few representatives would be very sufficient vehicles of it to the federal councils. the best answer that can be given to it will be a brief explanation of these peculiarities. and which seem most to require local knowledge. Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us faithful likenesses of the human character. and the diversity of their interests. It is a sound and important principle that the representative ought to be acquainted with the interests and circumstances of his constituents. in many cases. As far as it may consist of internal collections. recourse then must be had to the objects within the purview of that authority. A proper regulation of commerce requires much information.

and a local knowledge of their respective districts. and discipline. The general face of the country. The representatives of these eight millions in the House of Commons amount to five hundred and fifty-eight. is almost the only consideration of this nature that can occur. The experience of Great Britain. and particularly in cases requiring uniformity throughout the States. Few of them have made much progress in those branches of industry which give a variety and complexity to the affairs of a nation. and it may be expected that whenever internal taxes may be necessary. and its interests but little diversified. and render a much smaller number of members sufficient for it? The federal councils will derive great advantage from another circumstance. will be just the contrary. we need only suppose for a moment that this or any other State were divided into a number of parts. to prove the sufficiency of a moderate number of representatives. so far as it may relate to local objects. which would very much shorten the labors of the general legislature. there are scarcely any circumstances in reference to which local knowledge can be said to be necessary. The changes of time. may bring with them a due knowledge of their own State. without any aid from oral information. we find a great dissimilarity in their laws. and which has been frequently consulted in the course of these inquiries. will possess all the knowledge requisite for a proper representation of them. This information. and the whole State might be competently represented by a single member taken from any part of it.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 169 might compile a law on some subjects of taxation for the whole union. but of those among different States. its laws are the same. and depend on circumstances which can differ but little in different parts of the same State. Of this number. but will probably in all cases have been members. Is it not evident that a degree of local information and preparatory labor would be found in the several volumes of their proceedings. For however different the rules of discipline may be in different States. movement. The art of war teaches general principles of organization. The number of inhabitants in the two kingdoms of England and Scotland cannot be stated at less than eight millions. Whilst a few representatives. however. a fuller representation. as was formerly remarked. will in all of them be the fruits of a more advanced population. On a comparison of the different States together. which presents to mankind so many political lessons. each having and exercising within itself a power of local legislation. therefore. and may even at the very time be members. one ninth are elected by . both of the monitory and exemplary kind. where all the local information and interests of the State are assembled. not by a difference of laws and local circumstances within a single State. they are the same throughout each particular State. will have an assimilating effect. corroborates the result of the reflections which we have just made. a knowledge of them in one part would involve a knowledge of them in every other. To be fully sensible of the facility which will be given to this branch of federal legislation by the assistance of the State codes. These. from each State. of the State legislature. [The observations made on the subject of taxation apply with greater force to the case of the militia. is rendered necessary and difficult. and will require. therefore. The foresight of the convention has accordingly taken care that the progress of population may be accompanied with a proper increase of the representative branch of the government. most fit for the operations of infantry or cavalry. the more simple objects will be preferred. on the part of each State. At present some of the States are little more than a society of husbandmen. which apply universally. Taking each State by itself. and from whence they may easily be conveyed by a very few hands into the legislature of the United States. and the time that might be necessary for acquiring it. and in many other circumstances connected with the objects of federal legislation. The effect of time on the internal affairs of the States. taken singly.][E1] [With regard to the regulation of the militia. whether mountainous or level. The representatives of each State will not only bring with them a considerable knowledge of its laws. Were the interests and affairs of each individual State perfectly simple and uniform. A few men. does not in any respect contradict what was urged on another occasion with regard to the extensive information which the representatives ought to possess. with all of which the federal representatives ought to have some acquaintance. on the comparative situation of the different States.][E1] The attentive reader will discern that the reasoning here used. every representative will have much information to acquire concerning all the other States.

but that the defects in the British code are chargeable.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 170 three hundred and sixty-four persons. interest. Whilst the objection itself is levelled against a pretended oligarchy. than the guardians and advocates of the popular rights. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: THE THIRD charge against the House of Representatives is. PUBLIUS 1. is such a limitation of the term of appointments as will maintain a proper responsibility to the people. the principle of it strikes at the very root of republican government. to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust. The most effectual one. and one half. and be most likely to aim at an ambitious sacrifice of the many to the aggrandizement of the few." E1. however. the common good of the society. in an assembly exposed to the whole force of executive influence. On the contrary. __ FEDERALIST No. and happiness of eight millions that is to say. 57 The Alleged Tendency of the New Plan to Elevate the Few at the Expense of the Many Considered in Connection with Representation From the New York Packet. by five thousand seven hundred and twenty-three persons. and will not extend the deduction to a considerable number of others. With all these concessions. Let me now ask what circumstance there is in the constitution of the House of Representatives that violates the . and extending its authority to every object of legislation within a nation whose affairs are in the highest degree diversified and complicated. not only that a valuable portion of freedom has been preserved under all these circumstances. first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern. Two versions of this paragraph appear in different editions. and in the next place. that they are more frequently the representatives and instruments of the executive magistrate. Of all the objections which have been framed against the federal Constitution. who do not reside among their constitutents. consider them in this light alone. Allowing to this case the weight which is due to it. in a very small proportion. They might therefore. 1788. or to the knowledge of their circumstances and interests in the legislative councils. two hundred and seventy-nine persons only will be the depository of the safety. The elective mode of obtaining rulers is the characteristic policy of republican government. and comparing it with that of the House of Representatives as above explained it seems to give the fullest assurance. can add any thing either to the security of the people against the government. that it will be taken from that class of citizens which will have least sympathy with the mass of the people. Yet it is very certain.[1] It cannot be supposed that the half thus elected. with great propriety. be considered as something more than a mere deduction from the real representatives of the nation. there will be one representative only to maintain the rights and explain the situation of TWENTY-EIGHT THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED AND SEVENTY constitutents. and who do not even reside among the people at large. Tuesday. this is perhaps the most extraordinary. We will. The means relied on in this form of government for preventing their degeneracy are numerous and various. February 19. it is notorious. Burgh's "Political Disquisitions. and have very little particular knowledge of their affairs. The aim of every political constitution is. or ought to be. on the ignorance of the legislature concerning the circumstances of the people. are very faintly connected with them. and most virtue to pursue. that a representative for every THIRTY THOUSAND INHABITANTS will render the latter both a safe and competent guardian of the interests which will be confided to it.

In the second place. than from innovations in the government subversive of the authority of the people. not the learned. they will enter into the public service under circumstances which cannot fail to produce a temporary affection at least to their constituents. what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the . His pride and vanity attach him to a form of government which favors his pretensions and gives him a share in its honors and distinctions. would be found very insufficient without the restraint of frequent elections. If we consider the situation of the men on whom the free suffrages of their fellow-citizens may confer the representative trust. Whatever hopes or projects might be entertained by a few aspiring characters. of birth. Ingratitude is a common topic of declamation against human nature. The electors are to be the great body of the people of the United States. of esteem. there forever to remain unless a faithful discharge of their trust shall have established their title to a renewal of it. In the third place. of which few governments have furnished examples. and scrupulously impartial to the rights and pretensions of every class and description of citizens? Who are to be the electors of the federal representatives? Not the rich. But the universal and extreme indignation which it inspires is itself a proof of the energy and prevalence of the contrary sentiment. as well as on the great mass of the society. Who are to be the objects of popular choice? Every citizen whose merit may recommend him to the esteem and confidence of his country. If it be asked. more than the ignorant. and when they must descend to the level from which they were raised.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 171 principles of republican government. restraining them from oppressive measures. those ties which bind the representative to his constituents are strengthened by motives of a more selfish nature. both in public and in private life. would have more to hope from a preservation of the favor. we are to presume that in general they will be somewhat distinguished also by those qualities which entitle them to it. They are to be the same who exercise the right in every State of electing the corresponding branch of the legislature of the State. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. on the contrary. that they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends. they will be compelled to anticipate the moment when their power is to cease. which. we shall find it involving every security which can be devised or desired for their fidelity to their constituents. or of civil profession is permitted to fetter the judgement or disappoint the inclination of the people. when their exercise of it is to be reviewed. it must generally happen that a great proportion of the men deriving their advancement from their influence with the people. Hence. not the haughty heirs of distinguished names. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments. and it must be confessed that instances of it are but too frequent and flagrant. as they will have been distinguished by the preference of their fellow-citizens. In the first place. of favor. however. Before the sentiments impressed on their minds by the mode of their elevation can be effaced by the exercise of power. No qualification of wealth. as a fifth circumstance in the situation of the House of Representatives. in the fourth place. more than the poor. is some pledge for grateful and benevolent returns. I will add. apart from all considerations of interest. more than the humble sons of obscurity and unpropitious fortune. or favors the elevation of the few on the ruins of the many? Let me ask whether every circumstance is not. of religious faith. All these securities. but without which every government degenerates into tyranny. the House of Representatives is so constituted as to support in the members an habitual recollection of their dependence on the people. strictly conformable to these principles. There is in every breast a sensibility to marks of honor. and which promise a sincere and scrupulous regard to the nature of their engagements. and of confidence.

and an abhorrence to the federal government? If this be the point on which the objection turns. according to the present rate of money. than five or six hundred. yet maintain that they will prefer those only who will immediately and infallibly betray the trust committed to them? Were the objection to be read by one who had not seen the mode prescribed by the Constitution for the choice of representatives. or more liable to be corrupted by an unfit one. the people will be prepared to tolerate any thing but liberty. and above all. Notwithstanding these unfavorable circumstances. yet boldly impeach the fundamental principle of it. must we not deprive the people of the immediate choice of their public servants. so the choice would be less likely to be diverted from him by the intrigues of the ambitious or the ambitious or the bribes of the rich. it deserves to be examined. the election of a representative is left to about as many hundreds. the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America -. on the contrary. Is the CONSEQUENCE from this doctrine admissible? If we say that five or six hundred citizens are as many as can jointly exercise their right of suffrage. Duty. it cannot be said that the representatives of the nation have elevated the few on the ruins of the many. interest. assures us. nor of a city or borough. gratitude. which restrains the right of suffrage to persons having a freehold estate of the annual value of more than twenty pounds sterling. and that human prudence can devise? Are they not the genuine and the characteristic means by which republican government provides for the liberty and happiness of the people? Are they not the identical means on which every State government in the Union relies for the attainment of these important ends? What then are we to understand by the objection which this paper has combated? What are we to say to the men who profess the most flaming zeal for republican government. unless he possess a like estate of half that annual value. and notwithstanding some very unequal laws in the British code. as to the two first points. and in return is nourished by it. But are they not all that government will admit. in fact. or at least that the mode prescribed by the State constitutions was in some respect or other. Reason. whilst in the individual States. and which favor in that country the pretensions of rank and wealth. no person is eligible as a representative of a county. who pretend to be champions for the right and the capacity of the people to choose their own rulers. that the real representation in the British House of Commons very little exceeds the proportion of one for every thirty thousand inhabitants. that each representative of the United States will be elected by five or six thousand citizens. are the chords by which they will be bound to fidelity and sympathy with the great mass of the people. Such will be the relation between the House of Representatives and their constituents. without maintaining that five or six thousand citizens are less capable of choosing a fit representative. We have seen how far such a supposition would err. To this qualification on the part of the county representatives is added another on the part of the county electors. Nor would it. very grossly departed from. as well as on the people. in every instance where the administration of the government does not require as many of them as will amount to one for that number of citizens? Is the doctrine warranted by FACTS? It was shown in the last paper. If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature. that as in so great a number a fit representative would be most likely to be found.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 172 society? I answer: the genius of the whole system. . Will it be pretended that this difference is sufficient to justify an attachment to the State governments. It is possible that these may all be insufficient to control the caprice and wickedness of man.a spirit which nourishes freedom. ambition itself. he could suppose nothing less than that some unreasonable qualification of property was annexed to the right of suffrage. The only difference discoverable between the two cases is. Is it supported by REASON? This cannot be said. the nature of just and constitutional laws. Besides a variety of powerful causes not existing here. or that the right of eligibility was limited to persons of particular families or fortunes. unless he possess real estate of the clear value of six hundred pounds sterling per year. be less erroneous as to the last.

if well supported. or are in any respect less worthy of their places than the representatives and magistrates appointed in other States by very small divisions of the people? But there are cases of a stronger complexion than any which I have yet quoted. February 20. The city of Philadelphia is supposed to contain between fifty and sixty thousand souls. Our own is explicit and decisive. If the same electors at the same time are capable of choosing four or five representatives. it can only proceed from a partial view of the subject. in the security provided for a gradual augmentation of the number of . would have great weight. Some of her counties. It makes no difference that in these senatorial districts and counties a number of representatives are voted for by each elector at the same time. The following observations will show that. I leave every man to decide whether the result of any one of these experiments can be said to countenance a suspicion. and New York. In the last State the members of Assembly for the cities and counties of New York and Albany are elected by very nearly as many voters as will be entitled to a representative in the Congress. and the president of New Hampshire. This is the case in all the other counties of the State. 1788 MADISON To the People of the State of New York: THE remaining charge against the House of Representatives. It will therefore form nearly two districts for the choice of federal representatives. or from a jealousy which discolors and disfigures every object which is beheld. Pennsylvania is an additional example. Those of Massachusetts are larger than will be necessary for that purpose. and those of New York still more so. have betrayed any peculiar disposition to sacrifice the many to the few. Are not these facts the most satisfactory proofs of the fallacy which has been employed against the branch of the federal government under consideration? Has it appeared on trial that the senators of New Hampshire. Those who urge the objection seem not to have recollected that the federal Constitution will not suffer by a comparison with the State constitutions. calculating on the number of sixty-five representatives only. of Massachusetts. The districts in New Hampshire in which the senators are chosen immediately by the people. as the progress of population may demand. which elect her State representatives. One branch of the legislature of Connecticut is so constituted that each member of it is elected by the whole State. the whole city actually elects a SINGLE MEMBER for the executive council. is grounded on a supposition that the number of members will not be augmented from time to time. and of this State. are almost as large as her districts will be by which her federal representatives will be elected. in which every elector votes for each of its representatives in the State legislature. but one county. which I am to examine. Massachusetts. that a diffusive mode of choosing representatives of the people tends to elevate traitors and to undermine the public liberty. are nearly as large as will be necessary for her representatives in the Congress. however.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 173 But we need not resort to foreign experience on this subject. So is the governor of that State. It forms. 58 Objection That The Number of Members Will Not Be Augmented as the Progress of Population Demands Considered For the Independent Journal Wednesday. they cannot be incapable of choosing one. that this objection. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. or the executive council of Pennsylvania. 1. like most other objections against the Constitution. And what may appear to be still more directly to our purpose. It has been admitted. or the members of the Assembly in the two last States.

even in the Senate. and that the most effectual security in any of them is resolvable into a mere directory provision. This advantage must be increased by the consciousness. perhaps. vanish on a close and accurate inspection. a coalition of a very few States will be sufficient to overrule the opposition. that others correspond pretty much on this point with the federal Constitution. we shall find that some of them contain no determinate regulations on this subject. The number which is to prevail in the first instance is declared to be temporary. the advantage will be in favor of the smaller States. Fortunately it is among the difficulties which. 3. There is a peculiarity in the federal Constitution which insures a watchful attention in a majority both of the people and of their representatives to a constitutional augmentation of the latter. by reason. The unequivocal objects of these regulations are. felt by the same side of being supported in its demands by right. This is the difficulty which has probably created the most serious apprehensions in the jealous friends of a numerous representation. existing only in appearance. notwithstanding the rivalship and local prejudices which might prevent it on ordinary occasions. in the latter. under the sole limitation that the whole number shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand inhabitants. a gradual increase of representatives under the State constitutions has at least kept pace with that of the constituents. and as their concurrence would be indispensable. to second an opposition to their just and legitimate pretensions. therefore. Should the representatives or people. Hence it is by no means certain that a majority of votes. be admitted to be conclusive and satisfactory on this point. If we review the constitutions of the several States. would be unfriendly to proper augmentations in the number of representatives. under the single exception that each State shall have one representative at least. to readjust. the larger States will have most weight. will have no small advantage in a question depending on the comparative firmness of the two houses.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 174 representatives. first. but justified by equity and the principles of the Constitution. when not merely prompted by common interest. to augment the number of representatives at the same periods. and it appears that the former have been as ready to concur in such measures as the latter have been to call for them. the other of the States: in the former. consequently. The following reflections will. Its duration is limited to the short term of three years. except the originating of money bills. composed of the greater number of members. And it so happens that four only of the largest will have a majority of the whole votes in the House of Representatives. that one branch of the legislature is a representation of citizens. From this circumstance it may with certainty be inferred that the larger States will be strenuous advocates for increasing the number and weight of that part of the legislature in which their influence predominates. when supported by the more powerful States. the just and constitutional views of the other branch might be defeated. It may be alleged. of the smaller States oppose at any time a reasonable addition of members. and the consciousness. and by the Constitution. from time to time. if I mistake not. would not fail to take place. that in the gradation between the smallest and largest States. As far as experience has taken place on this subject. The peculiarity lies in this. a coalition which. and speaking the known and determined sense of a majority of the people. 2. the apportionment of representatives to the number of inhabitants. It is farther to be considered. Notwithstanding the equal authority which will subsist between the two houses on all legislative subjects. secondly. that the Senate would be prompted by like motives to an adverse coalition. it cannot be doubted that the House. on the opposite side. of contending against the force of all these solemn considerations. Within every successive term of ten years a census of inhabitants is to be repeated. which. . though most likely in general to arrange themselves among the former are too little removed in extent and population from the latter. there are several.

a single orator. and the senators from all the most growing States will be bound to contend for the latter. was generally seen to rule with as complete a sway as if a sceptre had been placed in his single hand.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 175 It will not be looking too far to add. however. a constitutional and infallible resource still remains with the larger States. One observation. I have passed over the circumstances of economy. has neither been apprehended nor experienced. On the same principle. in my judgment. will not be more than equal to a resistance in which they will be supported by constitutional and patriotic principles. advance in population with peculiar rapidity. and a disregard of which would probably have been as rich a theme of declamation against the Constitution as has been shown by the smallness of the number proposed. would not the one be as likely first to yield as the other? These questions will create no difficulty with those who reflect that in all cases the smaller the number. Those who represent the dignity of their country in the eyes of other nations. it is precisely on characters of this description that the eloquence and address of the few are known to act with all their force. Admitting. will have nothing to do but to make reapportionments and augmentations mutually conditions of each other. the supplies requisite for the support of government. which. To those causes we are to ascribe the continual triumph of the British House of Commons over the other branches of the government. a very serious attention. and finally reducing. and will they not therefore be unwilling to stake its existence or its reputation on the pliancy of the Senate? Or. An absolute inflexibility on the side of the latter. by an expedient too obvious to be overlooked. the stronger must be the interest which they will individually feel in whatever concerns the government. although it could not have failed to involve every department of the state in the general confusion. therefore. the fewer will be the men who will in fact direct their proceedings. the larger the number. and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure. in a word. whenever the engine of a money bill has been employed. In the first place. for obtaining a redress of every grievance. Now. As these States will. or their predominant influence in the councils of the Senate. The large States. This power over the purse may. in fact. and the more permanent and conspicuous the station. It is. that the senators from all the new States may be gained over to the just views of the House of Representatives. in the history of the British Constitution. be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people. of men in power. will be particularly sensible to every prospect of public danger. under present circumstances. the more it will partake of the infirmities incident to collective meetings of the people. the greater is known to be the ascendency of passion over reason. but they alone can propose. In this review of the Constitution of the House of Representatives. the more multitudinous a representative assembly may be rendered. the greater will be the proportion of members of limited information and of weak capacities. by the interest which their States will feel in the former. of whatever characters composed. Ignorance . and ought alone to satisfy all the doubts and fears which have been indulged with regard to it. if such a trial of firmness between the two branches were hazarded. in the present state of affairs. who will prevail in the House of Representatives. the more numerous an assembly may be. The House of Representatives cannot only refuse. In the ancient republics.that powerful instrument by which we behold. The utmost degree of firmness that can be displayed by the federal Senate or President. hold the purse -. I omit also any remarks on the difficulty which might be found. where the whole body of the people assembled in person. in engaging in the federal service a large number of such characters as the people will probably elect. But will not the House of Representatives be as much interested as the Senate in maintaining the government in its proper functions. all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. I must be permitted to add on this subject as claiming. might have had some effect in lessening the temporary number of representatives. These considerations seem to afford ample security on this subject. In the next place. however. that in all legislative assemblies the greater the number composing them may be. They. for a great length of time. an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance. or an artful statesman. or of dishonorable stagnation in public affairs. they will be interested in frequent reapportionments of the representatives to the number of inhabitants. that they should all be insufficient to subdue the unjust policy of the smaller States. by which they will be able at all times to accomplish their just purposes. as far as it seems to have wished.

they will counteract their own views by every addition to their representatives. and in particular cases. Were the defensive privilege limited to particular cases. The countenance of the government may become more democratic. As connected with the objection against the number of representatives. in this place. but the Congress may. an interested minority might take advantage of it to screen themselves from equitable sacrifices to the general weal. and MANNER of holding elections for senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the legislature thereof. will be the springs by which its motions are directed. than any other which has yet been displayed among us. Its propriety rests upon the evidence of this plain proposition. approve an adherence to this rule. PLACES. The machine will be enlarged. the fundamental principle of free government would be reversed. if there be any article in the whole plan more completely defensible than this. Lastly. in the work of the convention. that which has been suggested against the number made competent for legislative business. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE natural order of the subject leads us to consider. and will disapprove every deviation from it which may not appear to have been dictated by the necessity of incorporating into the work . in one instance it has been thought exceptionable by a gentleman who has declared himself the advocate of every other part of the system. It is in these words: "The TIMES. that provision of the Constitution which authorizes the national legislature to regulate. February 22. cannot be denied. and. more than a majority of a quorum for a decision. in particular emergencies. notwithstanding. in the last resort. Experience will forever admonish them that. But these considerations are outweighed by the inconveniences in the opposite scale. may properly be here noticed. at any time. but the soul that animates it will be more oligarchic. a practice which has shown itself even in States where a majority only is required. a practice subversive of all the principles of order and regular government. It would be no longer the majority that would rule: the power would be transferred to the minority. I am greatly mistaken. 1788. they strengthen the barrier against the government of a few. OF LOCAL INFORMATION. except as to the PLACES of choosing senators."[1] This provision has not only been declaimed against by those who condemn the Constitution in the gross. but it has been censured by those who have objected with less latitude and greater moderation. it would facilitate and foster the baneful practice of secessions. or active measures to be pursued. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. AFTER SECURING A SUFFICIENT NUMBER FOR THE PURPOSES OF SAFETY. the election of its own members. and often the more secret. AND OF DIFFUSIVE SYMPATHY WITH THE WHOLE SOCIETY. on the contrary. if not in all. Friday. and passion the slave of sophistry and declamation. 59 Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of Members From the New York Packet. at first sight. but the fewer.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 176 will be the dupe of cunning. Every just reasoner will. to extort unreasonable indulgences. The people can never err more than in supposing that by multiplying their representatives beyond a certain limit. In all cases where justice or the general good might require new laws to be passed. and another obstacle generally to hasty and partial measures. make or alter SUCH REGULATIONS. that EVERY GOVERNMENT OUGHT TO CONTAIN IN ITSELF THE MEANS OF ITS OWN PRESERVATION. or. That some advantages might have resulted from such a precaution. It has been said that more than a majority ought to have been required for a quorum. a practice which leads more directly to public convulsions. It might have been an additional shield to some particular interests. and the ruin of popular governments. by law.

to the local administrations. than that an exclusive power of regulating elections for the national government. would have required no comment. as a portion of imperfection in the system which may prove the seed of future weakness. The last mode has. than where it would unnaturally be placed. The extravagant surmises of a distempered jealousy can never be dignified with that character. if abuses of power are to be hazarded on the one side or on the other. with reason. there can be no objection to intrusting them with it in the particular case under consideration. will not. or wholly in the State legislatures. it may be added. they might at any time give a fatal blow to the Union. in this case. than to transfer that care to any other hands. and it will therefore not be denied. So far as that construction may expose the Union to the possibility of injury from the State legislatures. that a discretionary power over elections ought to exist somewhere. There are cases in which the pernicious tendency of such a power may be far more decisive. be found solid. This argument. may destroy the national government. without an equivalent for the risk. It may be alleged. to maintain its representation in the national councils. to recommend their admission into the system. would be a complete security against an abuse of the trust. It will. It is to little purpose to say. or primarily in the latter and ultimately in the former. as far as possible. to the pleasure of the State governments. that an election law could have been framed and inserted in the Constitution. that each. and as a premeditated engine for the destruction of the State governments? The violation of principle. that by declining the appointment of Senators. and perhaps anarchy. It is certainly true that the State legislatures. Even in this case. that a neglect or omission of this kind would not be likely to take place. may be both more convenient and more satisfactory. Nor has any satisfactory reason been yet assigned for incurring that risk. both as an unwarrantable transposition of power. would leave the existence of the Union entirely at their mercy. If we are in a humor to presume abuses of power. it will not be less apparent in the project of subjecting the existence of the national government. Suppose an article had been introduced into the Constitution. that there were only three ways in which this power could have been reasonably modified and disposed: that it must either have been lodged wholly in the national legislature. be as readily conceded. It will not be alleged. yet he will not cease to regard and to regret a departure from so fundamental a principle. though specious.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 177 some particular ingredient. in ordinary cases. in the first instance. I presume. and. and from this it may be inferred. But it will not follow that. by neglecting to provide for the choice of persons to administer its affairs. They have submitted the regulation of elections for the federal government. The constitutional possibility of the thing. empowering the United States to regulate the elections for the particular States. with which a rigid conformity to the rule was incompatible. but they have reserved to the national authority a right to interpose. been preferred by the convention. they ought to have it in every other. it may be remarked that the constitution of the national Senate would involve. They could at any moment annihilate it. which would have been always applicable to every probable change in the situation of the country. to trust the Union with the care of its own existence. And as it is more consonant to the rules of a just theory. Nothing can be more evident. An impartial view of the matter cannot fail to result in a conviction. though he may acquiesce in the necessity. that as its existence would be thus rendered dependent upon them in so essential a point. whenever extraordinary circumstances might render that interposition necessary to its safety. in a similar respect. ought to depend on itself for its own preservation. it is an evil. by forbearing the appointment of senators. in its full extent. but it is an evil which could not have been . would any man have hesitated to condemn it. without any motive equally cogent with that which must have regulated the conduct of the convention in respect to the formation of the Senate. in the hands of the State legislatures. As an objection to this position. the danger which it is suggested might flow from an exclusive power in the State legislatures to regulate the federal elections. The interest of each State. and when no improper views prevail. upon examination. to an unbiased observer. because they have a power to do this in one instance. which. it is as fair to presume them on the part of the State governments as on the part of the general government. it is more rational to hazard them where the power would naturally be placed. is an unanswerable objection.

The senators are to be chosen for the period of six years. proceed from an experience of the inaptitude of the general government to the advancement of their happiness in which event no good citizen could desire its continuance. wholly from a place in the organization of the national government. could neither annul the existence nor impair the activity of the body. nor any greater good invites. to be represented in the federal councils. may be in a very opposite temper. is exemplified in some of the States at the present moment. which will always nultiply the chances of ambition. to be committed to the guardianship of any but those whose situation will uniformly beget an immediate interest in the faithful and vigilant performance of the trust. PUBLIUS . it would doubtless have been interpreted into an entire dereliction of the federal principle. there is intended to be a general election of members once in two years. if the leaders of a few of the most important States should have entered into a previous conspiracy to prevent an election. where no necessity urges. and the interest of their local rulers in the power and consequence of their offices. It may be easily discerned also that the national government would run a much greater risk from a power in the State legislatures over the elections of its House of Representatives. Its preservation. which might issue in a dissolution of the Union. for the attainment of a necessary advantage or a greater good. the last would suppose a fixed and rooted disaffection in the great body of the people. and will seldom fail to be patronized and abetted by some of them. where the temptation will always be the strongest. If this had been done. by seizing the opportunity of some casual dissatisfaction among the people (and which perhaps they may themselves have excited). no inference can be drawn from thence to favor an accumulation of the evil. With so effectual a weapon in their hands as the exclusive power of regulating elections for the national government. every period of making them would be a delicate crisis in the national situation. at times when the particular rulers of particular States. The scheme of separate confederacies. But with regard to the federal House of Representatives. might accomplish the destruction of the Union. and supported by a strong faction in each of those States. This diversity of sentiment between a majority of the people. that a firm union of this country. The people of America may be warmly attached to the government of the Union. It ought never to be forgotten. stimulated by the natural rivalship of power.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 178 avoided without excluding the States. a combination of a few such men. by which the seats of a third part of them are to be vacated and replenished every two years. in a few of the most considerable States. by those who attend to the force of an obvious distinction between the interest of the people in the public felicity. to discontinue the choice of members for the federal House of Representatives. will be a never failing bait to all such influential characters in the State administrations as are capable of preferring their own emolument and advancement to the public weal. or will. on the present question. which will either never exist at all. that a temporary combination of a few States to intermit the appointment of senators. and that enterprises to subvert it will sometimes originate in the intrigues of foreign powers. But the security will not be considered as complete. will be a security against the abuse of a power over its elections in the hands of the State legislatures. therefore ought in no case that can be avoided. in all probability. that the interests of each State. and the individuals who have the greatest credit in their councils. a quorum of the body is to consist of sixteen members. in their political capacities. But however wise it may have been to have submitted in this instance to an inconvenience. If the State legislatures were to be invested with an exclusive power of regulating these elections. will probably be an increasing object of jealousy to more than one nation of Europe. under an efficient government. than from their power of appointing the members of its Senate. and no State is to be entitled to more than two senators. there is to be a rotation. that there is a degree of weight in the observation. and it is not from a general and permanent combination of the States that we can have any thing to fear. The first might proceed from sinister designs in the leading members of a few of the State legislatures. The joint result of these circumstances would be. and would certainly have deprived the State governments of that absolute safeguard which they will enjoy under this provision. I shall not deny. and by the hopes of personal aggrandizement.

The House of Representatives being to be elected immediately by the people. There is sufficient diversity in the state of property. On the one hand. what would be the danger on the other side. in this respect at least. no rational calculation of probabilities would lead us to imagine that the disposition which a conduct so violent and extraordinary would imply. in certain turbulent and factious seasons. __ FEDERALIST No. there are considerations of a more precise nature." which is all that is proposed to be submitted to the national government in respect to that body. 60 179 The Same Subject Continued (Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of Members) From the Independent Journal. from confiding the ultimate right of regulating its own elections to the Union itself. be the security of all. February 23. must form a powerful obstacle to a concert of views in any partial scheme of elections. of the 1st article. yet there are causes. which may. by confining the places of election to particular districts. is altogether inconceivable and incredible. Of all chimerical suppositions. Saturday. Let us now see. by a victorious and overbearing majority. by the deliberate policy of the government. In addition to this general reflection. The collective sense of the State legislatures can never be influenced by extraneous . this seems to be the most chimerical. to occasion a material diversity of disposition in their representatives towards the different ranks and conditions in society. permanently nourish different propensities and inclinations in this respect. that this right would ever be used for the exclusion of any State from its share in the representation. it is impossible that any regulation of "time and manner. could ever find its way into the national councils. and on the other. it would display itself in a form altogether different and far more decisive. without occasioning a popular revolution. that if so improper a spirit should ever gain admittance into them. But it is alleged. that it might be employed in such a manner as to promote the election of some favorite class of men in exclusion of others. there would be little probability of a common interest to cement these different branches in a predilection for any particular class of electors. will be the dissimilar modes of constituting the several component parts of the government. 1788. But the circumstance which will be likely to have the greatest influence in the matter. without hazard. as well physical as moral.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 1. it may be concluded with certainty. The dissimilarity in the ingredients which will compose the national government. be violated. should be invaded to the prejudice of the great mass of the people. 1st clause. manners. that it could never be made without causing an immediate revolt of the great body of the people. that is. in a greater or less degree. headed and directed by the State governments. The interest of all would. the President by electors chosen for that purpose by the people. and habits of the people of the different parts of the Union. but that so fundamental a privilege. As to the Senate. in the genius. be committed to the State legislatures. in a country so situated and enlightened. 4th section. the Senate by the State legislatures. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: WE HAVE seen. in respect to a particular class of citizens. that an uncontrollable power over the elections to the federal government could not. It is not difficult to conceive that this characteristic right of freedom may. which forbid all apprehension on the subject. can affect the spirit which will direct the choice of its members. and Õstill more in the manner in which they will be brought into action in its various branches. and rendering it impracticable to the citizens at large to partake in the choice. It is not pretended. The improbability of the attempt may be satisfactorily inferred from this single reflection. And though an intimate intercourse under the same government will promote a gradual assimilation in some of these respects.

enjoy as great a preponderancy as itself could desire. The several States are in various degrees addicted to agriculture and commerce. and in much more various proportions. in the natural course of things. Secondly. and in most of them has a considerable share of influence. it will be much less apt to espouse either of them with a decided partiality. that it is infinitely less likely that either of them should gain an ascendant in the national councils. if it could not be extended to the other? The composition of the one would in this case counteract that of the other. If we make the latter supposition. however. But in reality the same situation must have the same effect. it will be conveyed into the national representation. or the mercantile interest. It cannot therefore be presumed. And we can never suppose that it would embrace the appointments to the Senate. I presume it will readily be admitted. that this will be an emanation from a greater variety of interests. And thirdly. that there would be no temptation to violate the Constitution in favor of the landed class. or between the different kinds of property. will it court the elevation of "the wealthy and the well-born. that for the reasons elsewhere assigned. which will generally be a faithful copy of the majorities of those assemblies. it may be asked. that the State legislatures would be warped from their duty by any external influence. if not all of them. preponderate in the government. must be too well convinced of the utility of commerce. perhaps. where the rules of an equal representation obtain. As long as this interest prevails in most of the State legislatures. it then becomes immaterial where the power in question is placed -. that the credulous votaries of State power cannot. For what inducement could the Senate have to concur in a preference in which itself would not be included? Or to what purpose would it be established. unless we can at the same time suppose the voluntary co-operation of the State legislatures. The inference will be. which may dispose it to endeavor to secure a monopoly of the federal administration to the landed class? As there is little likelihood that the supposition of such a bias will have any terrors for those who would be immediately injured by it. or between the different degrees of property? Will it lean in favor of the landed interest. a consideration which alone ought to satisfy us that the discrimination apprehended would never be attempted. In applying thus particularly to the Senate a general observation suggested by the situation of the country. that the competition for it will lie between landed men and merchants. is there not danger of an opposite bias in the national government. that a conduct tending to give an undue preference to either is much less to be dreaded from the former than from the latter. to speak in the fashionable language of the adversaries to the Constitution. in the primative composition at least of the federal House of Representatives: an improper bias towards the mercantile class is as little to be expected from this quarter as from the other. that a sacrifice of the landed to the mercantile class will ever be a favorite object of this branch of the federal legislature. to be inclined to inflict upon it so deep a wound as would result . In order. In most. But what is to be the object of this capricious partiality in the national councils? Is it to be exercised in a discrimination between the different departments of industry. or the manufacturing interest? Or. In a country consisting chiefly of the cultivators of land. or the moneyed interest. than that the one or the other of them should predominate in all the local councils. because that class would. upon their own principles. commerce nearly divides its empire. first. I am governed by the consideration. And I scruple not to affirm. than are to be found in any single State. suspect. so long it must maintain a correspondent superiority in the national Senate. to give countenance to the objection at any rate. in reference to one branch of the legislature. In proportion as either prevails. agriculture is predominant. that men accustomed to investigate the sources of public prosperity upon a large scale.whether in their hands or in those of the Union.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 180 circumstances of that sort. than the representation of any single State. and for the very reason. a labored answer to this question will be dispensed with. upon the whole. In a few of them. it is less likely that any decided partiality should prevail in the councils of the Union than in those of any of its members. the landed interest must." to the exclusion and debasement of all the rest of the society? If this partiality is to be exerted in favor of those who are concerned in any particular description of industry or property. It will be sufficient to remark.

The importance of commerce. it shall be conceded for a moment that such a force might exist. set apart in each of them a common place of residence? Are they only to be met with in the towns or cities? Or are they. and with the means of gratifying that disposition." as they are called. in the view of revenue alone. and are unalterable by the legislature. as the objects of the preference with which they endeavor to alarm us. would flock from the remote extremes of their respective States to the places of election. disgrace. confined to particular spots in the several States? Have they. scattered over the face of the country as avarice or chance may have happened to cast their own lot or that of their predecessors? If the latter is the case. because. for argument sake. But this forms no part of the power to be conferred upon the national government. by some miraculous instinct or foresight. Its authority would be expressly restricted to the regulation of the TIMES. to voerthrow their tyrants. by the urgent calls of public necessity. must effectually guard it against the enmity of a body which would be continually importuned in its favor. in spite of all the precautions that might accompany them. and the national government shall be supposed to be in the actual possession of it. however. the PLACES. Particularly in the Southern States and in this State. as far as I understand the meaning of the objectors. not less tenacious than conscious of their rights. and ruin of their authors? Would they not fear that citizens. are defined and fixed in the Constitution. they contemplate a discrimination of another kind. The qualifications of the persons who may choose or be chosen. be admitted. is it presumable that the persons who were actuated by it would amuse themselves in the ridiculous task of fabricating election laws for securing a preference to a favorite class of men? Would they not be likely to prefer a conduct better adapted to their own immediate aggrandizement? Would they not rather boldly resolve to perpetuate themselves in office by one decisive act of usurpation. I the rather consult brevity in discussing the probability of a preference founded upon a discrimination between the different kinds of industry and property. that the expedient suggested might be successful. however. They appear to have in view. What will be the conclusion? With a disposition to invade the essential rights of the community. at another time it is to be effected by depriving the people at large of the opportunity of exercising their right of suffrage in the choice of that body.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 181 from the entire exclusion of those who would best understand its interest from a share in the management of them. might terminate in the dismission. Let it.[1]) is it not evident that the policy of confining the places of election to particular districts would be as subversive of its own aim as it would be exceptionable on every other account? The truth is. But upon what principle is the discrimination of the places of election to be made." These. the MANNER of elections. __ . At one time. and let it at the same time be equally taken for granted that all the scruples which a sense of duty or an apprehension of the danger of the experiment might inspire. as has been remarked upon other occasions. still I imagine it will hardly be pretended that they could ever hope to carry such an enterprise into execution without the aid of a military force sufficient to subdue the resistance of the great body of the people. The improbability of the existence of a force equal to that object has been discussed and demonstrated in different parts of these papers. than to trust to precarious expedients which. it seems. but by prescribing qualifications of property either for those who may elect or be elected. their elevation is to be a necessary consequence of the smallness of the representative body. those whom they designate by the description of "the wealthy and the well-born. but that the futility of the objection under consideration may appear in the strongest light. are to be exalted to an odious pre-eminence over the rest of their fellow-citizens. that there is no method of securing to the rich the preference apprehended. and to substitute men who would be disposed to avenge the violated majesty of the people? PUBLIUS 1. were overcome in the breasts of the national rulers. on the contrary. in order to answer the purpose of the meditated preference? Are "the wealthy and the well-born. (as every intelligent man knows it to be.

But as that view would lead into long and tedious details. etc. in the great districts into which the State is or may be divided: these at present are four in number. would exercise it in a careful inspection of the several State constitutions. apply with equal force to the modification of the like power in the constitution of this State.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor FEDERALIST No. those of the Senate. the . the power under examination. than that the members of the Assembly shall be elected in the COUNTIES. furnishes a ready answer to this question.. as a serious. A review of their situation. A declaration of this nature would certainly have been harmless. in this particular. it might not have been undesirable. by the like expedient. the city of Albany was to be appointed the sole place of election for the county and district of which it is a part. objection to the plan. still less as an insuperable. that as the former have never been thought chargeable with inattention to the security of liberty. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE more candid opposers of the provision respecting elections. will be guiltless of the sacrifice. If it should be said that defects in the State constitutions furnish no apology for those which are to be found in the plan proposed. that when the place of election is at an INCONVENIENT DISTANCE from the elector. for instance. and the want of it will never be considered. I shall content myself with the single example of the State in which I write. But it would. I answer. February 26. abstracted from any experience on the subject. Saratoga. would tend greatly to remove any ill impressions which may remain in regard to this matter. however. and for this reason it will be impossible to acquit the one. will sometimes concede the propriety of that provision. Cambridge. in fact. say they. 61 182 The Same Subject Continued (Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of Members) From the New York Packet. would not the inhabitants of that city speedily become the only electors of the members both of the Senate and Assembly for that county and district? Can we imagine that the electors who reside in the remote subdivisions of the counties of Albany. where the imputations thrown on the latter can be shown to be applicable to them also. which afford every facility to it. Suppose. in substance. This. the effect upon his conduct will be the same whether that distance be twenty miles or twenty thousand miles. It may readily be perceived that it would not be more difficult to the legislature of New York to defeat the suffrages of the citizens of New York. have afforded little or no additional security against the danger apprehended. at least. Hence it must appear. by confining elections to particular places. and comprehend each from two to six counties. from the latitude which most of them allow in respect to elections. they would find little less room for disquietude and alarm. was a necessary precaution against an abuse of the power. than from the latitude which is proposed to be allowed to the national government in the same respect. to give their votes for members of the Assembly or Senate. The different views taken of the subject in the two preceding papers must be sufficient to satisfy all dispassionate and discerning men. that objections to the particular modification of the federal power of regulating elections will. And. with this qualification. and to condemn the other. to participate in the choice of the members of the federal House of Representatives? The alarming indifference discoverable in the exercise of so invaluable a privilege under the existing laws. If those who are inclined to consult their jealousy only. that all elections should be had in the counties where the electors resided. that if the public liberty should ever be the victim of the ambition of the national rulers. 1788. would take the trouble to come to the city of Albany. when pressed in argument. than for the legislature of the United States to defeat the suffrages of the citizens of the Union. so far as it would have had the effect of quieting apprehensions. sooner than they would repair to the city of New York. that it ought to have been accompanied with a declaration. A similar comparison would lead to the same conclusion in respect to the constitutions of most of the other States. by an impartial and judicious examiner. we can be at no loss to determine. Tuesday. contained in the plan of the convention. The constitution of New York makes no other provision for LOCALITY of elections. or in any part of the county of Montgomery.

and it may be asked. nothing can be said. with the condition of a total dissolution of the body at the same time. as innocent omissions in the State constitutions. and as a cure for the diseases of faction. than the well-founded inferences of a candid research after truth. vary between extremes as wide as March and November. Uniformity in the time of elections seems not less requisite for executing the idea of a regular rotation in the Senate. upon experiment. what they regard as unpardonable blemishes in the plan of the convention. have been found less convenient than some other time. Why. The consequence of this diversity would be that there could never happen a total dissolution or renovation of the body at one time. It may be asked. and which could not as well have been obtained from any other: I allude to the circumstance of uniformity in the time of elections for the federal House of Representatives. with the advantage of local governments to head their opposition. Hitherto my observations have only aimed at a vindication of the provision in question. To those who are disposed to consider. it might. in order to maintain its superiority. on the ground of theoretic propriety. than of two hundred thousand people who are destitute of that advantage. might be less formidable to liberty than one third of that duration subject to gradual and successive alterations. spread over a vast region. and for conveniently assembling the legislature at a stated period in each year. incline to a preference of a particular class of electors. it is possible there may be at least as many different periods as there are months in the year. as a fundamental point. The times of election in the several States. what would deprive several States of the convenience of having the elections for their own governments and for the national government at the same epochs. I am inclined to think that treble the duration in office. in general. could not a time have been fixed in the Constitution? As the most zealous adversaries of the plan of the convention in this State are. than the representatives of the people of the United States? If they cannot do this. as they are now established for local purposes. The mass would be likely to remain nearly the same. on that of the danger of placing the power elsewhere. and interests. and that if a time had been appointed. they ought to convince us that it is less probable that a predominant faction in a single State should. then. or other sinister motives. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. But there remains to be mentioned a positive advantage which will result from this disposition. If an improper spirit of any kind should happen to prevail in it. it would have been hardly advisable upon that speculation to establish. 62 . they ought at least to prove to us that it is easier to subvert the liberties of three millions of people. than that a similar spirit should take possession of the representatives of thirteen States. not less zealous admirers of the constitution of the State. There is a contagion in example which few men have sufficient force of mind to resist.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 183 presumption is that they are rather the cavilling refinements of a predetermined opposition. The same answer may be given to the question put on the other side. both as a security against the perpetuation of the same spirit in the body. they can only be asked to assign some substantial reason why the representatives of the people in a single State should be more impregnable to the lust of power. that spirit would be apt to infuse itself into the new members. It is more than possible that this uniformity may be found by experience to be of great importance to the public welfare. and on that of the safety of placing it in the manner proposed. and in several respects distinguishable from each other by a diversity of local circumstances. or at most. If each State may choose its own time of election. prejudices. the question may be retorted. assimilating constantly to itself its gradual accretions. as they come forward in succession. Why was not a time for the like purpose fixed in the constitution of this State? No better answer can be given than that it was a matter which might safely be entrusted to legislative discretion. And in relation to the point immediately under consideration. And it may be added that the supposed danger of a gradual change being merely speculative.

and an indiscriminate and hasty admission of them. The qualification of senators. It is equally unnecessary to dilate on the appointment of senators by the State legislatures.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor The Senate For the Independent Journal. every district ought to have a PROPORTIONAL share in the government. and that mutual deference and concession which the peculiarity of our political situation rendered indispensable. participating immediately in transactions with foreign nations. and which. And the former must have been a citizen nine years. instead of indulging a fruitless anticipation of the possible mischiefs which may ensue. Among the various modes which might have been devised for constituting this branch of the government. but "of a spirit of amity. and still more loudly by the political situation. and of giving to the State governments such an agency in the formation of the federal government as must secure the authority of the former. and that among independent and sovereign States. Wednesday. and an instrument for preserving that residuary sovereignty. is called for by the voice. the parties. that the equal vote allowed to each State is at once a constitutional recognition of the portion of sovereignty remaining in the individual States. The powers vested in the Senate. The appointment of them by the State legislatures. the advice of prudence must be to embrace the lesser evil. that among a people thoroughly incorporated into one nation. to contemplate rather the advantageous consequences which may qualify the sacrifice. II. with powers equal to its objects. bound together by a simple league. February 27. So far the equality ought to be no less acceptable to the large than to the small . If indeed it be right. The only option. The equality of representation in the Senate is another point. which might create a channel for foreign influence on the national councils. which. I. requires at the same time that the senator should have reached a period of life most likely to supply these advantages. But it is superfluous to try. for the former. as distinguished from those of representatives. A senator must be thirty years of age at least. not of theory. Under this alternative. then. does not call for much discussion. and may form a convenient link between the two systems. V. The heads into which this member of the government may be considered are: I. I enter next on the examination of the Senate. It is recommended by the double advantage of favoring a select appointment. III. ought to have an EQUAL share in the common councils. The propriety of these distinctions is explained by the nature of the senatorial trust. II. The term of nine years appears to be a prudent mediocrity between a total exclusion of adopted citizens. which. lies between the proposed government and a government still more objectionable. of America. being evidently the result of compromise between the opposite pretensions of the large and the small States. is not likely to be obtained from the smaller States. III. and. it does not appear to be without some reason that in a compound republic. 1788 MADISON To the People of the State of New York: 184 HAVING examined the constitution of the House of Representatives. however unequal in size. The equality of representation in the Senate." A common government. that which has been proposed by the convention is probably the most congenial with the public opinion. ought to be exercised by none who are not thoroughly weaned from the prepossessions and habits incident to foreign birth and education. by the standard of theory. and answered such of the objections against it as seemed to merit notice. A government founded on principles more consonant to the wishes of the larger States. partaking both of the national and federal character. The number of senators. requiring greater extent of information and tability of character. IV. the government ought to be founded on a mixture of the principles of proportional and equal representation. as seven years are required for the latter. a part of the Constitution which is allowed on all hands to be the result. In this spirit it may be remarked. The qualifications proposed for senators. consist in a more advanced age and a longer period of citizenship. and the term for which they are to be elected. as a representative must be twenty-five. whose merits and talents may claim a share in the public confidence.

and the comprehensive interests of their country. against an improper consolidation of the States into one simple republic. and consequently ought to be less numerous.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor States. it must be politic to distinguish them from each other by every circumstance which will consist with a due harmony in all proper measures. the affairs. so many admonitions to the people. What indeed are all the repealing. and with the genuine principles of republican government. and consequently ought to hold its authority by a tenure of considerable duration. as well as from the history of other nations. first. of the value of those aids which may be expected from a well-constituted senate? A good government implies two things: first. and then. come next to be considered. and as the faculty and excess of law-making seem to be the diseases to which our governments are most liable. and distinct from those of the other States. that those who administer it may forget their obligations to their constituents. need not be proved. of a majority of the people. it will be proper to inquire into the purposes which are to be answered by a senate. the additional impediment it must prove against improper acts of legislation. But as the larger States will always be able. by every possible expedient. where the ambition or corruption of one would otherwise be sufficient. that as the improbability of sinister combinations will be in proportion to the dissimilarity in the genius of the two bodies. Examples on this subject might be cited without number. It doubles the security to the people. and in order to ascertain these. and prove unfaithful to their important trust. explaining. The number of senators. on the best grounds. since they are not less solicitous to guard. It may be affirmed. It is a misfortune incident to republican government. would otherwise be exposed to peculiar danger. In order to form an accurate judgment on both of these points. and the duration of their appointment. Third. that no small share of the present embarrassments of America is to be charged on the blunders of our governments. IV. continued in appointment for a short time. and that the peculiar defense which it involves in favor of the smaller States. No law or resolution can now be passed without the concurrence. which fill and disgrace our voluminous codes. escape a variety of important errors in the exercise of their legislative trust. fidelity to the object of government. It must be acknowledged that this complicated check on legislation may in some instances be injurious as well as beneficial. it will be necessary to review the inconveniences which a republic must suffer from the want of such an institution. by requiring the concurrence of two distinct bodies in schemes of usurpation or perfidy. but so many monuments of deficient wisdom. by their power over the supplies. that a body which is to correct this infirmity ought itself to be free from it. and amending laws. though in a less degree than to other governments. which is the happiness of the . moreover. The necessity of a senate is not less indicated by the propensity of all single and numerous assemblies to yield to the impulse of sudden and violent passions. a senate. and now so well understood in the United States. must be in all cases a salutary check on the government. But a position that will not be contradicted. I will barely remark. Another defect to be supplied by a senate lies in a want of due acquaintance with the objects and principles of legislation. This is a precaution founded on such clear principles. In this point of view. and led by no permanent motive to devote the intervals of public occupation to a study of the laws. First. of a majority of the States. as a second branch of the legislative assembly. Second. 185 Another advantage accruing from this ingredient in the constitution of the Senate is. and to be seduced by factious leaders into intemperate and pernicious resolutions. if left wholly to themselves. it is not impossible that this part of the Constitution may be more convenient in practice than it appears to many in contemplation. It ought. so many impeachments exhibited by each succeeding against each preceding session. and that these have proceeded from the heads rather than the hearts of most of the authors of them. would be more rational. It is not possible that an assembly of men called for the most part from pursuits of a private nature. and from proceedings within the United States. and dividing the power with. if any interests common to them. to possess great firmness. that it would be more than superfluous to enlarge on it. All that need be remarked is. to defeat unreasonable exertions of this prerogative of the lesser States. should. a first. distinct from.

may calculate on every loss which can be sustained from the more systematic policy of their wiser neighbors. It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. Every new election in the States is found to change one half of the representatives. and becomes more just. or in any way affecting the value of the different species of property. Law is defined to be a rule of action. What prudent merchant will hazard his fortunes in any new branch of commerce when he knows not but that his plans may be rendered unlawful before they can be executed? What farmer or manufacturer will lay himself out for the encouragement given to any particular cultivation or establishment. Some governments are deficient in both these qualities. no great improvement or laudable enterprise can go forward which requires the auspices of a steady system of national policy. not for the MANY. It will be of little avail to the people. secondly. or undergo such incessant changes that no man. and the moneyed few over the industrious and uniformed mass of the people. the enterprising. . most governments are deficient in the first. who knows what the law is to-day. the success and profit of which may depend on a continuance of existing arrangements. if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read. But the best instruction on this subject is unhappily conveyed to America by the example of her own situation. The mutability in the public councils arising from a rapid succession of new members. and all the advantages connected with national character. The federal Constitution avoids this error. each of which will be perceived to be a source of innumerable others. She finds that she is held in no respect by her friends. but all will decline to connect their fortunes with his. but by the toils and cares of the great body of their fellow-citizens. whose affairs betray a want of wisdom and stability. by all prudent people. Every new regulation concerning commerce or revenue. The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. is marked at once. that the former. when he can have no assurance that his preparatory labors and advances will not render him a victim to an inconstant government? In a word. it forfeits the respect and confidence of other nations. His more friendly neighbors may pity him. From this change of men must proceed a change of opinions. are under fewer restraints also from taking undue advantage from the indiscretions of each other. a change of measures. I will hint a few only. in the strongest manner. the necessity of some stable institution in the government. which is little known. or perhaps to carry on his affairs without any plan at all. An individual who is observed to be inconstant to his plans. and from a change of opinions. In the first place. with this melancholy distinction perhaps. points out. a knowledge of the means by which that object can be best attained. that she is the derision of her enemies. This is a state of things in which it may be said with some truth that laws are made for the FEW. consequently. or so incoherent that they cannot be understood. But a continual change even of good measures is inconsistent with every rule of prudence and every prospect of success. The want of confidence in the public councils damps every useful undertaking. presents a new harvest to those who watch the change. as a speedy victim to his own unsteadiness and folly. and what merits particular notice. One nation is to another what one individual is to another. if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated. reared not by themselves. in national transactions. a harvest. and that she is a prey to every nation which has an interest in speculating on her fluctuating councils and embarrassed affairs. with fewer of the benevolent emotions than the latter. In another point of view.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 186 people. Fourth. and less fixed? Another effect of public instability is the unreasonable advantage it gives to the sagacious. To trace the mischievous effects of a mutable government would fill a volume. and not a few will seize the opportunity of making their fortunes out of his. that in American governments too little attention has been paid to the last. as well as more important. that the laws are made by men of their own choice. Every nation. I scruple not to assert. great injury results from an unstable government. it provides for the last in a mode which increases the security for the first. and can trace its consequences. however qualified they may be. but how can that be a rule. The remark is verified in private life. can guess what it will be to-morrow.

without possessing a certain portion of order and stability. that in doubtful cases. It must nevertheless be acknowledged. its respect and confidence. 63 The Senate Continued For the Independent Journal. or even by the sister States. on various accounts. than it is to obtain. proceeding from the causes already mentioned. that. must relate to operations of that power. but the national councils will not possess that sensibility to the opinion of the world. arising from that frequency of elections which in other cases produces this responsibility. a regard to national character alone would have prevented the calamities under which that misguided people is now laboring. Responsibility.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 187 But the most deplorable effect of all is that diminution of attachment and reverence which steals into the hearts of the people. that it should appear to other nations as the offspring of a wise and honorable policy. to be as undeniable as it is important. nor be truly respectable. as a SIXTH defect the want. and in order to be effectual. any more than an individual. March 1. but paradoxical. What has not America lost by her want of character with foreign nations. by arguments drawn from the light in which such measures would be viewed by foreign nations. perhaps. and how many errors and follies would she not have avoided. particularly where the national councils may be warped by some strong passion or momentary interest. Saturday. if the justice and propriety of her measures had. No government. whilst it can scarcely be doubted that if the concurrence of a select and stable body had been necessary. The half-yearly representatives of Rhode Island would probably have been little affected in their deliberations on the iniquitous measures of that State. 1788 MADISON To the People of the State of New York: A FIFTH desideratum. The objects of government may be divided into two general classes: the one depending on measures which have singly an immediate and sensible operation. it is evident that it can never be sufficiently possessed by a numerous and changeable body. It can only be found in a number so small that a sensible degree of the praise and blame of public measures may be the portion of each individual. the esteem of foreign powers will not only be forfeited by an unenlightened and variable policy. appear not only new. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. the other depending on a . towards a political system which betrays so many marks of infirmity. in every instance. and disappoints so many of their flattering hopes. must be limited to objects within the power of the responsible party. which is perhaps not less necessary in order to merit. it is desirable. or in an assembly so durably invested with public trust. the presumed or known opinion of the impartial world may be the best guide that can be followed. illustrating the utility of a senate. of which a ready and proper judgment can be formed by the constituents. been previously tried by the light in which they would probably appear to the unbiased part of mankind? Yet however requisite a sense of national character may be. independently of the merits of any particular plan or measure. An attention to the judgment of other nations is important to every government for two reasons: the one is. in order to be reasonable. when explained. the second is. Without a select and stable member of the government. will long be respected without being truly respectable. I add. in some important cases. that the pride and consequence of its members may be sensibly incorporated with the reputation and prosperity of the community. is the want of a due sense of national character. This remark will. of a due responsibility in the government to the people.

or some illicit advantage. I shall not scruple to add. may be justly and effectually answerable for the attainment of those objects. having sufficient permanency to provide for such objects as require a continued attention. which have a gradual and perhaps unobserved operation. notwithstanding. It is sufficiently difficult to preserve a personal responsibility in the members of a NUMEROUS body. To a people as little blinded by prejudice or corrupted by flattery as those whom I address. until reason. as well ancient as modern. may call for measures which they themselves will afterwards be the most ready to lament and condemn. The proper remedy for this defect must be an additional body in the legislative department. At the same time. It adds no small weight to all these considerations. that it is one of the principal recommendations of a confederated republic. when compared with the fugitive and turbulent existence of other ancient republics. In these critical moments. As the cool and deliberate sense of the community ought. Nor is it possible for the people to estimate the SHARE of influence which their annual assemblies may respectively have on events resulting from the mixed transactions of several years. or misled by the artful misrepresentations of interested men. needs no explanation. I am far from denying that this is a distinction of peculiar importance. in all governments. how salutary will be the interference of some temperate and respectable body of citizens. And yet it is evident that an assembly elected for so short a term as to be unable to provide more than one or two links in a chain of measures. that such an institution may be sometimes necessary as a defense to the people against their own temporary errors and delusions. and palpable operation on its constituents. the only states to whom that character can be applied. very instructive proofs of the necessity of some institution that will blend stability with liberty. Thus far I have considered the circumstances which point out the necessity of a well-constructed Senate only as they relate to the representatives of the people. and a train of measures. The constitution of the senate in the last is less known. in fact. was appointed not only for life. and actually will. I am not unaware of the circumstances which distinguish the American from other popular governments. It may even be remarked. but filled up vacancies itself. The importance of the latter description to the collective and permanent welfare of every country. which. of America. Circumstantial evidence makes it probable that it was not different in this particular from the two others. and truth can regain their authority over the public mind? What bitter anguish would not the people of Athens have often escaped if their government had contained so provident a safeguard against the tyranny of their own passions? Popular liberty might then have escaped the indelible reproach of decreeing to the same citizens the hemlock on one day and statues on the next. and Carthage are. and which render extreme circumspection necessary. and that a smaller council. These examples. on the contrary. that a people spread over an extensive region cannot. in reasoning . and to suspend the blow meditated by the people against themselves. Rome. are. ought not to be answerable for the final result. I have. like the crowded inhabitants of a small district. for such acts of the body as have an immediate. or to the danger of combining in pursuit of unjust measures. as they are repugnant to the genius. endeavored in a former paper to show. to recollect that history informs us of no long-lived republic which had not a senate. In each of the two first there was a senate for life. justice. stimulated by some irregular passion. on which the general welfare may essentially depend. in order to check the misguided career. that it had some quality or other which rendered it an anchor against popular fluctuations. in all free governments. ultimately prevail over the views of its rulers. drawn out of the senate. that the same extended situation. which will exempt the people of America from some of the dangers incident to lesser republics. will expose them to the inconveniency of remaining for a longer time under the influence of those misrepresentations which the combined industry of interested men may succeed in distributing among them. be subject to the infection of violent passions. though as unfit for the imitation. any more than a steward or tenant. engaged for one year. Sparta. this advantage ought not to be considered as superseding the use of auxiliary precautions. so there are particular moments in public affairs when the people. detached. It is at least certain.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 188 succession of well-chosen and well-connected measures. It may be suggested. could be justly made to answer for places or improvements which could not be accomplished in less than half a dozen years.

will have shown that I am disposed neither to deny its existence nor to undervalue its importance. From these facts. we must be careful not to separate it from the other advantage. annually ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE AT LARGE. and considered as the REPRESENTATIVES of the people. small indeed in numbers. thus qualified. in reasonings contained in former papers. and finally transform it into a tyrannical aristocracy.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 189 from the one case to the other. as we have seen. but had the exclusive right of originating legislative propositions to the people. and the danger will be evidently greater where the whole legislative trust is lodged in the hands of one body of men. IN THEIR COLLECTIVE CAPACITY. since they were not only associated with the people in the function of making laws. . are common to a numerous assembly frequently elected by the people. almost in their PLENIPOTENTIARY capacity. consists in the principle of representation. The people can never wilfully betray their own interests. many of the executive functions were performed. that any form of representative government could have succeeded within the narrow limits occupied by the democracies of Greece. Athens was governed by nine Archons. whatever might be its power. and PARTIALLY representing them in their LEGISLATIVE capacity. and to the people themselves. that the position concerning the ignorance of the ancient governments on the subject of representation. For it cannot be believed. But after allowing due weight to this consideration. and have been considered by some authors as an institution analogous to those of Sparta and Rome. of an extensive territory. if not all the popular governments of antiquity. to which many others might be added. The difference most relied on. and afterwards of six hundred members. or the duration of its appointment. and for the term of six years. lies IN THE TOTAL EXCLUSION OF THE PEOPLE. or at least to the ancient part of them. therefore. Many of the defects. Without entering into a disquisition which here would be misplaced. appears to have been ELECTIVE by the suffrages of the people. two bodies. The Cosmi of Crete were also annually ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE. In the most pure democracies of Greece. There are others peculiar to the former. that there are many points of similitude which render these examples not unworthy of our attention. but annually ELECTED BY THE WHOLE BODY OF THE PEOPLE. and which is supposed to have been unknown to the latter. it may still be maintained. in observing. we find an assembly. and REPRESENTING the people in their EXECUTIVE capacity. which can only be supplied by a senatorial institution. Similar instances might be traced in most. The senate of Carthage. also. Lastly. between the American and other republics. which is the pivot on which the former move. in Sparta we meet with the Ephori. from any share in the LATTER. that in the election of that representative body the right of suffrage was communicated to a part only of the people. that a senate appointed not immediately by the people. must gradually acquire a dangerous pre-eminence in the government. which require the control of such an institution. but by officers elected by the people. in support of what I advance. In answer to all these arguments. first of four. than where the concurrence of separate and dissimilar bodies is required in every public act. Subsequent to that period. not by the people themselves. I will refer to a few known facts. But to insure to this advantage its full effect. The degree of power delegated to them seems to be left in great obscurity. must be admitted to leave a most advantageous superiority in favor of the United States. The distinction. the jealous adversary of the Constitution will probably content himself with repeating. The use which has been made of this difference. and in Rome with the Tribunes. however. Prior to the reform of Solon. is by no means precisely true in the latitude commonly given to it. annually ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE. suggested by reason. and enforced by our own experience. illustrated by examples. with this difference only. The true distinction between these and the American governments. and not in the TOTAL EXCLUSION OF THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE from the administration of the FORMER. but they may possibly be betrayed by the representatives of the people. it is clear that the principle of representation was neither unknown to the ancients nor wholly overlooked in their political constitutions. I feel the less restraint.

But if anything could silence the jealousies on this subject. even after their number was augmented to ten. ought to be seen in full display the aristocratic usurpations and tyranny which are at some future period to be exemplified in the United States. however. the same sentence is pronounced by experience. as unanimity was required in every act of the Tribunes. by the remarkable prerogative of filling up its own vacancies within the term of its appointment. Without corrupting the State legislatures. It is distinguished. but no such symptoms have appeared. it is to be observed. than it was actually crushed by the weight of the popular branch. It is evident that the Senate must be first corrupted before it can attempt an establishment of tyranny.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 190 To this general answer. a succession of new representatives would speedily restore all things to their pristine order. a reputation in which it will probably not be rivalled by that of any State in the Union. Is there any man who can seriously persuade himself that the proposed Senate can. Here. through all these obstructions? If reason condemns the suspicion. and that the former. is elected for seven years. its examples support the reasoning which we have employed. must next corrupt the State legislatures. the Ephori. Without exerting the means of corruption with equal success on the House of Representatives. and by the whole body of the people. In Sparta. rather than the latter. because the periodical change of members would otherwise regenerate the whole body. Before such a revolution can be effected. at the commencement of the second Punic War. and that it no sooner lost the support of the monarch. the Senate. as the federal Senate will be. who were the representatives of the people. The Tribunes of Rome. the jealousies at first entertained by men of the same description with those who view with terror the correspondent part of the federal Constitution. The constitution of Maryland furnishes the most apposite example. in very great proportion. for the anti-federal argument. which would expose the former to colorable objections. had. that liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as by the abuses of power. were found an overmatch for the senate for life. and must finally corrupt the people at large. Unfortunately. therefore. There are some other lesser distinctions. is not under the control of any such rotation as is provided for the federal Senate. The House of Representatives. and for a term less by one year only than the federal Senate. it cannot prosecute the attempt. and the Maryland constitution is daily deriving. The Senate there instead of being elected for a term of six years. must then corrupt the House of Representatives. by a very small proportion of the people. and without corrupting the people themselves. As far as antiquity can instruct us on this subject. the opposition of that coequal branch of the government would inevitably defeat the attempt. it is well known. whose senate. some symptoms at least of a like danger ought by this time to have been betrayed by the Senate of Maryland. and of being unconfined to particular families or fortunes. lost almost the whole of its original portion. the British history informs us that this hereditary assembly has not been able to defend itself against the continual encroachments of the House of Representatives. really contained the danger which has been so loudly proclaimed. at the same time. The fact is the more remarkable. also. must in the first place corrupt itself. To these examples might be added that of Carthage. and. prevailed. instead of drawing all power into its vortex. according to the testimony of Polybius. and. is an hereditary assembly of opulent nobles. It proves the irresistible force possessed by that branch of a free government. unquestionably. have been gradually extinguished by the progress of the experiment. are apparently most to be apprehended by the United States. the general reply ought to be sufficient. it ought to be the British example. and in the end gained the most complete triumph over it. On the contrary. But a more particular reply may be given. in almost every contest with the senate for life. indirectly by the people. The Senate of that State is elected. If the federal Senate. continually gained on its authority and finally drew all power into their own hands. arrive at the object of a lawless ambition. from the salutary operation of this part of it. instead of being elected for two years. by any possible means within the compass of human address. . that do not lie against the latter. which has the people on its side. that there are numerous instances of the former as well as of the latter. the annual representatives of the people.

"BY AND WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE. that wise kings will always be served by able ministers. and they have committed the appointment of senators to the State legislatures.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 191 Besides the conclusive evidence resulting from this assemblage of facts. which. As the select assemblies for choosing the President. it confines the electors to men of whom the people have had time to form a judgment. that if such a revolution should ever happen from causes which the foresight of man cannot guard against. the ignorance. and with such precautions. the House of Representatives. The inference which naturally results from these considerations is this. into an independent and aristocratic body. in such cases. where the activity of party zeal. 1788. If the observation be well founded. so will their appointments bear at least equal marks of discretion and discernment. and commerce. Against the force of the immediate representatives of the people. and those under thirty from the second. that the federal Senate will never be able to transform itself. that enemies to particular persons. seldom confine their censures to such things only in either as are worthy of blame. and the hopes and fears of the unwary and interested. especially as it relates to war. as will afford the highest security that it will be exercised by men the best qualified for the purpose. to be deputed by the people for that express purpose. that as an assembly of select electors possess." The power of making treaties is an important one. like transient meteors. it is fair to argue. The Constitution manifests very particular attention to this object. This mode has. who condemn the proposed Constitution in the aggregate. the means of extensive and accurate information relative to men and characters. March 5. sometimes mislead as well as dazzle. and it should not be delegated but in such a mode. PROVIDED TWO THIRDS OF THE SENATORS PRESENT CONCUR. The convention appears to have been attentive to both these points: they have directed the President to be chosen by select bodies of electors. and opponents to particular measures. but such a display of enlightened policy. Wednesday. and in whom the people perceive just grounds for confidence. peace. will in general be composed of the most enlightened and respectable citizens. . By excluding men under thirty-five from the first office. it is difficult to explain the motives of their conduct. and with respect to whom they will not be liable to be deceived by those brilliant appearances of genius and patriotism. and treat with severity some of the most unexceptionable articles in it. Unless on this principle. nothing will be able to maintain even the constitutional authority of the Senate. as well as the State legislatures who appoint the senators. JAY To the People of the State of New York: IT IS a just and not a new observation. in a greater degree than kings. The second section gives power to the President. 64 The Powers of the Senate From the Independent Journal. by gradual usurpations. taking the advantage of the supineness. and attachment to the public good. there is reason to presume that their attention and their votes will be directed to those men only who have become the most distinguished by their abilities and virtue. that the President and senators so chosen will always be of the number of those who best understand our national interests. as will divide with that branch of the legislature the affections and support of the entire body of the people themselves. TO MAKE TREATIES. with the people on their side. we are warranted in believing. often places men in office by the votes of a small proportion of the electors. vastly the advantage of elections by the people in their collective capacity. and in the manner most conducive to the public good. will at all times be able to bring back the Constitution to its primitive form and principles. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No.

nay. The duration prescribed is such as will give them an opportunity of greatly extending their political information. in so disposing of the power of making treaties. and they who assent to the truth of this position will see and confess that it is well provided for by making concurrence of the Senate necessary both to treaties and to laws. They who have turned their attention to the affairs of men. yet he will be able to manage the business of intelligence in such a manner as prudence may suggest. Those matters which in negotiations usually require the most secrecy and the most despatch. and they who preside in either should be left in capacity to improve them. but that perfect SECRECY and immediate DESPATCH are sometimes requisite. Nor has the convention discovered less prudence in providing for the frequent elections of senators in such a way as to obviate the inconvenience of periodically transferring those great affairs entirely to new men. is universally known and acknowledged. and to form and introduce a a system for the management of them. and there doubtless are many of both descriptions. and direction. are necessary to concert and to execute. he may at any time convene them. With such men the power of making treaties may be safely lodged. not only that the power of making treaties should be committed to able and honest men. there are moments to be seized as they pass. It seldom happens in the negotiation of treaties. the President will find no difficulty to provide. that although the President must. who are best able to promote those interests. composed of members constantly coming and going in quick succession. which require to be steadily contemplated in all their relations and circumstances. the death of a prince. must have perceived that there are tides in them. that there frequently are occasions when days. than as they tend to facilitate the attainment of the objects of the negotiation. tides very irregular in their duration. of whatever nature. who would rely on the secrecy of the President. To discern and to profit by these tides in national affairs is the business of those who preside over them. yet the high importance of it in national affairs has not yet become sufficiently impressed on the public mind. but who would not confide in that of the Senate. and whose reputation for integrity inspires and merits confidence. therefore. and which can only be approached and achieved by measures which not only talents. that the Constitution would have been inexcusably defective. For these. but also exact information. in the convention to provide. It is of much consequence that this correspondence and conformity be carefully maintained. strength. so in the cabinet. These are cases where the most useful intelligence may be obtained. Although the absolute necessity of system. There are a few who will not admit that the affairs of trade and navigation should be regulated by a system cautiously formed and steadily pursued. Thus we see that the Constitution provides that our negotiations for treaties shall have every . and often much time. in the conduct of any business. in forming them. seem not to recollect that such a body must necessarily be inadequate to the attainment of those great objects. So often and so essentially have we heretofore suffered from the want of secrecy and despatch. if no attention had been paid to those objects. or other circumstances intervening to change the present posture and aspect of affairs. uniformity and order. and still less in that of a large popular Assembly. They who wish to commit the power under consideration to a popular assembly. act by the advice and consent of the Senate.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 192 whether considered in relation to the several States or to foreign nations. but also that they should continue in place a sufficient time to become perfectly acquainted with our national concerns. and should any circumstance occur which requires the advice and consent of the Senate. may turn the most favorable tide into a course opposite to our wishes. It was wise. and seldom found to run twice exactly in the same manner or measure. as well as a constant succession of official information will be preserved. therefore. The convention have done well. are precious. and they who have had much experience on this head inform us. for by leaving a considerable residue of the old ones in place. and of rendering their accumulating experience more and more beneficial to their country. and that both our treaties and our laws should correspond with and be made to promote it. The loss of a battle. if the persons possessing it can be relieved from apprehensions of discovery. the removal of a minister. even when hours. Those apprehensions will operate on those persons whether they are actuated by mercenary or friendly motives. As in the field. are those preparatory and auxiliary measures which are not otherwise important in a national view.

with much propriety. These gentlemen seem not to consider that the judgments of our courts. that because they have given the power of making laws to the legislature. or however obligatory they may be when made. they will be under no temptations to neglect the latter. They are just as binding. they will all have an equal degree of influence in that body. yet when like bile in the natural. not by only one of the contracting parties. and profess to believe. when made. and if they make disadvantageous treaties. They who make laws may. especially while they continue to be careful in appointing proper persons. but new errors. that as the consent of both was essential to their formation at first. not on account of any errors or defects in it. as they will be at any future period. it abounds too much in the body politic. but by both. commit the power to a distinct body from the legislature. and from secrecy and despatch on the other. Others suspect that two thirds will oppress the remaining third. and. The proposed Constitution. as to most others that have ever appeared. the case is not supposable. As to corruption. They insist. often appear. if it should forget that the good of the whole can only be promoted by advancing the good of each of the parts or members which compose the whole. and the commissions constitutionally given by our governor. they should be made only by men invested with legislative authority. as the treaties. if they act corruptly. whether in the executive or in the judicial department. However useful jealousy may be in republics. The idea is too gross . on the one hand. that the people may. integrity. but still let us not forget that treaties are made. that the President and Senate may make treaties without an equal eye to the interests of all the States. and therefore. amend or repeal them. This idea seems to be new and peculiar to this country. From this cause. and consequently. have as much legal validity and obligation as if they proceeded from the legislature. In proportion as the United States assume a national form and a national character. whether. therefore. and that it would be impossible to find a nation who would make any bargain with us. and the government must be a weak one indeed. All constitutional acts of power. These gentlemen would do well to reflect that a treaty is only another name for a bargain. they can be punished. probably.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 193 advantage which can be derived from talents. and by men the most able and the most willing to promote the interests of their constituents. are to have the force of laws. He must either have been very unfortunate in his intercourse with the world. as the laws passed by our legislature. that treaties like acts of assembly. but because. should be repealable at pleasure. which should be binding on them ABSOLUTELY. information. or possess a heart very susceptible of such impressions. Some are displeased with it. as well as new truths. how are we to get rid of those treaties? As all the States are equally represented in the Senate. so must it ever afterwards be to alter or cancel them. who can think it probable that the President and two thirds of the Senate will ever be capable of such unworthy conduct. so will the good of the whole be more and more an object of attention. It will not be in the power of the President and Senate to make any treaties by which they and their families and estates will not be equally bound and affected with the rest of the community. whatever name be given to the power of making treaties. the executive. objections are contrived and urged. the eyes of both become very liable to be deceived by the delusive appearances which that malady casts on surrounding objects. but on us only so long and so far as we may think proper to be bound by it. and it will not be disputed that they who make treaties may alter or cancel them. But to this plan. and deliberate investigations. without doubt. and to insist on their punctual attendance. and ask whether those gentlemen are made sufficiently responsible for their conduct. has not in the least extended the obligation of treaties. and just as far beyond the lawful reach of legislative acts now. It surely does not follow. though content that treaties should be made in the mode proposed. are as valid and as binding on all persons whom they concern. that therefore they should likewise give them the power to do every other act of sovereignty by which the citizens are to be bound and affected. or under any form of government. having no private interests distinct from that of the nation. certain it is. proceed the fears and apprehensions of some. Others. are averse to their being the SUPREME laws of the land. or the judicial.

as the Constitution has taken the utmost care that they shall be men of talents and integrity. and interest on one side or on the other. if it should ever happen. than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt. In many cases it will connect itself with the pre-existing factions. will be least hasty in condemning that opinion. conclude this head with a view of the judicial character of the Senate. be null and void by the law of nations. and will enlist all their animosities. and in such cases there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties. and on this account. it is difficult to conceive how it could be increased. the love of country. and will be most inclined to allow due weight to the arguments which may be supposed to have produced it. afford security for their fidelity. it appears. thought the Senate the most fit depositary of this important trust. from the abuse or violation of some public trust. that motive to good behavior is amply afforded by the article on the subject of impeachments. As in the business of appointments the executive will be the principal agent. all circumstances considered. In short. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL. and family affections and attachments. 1788. A well-constituted court for the trial of impeachments is an object not more to be desired than difficult to be obtained in a government wholly elective. for this reason. as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself. or. influence. we have reason to be persuaded that the treaties they make will be as advantageous as. Those who can best discern the intrinsic difficulty of the thing. We will. therefore. The prosecution of them. reputations. will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community. But in such a case. could be made. What. Every consideration that can influence the human mind. are comprised in their participation with the executive in the appointment to offices. and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused. in other words. 65 The Powers of the Senate Continued From the New York Packet. the provisions relating to it will most properly be discussed in the examination of that department. it may be asked. The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men. conscience. like all other fraudulent contracts. can hardly be expected to possess the requisite neutrality towards those whose conduct may be the subject of scrutiny. The convention. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE remaining powers which the plan of the convention allots to the Senate. The delicacy and magnitude of a trust which so deeply concerns the political reputation and existence of every man engaged in the administration of public affairs. speak for themselves. in a government resting entirely on the basis of periodical elections. when it is considered that the most conspicuous characters in it will. With respect to their responsibility.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 194 and too invidious to be entertained. the treaty so obtained from us would. is the true spirit of the institution itself? Is it not designed as a method of NATIONAL . Friday. oaths. such as honor. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. and so far as the fear of punishment and disgrace can operate. and in their judicial character as a court for the trial of impeachments. be too often the leaders or the tools of the most cunning or the most numerous faction. The difficulty of placing it rightly. will as readily be perceived. partialities. from that circumstance. in a distinct capacity. March 7.

and will be at no loss to perceive. The hazard in both these respects. is not to terminate the chastisement of the offender. It is this: The punishment which may be the consequence of conviction upon impeachment. would obviate the danger. is equally dictated by the nature of the proceeding. on certain occasions. or in the construction of it by the judges. that the Supreme Court would have been an improper substitute for the Senate. that error. could only be avoided. Will not the reasons which indicate the propriety of this arrangement strongly plead for an admission of the other branch of that body to a share of the inquiry? The model from which the idea of this institution has been borrowed. who can so properly be the inquisitors for the nation as the representatives of the nation themselves? It is not disputed that the power of originating the inquiry. and the party who is to receive or suffer it. seem to have regarded the practice of impeachments as a bridle in the hands of the legislative body upon the executive servants of the government. be deprived of the double security intended them by a double trial. which might. in the last. as the former. whether the members of that tribunal would at all times be endowed with so eminent a portion of fortitude. he will still be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law. of preferring the impeachment. This can never be tied down by such strict rules. as would be called for in the execution of so difficult a task. and of the House of Lords to decide upon it. unawed and uninfluenced. and the REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE. that the intervention of a jury. HIS ACCUSERS? Could the Supreme Court have been relied upon as answering this description? It is much to be doubted. by rendering that tribunal more numerous than would consist with a reasonable attention to economy. should. which will not a little strengthen this conclusion. would be the parent of error in the second sentence? That the strong bias of one decision would be apt to overrule the influence of any new lights which might be brought to vary the complexion of another decision? Those who know anything of human nature. A deficiency in the first. The awful discretion which a court of impeachments must necessarily have. As well the latter. But juries are frequently influenced by the opinions of judges. and his most valuable rights as a citizen in one trial. forbids the commitment of the trust to a small number of persons. There remains a further consideration. in a great measure.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 195 INQUEST into the conduct of public men? If this be the design of it. dangerous to the public tranquillity. imported nothing more than dismission from a present. In Great Britain it is the province of the House of Commons to prefer the impeachment. either in the delineation of the offense by the prosecutors. office. as a court of impeachments. It may be said. in the first sentence. in its terms. and it is still more to be doubted. Who would be willing to stake his life and his estate upon the verdict of a jury acting under the auspices of judges who had predetermined his guilt? . for the same offense. The loss of life and estate would often be virtually included in a sentence which. ought to be lodged in the hands of one branch of the legislative body. if at all. be indispensable towards reconciling the people to a decision that should happen to clash with an accusation brought by their immediate representatives. whether they would possess the degree of credit and authority. in another trial. that by making the same persons judges in both cases. those who might happen to be the objects of prosecution would. Is not this the true light in which it ought to be regarded? Where else than in the Senate could have been found a tribunal sufficiently dignified. be also the disposers of his life and his fortune? Would there not be the greatest reason to apprehend. will not hesitate to answer these questions in the affirmative. in other words. These considerations seem alone sufficient to authorize a conclusion. the necessary impartiality between an INDIVIDUAL accused. The necessity of a numerous court for the trial of impeachments. as in common cases serve to limit the discretion of courts in favor of personal security. and disqualification for a future. would be fatal to the accused. which refer the main question to the decision of the court. pointed out that course to the convention. After having been sentenced to a prepetual ostracism from the esteem and confidence. or. Would it be proper that the persons who had disposed of his fame. to preserve. There will be no jury to stand between the judges who are to pronounce the sentence of the law. They are sometimes induced to find special verdicts. or sufficiently independent? What other body would be likely to feel CONFIDENCE ENOUGH IN ITS OWN SITUATION. Several of the State constitutions have followed the example. in the second instance. and honors and emoluments of his country. to doom to honor or to infamy the most confidential and the most distinguished characters of the community.

HAMILTON . should be thought preferable to the plan in this respect. March 8. Though this latter supposition may seem harsh. the advantage to the guilty. or some other that might be devised. and the world a desert. to have united the Supreme Court with the Senate. extend his sceptre over all numerous bodies of men. from the prolonged inaction of men whose firm and faithful execution of their duty might have exposed them to the persecution of an intemperate or designing majority in the House of Representatives. and to add a new spring to the government. such a plan. society would soon become a general scene of anarchy. But though one or the other of the substitutes which have been examined. Would it have been desirable to have composed the court for the trial of impeachments. The second will be espoused with caution by those who will seriously consider the difficulty of collecting men dispersed over the whole Union. until every part of it had been adjusted to the most exact standard of perfection. or might in practice be subject to a variety of casualties and inconveniences. the injury to the innocent. which so considerable an augmentation of its authority would have afforded. as is proposed to be done in the plan of the convention. is this: a court formed upon such a plan. It will not be easy to imagine any third mode materially different. reported by the convention. from the procrastinated determination of the charges which might be brought against them. and to prevail upon one conceited projector to renounce his INFALLIBLE criterion for the FALLIBLE criterion of his more CONCEITED NEIGHBOR? To answer the purpose of the adversaries of the Constitution. and might not be likely often to be verified. As the court.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 196 Would it have been an improvement of the plan. If mankind were to resolve to agree in no institution of government. the first scheme will be reprobated by every man who can compare the extent of the public wants with the means of supplying them. This was perhaps the prudent mean. in the formation of the court of impeachments? This union would certainly have been attended with several advantages. and of course entitled to fixed and regular stipends. not merely that particular provisions in it are not the best which might have been imagined. arising from the agency of the same judges in the double prosecution to which the offender would be liable? To a certain extent. yet it ought not to be forgotten that the demon of faction will. ought to be numerous. they ought to prove. of persons wholly distinct from the other departments of the government? There are weighty arguments. 1788. 66 Objections to the Power of the Senate To Set as a Court for Impeachments Further Considered From the Independent Journal. Saturday. the utility of which would at best be questionable. but that the plan upon the whole is bad and pernicious. It must either consist of permanent officers. but would they not have been overbalanced by the signal disadvantage. as well against. that it could tend to increase the complexity of the political machine. for reasons already given. the benefits of that union will be obtained from making the chief justice of the Supreme Court the president of the court of impeachments. To some minds it will not appear a trivial objection. while the inconveniences of an entire incorporation of the former into the latter will be substantially avoided. stationary at the seat of government. as in favor of. and in some cases the detriment to the State. already stated. which could rationally be proposed. Where is the standard of perfection to be found? Who will undertake to unite the discordant opinions of a whole commuity. or of certain officers of the State governments to be called upon whenever an impeachment was actually depending. at certain seasons. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. would either be attended with a heavy expense. it will not follow that the Constitution ought for this reason to be rejected. I forbear to remark upon the additional pretext for clamor against the judiciary. from the opportunities which delay would afford to intrigue and corruption. But an objection which will not be thought by any unworthy of attention. in the same judgment of it.

it will give a decided predominancy to senatorial influence. the hypothetical dread of the too . avoids the inconvenience of making the same persons both accusers and judges. if practicable. to be an indispensable barrier against the encroachments of the latter upon the former. from this additional circumstance. to find a more fit receptacle for the power of determining impeachments. will be as complete as itself can desire. together with the chancellor and judges of the Supreme Court. be said to reside in its Senate. The division of them between the two branches of the legislature. but the highest judicatory in the State. or barely the proper degree of influence? Will it not be more safe. tending to give to the government a countenance too aristocratic. Where is the measure or criterion to which we can appeal. The Senate. An absolute or qualified negative in the executive upon the acts of the legislative body. is. The proportion. and guards against the danger of persecution. perhaps. And I flatter myself the observations in my last paper must have gone no inconsiderable way towards proving that it was not easy. The disposition of the power of making treaties. to dismiss such vague and uncertain calculations. in the main. then. assigning to one the right of accusing. in all causes. that the judiciary authority of New York. be placed in a light not less satisfactory. where it may be deposited with most advantage and least inconvenience? If we take this course. if I mistake not. not only proper but necessary to the mutual defense of the several members of the government against each other. in violation of that important and wellestablished maxim which requires a separation between the different departments of power. This partial intermixture is even. how much more culpable must be the constitution of New York?[1] A SECOND objection to the Senate. It is curious to observe. will. As the concurrence of two thirds of the Senate will be requisite to a condemnation. civil and criminal. on general principles. by men who profess to admire. in this respect. if not to a more certain result. in the disquisitions under the same head. without exception. The expediency of the junction of the Senate with the Executive. to the other the right of judging. and by others which will occur under the next head of our inquiries. will not improbably eradicate the remains of any unfavorable impressions which may still exist in regard to this matter. preserving them. of the chancellor and judges to the senators. it is observed. as a court of impeachments. by the ablest adepts in political science. not only a court of impeachments. while that constitution makes the Senate. with what vehemence this part of the plan is assailed. that the provision in question confounds legislative and judiciary authorities in the same body. will. distinct and unconnected. appear to be fully justified by the considerations stated in a former number. it will lead to a more intelligible. in the power of appointing to offices. the security to innocence. on the principle here taken notice of. to these prerogatives is added that of deciding in all cases of impeachment.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor To the People of the State of New York: A REVIEW of the principal objections that have appeared against the proposed court for the trial of impeachments. than that which has been chosen. I trust. The true meaning of this maxim has been discussed and ascertained in another place. and seems to be so little understood. is admitted. 197 The FIRST of these objections is. for determining what will give the Senate too much. is to have concurrent authority with the Executive in the formation of treaties and in the appointment to offices: if. is so inconsiderable. it is not easy to find a very precise answer. an essential check in the hands of that body upon the encroachments of the executive. And it may. that the powers relating to impeachments are. which has obtained in the plan of the convention. from the prevalency of a factious spirit in either of those branches. the constitution of this State. too little. To an objection so little precise in itself. as before intimated. that it contributes to an undue accumulation of power in that body. and to decide. in the last resort. If this be truly the case. chargeable with a departure from the celebrated maxim which has been so often mentioned. in some cases. If the plan of the convention be. to examine each power by itself. with truth. as well as more simple. and has been shown to be entirely compatible with a partial intermixture of those departments for special purposes. in point of numbers. with no less reason be contended. say the objectors. may.

what prospect. because there might be no positive ground of opposition to him. will be as generally a full match. But independent of this most active and operative principle. if not frequently. who will merely sanction the choice of the Executive. A FOURTH objection to the Senate in the capacity of a court of impeachments. the more important will appear this ultimate though contingent power. be no exertion of CHOICE on the part of the Senate.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor great weight of the Senate ought to be discarded from our reasonings. 198 But this hypothesis. by their conduct. it might be found in the nature of the agency of the Senate in the business of appointments. for every other member of the Government. that as a mean of influence it will be found to outweigh all the peculiar attributes of the Senate. if not in all the governments with which we are acquainted: I mean that of rendering those who hold offices during pleasure. that the most POPULAR branch of every government. that the subsequent nomination would fall upon their own favorite. yet if it be. has already been refuted in the remarks applied to the duration in office prescribed for the senators. and. The constant possibility of the thing must be a fruitful source of influence to that body.they can only ratify or reject the choice of the President. They might even entertain a preference to some other person. by being generally the favorite of the people. towards the objects of that choice. just. which do not unite the suffrages of a majority of the whole number of electors. in whose official creation they had participated. it is asked. in the main. This. A THIRD objection to the Senate as a court of impeachments. happen. in contradiction to this principle. it has been said. but they cannot themselves CHOOSE -. if they withheld their assent. There will. of deciding the competitions of the most illustrious citizens of the Union. It would not perhaps be rash to predict. With equal plausibility might it be alleged in this case. such as it is. will inspire a sufficient disposition to dismiss from a share in it all such who. which is to be seen in all the State governments. The more it is contemplated. and the proofs of the want of it destroy. proceeds upon the presumption. They may defeat one choice of the Executive. strong enough to blind them to the evidences of guilt so extraordinary. If any further arguments were necessary to evince the improbability of such a bias. with the advice and consent of the Senate. that the majority of the Senate would feel any other complacency towards the object of an appointment than such as the appearances of merit might inspire. would there be . as from the reason of the thing. in every case of a corrupt or perfidious execution of that trust. is drawn from the agency they are to have in the appointments to office. But that practice. The same house will possess the sole right of instituting impeachments: is not this a complete counterbalance to that of determining them? The same house will be the umpire in all elections of the President. as to have induced the representatives of the nation to become its accusers. The principle of this objection would condemn a practice. and the interest they will have in the respectable and prosperous administration of affairs. should feel a bias. of course. would constitute the senators their own judges. that the favoritism of the latter would always be an asylum for the misbehavior of the former. the plan of the convention has provided in its favor several important counterpoises to the additional authorities to be conferred upon the Senate. for the first office in it. as well on the credit of historical examples. After having combined with the Executive in betraying the interests of the nation in a ruinous treaty. to APPOINT. It is imagined that they would be too indulgent judges of the conduct of men. The exclusive privilege of originating money bills will belong to the House of Representatives. for the fitness and competency of the persons on whom they bestow their choice. that the responsibility of those who appoint. dependent on the pleasure of those who appoint them. It will be the office of the President to NOMINATE. shall have proved themselves unworthy of the confidence reposed in them. It was by them shown. to secure the equilibrium of the national House of Representatives. and they could not be sure. a case which it cannot be doubted will sometimes. or upon any other person in their estimation more meritorious than the one rejected. it must destroy the supposition that the Senate. Though facts may not always correspond with this presumption. and oblige him to make another. at the very moment they were assenting to the one proposed. partaking of the republican genius. if not an overmatch. Thus it could hardly happen. is derived from its union with the Executive in the power of making treaties.

or a want of integrity in the conduct of the negotiations committed to him. when they were themselves to decide upon the accusation brought against them for the treachery of which they have been guilty? This objection has been circulated with more earnestness and with greater show of reason than any other which has appeared against this part of the plan. it is evident. How. 1788. Massachusetts. should escape with impunity. And yet what reason is there. more than two thirds of the Senate. by whose arts and influence the majority may have been inveigled into measures odious to the community. with more or with equal propriety. if the proofs of that corruption should be satisfactory. is to be sought for in the numbers and characters of those who are to make them. sacrificing the same interests in an injurious treaty with a foreign power? The truth is. sacrificing the interests of the society by an unjust and tyrannical act of legislation. that a majority of the House of Representatives. to make it their interest to execute it with fidelity. And so far even as might concern the corruption of leading members. also. In that of New Jersey. the final judiciary authority is in a branch of the legislature. the usual propensity of human nature will warrant us in concluding that there would be commonly no defect of inclination in the body to divert the public resentment from themselves by a ready sacrifice of the authors of their mismanagement and disgrace. one branch of the legislature is the court for the trial of impeachments. and of two thirds of the members of a body selected by the collective wisdom of the legislatures of the several States. than two thirds of the Senate might try themselves. In New Hampshire. could a majority in the House of Representatives impeach themselves? Not better. we need not be apprehensive of the want of a disposition in that body to punish the abuse of their confidence or to vindicate their own authority. in fact. The convention might with propriety have meditated the punishment of the Executive. I believe. The JOINT AGENCY of the Chief Magistrate of the Union. that the members of it should be exempt from punishment for acts done in a collective capacity. consenting to a pernicious or unconstitutional law -a principle which. for a deviation from the instructions of the Senate. consenting to an improper treaty. March 11. 67 The Executive Department From the New York Packet. have contemplated the impeachment and punishment of two thirds of the Senate. than of a majority of that or of the other branch of the national legislature. Pennsylvania. and South Carolina. __ FEDERALIST No. and the security to the society must depend on the care which is taken to confide the trust to proper hands. Tuesday. We may thus far count upon their pride. has never been admitted into any government.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 199 of their being made to suffer the punishment they would deserve. that in all such cases it is essential to the freedom and to the necessary independence of the deliberations of the body. is designed to be the pledge for the fidelity of the national councils in this particular. and to make it as difficult as possible for them to combine in any interest opposite to that of the public good. So far as might concern the misbehavior of the Executive in perverting the instructions or contravening the views of the Senate. who should have prostituted their influence in that body as the mercenary instruments of foreign corruption: but they could not. they might also have had in view the punishment of a few leading individuals in the Senate. and yet I am deceived if it does not rest upon an erroneous foundation. PUBLIUS 1. HAMILTON . The security essentially intended by the Constitution against corruption and treachery in the formation of treaties. if not upon their virtue.

In the execution of this task. claims next our attention. has built a series of observations equally false and unfounded. they have not scrupled to draw resources even from the regions of fiction. they must force the sentiments which favor an indulgent construction of the conduct of political adversaries to give place to a voluntary and unreserved indignation. They so far exceed the usual though unjustifiable licenses of party artifice. He has been seated on a throne surrounded with minions and mistresses. He has been decorated with attributes superior in dignity and splendor to those of a king of Great Britain.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor To the People of the State of New York: THE constitution of the executive department of the proposed government. but as the full-grown progeny. justify or extenuate the shameful outrage he has offered to the dictates of truth and to the rules of fair dealing. To establish the pretended affinity. to appoint ambassadors. of that detested parent. than those of a governor of New York. to metamorphose the object. and to blush at the unveiled mysteries of a future seraglio. Here the writers against the Constitution seem to have taken pains to signalize their talent of misrepresentation. in few instances greater. which I cite as a sample of the general spirit. It is still more impossible to withhold that imputation from the rash and barefaced expedients which have been employed to give success to the attempted imposition. they have endeavored to enlist all their jealousies and apprehensions in opposition to the intended President of the United States. not less weak than wicked. and there is. as well as industriously. judges of the Supreme Court. or to treat with seriousness. Calculating upon the aversion of the people to monarchy. the devices. that even in a disposition the most candid and tolerant. and WHICH SHALL BE . other public ministers and consuls. The authorities of a magistrate. render it necessary to take an accurate view of its real nature and form: in order as well to ascertain its true aspect and genuine appearance. The second clause of the second section of the second article empowers the President of the United States "to nominate. perhaps. have been magnified into more than royal prerogatives. and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. propagated. and who. there is no man who would not find it an arduous effort either to behold with moderation. upon this false and unfounded suggestion. I mean the power of filling casual vacancies in the Senate. and let him. In one instance. it might rather be said. He has been shown to us with the diadem sparkling on his brow and the imperial purple flowing in his train. We have been taught to tremble at the terrific visages of murdering janizaries. the temerity has proceeded so far as to ascribe to the President of the United States a power which by the instrument reported is EXPRESSLY allotted to the Executives of the individual States. and all other OFFICERS of United States whose appointments are NOT in the Constitution OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR. giving audience to the envoys of foreign potentates. in some instances less. The images of Asiatic despotism and voluptuousness have scarcely been wanting to crown the exaggerated scene. none which has been inveighed against with less candor or criticised with less judgment. in all the supercilious pomp of majesty. as to unmask the disingenuity and expose the fallacy of the counterfeit resemblances which have been so insidiously. 200 There is hardly any part of the system which could have been attended with greater difficulty in the arrangement of it than this. which have been contrived to pervert the public opinion in relation to the subject. not merely as the embryo. Attempts so extravagant as these to disfigure or. if he be able. It is impossible not to bestow the imputation of deliberate imposture and deception upon the gross pretense of a similitude between a king of Great Britain and a magistrate of the character marked out for that of the President of the United States. This bold experiment upon the discernment of his countrymen has been hazarded by a writer who (whatever may be his real merit) has had no inconsiderable share in the applauses of his party[1]. Let him now be confronted with the evidence of the fact.

and as the national Senate is the body. A slight attention to the connection of the clauses. too palpable to be obscured by sophistry. The time within which the power is to operate. chosen BY THE LEGISLATURE THEREOF for six years". we have seen. the first and second clauses of the third section of the first article. The first of these two clauses. the VACANCIES of which it speaks must be construed to relate to the "officers" described in the preceding one. it is equally clear. The last of these two clauses. the Executive THEREOF may make temporary appointments until the NEXT MEETING OF THE LEGISLATURE. denotes it to be nothing more than a supplement to the other. would naturally have referred the temporary power of filling vacancies to the recess of the State legislatures. by granting commissions which shall EXPIRE AT THE END OF THEIR NEXT SESSION. "if vacancies in that body should happen by resignation or otherwise. and to place it in a clear and strong light. and who are ESTABLISHED BY THE CONSTITUTION. who are to have no concern in those appointments. and not to the recess of the national Senate. must have originated in an intention to deceive the people. whose situation is alone contemplated in the clause upon which the suggestion under examination has been founded. and will not require a future establishment by law. which declares the general mode of appointing officers of the United States. but proves that this supposition. conspire to elucidate the sense of the provision. SINGLY." It is from this last provision that the pretended power of the President to fill vacancies in the Senate has been deduced. The ordinary power of appointment is confined to the President and Senate JOINTLY. in whose representation the vacancies had happened. to the State Executives. DURING THE RECESS OF THE LEGISLATURE OF ANY STATE. for the following reasons: First. which it might be necessary for the public service to fill without delay. and this. which shall then fill such vacancies. whose appointments are OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR in the Constitution[2]. will satisfy us that the deduction is not even colorable.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 201 ESTABLISHED BY LAW. for the purpose of establishing an auxiliary method of appointment. which. But last. Third. which not only invalidates the supposition. that the clause before considered could have been intended to confer that power upon the President of the United States. I have taken the pains to select this instance of misrepresentation. who are to make the permanent appointments. of course it cannot extend to the appointments of senators. have governed the modification of a power which related to the temporary appointments. too atrocious to be palliated by hypocrisy. it is clear. the succeeding clause is evidently intended to authorize the President. This position will hardly be contested. The relation in which that clause stands to the other." Second. but destroy the pretext of misconception. excludes from its description the members of the Senate. The former provides. instead of making it to expire at the end of the ensuing session of the national Senate. only provides a mode for appointing such officers. destitute as it is even of the merit of plausibility. not only obviate all possibility of doubt. that. "whose appointments are NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR in the Constitution. and the latter directs. and which SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY LAW". and would have extended the duration in office of the temporary senators to the next session of the legislature of the State. to make temporary appointments "during the recess of the Senate." Here is an express power given. and can therefore only be exercised during the session of the Senate. but as it would have been improper to oblige this body to be continually in session for the appointment of officers and as vacancies might happen IN THEIR RECESS. as an unequivocal proof of the unwarrantable arts which are practiced to prevent a fair and impartial . The circumstances of the body authorized to make the permanent appointments would. cannot be understood to comprehend the power of filling vacancies in the Senate. and to the obvious meaning of the terms." Immediately after this clause follows another in these words: "The President shall have power to fill up all VACANCIES that may happen DURING THE RECESS OF THE SENATE. the vacancies to which it alludes can only be deemed to respect those officers in whose appointment that body has a concurrent agency with the President. If this clause is to be considered as supplementary to the one which precedes. to fill casual vacancies in the Senate. if it had been intended to comprehend senators. in cases to which the general method was inadequate. of course. "during the recess of the Senate. in clear and unambiguous terms. by temporary appointments. that "the Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State." and the duration of the appointments. "to the end of the next session" of that body. by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.

and . to form an intermediate body of electors. selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass. __ FEDERALIST No. which has escaped without severe censure. it is at least excellent. 68 The Mode of Electing the President From the Independent Journal. It unites in an eminent degree all the advantages. not to any preestablished body. than the choice of ONE who was himself to be the final object of the public wishes. this detached and divided situation will expose them much less to heats and ferments. and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation. and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. clause 1. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE mode of appointment of the Chief Magistrate of the United States is almost the only part of the system. I hesitate not to submit it to the decision of any candid and honest adversary of the proposed government. The most plausible of these. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration. chosen in each State. March 12. than if they were all to be convened at one time. It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. will be much less apt to convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements. section 3. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate. for so shameless and so prostitute an attempt to impose on the citizens of America. This end will be answered by committing the right of making it.[E1] It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided.[1] I venture somewhat further. in so flagrant a case. who has appeared in print. No. to allow myself a severity of animadversion little congenial with the general spirit of these papers. who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. whether language can furnish epithets of too much asperity. And as the electors. and at the particular conjuncture. the union of which was to be wished for. will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations. and hesitate not to affirm. promise an effectual security against this mischief. V. intrigue. 1788. Article I. Wednesday. See CATO. Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal. 2. of any consequence. A small number of persons. that if the manner of it be not perfect. Nor have I scrupled. PUBLIUS 1. which might be communicated from them to the people. The choice of SEVERAL. but to men chosen by the people for the special purpose. that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station. or which has received the slightest mark of approbation from its opponents. has even deigned to admit that the election of the President is pretty well guarded. It was equally desirable. in one place.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 202 judgment of the real merits of the Constitution submitted to the consideration of the people. are to assemble and vote in the State in which they are chosen.

but they have referred it in the first instance to an immediate act of the people of America. representative. Talents for low intrigue. thus given. it is provided that. can be of the numbers of the electors. the House of Representatives shall select out of the candidates who shall have the five highest number of votes. who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes. Nor would it be found easy suddenly to embark them. who shall assemble within the State. The process of election affords a moral certainty. But as a majority of the votes might not always happen to centre in one man. deputed by the society for the single purpose of making the important choice. in any combinations founded upon motives. but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. by making his re-election to depend on a special body of representatives. the man who in their opinion may be best qualified for the office. which is. with the most provident and judicious attention. already taken notice of. No senator. but it will require other talents.That which is best administered is best. which though they could not properly be denominated corrupt. equal to the number of senators and representatives of such State in the national government. are to be transmitted to the seat of the national government. or other person holding a place of trust or profit under the United States. and the person who may happen to have a majority of the whole number of votes will be the President. with this difference. may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State. This advantage will also be secured. and vote for some fit person as President. that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue. the immediate agents in the election will at least enter upon the task free from any sinister bias. that the Executive should be independent for his continuance in office on all but the people themselves. when it is to embrace so considerable a number of men. And they have excluded from eligibility to this trust. that the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration. to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union. Thus without corrupting the body of the people. Though we cannot acquiesce in the political heresy of the poet who says: "For forms of government let fools contest -. It will not be too strong to say." -yet we may safely pronounce. might yet be of a nature to mislead them from their duty. The business of corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter. by those who are able to estimate the share which the executive in every government must necessarily have in its good or ill administration. what is to be done by the House of Representatives. dispersed as they would be over thirteen States. and the little arts of popularity. than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union? But the convention have guarded against all danger of this sort. to the conclusion of it. in respect to the former. that the Senate is to do. and a different kind of merit. and as it might be unsafe to permit less than a majority to be conclusive. that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. in such a contingency. How could they better gratify this. Their votes. The Vice-President is to be chosen in the same manner with the President. and their detached situation. . They have not made the appointment of the President to depend on any preexisting bodies of men. And this will be thought no inconsiderable recommendation of the Constitution. Another and no less important desideratum was. requires time as well as means. that the people of each State shall choose a number of persons as electors. He might otherwise be tempted to sacrifice his duty to his complaisance for those whose favor was necessary to the duration of his official consequence. all those who from situation might be suspected of too great devotion to the President in office. afford a satisfactory prospect of their continuing so. Their transient existence.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 203 corruption. to be exerted in the choice of persons for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment. in respect to the latter. All these advantages will happily combine in the plan devised by the convention. or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States.

or to the governor of New York. the objection which is made would lie against the constitution of this State. to place him in that of President of the Senate. PUBLIUS 1. Friday. for if. In these circumstances there is a total dissimilitude between him and a king of Great Britain. in the supreme executive magistracy. all the reasons which recommend the mode of election prescribed for the one. and. That magistrate is to be elected for four years. a constant for a contingent vote. It is remarkable that in this. We have a Lieutenant-Governor. E1. This will scarcely. March 14. But two considerations seem to justify the ideas of the convention in this respect. The first thing which strikes our attention is. there be a resemblance to the king of Great Britain. there is not less a resemblance to the Grand Seignior. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: I PROCEED now to trace the real characters of the proposed Executive.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 204 The appointment of an extraordinary person. as they are marked out in the plan of the convention. If we consider how much less time would be requisite for establishing a dangerous influence in a single State. possessing the crown as a patrimony descendible to his heirs forever. Vide federal farmer. that it would have been preferable to have authorized the Senate to elect out of their own body an officer answering that description. is to be vested in a single magistrate. in casualties similar to those which would authorize the Vice-President to exercise the authorities and discharge the duties of the President. It has been alleged. Some editions substitute "desired" for "wished for". to the Man of the Seven Mountains. that to secure at all times the possibility of a definite resolution of the body. but there is a close analogy between him and a governor of New York. we must conclude that a duration of four years for the Chief Magistrate of the Union is a degree of permanency far less to be dreaded in that office. The other consideration is. and is re-eligible without limitation or intermission. tried. who presides in the Senate. has been objected to as superfluous. upon conviction of treason. who is elected for three years. that the executive authority. be considered as a point upon which any comparison can be grounded. 1788. apply with great if not with equal force to the manner of appointing the other. This will serve to place in a strong light the unfairness of the representations which have been made in regard to it. however. than a duration of three years for a corresponding office in a single State. if not mischievous. who is an hereditary monarch. as in most other instances. __ FEDERALIST No. than for establishing a like influence throughout the United States. The President of the United States would be liable to be impeached. in regard to the State from which he came. to the khan of Tartary. and is the constitutional substitute for the Governor. . that as the Vice-President may occasionally become a substitute for the President. would be to exchange. in this particular. with few exceptions. it is necessary that the President should have only a casting vote. as Vice-President. chosen by the people at large. 69 The Real Character of the Executive From the New York Packet. and is to be re-eligible as often as the people of the United States shall think him worthy of their confidence. One is. And to take the senator of any State from his seat as senator.

and to commission all officers of the United States.all which. singly. The king of Great Britain. for reconsideration. in respect to pardons. which have not been matured into actual treason. in this instance. should be at the head of any such conspiracy. The person of the king of Great Britain is sacred and inviolable. there is no constitutional tribunal to which he is amenable. and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law. on the other hand. The power of the President. to the necessity of exerting a prerogative which could seldom be exerted without hazarding some degree of national agitation. the President of Confederated America would stand upon no better ground than a governor of New York. In this respect his authority would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain. but it would be precisely the same with that of the governor of Massachusetts. while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies -. no punishment to which he can be subjected without involving the crisis of a national revolution. on his part. and. but in substance much inferior to it. even in those of impeachment. and the bill so returned is to become a law. In this delicate and important circumstance of personal responsibility. as well of the army as navy. if. except for treason and murder. the power of the President will resemble equally that of the king of Great Britain and of the governor of New York. in this article. therefore. as first General and admiral of the Confederacy. The President is to be the "commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States.[1] The governor of New York. Is not the power of the governor. as to this article. what the latter shares with the chancellor and judges. The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. of which the governor is a constituent part. until the design had been ripened into actual hostility he could insure his accomplices and adherents an entire impunity. on a calculation of political consequences. and it may well be a question. and tallies exactly with the revisionary authority of the council of revision of this State. except in cases of impeachment. would appertain to the legislature. removed from office. whose constitution. The king of Great Britain and the governor of New York have at all times the entire command of all the militia within their several jurisdictions. by the interposition of the prerogative of pardoning. on the other hand. to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. has an absolute negative upon the acts of the two houses of Parliament. The governor of New York may pardon in all cases. If a governor of New York. Second. confer larger powers upon their respective governors. to convene. seems to have been the original from which the convention have copied.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 205 bribery. or the art of gaining a majority in one or the other of the two houses. both houses of the legislature. But the constitutions of several of the States expressly declare their governors to be commanders-in-chief. The President will have only the occasional command of such part of the militia of the nation as by legislative provision may be called into the actual service of the Union. upon that reconsideration. greater than that of the President? All conspiracies and plots against the government. it be approved by two thirds of both houses. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces. to recommend to the consideration of Congress such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient. or other high crimes or misdemeanors. The disuse of that power for a considerable time past does not affect the reality of its existence.First. which shall have passed the two branches of the legislature. because the former would possess. except those of impeachment. whether those of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. on extraordinary occasions. or either of them. He is to have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States. A President of the Union. may be screened from punishment of every kind. In this respect the power of the President would exceed that of the governor of New York. The President of the United States is to have power to return a bill. and is to be ascribed wholly to the crown's having found the means of substituting influence to authority. The qualified negative of the President differs widely from this absolute negative of the British sovereign. In this article. in case of disagreement between them with respect to the time of adjournment. the power of the President would be inferior to that of either the monarch or the governor. when called into the actual service of the United States. would extend to all cases. therefore. though he may even pardon . do not. by the Constitution under consideration." In most of these particulars. and upon worse ground than the governors of Maryland and Delaware. and of the militia of the several States. The most material points of difference are these: -. in particular. than could be claimed by a President of the United States. is by the constitution of the State vested only with the command of its militia and navy. Third. to adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper.

upon an actual appeal to arms. The President is to have power. This. It has been insinuated. Would not the prospect of a total indemnity for all the preliminary steps be a greater temptation to undertake and persevere in an enterprise against the public liberty. in this particular. though it were merely to take the place of a departed predecessor. when prosecuted in the ordinary course of law. the offense of treason is limited "to levying war upon the United States. and. commerce. and every other man acquainted with its Constitution. the power of the federal Executive would exceed that of any State Executive. The governor of New York may also prorogue the legislature of this State for a limited time. in any degree. The one can perform alone what the other can do only with the concurrence of a branch of the legislature. and stand in need of the ratification. in this instance. than the mere prospect of an exemption from death and confiscation. though it has been a rich theme of declamation. The power of appointment is with . as an established fact. it would become a question. If the Confederacy were to be dissolved. He not only appoints to all offices. of Parliament. to make treaties. and of adapting new provisions and precautions to the new state of things. by the proposed Constitution. it is true. with the advice and consent of the Senate. with the advice and consent of the Senate. The President is to nominate. to appoint ambassadors and other public ministers. The king of Great Britain is the sole and absolute representative of the nation in all foreign transactions. But this arises naturally from the sovereign power which relates to treaties. that his authority in this respect is not conclusive.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 206 treason. a power which. The British monarch may prorogue or even dissolve the Parliament. There is evidently a great inferiority in the power of the President. But this parliamentary interposition proceeds from a different cause: from the necessity of adjusting a most artificial and intricate system of revenue and commercial laws. may be employed to very important purposes. that the person who was to afford that exemption might himself be involved in the consequences of the measure. Every jurist[2] of that kingdom. upon every arrival of a foreign minister. that the prerogative of making treaties exists in the crown in its utomst plentitude. The President can only adjourn the national legislature in the single case of disagreement about the time of adjournment. is more a matter of dignity than of authority. and that his conventions with foreign powers are subject to the revision. and it was far more convenient that it should be arranged in this manner. and that by the laws of New York it is confined within similar bounds. He can of his own accord make treaties of peace. but can create offices. and whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by the Constitution. in certain situations. to the changes made in them by the operation of the treaty. that. if we are to interpret the meaning of the constitution of the State by the practice which has obtained under it. and in general all officers of the United States established by law. than that there should be a necessity of convening the legislature. alliance. and that the compacts entered into by the royal authority have the most complete legal validity and perfection. should miscarry? Would this last expectation have any influence at all. The President is also to be authorized to receive ambassadors and other public ministers. nor is it equal to that of the governor of New York. or one of its branches. it will be necessary to recollect. therefore. In this respect. and adhering to their enemies. until it was broached upon the present occasion. is sometimes seen employing itself in altering the existing laws to conform them to the stipulations in a new treaty. independent of any other sanction. Fourth. It is a circumstance which will be without consequence in the administration of the government. judges of the Supreme Court. from the effects of impeachment and conviction. to that of the British king. giving them aid and comfort". The king of Great Britain is emphatically and truly styled the fountain of honor. whether the Executives of the several States were not solely invested with that delicate and important prerogative. that its co-operation was necessary to the obligatory efficacy of the treaty. that. knows. and this may have possibly given birth to the imagination. provided two thirds of the senators present concur. The Parliament. could shelter no offender. if the final execution of the design. It must be admitted. there is no comparison between the intended power of the President and the actual power of the British sovereign. and might be incapacitated by his agency in it from affording the desired impunity? The better to judge of this matter. to keep the machine from running into disorder. and has the disposal of an immense number of church preferments. and of every other description. But I believe this doctrine was never heard of. He can confer titles of nobility at pleasure. when the probability was computed.

it may be of use to throw the principal circumstances of dissimilitude into a closer group. we cannot hesitate to pronounce that the power of the chief magistrate of this State. "contrary to all reason and precedent. can coin money. and exceeds it in the article of the casting vote. If he really has the right of nominating. the other is the supreme head and governor of the national church! What answer shall we give to those who would persuade us that things so unlike resemble each other? The same that ought to be given to those who tell us that a government. expresses it. on the contrary. The one would have a like concurrent authority in appointing to offices. and in this capacity can establish markets and fairs. and a despotism. 6. the other can make denizens of aliens. a monarchy. for that the sole supreme government and command of the militia within his Majesty's realms and dominions. and of raising and regulating fleets and armies by his own authority. . p. The truth is. The one can confer no privileges whatever. no appointment could be made. Vide Blackstone's Commentaries. The governor claims. in the government of New York. composed of the governor and four members of the Senate. But to render the contrast in this respect still more striking. in addition to this right. the other is in several respects the arbiter of commerce. under the signature of TAMONY. has asserted that the king of Great Britain oweshis prerogative as commander-in-chief to an annual mutiny bill. in practice. PUBLIUS 1. chosen by the Assembly. the right of nomination. it was declared to be in the king alone. the person of the other is sacred and inviolable. it would be difficult to determine whether that magistrate would. the whole power of which would be in the hands of the elective and periodical servants of the people. chap. page 262. can lay embargoes for a limited time. the other has an absolute negative. in the disposition of offices. The one can prescribe no rules concerning the commerce or currency of the nation. except as to the concurrent authority of the President in the article of treaties. kings and queens of England. possesses that of declaring war. that there is no pretense for the parallel which has been attempted between him and the king of Great Britain. 2. if the council should be divided. the governor can turn the scale. The one would have a qualified negative upon the acts of the legislative body.. and frequently with only two persons. but by the statute the 13th of Charles II. EVER WAS AND IS the undoubted right of his Majesty and his royal predecessors. the king of Great Britain is a perpetual and hereditary prince. A writer in a Pennsylvania paper. The President of the United States would be an officer elected by the people for four years. is immenmorial. that his prerogative. and is entitled to a casting vote in the appointment. And it appears yet more unequivocally. and confirm his own nomination. 257.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 207 us lodged in a council. Hence it appears that. and has frequently exercised. must. can erect corporations with all the rights incident to corporate bodies.[3] If we compare the publicity which must necessarily attend the mode of appointment by the President and an entire branch of the national legislature. The one has no particle of spiritual jurisdiction. The one would have a right to command the military and naval forces of the nation. closeted in a secret apartment with at most four. in the aggregate. and of all forts and places of strength." as Blackstone vol. can authorize or prohibit the circulation of foreign coin.. if the Senate should be divided. The one would have a concurrent power with a branch of the legislature in the formation of treaties. the other is the sole possessor of the power of making treaties.. his authority is in this respect equal to that of the President. than the considerable number of which the national Senate would consist. possess more or less power than the Governor of New York. noblemen of commoners. The one would be amenable to personal punishment and disgrace. is an aristocracy. with the privacy in the mode of appointment by the governor of New York. Vol I. In the national government. in this respect. by the Long Parliament of Charles I. the other. and of all forces by sea and land. and was only disputed. and if we at the same time consider how much more easy it must be to influence the small number of which a council of appointment consists. the other is the sole author of all appointments. be greatly superior to that of the Chief Magistrate of the Union. can regulate weights and measures. and that both or either house of Parliament cannot nor ought to pretend to the same. i.

Yet it is always justifiable to reason from the practice of a government. Saturday. Those politicians and statesmen who have been the most celebrated for the soundness of their principles and for the justice of their views. considered energy as the most necessary qualification of the former. Energy in the Executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. . They have with great propriety. first. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution. Taking it for granted. and best calculated to conciliate the confidence of the people and to secure their privileges and interests. to the protection of property against those irregular and high-handed combinations which sometimes interrupt the ordinary course of justice. March 15. have declared in favor of a single Executive and a numerous legislature. The enlightened well-wishers to this species of government must at least hope that the supposition is destitute of foundation. and the seditions of whole classes of the community whose conduct threatened the existence of all government. it is not less essential to the steady administration of the laws. 70 The Executive Department Further Considered From the Independent Journal. however. while they have. an adequate provision for its support. as well against the intrigues of ambitious individuals who aspired to the tyranny. And independent of this claim. and of anarchy. secondly. as against the invasions of external enemies who menaced the conquest and destruction of Rome. knows how often that republic was obliged to take refuge in the absolute power of a single man. secondly. considered the latter as best adapted to deliberation and wisdom. to multiply arguments or examples on this head. thirdly. There can be no need. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks. Every man the least conversant in Roman story. and have regarded this as most applicable to power in a single hand. it will only remain to inquire. a due dependence on the people. that all men of sense will agree in the necessity of an energetic Executive. and a government ill executed. in practice. A feeble Executive implies a feeble execution of the government. since they can never admit its truth. when we take into view the other considerations. with equal propriety. what are the ingredients which constitute this energy? How far can they be combined with those other ingredients which constitute safety in the republican sense? And how far does this combination characterize the plan which has been reported by the convention? The ingredients which constitute energy in the Executive are. 1788. __ FEDERALIST No. The ingredients which constitute safety in the repub lican sense are. of faction. a due responsibility. to the security of liberty against the enterprises and assaults of ambition. a bad government.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 208 3. first. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THERE is an idea. unity. without at the same time admitting the condemnation of their own principles. therefore. must be. demands an acknowledgment that I do not think the claim of the governor to a right of nomination well founded. we shall be inclined to draw much the same conclusion. that a vigorous Executive is inconsistent with the genius of republican government. under the formidable title of Dictator. Candor. duration. whatever it may be in theory. till its propriety has been constitutionally questioned. and pursue them through all their consequences. fourthly. competent powers. which is not without its advocates. however.

New York and New Jersey. We have seen that the Achaeans. of making a division of the government between them. Of the first. or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike. who were generally chosen out of the former body. The experience of other nations will afford little instruction on this of them remaining at Rome to govern the city and its environs. after the arms of the republic had considerably expanded the bounds of its empire. and despatch will generally characterize the proceedings of one man in a much more eminent degree than the proceedings of any greater number. and especially from all these causes. merely because they have had no agency in planning it. But it gives us no specimens of any peculiar advantages derived to the state from the circumstance of the plurality of those magistrates. And what is still worse. subject. and have happened to disapprove. they might impede or frustrate the most important measures of the government. and in proportion as the number is increased. of the last. is a matter of astonishment. the most bitter dissensions are apt to spring. these qualities will be diminished. no doubt. they lessen the respectability. if I recollect right. consisting of a plurality of persons. But if they have been consulted. They are both liable. adhering differently to the different individuals who composed the magistracy. in the capacity of counsellors to him. But quitting the dim light of historical research. benevolent tempers have too many opportunities of remarking. the other taking the command in the more distant provinces. That the dissensions between them were not more frequent or more fatal. were induced to abolish one. however. to defeat the success of what has been resolved upon contrary to their sentiments. and by all the motives of personal infallibility. have had great influence in preventing those collisions and rivalships which might otherwise have embroiled the peace of the republic. to the control and co-operation of others. under any modification whatever.[1] Both these methods of destroying the unity of the Executive have their partisans. From either. activity. and how often the great interests of society are sacrificed to the vanity. secrecy. but the votaries of an executive council are the most numerous. and pursued by the Consuls. the two Consuls of Rome may serve as an example. there is peculiar danger of personal emulation and even animosity. As far. and between the military Tribunes. Decision. are the only States which have intrusted the executive authority wholly to single men. we shall find examples in the constitutions of several of the States. The Roman history records many instances of mischiefs to the republic from the dissensions between the Consuls. and may in most lights be examined in conjunction. in their estimation. and to the prudent policy pointed out by the circumstances of the state. in whole or in part. it teaches us not to be enamoured of plurality in the Executive. This unity may be destroyed in two ways: either by vesting the power in two or more magistrates of equal dignity and authority. the Consuls. Men often oppose a thing. Wherever two or more persons are engaged in any common enterprise or pursuit. who . there is always danger of difference of opinion. Whenever these happen. it became an established custom with the Consuls to divide the administration between themselves by lot -. an indispensable duty of self-love. weaken the authority. until we advert to the singular position in which the republic was almost continually placed. to what desperate lengths this disposition is sometimes carried. opposition then becomes. with horror. in which they are clothed with equal dignity and authority. If they should unfortunately assail the supreme executive magistracy of a country. and distract the plans and operation of those whom they divide. to the conceit. to similar objections. The patricians engaged in a perpetual struggle with the plebeians for the preservation of their ancient authorities and dignities. if not to equal. attaching ourselves purely to the dictates of reason and good sense. and to the obstinacy of individuals. who were at times substituted for the Consuls. They seem to think themselves bound in honor. on an experiment of two Praetors. Men of upright. in the most critical emergencies of the state.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 209 That unity is conducive to energy will not be disputed. If it be a public trust or office. we shall discover much greater cause to reject than to approve the idea of plurality in the Executive. In addition to this motive of union. as it teaches any thing. or by vesting it ostensibly in one man. This expedient must. were commonly united by the personal interest they had in the defense of the privileges of their order. they might split the community into the most violent and irreconcilable factions.

It is shifted from one to another with so much dexterity. amidst mutual accusations. and therefore unwise. they are pure and unmixed. But the multiplication of the Executive adds to the difficulty of detection in either case. in which the energy of the Executive is the bulwark of the national security. In the conduct of war.][E1] [But one of the weightiest objections to a plurality in the Executive.vigor and expedition. ought really to fall. or rather detestable vice. in its consequences. the advocates for which are not likely to form a numerous sect. the mere diversity of views and opinions would alone be sufficient to tincture the exercise of the executive authority with a spirit of habitual feebleness and dilatoriness. But the multiplication of the Executive adds to the difficulty of detection in either case. yet with considerable weight to the project of a council. to determine on whom the blame or the punishment of a pernicious measure.that is. promptitude of decision is oftener an evil than a benefit. though they may sometimes obstruct salutary plans. that the public opinion is left in suspense about the real author. They serve to embarrass and weaken the execution of the plan or measure to which they relate. and which lies as much against the last as the first plan. in the human character. than in such a manner as to make him obnoxious to legal punishment. There is no point at which they cease to operate. whose concurrence is made constitutionally necessary to the operations of the ostensible Executive. but they apply. [But one of the weightiest objections to a plurality in the Executive. The first is the more important of the two. though not with equal. But no favorable circumstances palliate or atone for the disadvantages of dissension in the executive department. yet often promote deliberation and circumspection. An artful cabal in that council would be able to distract and to enervate the whole system of administration. in public trust. and under such plausible appearances. The circumstances which may have led to any national miscarriage or misfortune are sometimes so .to censure and to punishment. will much oftener act in such a manner as to render him unworthy of being any longer trusted. and resistance to it punishable. The differences of opinion. in public trust. where there are a number of actors who may have had different degrees and kinds of agency. The first is the more important of the two. They constantly counteract those qualities in the Executive which are the most necessary ingredients in its composition censure and to punishment. Perhaps the question now before the public may. In the legislature. inconveniences from the source just mentioned must necessarily be submitted to in the formation of the legislature. is. Upon the principles of a free government. that it tends to conceal faults and destroy responsibility. Here. the opposition must be at an end. It must be confessed that these observations apply with principal weight to the first case supposed -. that it tends to conceal faults and destroy responsibility. afford melancholy proofs of the effects of this despicable frailty. Man. especially in an elective office. Responsibility is of two kinds -. to introduce them into the constitution of the Executive. every thing would be to be apprehended from its plurality. and this without anycounterbalancing good. If no such cabal should exist. It is shifted from one to another with so much dexterity. but it is unnecessary. to a plurality of magistrates of equal dignity and authority a scheme. It often becomes impossible. and which lies as much against the last as the first plan. than in such a manner as to make him obnoxious to legal punishment. That resolution is a law. It is here too that they may be most pernicious. amidst mutual accusations. that the public opinion is left in suspense about the real author. though we may clearly see upon the whole that there has been mismanagement. or series of pernicious measures. Responsibility is of two kinds -. ought really to fall. When a resolution too is once taken. and under such plausible appearances. The circumstances which may have led to any national miscarriage or misfortune are sometimes so complicated that. yet it may be impracticable to pronounce to whose account the evil which may have been incurred is truly chargeable. Man. It often becomes impossible. is. to determine on whom the blame or the punishment of a pernicious measure. and the jarrings of parties in that department of the government. especially in an elective office. and serve to check excesses in the majority. from the first step to the final conclusion of it. or series of pernicious measures.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 210 have credit enough to make their passions and their caprices interesting to mankind. will much oftener act in such a manner as to render him unworthy of being any longer trusted.

Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor complicated that, where there are a number of actors who may have had different degrees and kinds of agency, though we may clearly see upon the whole that there has been mismanagement, yet it may be impracticable to pronounce to whose account the evil which may have been incurred is truly chargeable.][E1]


"I was overruled by my council. The council were so divided in their opinions that it was impossible to obtain any better resolution on the point." These and similar pretexts are constantly at hand, whether true or false. And who is there that will either take the trouble or incur the odium, of a strict scrunity into the secret springs of the transaction? Should there be found a citizen zealous enough to undertake the unpromising task, if there happen to be collusion between the parties concerned, how easy it is to clothe the circumstances with so much ambiguity, as to render it uncertain what was the precise conduct of any of those parties? In the single instance in which the governor of this State is coupled with a council -- that is, in the appointment to offices, we have seen the mischiefs of it in the view now under consideration. Scandalous appointments to important offices have been made. Some cases, indeed, have been so flagrant that ALL PARTIES have agreed in the impropriety of the thing. When inquiry has been made, the blame has been laid by the governor on the members of the council, who, on their part, have charged it upon his nomination; while the people remain altogether at a loss to determine, by whose influence their interests have been committed to hands so unqualified and so manifestly improper. In tenderness to individuals, I forbear to descend to particulars. It is evident from these considerations, that the plurality of the Executive tends to deprive the people of the two greatest securities they can have for the faithful exercise of any delegated power, first, the restraints of public opinion, which lose their efficacy, as well on account of the division of the censure attendant on bad measures among a number, as on account of the uncertainty on whom it ought to fall; and, second, the opportunity of discovering with facility and clearness the misconduct of the persons they trust, in order either to their removal from office or to their actual punishment in cases which admit of it. In England, the king is a perpetual magistrate; and it is a maxim which has obtained for the sake of the pub lic peace, that he is unaccountable for his administration, and his person sacred. Nothing, therefore, can be wiser in that kingdom, than to annex to the king a constitutional council, who may be responsible to the nation for the advice they give. Without this, there would be no responsibility whatever in the executive department an idea inadmissible in a free government. But even there the king is not bound by the resolutions of his council, though they are answerable for the advice they give. He is the absolute master of his own conduct in the exercise of his office, and may observe or disregard the counsel given to him at his sole discretion. But in a republic, where every magistrate ought to be personally responsible for his behavior in office the reason which in the British Constitution dictates the propriety of a council, not only ceases to apply, but turns against the institution. In the monarchy of Great Britain, it furnishes a substitute for the prohibited responsibility of the chief magistrate, which serves in some degree as a hostage to the national justice for his good behavior. In the American republic, it would serve to destroy, or would greatly diminish, the intended and necessary responsibility of the Chief Magistrate himself. The idea of a council to the Executive, which has so generally obtained in the State constitutions, has been derived from that maxim of republican jealousy which considers power as safer in the hands of a number of men than of a single man. If the maxim should be admitted to be applicable to the case, I should contend that the advantage on that side would not counterbalance the numerous disadvantages on the opposite side. But I do not think the rule at all applicable to the executive power. I clearly concur in opinion, in this particular, with a writer whom the celebrated Junius pronounces to be "deep, solid, and ingenious," that "the executive power is more easily confined when it is ONE";[2] that it is far more safe there should be a single object for the jealousy and watchfulness of the people; and, in a word, that all multiplication of the Executive is rather dangerous than friendly to liberty.

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A little consideration will satisfy us, that the species of security sought for in the multiplication of the Executive, is nattainable. Numbers must be so great as to render combination difficult, or they are rather a source of danger than of security. The united credit and influence of several individuals must be more formidable to liberty, than the credit and influence of either of them separately. When power, therefore, is placed in the hands of so small a number of men, as to admit of their interests and views being easily combined in a common enterprise, by an artful leader, it becomes more liable to abuse, and more dangerous when abused, than if it be lodged in the hands of one man; who, from the very circumstance of his being alone, will be more narrowly watched and more readily suspected, and who cannot unite so great a mass of influence as when he is associated with others. The Decemvirs of Rome, whose name denotes their number,[3] were more to be dreaded in their usurpation than any ONE of them would have been. No person would think of proposing an Executive much more numerous than that body; from six to a dozen have been suggested for the number of the council. The extreme of these numbers, is not too great for an easy combination; and from such a combination America would have more to fear, than from the ambition of any single individual. A council to a magistrate, who is himself responsible for what he does, are generally nothing better than a clog upon his good intentions, are often the instruments and accomplices of his bad and are almost always a cloak to his faults. I forbear to dwell upon the subject of expense; though it be evident that if the council should be numerous enough to answer the principal end aimed at by the institution, the salaries of the members, who must be drawn from their homes to reside at the seat of government, would form an item in the catalogue of public expenditures too serious to be incurred for an object of equivocal utility. I will only add that, prior to the appearance of the Constitution, I rarely met with an intelligent man from any of the States, who did not admit, as the result of experience, that the UNITY of the executive of this State was one of the best of the distinguishing features of our constitution. PUBLIUS 1. New York has no council except for the single purpose of appointing to offices; New Jersey has a council whom the governor may consult. But I think, from the terms of the constitution, their resolutions do not bind him. 2. De Lolme. 3. Ten. E1. Two versions of these paragraphs appear in different editions. __ FEDERALIST No. 71 The Duration in Office of the Executive From the New York Packet. Tuesday, March 18, 1788. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: DURATION in office has been mentioned as the second requisite to the energy of the Executive authority. This has relation to two objects: to the personal firmness of the executive magistrate, in the employment of his constitutional powers; and to the stability of the system of administration which may have been adopted under his auspices. With regard to the first, it must be evident, that the longer the duration in office, the greater will be the probability of obtaining so important an advantage. It is a general principle of human nature, that a

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man will be interested in whatever he possesses, in proportion to the firmness or precariousness of the tenure by which he holds it; will be less attached to what he holds by a momentary or uncertain title, than to what he enjoys by a durable or certain title; and, of course, will be willing to risk more for the sake of the one, than for the sake of the other. This remark is not less applicable to a political privilege, or honor, or trust, than to any article of ordinary property. The inference from it is, that a man acting in the capacity of chief magistrate, under a consciousness that in a very short time he MUST lay down his office, will be apt to feel himself too little interested in it to hazard any material censure or perplexity, from the independent exertion of his powers, or from encountering the ill-humors, however transient, which may happen to prevail, either in a considerable part of the society itself, or even in a predominant faction in the legislative body. If the case should only be, that he MIGHT lay it down, unless continued by a new choice, and if he should be desirous of being continued, his wishes, conspiring with his fears, would tend still more powerfully to corrupt his integrity, or debase his fortitude. In either case, feebleness and irresolution must be the characteristics of the station. There are some who would be inclined to regard the servile pliancy of the Executive to a prevailing current, either in the community or in the legislature, as its best recommendation. But such men entertain very crude notions, as well of the purposes for which government was instituted, as of the true means by which the public happiness may be promoted. The republican principle demands that the deliberate sense of the community should govern the conduct of those to whom they intrust the management of their affairs; but it does not require an unqualified complaisance to every sudden breeze of passion, or to every transient impulse which the people may receive from the arts of men, who flatter their prejudices to betray their interests. It is a just observation, that the people commonly INTEND the PUBLIC GOOD. This often applies to their very errors. But their good sense would despise the adulator who should pretend that they always REASON RIGHT about the MEANS of promoting it. They know from experience that they sometimes err; and the wonder is that they so seldom err as they do, beset, as they continually are, by the wiles of parasites and sycophants, by the snares of the ambitious, the avaricious, the desperate, by the artifices of men who possess their confidence more than they deserve it, and of those who seek to possess rather than to deserve it. When occasions present themselves, in which the interests of the people are at variance with their inclinations, it is the duty of the persons whom they have appointed to be the guardians of those interests, to withstand the temporary delusion, in order to give them time and opportunity for more cool and sedate reflection. Instances might be cited in which a conduct of this kind has saved the people from very fatal consequences of their own mistakes, and has procured lasting monuments of their gratitude to the men who had courage and magnanimity enough to serve them at the peril of their displeasure. But however inclined we might be to insist upon an unbounded complaisance in the Executive to the inclinations of the people, we can with no propriety contend for a like complaisance to the humors of the legislature. The latter may sometimes stand in opposition to the former, and at other times the people may be entirely neutral. In either supposition, it is certainly desirable that the Executive should be in a situation to dare to act his own opinion with vigor and decision. The same rule which teaches the propriety of a partition between the various branches of power, teaches us likewise that this partition ought to be so contrived as to render the one independent of the other. To what purpose separate the executive or the judiciary from the legislative, if both the executive and the judiciary are so constituted as to be at the absolute devotion of the legislative? Such a separation must be merely nominal, and incapable of producing the ends for which it was established. It is one thing to be subordinate to the laws, and another to be dependent on the legislative body. The first comports with, the last violates, the fundamental principles of good government; and, whatever may be the forms of the Constitution, unites all power in the same hands. The tendency of the legislative authority to absorb every other, has been fully displayed and illustrated by examples in some preceding numbers. In governments purely republican, this tendency is almost irresistible. The representatives of the people, in a popular assembly, seem sometimes to fancy that they are the people themselves, and betray strong symptoms of impatience and disgust at the least sign of opposition from any other quarter; as if the exercise of its rights, by either the executive or judiciary,

Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor were a breach of their privilege and an outrage to their dignity. They often appear disposed to exert an imperious control over the other departments; and as they commonly have the people on their side, they always act with such momentum as to make it very difficult for the other members of the government to maintain the balance of the Constitution.


It may perhaps be asked, how the shortness of the duration in office can affect the independence of the Executive on the legislature, unless the one were possessed of the power of appointing or displacing the other. One answer to this inquiry may be drawn from the principle already remarked that is, from the slender interest a man is apt to take in a short-lived advantage, and the little inducement it affords him to expose himself, on account of it, to any considerable inconvenience or hazard. Another answer, perhaps more obvious, though not more conclusive, will result from the consideration of the influence of the legislative body over the people; which might be employed to prevent the re-election of a man who, by an upright resistance to any sinister project of that body, should have made himself obnoxious to its resentment. It may be asked also, whether a duration of four years would answer the end proposed; and if it would not, whether a less period, which would at least be recommended by greater security against ambitious designs, would not, for that reason, be preferable to a longer period, which was, at the same time, too short for the purpose of inspiring the desired firmness and independence of the magistrate. It cannot be affirmed, that a duration of four years, or any other limited duration, would completely answer the end proposed; but it would contribute towards it in a degree which would have a material influence upon the spirit and character of the government. Between the commencement and termination of such a period, there would always be a considerable interval, in which the prospect of annihilation would be sufficiently remote, not to have an improper effect upon the conduct of a man indued with a tolerable portion of fortitude; and in which he might reasonably promise himself, that there would be time enough before it arrived, to make the community sensible of the propriety of the measures he might incline to pursue. Though it be probable that, as he approached the moment when the public were, by a new election, to signify their sense of his conduct, his confidence, and with it his firmness, would decline; yet both the one and the other would derive support from the opportunities which his previous continuance in the station had afforded him, of establishing himself in the esteem and good-will of his constituents. He might, then, hazard with safety, in proportion to the proofs he had given of his wisdom and integrity, and to the title he had acquired to the respect and attachment of his fellow-citizens. As, on the one hand, a duration of four years will contribute to the firmness of the Executive in a sufficient degree to render it a very valuable ingredient in the composition; so, on the other, it is not enough to justify any alarm for the public liberty. If a British House of Commons, from the most feeble beginnings, FROM THE MERE POWER OF ASSENTING OR DISAGREEING TO THE IMPOSITION OF A NEW TAX, have, by rapid strides, reduced the prerogatives of the crown and the privileges of the nobility within the limits they conceived to be compatible with the principles of a free government, while they raised themselves to the rank and consequence of a coequal branch of the legislature; if they have been able, in one instance, to abolish both the royalty and the aristocracy, and to overturn all the ancient establishments, as well in the Church as State; if they have been able, on a recent occasion, to make the monarch tremble at the prospect of an innovation[1] attempted by them, what would be to be feared from an elective magistrate of four years' duration, with the confined authorities of a President of the United States? What, but that he might be unequal to the task which the Constitution assigns him? I shall only add, that if his duration be such as to leave a doubt of his firmness, that doubt is inconsistent with a jealousy of his encroachments. PUBLIUS 1. This was the case with respect to Mr. Fox's India bill, which was carried in the House of Commons, and rejected in the House of Lords, to the entire satisfaction, as it is said, of the people. __

Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor FEDERALIST No. 72


The Same Subject Continued, and Re-Eligibility of the Executive Considered From the Independent Journal. Wednesday, March 19, 1788. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE administration of government, in its largest sense, comprehends all the operations of the body politic, whether legislative, executive, or judiciary; but in its most usual, and perhaps its most precise signification. it is limited to executive details, and falls peculiarly within the province of the executive department. The actual conduct of foreign negotiations, the preparatory plans of finance, the application and disbursement of the public moneys in conformity to the general appropriations of the legislature, the arrangement of the army and navy, the directions of the operations of war -- these, and other matters of a like nature, constitute what seems to be most properly understood by the administration of government. The persons, therefore, to whose immediate management these different matters are committed, ought to be considered as the assistants or deputies of the chief magistrate, and on this account, they ought to derive their offices from his appointment, at least from his nomination, and ought to be subject to his superintendence. This view of the subject will at once suggest to us the intimate connection between the duration of the executive magistrate in office and the stability of the system of administration. To reverse and undo what has been done by a predecessor, is very often considered by a successor as the best proof he can give of his own capacity and desert; and in addition to this propensity, where the alteration has been the result of public choice, the person substituted is warranted in supposing that the dismission of his predecessor has proceeded from a dislike to his measures; and that the less he resembles him, the more he will recommend himself to the favor of his constituents. These considerations, and the influence of personal confidences and attachments, would be likely to induce every new President to promote a change of men to fill the subordinate stations; and these causes together could not fail to occasion a disgraceful and ruinous mutability in the administration of the government. With a positive duration of considerable extent, I connect the circumstance of re-eligibility. The first is necessary to give to the officer himself the inclination and the resolution to act his part well, and to the community time and leisure to observe the tendency of his measures, and thence to form an experimental estimate of their merits. The last is necessary to enable the people, when they see reason to approve of his conduct, to continue him in his station, in order to prolong the utility of his talents and virtues, and to secure to the government the advantage of permanency in a wise system of administration. Nothing appears more plausible at first sight, nor more ill-founded upon close inspection, than a scheme which in relation to the present point has had some respectable advocates -- I mean that of continuing the chief magistrate in office for a certain time, and then excluding him from it, either for a limited period or forever after. This exclusion, whether temporary or perpetual, would have nearly the same effects, and these effects would be for the most part rather pernicious than salutary. One ill effect of the exclusion would be a diminution of the inducements to good behavior. There are few men who would not feel much less zeal in the discharge of a duty when they were conscious that the advantages of the station with which it was connected must be relinquished at a determinate period, than when they were permitted to entertain a hope of obtaining, by meriting, a continuance of them. This position will not be disputed so long as it is admitted that the desire of reward is one of the strongest incentives of human conduct; or that the best security for the fidelity of mankind is to make their interests coincide with their duty. Even the love of fame, the ruling passion of the noblest minds, which would prompt a man to plan and undertake extensive and arduous enterprises for the public benefit, requiring considerable time to mature and perfect them, if he could flatter himself with the prospect of being allowed to finish what he had begun, would, on the contrary, deter him from the undertaking, when he foresaw that he must quit the scene before he could

in the first office of the nation. his avarice would be likely to get the victory over his caution. His avarice might be a guard upon his avarice. How unwise. probably. to make the best use of the opportunity he enjoyed while it lasted. who might happen to fill the office. Another ill effect of the exclusion would be the temptation to sordid views. as well as avaricious. is the negative merit of not doing harm. in such a situation.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 216 accomplish the work. for another. than if he had the probability of answering the same end by doing his duty. it would necessitate a mutability of measures. such a man. after they have by a course of service fitted themselves for doing it with a greater degree of utility. by the choice of their fellowcitizens. too. it is evident that a change of the chief magistrate. wandering among the people like discontented ghosts. or his ambition. and might not scruple to have recourse to the most corrupt expedients to make the harvest as abundant as it was transitory. experienced an absolute necessity of the services of particular men in particular situations. not easy to be resisted by such a man. its possessor shall be compelled to abandon the station in which it was acquired. By necessitating a change of men. and would tend to unhinge and set afloat the already settled train of the administration. Would it promote the peace of the community. A fifth ill effect of the exclusion would be. though the same man. An ambitious man. together with his own reputation. is an adage the truth of which is recognized by the wisest as well as the simplest of mankind. in such a situation. and. is the precise import of all those regulations which exclude men from serving their country. when he found himself seated on the summit of his country's honors. to the preservation of its political existence. in some instances. in certain emergencies of the state. But with the prospect before him of approaching an inevitable annihilation. or at any similar crisis. must be every such self-denying ordinance as serves to prohibit a nation from making use of its own citizens in the manner best suited to its exigencies and circumstances! Without supposing the personal essentiality of the man. and to declare that the moment it is acquired. when he looked forward to the time at which he must descend from the exalted eminence for ever. he might hesitate to sacrifice his appetite for them to his appetite for gain. . An avaricious man. There is no nation which has not. that men will vary and measures remain uniform. nevertheless. at every personal hazard. would feel a propensity. would be much more violently tempted to embrace a favorable conjuncture for attempting the prolongation of his power. his vanity. might content himself with the regular perquisites of his situation. would at all times be detrimental to the community. with a different prospect before him. and reflected that no exertion of merit on his part could save him from the unwelcome reverse. to peculation. to usurpation. and might even be unwilling to risk the consequences of an abuse of his opportunities. even of equal merit. their presence might be of the greatest moment to the public interest or safety. perhaps it would not be too strong to say. looking forward to a time when he must at all events yield up the emoluments he enjoyed. and sighing for a place which they were destined never more to possess? A third ill effect of the exclusion would be. that it would operate as a constitutional interdiction of stability in the administration. Add to this that the same man might be vain or ambitious. at the breaking out of a war. That experience is the parent of wisdom. and to which it is adapted? This. It is not generally to be expected. And if he could expect to prolong his honors by his good conduct. The most to be expected from the generality of men. the depriving the community of the advantage of the experience gained by the chief magistrate in the exercise of his office. and must commit that. instead of the positive merit of doing good. What more desirable or more essential than this quality in the governors of nations? Where more desirable or more essential than in the first magistrate of a nation? Can it be wise to put this desirable and essential quality under the ban of the Constitution. A fourth ill effect of the exclusion would be the banishing men from stations in which. therefore. or the stability of the government to have half a dozen men who had had credit enough to be raised to the seat of the supreme magistracy. at one period or another. inasmuch as it would substitute inexperience to experience. to hands which might be unequal or unfriendly to the task.

Unless the exclusion be perpetual. in most cases. without proper attention to this article. 1788. on the arrival of which he not only MAY. upon an equal. may he have no object beyond his present station. to approbation and confidence. yield to the necessity of taking his leave forever of a post in which his passion for power and pre-eminence had acquired the force of habit. than could ever reasonably be dreaded from the possibility of a perpetuation in office. March 21. They might. by the voluntary suffrages of the community. There is an excess of refinement in the idea of disabling the people to continue in office men who had entitled themselves. the separation of the executive from the legislative department would be merely nominal and nugatory. of whom alone there could be reason in any case to entertain apprehension. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. to make personal enemies. but MUST. with infinite reluctance. Friday. but when we consider that even a partial exclusion would always render the readmission of the person a remote and precarious object. with a discretionary power over the salary and emoluments of the Chief Magistrate. And if he had been fortunate or adroit enough to conciliate the good-will of the people. there will be no pretense to infer the first advantage. There may be conceived circumstances in which this disgust of the people. If the exclusion were to be perpetual. a man of irregular ambition. greater independence in the magistrate. and are overbalanced by disadvantages far more certain and decisive. by constancy on their part. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE third ingredient towards constituting the vigor of the executive authority. What are the advantages promised to counterbalance these disadvantages? They are represented to be: 1st. It is evident that.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 217 The contrary is the usual course of things. they may obviate the fatal inconveniences of fluctuating councils and a variable policy. there is still greater reason to entertain doubts concerning it. in their opinion. The legislature. the advantages of which are at best speculative and equivocal. and the Veto Power From the New York Packet. greater security to the people. They apply most forcibly to the scheme of a perpetual exclusion. either reduce him by famine. exercising a constitutional privilege. 73 The Provision For The Support of the Executive. and where. for whom he may sacrifice it? May he not be less willing by a firm conduct. And we need not be apprehensive that there will be too much stability. footing? It is not an easy point to determine whether his independence would be most promoted or impaired by such an arrangement. a provision which was calculated to debar them of the right of giving a fresh proof of their attachment to a favorite. be exposed to their resentments. to which he may sacrifice his independence? May he have no connections. perhaps upon an inferior. or tempt him by . the observations which have been made will apply nearly as fully to one case as to the other. when he acts under the impression that a time is fast approaching. nor need we desire to prohibit the people from continuing their confidence where they think it may be safely placed. These are some of the disadvantages which would flow from the principle of exclusion. But even in that case. could render him as obsequious to their will as they might think proper to make him. would. seconding the thwarted ambition of such a favorite. is an adequate provision for its support. no friends. 2d. As to the second supposed advantage. might occasion greater danger to liberty. while there is even the option of changing. he might induce them to consider as a very odious and unjustifiable restraint upon themselves.

The propensity of the legislative department to intrude upon the rights. but it furnishes an additional security against the enaction of improper laws. but this stern virtue is the growth of few soils. Neither the Union. is once for all to declare what shall be the compensation for his services during the time for which he shall have been elected. till a new period of service by a new election commences. and in the main it will be found that a power over a man's support is a power over his will. any other emolument than that which may have been determined by the first act. the former would be absolutely unable to defend himself against the depredations of the latter. been combated by an observation. But the power in question has a further use. even in this country. which may happen to influence a majority of that body. or of any impulse unfriendly to the public good. These expressions. If even no propensity had ever discovered itself in the legislative body to invade the rights of the Executive. The propriety of a negative has. They can neither weaken his fortitude by operating on his necessities. nor any of its members. or any of them. and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States. This done." It is impossible to imagine any provision which would have been more eligible than this. It establishes a salutary check upon the legislative body. on the appointment of a President. And in the one mode or the other. of course. in other words. Let us proceed to consider those which are proposed to be vested in the President of the United States. It not only serves as a shield to the Executive. have no pecuniary inducement to renounce or desert the independence intended for him by the Constitution.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 218 largesses. of the intimidation or seduction of the Executive by the terrors or allurements of the pecuniary arrangements of the legislative body. If it were necessary to confirm so plain a truth by facts. that it was not to be presumed a single man would possess more virtue and wisdom than a number of men. upon some occasions. From these clear and indubitable principles results the propriety of a negative. taken in all the latitude of the terms. the legislative and executive powers might speedily come to be blended in the same hands. to commend too highly the judicious attention which has been paid to this subject in the proposed Constitution. It is not easy. and to absorb the powers. either by increase or diminution. has also been remarked upon. which have been enumerated. will be at liberty to give. . has been already suggested and repeated. either absolute or qualified. at stated times. It is there provided that "The President of the United States shall. in the Executive. receive for his services a compensation which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected. nor will he be at liberty to receive. The legislature. has been inferred and proved. Without the one or the other. to have the effect of preventing their becoming laws. upon the acts of the legislative branches. There are men who could neither be distressed nor won into a sacrifice of their duty. are competent powers. would no doubt convey more than is intended. The first thing that offers itself to our observation. examples would not be wanting. or. precipitancy. unless they should afterwards be ratified by two thirds of each of the component members of the legislative body. they will have no power to alter it. but ought to possess a constitutional and effectual power of selfdefense. He might gradually be stripped of his authorities by successive resolutions. his power of returning all bills with objections. nor corrupt his integrity by appealing to his avarice. that the one ought not to be left to the mercy of the other. to surrender at discretion his judgment to their inclinations. calculated to guard the community against the effects of faction. The last of the requisites to energy. therefore. the rules of just reasoning and theoretic propriety would of themselves teach us. it would be improper to give the executive magistrate any species of control over the legislative body. the insufficiency of a mere parchment delineation of the boundaries of each. and the necessity of furnishing each with constitutional arms for its own defense. is the qualified negative of the President upon the acts or resolutions of the two houses of the legislature. of the other departments. He can. or annihilated by a single vote. and that unless this presumption should be entertained.

as a power odious in appearance. on this account. clothed for the short period of four years with the executive authority of a government wholly and purely republican? It is evident that there would be greater danger of his not using his power when necessary. when examined. They will consider every institution calculated to restrain the excess of law-making. The oftener the measure is brought under examination. A very considerable period has elapsed since the negative of the crown has been exercised. and there would oftener be room for a charge of timidity than of rashness in the exercise of it. An argument. There are men who. than of his using it too often. If a magistrate so powerful and so well fortified as a British monarch. I speak now with an eye to a magistrate possessing only a common share of firmness. The superior weight and influence of the legislative body in a free government. on maturer reflexion. would hardly suffer their partiality to delude them in a very plain case. and to keep things in the same state in which they happen to be at any given period. would. which form the greatest blemish in the character and genius of our governments. or extreme necessity. as much more likely to do good than harm. than that they should by turns govern and mislead every one of them. who. that impressions of the moment may sometimes hurry it into measures which itself. by the probability of the sanction of his constituents. the greater the diversity in the situations of those who are to examine it. that a spirit of faction may sometimes pervert its deliberations. He would not fail to exert the utmost resources of that influence to strangle a measure disagreeable to him. to avoid being reduced to the dilemma of permitting it to take effect. a man of tolerable firmness would avail himself of his constitutional means of defense. But it will not follow. the secondary one is to increase the chances in favor of the community against the passing of bad laws. but in a case of manifest propriety. that he would ultimately venture to exert his prerogatives. would condemn. it would never be exercised. All well-informed men in that kingdom will accede to the justness of this remark. but upon the supposition that the legislature will not be infallible. though they would naturally incline to the legislative body in a doubtful case. the less must be the danger of those errors which flow from want of due deliberation. hesitate to put a negative upon the joint resolutions of the two houses of Parliament. In the case for which it is chiefly designed. in its progress to the throne. against its expediency. will be amply compensated by the advantage of preventing a number of bad ones. his fortitude would be stimulated by his immediate interest in the power of his office. or design. In the former supposition. with all his train of sovereign attributes. or in a case in which the public good was evidently and palpably sacrificed. The primary inducement to conferring the power in question upon the Executive is. afford a satisfactory security that the negative would generally be employed with great caution. It is far less probable. It has been represented. that culpable views of any kind should infect all the parts of the government at the same moment and in relation to the same object. would have scruples about the exercise of the power under consideration. The propriety of the thing does not turn upon the supposition of superior wisdom or virtue in the Executive. through haste. at this day. and would listen to the admonitions of duty and responsibility. Nor is this all. and with all the influence he draws from a thousand sources. that the love of power may sometimes betray it into a disposition to encroach upon the rights of other members of the government. has been drawn from this very source. and may be used to the one purpose as well as to the other. or too much. or of those missteps which proceed from the contagion of some common passion or interest. . because it is favorable to greater stability in the system of legislation. inadvertence. A king of Great Britain. that of an immediate attack upon the constitutional rights of the Executive. Nor is it probable. will appear rather specious than solid.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 219 But this observation. that because it might be rarely exercised. But this objection will have little weight with those who can properly estimate the mischiefs of that inconstancy and mutability in the laws. in the latter. It may perhaps be said that the power of preventing bad laws includes that of preventing good ones. useless in practice. and the hazard to the Executive in a trial of strength with that body. how much greater caution may be reasonably expected in a President of the United States. to enable him to defend himself. or of risking the displeasure of the nation by an opposition to the sense of the legislative body. indeed. The injury which may possibly be done by defeating a few good laws.

though forcible. and for this very reason. have from experience become its declared admirers. In proportion as it would be less apt to offend. 74 The Command of the Military and Naval Forces. might receive an improper bias. and more apt to irritate. or any two of them. that the convention. it may in practice be found more effectual. and this. are aware that obstructions may come from a quarter which they cannot control. than the mere suggestion of argumentative objections to be approved or disapproved by those to whom they are addressed. 220 But the convention have pursued a mean in this business. it would be more apt to be exercised. Mr. It is at any rate far less probable that this should be the case. When men. This qualified negative. they might be induced to embark too far in the political views of that magistrate. whose influence would be united with his in supporting the propriety of his conduct in the public opinion. operation. with the chancellor and judges of the Supreme Court. and thus a dangerous combination might by degrees be cemented between the executive and judiciary departments. they will often be restrained by the bare apprehension of opposition. __ FEDERALIST No.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor under any circumstances. were violent opposers of it. in the formation of this part of their plan. 1788. PUBLIUS 1. A man who might be afraid to defeat a law by his single VETO. consisting of the governor. Abraham Yates. And its utility has become so apparent. It is to be hoped that it will not often happen that improper views will govern so large a proportion as two thirds of both branches of the legislature at the same time. will have the courage to do their duty at every hazard. and make its efficacy to depend on the sense of a considerable part of the legislative body. and the Pardoning Power of the Executive From the New York Packet. if no such external impediments were to be feared. might not scruple to return it for reconsideration. It is peculiarly dangerous to place them in a situation to be either corrupted or influenced by the Executive. This is a power which would be much more readily exercised than the other. One is that the judges. the other is that by being often associated with the Executive. in spite of the counterposing weight of the Executive. had departed from the model of the constitution of this State. a warm opponent of the plan of the convention is of this number. from having given a previous opinion in their revisionary capacities. subject to being finally rejected only in the event of more than one third of each house concurring in the sufficiency of his objections. HAMILTON . engaged in unjustifiable pursuits. too. will often have a silent and unperceived. Two strong reasons may be imagined for this preference. who are to be the interpreters of the law. He would be encouraged by the reflection. A power of this nature in the Executive. that if his opposition should prevail. it is proposed to give the Executive the qualified negative already described. as has been elsewhere remarked. March 25. is in this State vested in a council. in favor of that of Massachusetts. It is impossible to keep the judges too distinct from every other avocation than that of expounding the laws. in compiling the Constitution. Tuesday. that persons who. A direct and categorical negative has something in the appearance of it more harsh. from doing what they would with eagerness rush into. It has been freely employed upon a variety of occasions.[1] I have in another place remarked. Instead of an absolute negative. it would embark in it a very respectable proportion of the legislative body. and frequently with success. which will both facilitate the exercise of the power vested in this respect in the executive magistrate. than that such views should taint the resolutions and conduct of a bare majority.

and least apt to yield to considerations which were calculated to shelter a fit object of its vengeance. would beget equal circumspection. in writing. when the laws have once ascertained the guilt of the offender.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor To the People of the State of New York: 221 THE President of the United States is to be "commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. as the supposition of the connivance of the Chief Magistrate ought not to be entirely excluded. might frequently bestow impunity where the terror of an example was necessary. been only contested in relation to the crime of treason. As the sense of responsibility is always strongest. as men generally derive confidence from their numbers. if I mistake not. The direction of war implies the direction of the common strength. in delicate conjunctures. In every such case. the dread of being accused of weakness or connivance. the direction of war most peculiarly demands those qualities which distinguish the exercise of power by a single hand. they might often encourage each other in an act of obduracy. when a welltimed offer of pardon to the insurgents or rebels may restore the tranquillity of the commonwealth. that little need be said to explain or enforce it. The reflection that the fate of a fellow-creature depended on his sole fiat. Of all the cares or concerns of government. would naturally inspire scrupulousness and caution. and the power of directing and employing the common strength. in proportion as it is undivided. It is not to be doubted." This I consider as a mere redundancy in the plan. and of the militia of the several States when called into the actual service of the United States. And this ought the rather to be the case. and which. the secret sympathy of the friends and favorers of the condemned person. But the principal argument for reposing the power of pardoning in this case to the Chief Magistrate is this: in seasons of insurrection or rebellion. than any numerous body whatever. to balance the motives which may plead for and against the remission of the punishment. except in cases of impeachment. that a single man of prudence and good sense is better fitted. . of the principal officer in each of the executive departments. On these accounts. On the other hand. ought to have depended upon the assent of one. upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective officers. as lately happened in Massachusetts. of the branches of the legislative body. availing itself of the good-nature and weakness of others. He is also to be authorized to grant "reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States. that the benign prerogative of pardoning should be as little as possible fettered or embarrassed. we might expect to see the representation of the people tainted with the same spirit which had given birth to the offense. than a body of men. though of a different kind." The propriety of this provision is so evident in itself. when policy demanded a conduct of forbearance and clemency. in other respects. if suffered to pass unimproved. that treason will often be connected with seditions which embrace a large proportion of the community. I shall not deny that there are strong reasons to be assigned for requiring in this particular the concurrence of that body. But there are also strong objections to such a plan. have for the most part concentrated the military authority in him alone. The expediency of vesting the power of pardoning in the President has. As treason is a crime levelled at the immediate being of the society. there are often critical moments. they might often be found obstinate and inexorable. And when parties were pretty equally matched. or both. so consonant to the precedents of the State constitutions in general. and might be less sensible to the apprehension of suspicion or censure for an injudicious or affected clemency. This. The criminal code of every country partakes so much of necessary severity. On the other hand. "The President may require the opinion. as the right for which it provides would result of itself from the office. that without an easy access to exceptions in favor of unfortunate guilt. at the same time. Even those of them which have. justice would wear a countenance too sanguinary and cruel. forms a usual and essential part in the definition of the executive authority. or of a part of it. one man appears to be a more eligible dispenser of the mercy of government. and it is. it has been urged. when the sedition had proceeded from causes which had inflamed the resentments of the major party. It deserves particular attention. there seems a fitness in referring the expediency of an act of mercy towards him to the judgment of the legislature. it may be inferred that a single man would be most ready to attend to the force of those motives which might plead for a mitigation of the rigor of the law. it may never be possible afterwards to recall. coupled the chief magistrate with a council." Humanity and good policy conspire to dictate.

a part are of opinion that the House of Representatives ought to have been associated in the business. 75 The Treaty-Making Power of the Executive For the Independent Journal. Wednesday." Though this provision has been assailed. is no infringement of that rule. With regard to the intermixture of powers. to two thirds of the members present. provided two thirds of the senators present concur. that it would generally be impolitic beforehand to take any step which might hold out the prospect of impunity. out of the usual course. I scruple not to declare my firm persuasion. The power of making treaties is. an hour. others. seem to comprise all the functions of the executive magistrate. might be occasionally conferred upon the President. either for this purpose or for the common defense. in a very favorable light. The power in question seems therefore to form a distinct department. in other words. which have the force of law. to a discerning eye. that it is one of the best digested and most unexceptionable parts of the plan. A proceeding of this kind. and shall take it for granted. As I flatter myself the observations made in a preceding number upon this part of the plan must have sufficed to place it. If it should be observed. as an inference from them. that power could be delegated by law. neither the one nor the other.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 222 The dilatory process of convening the legislature. in a limited Constitution. but derive it from the obligations of good faith. in the article of treaties. It relates neither to the execution of the subsisting laws. 1788 HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE President is to have power. that it is questionable. that the union of the Executive with the Senate. Though several writers on the subject of government place that power in the class of executive authorities. that it ought to have been exclusively deposited in the Senate. and to belong. while another part seem to think that nothing more was necessary than to have substituted two thirds of all the members of the Senate. while the execution of the laws. to prescribe rules for the regulation of the society. it may be answered in the first place. One ground of objection is the trite topic of the intermixture of powers. or. to make treaties. and in the second place. nor to the enaction of new ones. Another source of objection is derived from the small number of persons by whom a treaty may be made. properly. and the employment of the common strength. point out the Executive as the . with no small degree of vehemence. I venture to add. yet this is evidently an arbitrary disposition. of the true sense of the rule upon which that objection is founded. I shall rely upon the explanations already given in other places. They are not rules prescribed by the sovereign to the subject. neither to the legislative nor to the executive. a day. and would have a tendency to embolden guilt. though it does not seem strictly to fall within the definition of either of them. that a discretionary power. that the particular nature of the power of making treaties indicates a peculiar propriety in that union. for if we attend carefully to its operation. but agreements between sovereign and sovereign. Its objects are CONTRACTS with foreign nations. for the purpose of obtaining its sanction to the measure. The loss of a week. March 26. I shall here content myself with offering only some supplementary remarks. it will be found to partake more of the legislative than of the executive character. may sometimes be fatal. would be likely to be construed into an argument of timidity or of weakness. The qualities elsewhere detailed as indispensable in the management of foreign negotiations. whether. plainly. "by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. or one of its branches. would frequently be the occasion of letting slip the golden opportunity. with a view to such contingencies. Of those who espouse this objection. and still less to an exertion of the common strength. some contending that the President ought alone to possess the power of making treaties. The essence of the legislative authority is to enact laws. on different grounds. principally with a view to the objections which have been just stated.

will apply with conclusive force against the admission of the House of Representatives to a share in the formation of treaties. than the separate possession of it by either of them. would afford a greater prospect of security. Though it would be imprudent to confide in him solely so important a trust. And whoever has maturely weighed the circumstances which must concur in the appointment of a President. It has been shown.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor most fit agent in those transactions. and pique or cabal might induce the latter rather than the former. to the sole disposal of a magistrate created and circumstanced as would be a President of the United States. yet it cannot be doubted that his participation would materially add to the safety of the society. a steady and systematic adherence to the same views. It has been remarked. has personally too much stake in the government to be in any material danger of being corrupted by foreign powers. would of itself afford a solid objection. as on that of integrity. under the second head of our inquiries. secrecy. decision. and despatch. by the aid of a foreign power. it would be utterly unsafe and improper to intrust that power to an elective magistrate of four years' duration. Besides this. to that of two thirds of the members present. An avaricious man might be tempted to betray the interests of the state to the acquisition of wealth. The only objection which remains to be canvassed. It is true that the Senate would. plead strongly for the participation of the whole or a portion of the legislative body in the office of making them. the multitudinous composition of that body. by the President and Senate. while the vast importance of the trust. The remarks made in a former number. and the remark is unquestionably just. to commit to him the entire power of making treaties. and the greater length of time which it would often be necessary to keep them together when convened. by introducing a necessity of the concurrence of so many different bodies. The greater frequency of the calls upon the House of Representatives. as well on the score of wisdom. though often the oppressor of his people. The history of human conduct does not warrant that exalted opinion of human virtue which would make it wise in a nation to commit interests of so delicate and momentous a kind. to obtain their sanction in the progressive stages of a treaty. The very complication of the business. lose a considerable advantage in the management of its external concerns. the price of his treachery to his constituents. the ministerial servant of the Senate could not be expected to enjoy the confidence and respect of foreign powers in the same degree with the constitutional representatives of the nation. that an hereditary monarch. would not be able to act with an equal degree of weight or efficacy. which it would require superlative virtue to withstand. is that which would substitute the proportion of two thirds of all the members composing the senatorial body. as those which concern its intercourse with the rest of the world. and looking forward to a period not very remote when he may probably be obliged to return to the station from which he was taken. upon another occasion. would be a source of so great inconvenience and expense as alone ought to condemn the project. are incompatible with the genius of a body so variable and so numerous. While the Union would. and. might sometimes be under temptations to sacrifice his duty to his interest. that all provisions which require more than the majority of . a nice and uniform sensibility to national character. will be satisfied that the office will always bid fair to be filled by men of such characters as to render their concurrence in the formation of treaties peculiarly desirable. 223 However proper or safe it may be in governments where the executive magistrate is an hereditary monarch. Accurate and comprehensive knowledge of foreign politics. An ambitious man might make his own aggrandizement. and the operation of treaties as laws. which have been alluded to in another part of this paper. forbid us to expect in it those qualities which are essential to the proper execution of such a trust. but they would also have the option of letting it alone. of course. in that case. have the option of employing him in this capacity. the people would lose the additional security which would result from the co-operation of the Executive. But a man raised from the station of a private citizen to the rank of chief magistrate. The fluctuating and. To have intrusted the power of making treaties to the Senate alone. from this cause. It must indeed be clear to a demonstration that the joint possession of the power in question. possessed of a moderate or slender fortune. taking its future increase into the account. would have been to relinquish the benefits of the constitutional agency of the President in the conduct of foreign negotiations.

PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. would be very little fit for the proper discharge of the trust. amount in practice to a necessity of unanimity. When. two members may. and look forward to the probable augmentation of the Senate. in addition to these considerations. that the convention have gone as far in the endeavor to secure the advantage of numbers in the formation of treaties as could have been reconciled either with the activity of the public councils or with a reasonable regard to the major sense of the community. But the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers as they think proper. his vote is lost. or in the courts of law. it would. and that where there is only a single member present from a State. the Polish Diet. in many cases. diminishes the motives to punctual attendance. and all other officers of the United States whose appointments are not otherwise provided for in the Constitution. and. we take into view the co-operation of the President. by promoting punctuality. would rarely fall short in number of the active voices in the existing Congress. under the new Constitution. 76 The Appointing Power of the Executive From the New York Packet. we shall not only perceive ample ground of confidence in the sufficiency of the members to whose agency that power will be intrusted. Tuesday. And the history of every political establishment in which this principle has prevailed. represent a State. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: THE President is "to nominate. and the States-General of the Netherlands. by the erection of new States. Proofs of this position might be adduced from the examples of the Roman Tribuneship. April 1. This consideration seems sufficient to determine our opinion. To require a fixed proportion of the whole body would not. is a history of impotence. And when we proceed still one step further. The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies which may happen during the recess of the Senate. who now are solely invested with all the powers of the Union. by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. and usually do. The latter. other public ministers and consuls. by making the capacity of the body to depend on a proportion which may be varied by the absence or presence of a single member. have a direct tendency to embarrass the operations of the government. and disorder. while there would be much fewer occasions of delay. we shall not hesitate to infer that the people of America would have greater security against an improper use of the power of making treaties. but we shall probably be led to conclude that a body more numerous than the Senate would be likely to become. has the contrary effect. better then merely to require a proportion of the attending members. in the President alone. If we add to this. to appoint ambassadors. it will justify a supposition that the active voices in the Senate. did not an example at home render foreign precedents unnecessary. whence it happens that Congress. under the existing Confederation. and an indirect one to subject the sense of the majority to that of the minority. it tends to keep the body complete. that as the members vote by States." . 1788. And as. where the members are to vote individually. from the non-attendance of a part. there is great likelihood that its resolutions would generally be dictated by as great a number in this case as in the other. contribute to the advantages of a numerous agency.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 224 any body to its resolutions. If two thirds of the whole number of members had been required. The former. or in the heads of departments. in all probability. judges of the Supreme Court. by making a determinate number at all times requisite to a resolution. by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session. rarely consist of a greater number of persons than would compose the intended Senate. perplexity. It ought not to be forgotten that. than they now enjoy under the Confederation.

When. which is proposed to be conferred upon him. agree to the position. at least respectable. and you shall have the one you wish for that." If the justness of this observation be admitted. as waiving every other consideration. or in a single man. from their number and from their dispersed situation. with the concurrence of such an assembly. or who have attended to the observations made in other parts of these papers. and will be so much the less liable to be misled by the sentiments of friendship and of affection. Hence. They contend that the President ought solely to have been authorized to make the appointments under the federal government. must. partialities and antipathies. He will have fewer personal attachments to gratify. feel himself under stronger obligations. The truth of the principles here advanced seems to have been felt by the most intelligent of those who have found fault with the provision made. that "the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration. that one man of discernment is better fitted to analyze and estimate the peculiar qualities adapted to particular offices. who are to be the objects of our choice or preference. The people collectively. in this respect. I proceed to lay it down as a rule. in every exercise of the power of appointing to offices. or of a compromise between the parties. that there would always be great probability of having the place supplied by a man of abilities. But it is easy to show. will be more considered than those which fit the person for the station. in relation to the appointment of the President. when examined. And it will rarely happen that the advancement of the public service will be the primary object either of party victories or of party negotiations. the coalition will commonly turn upon some interested equivalent: "Give us the man we wish for this office. by a single understanding. cannot be distracted and warped by that diversity of views. ought to be modified in one of three ways. attachments and animosities. by an assembly of men. It will be agreed on all hands. Those who have themselves reflected upon the subject. It is not easy to conceive a plan better calculated than this to promote a judicious choice of men for filling the offices of the Union. mention is made in the subsequent reasonings of an assembly or body of men. . in substance. which frequently distract and warp the resolutions of a collective body. be derived from the power of nomination. and it will not need proof. on this account. and interests. the mode of appointing the officers of the United States contained in the foregoing clauses. therefore. that every advantage to be expected from such an arrangement would. and to prefer with impartiality the persons who may have the fairest pretensions to them. of the description already given. while several disadvantages which might attend the absolute power of appointment in the hands of that officer would be avoided. that the power of appointment. the qualifications best adapted to uniting the suffrages of the party. what is said must be understood to relate to a select body or assembly. In either case. his judgment alone would be exercised. It ought either to be vested in a single man. The sole and undivided responsibility of one man will naturally beget a livelier sense of duty and a more exact regard to reputation.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 225 It has been observed in a former paper. I presume. in ordinary cases." This will be the usual condition of the bargain. and as it would be his sole duty to point out the man who. it would leave them little time to do anything else. will. than a body of men who may each be supposed to have an equal number. be allowed to be entitled to particular commendation. Premising this. which will be urged as the chief objections to reposing the power in question in a body of men. In the last. by the convention. A single well-directed man. will of course be the result either of a victory gained by one party over the other. or in a select assembly of a moderate number. cannot be regulated in their movements by that systematic spirit of cabal and intrigue. In the first. that on this point must essentially depend the character of its administration. In the act of nomination. the intrinsic merit of the candidate will be too often out of sight. There is nothing so apt to agitate the passions of mankind as personal considerations whether they relate to ourselves or to others. feelings. The exercise of it by the people at large will be readily admitted to be impracticable. we must expect to see a full display of all the private and party likings and dislikes. which are felt by those who compose the assembly. and more interested to investigate with care the qualities requisite to the stations to be filled. The choice which may at any time happen to be made under such circumstances. He will. than a body of men of equal or perhaps even of superior discernment.

and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice. should fill an office. in the case of an elective magistrate. from personal attachment. from betraying a spirit of favoritism. and. who have an influential weight in the councils of the nation. may secure the complaisance of the Senate to his views. The danger to his own reputation. or an unbecoming pursuit of popularity. which consists of independent and public-spirited men. The institution of delegated power implies. but that the necessity of its co-operation. The person ultimately appointed must be the object of his preference. every man who might be appointed would be. his responsibility would be as complete as if he were to make the final appointment. The Senate could not be tempted. The same motives which would influence a proper discharge of his duty in one case. that the person they might wish would be brought forward by a second or by any subsequent nomination. will see sufficient ground of confidence in the probity of the Senate. well founded. or from a view to popularity. candidates who had no other merit than that of coming from the same State to which he particularly belonged. To this reasoning it has been objected that the President. It has been found to exist in the most corrupt periods of the most corrupt governments. without either flattering its virtues or exaggerating its vices.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 226 with the approbation of the Senate. that a man who had himself the sole disposition of offices. it is not likely that their sanction would often be refused. and experience justifies the theory. and as their dissent might cast a kind of stigma upon the individual rejected. his choice. in general. to a considerable extent. There can. yet the supposition. This supposition of universal venalty in human nature is little less an error in political reasoning. that a future nomination would present a candidate in any degree more acceptable to them. that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful. by the preference they might feel to another. and that body an entier branch of the legislature. Hence it is (the present reign not excepted) that the sense of that body is often seen to control the inclinations of the monarch. than when he was bound to submit the propriety of his choice to the discussion and determination of a different and independent body. to his political existence. it would be an efficacious source of stability in the administration. that there is a portion of virtue and honor among mankind. to reject the one proposed. and might have the appearance of a reflection upon the judgment of the chief magistrate. in fact. which may be a reasonable foundation of confidence. A man disposed to view human nature as it is. or of being in some way or other personally allied to him. though perhaps not in the first degree. be no difference between nominating and appointing. that there is always a large proportion of the body. to rest satisfied. Though it might therefore be allowable to suppose that the Executive might occasionally influence some individuals in the Senate. The possibility of rejection would be a strong motive to care in proposing. But it is as little to be doubted. would exist in the other. for the most distinguished or lucrative stations. He would be both ashamed and afraid to bring forward. In addition to this. in the country to which they belong as well as in this. To what purpose then require the co-operation of the Senate? I answer. will be a considerable . both with regard to men and to measures. because they could not assure themselves. by the influence of the power of nomination. And as no man could be appointed but on his