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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

we must advert to the effects of that superior policy and good management which would probably distinguish the government of one above the rest. strength. and from whatever causes. We may profit by their experience without paying the price which it cost them. and for a long series of years they were far more inconvenient and troublesome than they were useful and assisting to each other. For it cannot be presumed that the same degree of sound policy. She would soon begin. and the partial interests of each confederacy. would be the only objects of their policy and pursuits. Both those passions would lead them to countenance. they would always be either involved in disputes and war. Much time would not be necessary to enable her to discern these unfriendly dispositions. and it gives us many useful lessons." envy and jealousy would soon extinguish confidence and affection. and foresight would uniformly be observed by each of these confederacies for a long succession of years. Whenever. if not to promote. would not the same thing happen? Would not similar jealousies arise. instead of the general interests of all America. and good government within ourselves. and would also restrain them from measures calculated to advance or even to secure her prosperity. 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. The history of Great Britain is the one with which we are in general the best acquainted. and be in like manner cherished? Instead of their being "joined in affection" and free from all apprehension of different "interests. but also to feel a disposition equally unfavorable to them. even if it was possible to form them so at first. be unquestionably more formidable than any of the others. and that nothing would tend more to secure us from them than union. but. that weakness and divisions at home would invite dangers from abroad. and disappoint the designs of our and your enemies. whatever might promise to diminish her importance. not only to lose confidence in her neighbors. yet we find that they were for ages divided into three." 15 It was remarked in the preceding paper. that any one of these nations or confederacies should rise on the scale of political importance much above the degree of her neighbors. The North is generally the region of strength. and by nothing is good-will and kind conduct more speedily changed than by invidious jealousies and uncandid imputations. Should the people of America divide themselves into three or four nations. prudence. at a period not very distant. Although it seems obvious to common sense that the people of such an island should be but one nation. . and that those three were almost constantly embroiled in quarrels and wars with one another. whether expressed or implied. and many local circumstances render it probable that the most Northern of the proposed confederacies would.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor being the only EFFECTUAL way to secure our present and future happiness. This subject is copious and cannot easily be exhausted. Hence. 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. on this occasion. yet by the arts and policy and practices of those nations. and by which their relative equality in strength and consideration would be destroyed. 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. who will doubtless. like most other BORDERING nations. USE THEIR UTMOST ENDEAVORS TO PREVENT OR DELAY THIS UNION. Distrust naturally creates distrust. and happen it would. admitting that to be practicable. 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. or live in the constant apprehension of them. that moment would those neighbors behold her with envy and with fear. Notwithstanding their true interest with respect to the continental nations was really the same. their mutual jealousies were perpetually kept inflamed.

How many conquests did the Romans and others make in the characters of allies. November 14. that they would place us exactly in the situations in which some nations doubtless wish to see us.. it would be more natural for these confederacies to apprehend danger from one another than from distant nations. and from domestic factions and convulsions. Considering our distance from Europe.those which will in all probability flow from dissensions between the States themselves. in a state of disunion. as in Europe.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. so would those treaties be essentially different. nor. but on the contrary would be a prey to discord. than it is to persuade or compel them to depart. viz. and would produce that combination and union of wills of arms and of resources. would it be observed and fulfilled with perfect good faith. it is far more probable that in America. neighboring nations. Nay. 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. in short. 6 Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the States For the Independent Journal. and of course different degrees of political attachment to and connection with different foreign nations. than to guard against foreign dangers by alliances between themselves. then. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. 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. An alliance so contrary to their immediate interest would not therefore be easy to form. and foreign armies into our country. and what innovations did they under the same character introduce into the governments of those whom they pretended to protect. When did the independent states. if formed. combine in such alliance. acting under the impulse of opposite interests and unfriendly passions. and mutual injuries. into which Britain and Spain were formerly divided. and as their productions and commodities are different and proper for different markets. FORMIDABLE ONLY TO EACH OTHER. and therefore that each of them should be more desirous to guard against the others by the aid of foreign alliances. Each of them would have its commerce with foreigners to regulate by distinct treaties. that they would neither love nor trust one another. I shall now proceed to delineate dangers of a different and. Wednesday. 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. 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. Different commercial concerns must create different interests. And here let us not forget how much more easy it is to receive foreign fleets into our ports. Let candid men judge. These have . still more alarming kind -. from the arms and arts of foreign nations. or unite their forces against a foreign enemy? The proposed confederacies will be DISTINCT NATIONS. which would be necessary to put and keep them in a formidable state of defense against foreign enemies. perhaps. would frequently be found taking different sides.

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

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

Letters of reprisal were granted. let the revolt of a part of the State of North Carolina.[10] protracted the war beyond the limits marked out by sound policy. whose situations have borne the nearest resemblance to our own. vide "Plutarch's Life of Pericles. at the same time. confounded with the guilty in indiscriminate punishment. and the actual insurrections and rebellions in Massachusetts. and sometimes even the more culpable desire of sharing in the commerce of other nations without their consent. Many of the English who were taken on the Spanish coast were sent to dig in the mines of Potosi. and by the usual progress of a spirit of resentment.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 19 ambition. that vicinity or nearness of situation. 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. -. of a favorite leader. 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. Aspasia. The complaints of the merchants kindled a violent flame throughout the nation. 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. Ibid. that it has from long observation of the progress of society become a sort of axiom in politics. Phidias was supposed to have stolen some public gold. constitutes nations natural enemies.the desire of supplanting and the fear of being supplanted. 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. the innocent were."[11] This passage.! 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. either in particular branches of traffic or in the general advantages of trade and navigation. weaknesses and evils incident to society in every shape? Is it not time to awake from the deceitful dream of a golden age. let the inconveniences felt everywhere from a lax and ill administration of government. From this summary of what has taken place in other countries. after a while. and for a considerable time in opposition to the views of the court. and a war ensued. declare -. or rather the avarice. points out the EVIL and suggests the REMEDY. extinguishing that secret jealousy which disposes all states to aggrandize themselves at the expense of their neighbors. with the connivance 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. PUBLIUS 1. in the event of disunion. 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. The wars of these two last-mentioned nations have in a great measure grown out of commercial considerations. 3. Ibid. as well as the other inhabitants of the globe. and was communicated from that body to the ministry. 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. and to adopt as a practical maxim for the direction of our political conduct that we. for the . and their constitution prevents the differences that neighborhood occasions. because they exceeded the bounds of a just retaliation and were chargeable with inhumanity and cruelty. the late menacing disturbances in Pennsylvania. which soon after broke out in the House of Commons." 2. Ibid.

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

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

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

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

would facilitate inroads. however. The want of fortifications. to put themselves upon an equality with their more potent neighbors. which require a state of as constant preparation. but of towns taken and retaken. or their representatives and delegates. They would endeavor to supply the inferiority of population and resources by a more regular and effective system of defense. the whole power of which is lodged in the hands of a people. is. equally satisfactory. therefore. It is of the nature of war to increase the executive at the expense of the legislative authority. leaving the frontiers of one state open to another. distinct from the . This picture is not too highly wrought. see established in every part of this country the same engines of despotism which have been the scourge of the Old World. The industrious habits of the people of the present day. These are not vague inferences drawn from supposed or speculative defects in a Constitution. with little difficulty. and the science of finance. In this country the scene would be altogether reversed. at most. it is said. and devoted to the improvements of agriculture and commerce. in doing which their constitutions would acquire a progressive direction toward monarchy. The institutions chiefly alluded to are STANDING ARMIES and the correspondent appendages of military establishments. which is the offspring of modern times. and by fortifications. by disciplined troops. it would not long remain a just one. of much effort and little acquisition. perhaps. absorbed in the pursuits of gain. and with the assistance of disciplined armies. The jealousy of military establishments would postpone them as long as possible. The populous States would. overrun their less populous neighbors. I confess. they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free. would be the natural course of things. drawn from the natural and necessary progress of human affairs. Small states. problematical and uncertain. but they are solid conclusions. 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. at the same time. of battles that decide nothing. from the very terms of the proposition. of retreats more beneficial than victories. have often triumphed over large states. This. The weaker States or confederacies would first have recourse to them. They would quickly resort to means similar to those by which it had been effected. or states of less natural strength. would be desultory and predatory. The expedients which have been mentioned would soon give the States or confederacies that made use of them a superiority over their neighbors. 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. To be more safe. to reinstate themselves in their lost pre-eminence. after a time. and it is therefore inferred that they may exist under it. in a little time. be asked. War. and our reasonings will be the more likely to be just. by way of objection to this. Frequent war and constant apprehension. must inevitably result from a dissolution of the Confederacy. PLUNDER and devastation ever march in the train of irregulars. are incompatible with the condition of a nation of soldiers. why did not standing armies spring up out of the contentions which so often distracted the ancient republics of Greece? Different answers. though. we should. Standing armies. The calamities of individuals would make the principal figure in the events which would characterize our military exploits. are not provided against in the new Constitution. be necessitated to strengthen the executive arm of government. or states of greater natural strength. will infallibly produce them. which have been so greatly multiplied by the increase of gold and silver and of the arts of industry.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 24 empires overturned. Conquests would be as easy to be made as difficult to be retained. may be given to this question. Even the ardent love of liberty will. give way to its dictates. have produced an entire revolution in the system of war. which have been destitute of these advantages. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war. The means of revenue. the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger. It may. But standing armies.[1] Their existence. Thus. concurring with the habits of nations. and have rendered disciplined armies. at least. They would. which was the true condition of the people of those republics. in proportion as they are accommodated to this standard. Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. under vigorous governments. it may be replied.

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

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. not less magnificent. The efficacy of various principles is now well understood. and a much better one than is to be found in any constitution that has been heretofore framed in America. stupendous fabrics reared on the basis of liberty. 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. I trust. which were either not known at all. real. 9 The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection For the Independent Journal. refuted their gloomy sophisms. which have flourished for ages. or imperfectly known to the ancients. 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. The regular distribution of power into distinct . but solid and weighty. If it had been found impracticable to have devised models of a more perfect structure. but against the very principles of civil liberty. 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. most of which contain no guard at all on this subject. If momentary rays of glory break forth from the gloom. If now and then intervals of felicity open to view. and have indulged themselves in malicious exultation over its friends and partisans. they will not hesitate to part with trivial objections to a Constitution. If they exhibit occasional calms. not only against the forms of republican government. which will be equally permanent monuments of their errors. PUBLIUS 1. in a few glorious instances. If such men will make a firm and solemn pause. It deserves the most serious and mature consideration of every prudent and honest man of whatever party. arising from the reflection that the pleasing scenes before us are soon to be overwhelmed by the tempestuous waves of sedition and party rage. and it will be shown that the only natural precaution which could have been taken on this subject has been taken. November 21. certain. and trace it to all its consequences. This objection will be fully examined in its proper place. They have decried all free government as inconsistent with the order of society. America will be the broad and solid foundation of other edifices. Wednesday. while they dazzle us with a transient and fleeting brilliancy. the rejection of which would in all probability put a final period to the Union.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 26 This is an idea not superficial or futile. like most other sciences. these only serve as short-lived contrast to the furious storms that are to succeed. the enlightened friends to liberty would have been obliged to abandon the cause of that species of government as indefensible. and meditate dispassionately on the importance of this interesting idea. have. and formidable. as a barrier against domestic faction and insurrection. Happily for mankind. From the disorders that disfigure the annals of those republics the advocates of despotism have drawn arguments. 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. 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. we behold them with a mixture of regret. And. The science of politics. however. __ FEDERALIST No. if they will contemplate it in all its attitudes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

which would only embrace the resources of a single part. It happens. The difference in the duration of the ships of which the navy might be composed. it can scarcely happen that they should all be at one time in the latter predicament. which the interest of more powerful partners would hardly fail to solve to our disadvantage. The variety. Their wood for the construction of ships is also of a more solid and lasting texture. if chiefly constructed of Southern wood. in different degrees. Seamen must chiefly be drawn from the Northern hive. union will contribute in various ways. it now is. might make herself the admiration and envy of the world. As a nursery of seamen. To the establishment of a navy. pitch. They. from the diversity in the productions of different States. Commercial enterprise will have much greater scope. We should then be compelled to content ourselves with the first price of our commodities. would hardly remain long indifferent to that decided mastery. with wisdom. The speculative trader will at once perceive the force of these observations. An unrestrained intercourse between the States themselves will advance the trade of each by an interchange of their respective productions. a NAVY.I allude to the fisheries. and view them as of the utmost moment to their navigation. no more than the conduciveness of that species of commerce to the prosperity of a navy. and on this account the operations of the merchant would be less liable to any considerable obstruction or stagnation. which signalizes the genius of the American merchants and navigators. either in the view of naval strength or of national economy. not less than the value. it must be indispensable. and to that of the Mississippi. All the navigating States may. and which is in itself an inexhaustible mine of national wealth. That unequaled spirit of enterprise. would be of signal importance. arising from the competitions of trade and from the fluctations of markets. and poverty and disgrace would overspread a country which. but for exportation to foreign markets. that different portions of confederated America possess each some peculiar advantage for this essential establishment. would be stifled and lost. There are rights of great moment to the trade of America which are rights of the Union -. and by which we are able to undersell those nations in their own markets. 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.tar. Every institution will grow and flourish in proportion to the quantity and extent of the means concentred towards its formation and support. . Particular articles may be in great demand at certain periods. indeed.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 35 would in effect destroy it. and confine us to a PASSIVE COMMERCE. France and Britain are concerned with us in the fisheries. a universal resource. advantageously participate in it. will become. The dissolution of the Confederacy would give room for delicate questions concerning the future existence of these rights. A navy of the United States. The more southern States furnish in greater abundance certain kinds of naval stores -. and turpentine. of course. and will acquire additional motion and vigor from a free circulation of the commodities of every part. as it would embrace the resources of all. When the staple of one fails from a bad harvest or unproductive crop. of which experience has shown us to be possessed in this valuable branch of traffic. The veins of commerce in every part will be replenished. not only for the supply of reciprocal wants at home. 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. The necessity of naval protection to external or maritime commerce does not require a particular elucidation. would not be unlikely to do it. is an object far less remote than a navy of any single State or partial confederacy. and unsalable at others. and to see the profits of our trade snatched from us to enrich our enemies and p rsecutors. or when time shall have more nearly assimilated the principles of navigation in the several States. 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. but if there be a variety of articles. and of better quality. it can call to its aid the staple of another. to the navigation of the Western lakes. of products for exportation contributes to the activity of foreign commerce. and under circumstances of a greater extension of mercantile capital. The disposition of Spain with regard to the Mississippi needs no comment. To this great national object. Some of the Southern and of the Middle States yield a greater plenty of iron.

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

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

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

in a great measure. If my memory be right they amount to twenty per cent. Wednesday. it requires the same energy of government and the same forms of administration which are requisite in one of much greater extent. November 28. __ FEDERALIST No. Thus we shall not even have the consolations of a full treasury. contains about eight millions of people. The ideas of men who speculate upon the dismemberment of the empire seem generally turned toward three confederacies -.and each of them. But public and private distress will keep pace with each other in gloomy concert. and unite in deploring the infatuation of those counsels which led to disunion. are the objects proper for excise sufficiently numerous to permit very ample collections in that way. is capable of diffusing its force to a very great extent. to atone for the oppression of that valuable class of the citizens who are employed in the cultivation of the soil. and there will be so much the less to be drawn from the pockets of the people. as to the principal departments. without much aggregate benefit to the State. There is little probability that there would be a greater number. PUBLIUS 1. cannot be subjected to large contributions. reproduce itself in every part of a great empire by a judicious arrangement of subordinate institutions. there will be as many different national civil lists to be provided for -. the wants of the government can never obtain an adequate supply. to occasion the oppression of individuals. but when we consider that the island of Britain. from the difficulty in tracing it. there will be but one national civil list to support. we may with propriety consider that of economy. 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. under such consisting of the four Northern. but beyond these circles. nevertheless. The money saved from one object may be usefully applied to another. and when we reflect upon the degree of authority required to direct the passions of so large a society to the public good. unless all the sources of revenue are open to its demands. . and can. If the States are united under one government. it must. 1787 HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: As CONNECTED with the subject of revenue. by any other means than by taxes on consumption. and a third of the five Southern States. 13 Advantage of the Union in Respect to Economy in Government For the Independent Journal. Personal estate (as has been before remarked). the finances of the community. As the necessities of the State. 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. And as. The entire separation of the States into thirteen unconnected sovereignties is a project too extravagant and too replete with danger to have many advocates. on the other hand. In populous cities. cannot be put into a situation consistent with its respectability or its security. Civil power. This idea admits not of precise demonstration. in a manner. if they are divided into several confederacies. According to this distribution. When the dimensions of a State attain to a certain magnitude. nearly commensurate with each of the supposed confederacies. the defect of other resources must throw the principal weight of public burdens on the possessors of land. escape the eye and the hand of the tax-gatherer. properly organized and exerted. must be satisfied in some mode or other. 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. it may be enough the subject of conjecture.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 39 sole employment is agriculture. each confederacy would comprise an extent of territory larger than that of the kingdom of Great Britain. another of the four Middle. coextensive with that which would be necessary for a government of the whole.

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. in addition to the consideration of a plurality of civil lists.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. as our bulwark against foreign danger. 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. as the conservator of peace among ourselves. may not think themselves much interested in the encouragement of navigation. which is founded on the principle of expense. when we come to take a nearer view of it. This reflection must have great weight in obviating that objection to the proposed plan. PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. situated as she is. If we attend carefully to geographical and commercial considerations. we shall clearly discover that a separation would be not less injurious to the economy. Whatever may be the determination of Pennsylvania. New Jersey is too small a State to think of being a frontier. than to the tranquillity. we shall be led to conclude that in case of disunion they will most naturally league themselves under two governments. This would give her the fairest chance to avoid being the Flanders of America. if the Northern Confederacy includes New Jersey. from various circumstances. The more Southern States. commerce. as the guardian of our commerce and other common interests. 1787. an objection. There are other obvious reasons that would facilitate her accession to it. Confederacy. may with certainty be expected to unite. As she must at all events be a frontier. will be strengthened by another supposition. and liberty of every part. and as the proper . in opposition to this still more powerful combination. and coincides with the opinions and dispositions of her citizens. will appear in every light to stand on mistaken ground. more probable than that which presents us with three confederacies as the alternative to a general Union. 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. or any number less than the whole. 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. on the basis of her own navigation. she may deem it most consistent with her safety to have her exposed side turned towards the weaker power of the Southern. there is no likelihood of more than one confederacy to the south of that State. however. Pennsylvania may not choose to confound her interests in a connection so adverse to her policy. 14 Objections to the Proposed Constitution From Extent of Territory Answered From the New York Packet. Friday. The four Eastern States. which. would never be unwise enough to oppose a feeble and unsupported flank to the weight of that confederacy. Nothing can be more evident than that the thirteen States will be able to support a national government better than one half. November 30. nor do there appear to be any obstacles to her admission into it. is her true policy. An active foreign commerce. or one third. New York. Even Pennsylvania would have strong inducements to join the Northern league. 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. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: WE HAVE seen the necessity of the Union. If. from all the causes that form the links of national sympathy and connection. revenue.

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. they have endeavored to heighten the advantages. If Europe has the merit of discovering this great mechanical power in government. and even in modern Europe. The error which limits republican government to a narrow district has been unfolded and refuted in preceding papers. by placing in comparison the vices and defects of the republican. by imaginary difficulties. in a republic. I remark here only that it seems to owe its rise and prevalence chiefly to the confounding of a republic with a democracy. Being subjects either of an absolute or limited monarchy. and will include no greater number than can join in those functions. All that remains. America can claim the merit of making the discovery the basis of unmixed and extensive republics. as most of the popular governments of antiquity were of the democratic species. the want of those solid objections which they endeavor in vain to find. at the same time. The southern shore of Lake Erie lies below that latitude. consequently. the people meet and exercise the government in person. 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. A republic may be extended over a large region. within this branch of our inquiries. they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents. Taking the mean for the distance. To this accidental source of the error may be added the artifice of some celebrated authors. on the south the latitude of thirty-one degrees. it amounts to nine hundred and seventy-three common miles. and by citing as specimens of the latter the turbulent democracies of ancient Greece and modern Italy. computing it from thirty-one to forty-two degrees. on the west the Mississippi. in others falling as low as the forty-second. to which we owe the great principle of representation. that during the term of thirteen years. and of which alarming symptoms have been betrayed by our own.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 41 antidote for the diseases of faction. and its force directed to any object which the public good requires. as fixed by the treaty of peace. whose writings have had a great share in forming the modern standard of political opinions. to seven hundred and sixty-four miles and a half. The mean distance from the Atlantic to the Mississippi does . the amount will be eight hundred and sixty-eight miles and three-fourths. it has been an easy task to transfer to a republic observations applicable to a democracy only. in order to supply. Under the confusion of names. Computing the distance between the thirty-first and forty-fifth degrees. or palliate the evils of those forms. 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. It is. and among others. A few observations on this subject will be the more proper. living within a small compass of territory. let us resort to the actual dimensions of the Union. and on the north an irregular line running in some instances beyond the forty-fifth degree. 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. which have proved fatal to other popular governments. That we may form a juster estimate with regard to this interesting subject. 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. The true distinction between these forms was also adverted to on a former occasion. and founded. the representatives of the States have been almost continually assembled. Such a fallacy may have been the less perceived. is to take notice of an objection that may be drawn from the great extent of country which the Union embraces. by the simple agency of which the will of the largest political body may be concentred. 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. A democracy. that in a democracy. no example is seen of a government wholly popular. The limits. wholly on that principle. the observation that it can never be established but among a small number of people. are: on the east the Atlantic. will be confined to a small spot.

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

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

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.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. nor treasury. however these may differ in other respects. which are so alarmingly prevalent among all ranks. We may indeed with propriety be said to have reached almost the last stage of national humiliation. have produced a species of general assent to the abstract proposition that there exist material defects in our national system. 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. Our ambassadors abroad are the mere pageants of mimic sovereignty. Let us at last break the fatal charm which has too long seduced us from the paths of felicity and prosperity." It may perhaps be asked what need there is of reasoning or proof to illustrate a position which is not either controverted or doubted. what indication is there of national disorder. and this still more from an opinion of insecurity than from the scarcity of money. without sacrificing utility to despatch. in respect to the same treaty. There is scarcely anything that can wound the pride or degrade the character of an independent nation which we do not experience. as has been before observed that facts. Here. at least. 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. To shorten an enumeration of particulars which can afford neither pleasure nor instruction. let us make a firm stand for our safety. by express stipulations. ought first to be removed. and which have a direct tendency to depreciate property of every kind. not less than of our rights. 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. they in general appear to harmonize in this sentiment. and which. and insignificance that could befall a community so peculiarly blessed with natural advantages as we are. our tranquillity. and have at length extorted from those. 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. Is commerce of importance to national wealth? Ours is at the lowest point of declension. It is true. a reluctant confession of the reality of those defects in the scheme of our federal government. it may in general be demanded. Is public credit an indispensable resource in time of public danger? We seem to have abandoned its cause as desperate and irretrievable. 44 In pursuance of the plan which I have laid down for the discussion of the subject. seem resolved to plunge us into the abyss that awaits us below. The facts that support this opinion are no longer objects of speculation. impelled by every motive that ought to influence an enlightened people. Are we entitled by nature and compact to a free participation in the navigation of the Mississippi? Spain excludes us from it. that there are material imperfections in our national system. not content with having conducted us to the brink of a precipice. too stubborn to be resisted. and can only be fully explained by that want of private and public confidence. Have we valuable territories and important posts in the possession of a foreign power which. and that something is necessary to be done to rescue us from impending anarchy. but the . which have been long pointed out and regretted by the intelligent friends of the Union. our reputation. 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. our dignity.[1] Are we even in a condition to remonstrate with dignity? The just imputations on our own faith. poverty. ought long since to have been surrendered? These are still retained. to the prejudice of our interests. the point next in order to be examined is the "insufficiency of the present Confederation to the preservation of the Union. Are we in a condition to resent or to repel the aggression? We have neither troops. my countrymen. They have forced themselves upon the sensibility of the people at large. whose mistaken policy has had the principal share in precipitating the extremity at which we are arrived. 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. to which the understandings and feelings of all classes of men assent. nor government.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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. nor the numbers of the people. while the national government could legally do nothing more than behold its encroachments with indignation and regret. established in Massachusetts. it would furnish a like result. The natural cure for an ill-administration. than to imply a tacit power of coercion from the like considerations. If we compare the wealth of the United Netherlands with that of Russia or Germany. Where the whole power of the government is in the hands of the people. 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. has any pretension to being a just representative. 62 The want of a mutual guaranty of the State governments is another capital imperfection in the federal plan. evinces that dangers of this kind are not merely speculative. would be a still more flagrant departure from the clause which has been mentioned. The want of a guaranty. It could be no impediment to reforms of the State constitution by a majority of the people in a legal and peaceable mode. and we shall be convinced that the respective abilities of those States. 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 . which have been successively proposed as the rule of State contributions. and can only flow from a misapprehension of the nature of the provision itself. does not so immediately attack its existence as the want of a constitutional sanction to its laws. if the malcontents had been headed by a Caesar or by a Cromwell? Who can predict what effect a despotism. 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. there is the less pretense for the use of violent remedies in partial or occasional distempers of the State. Pennsylvania with Connecticut. There is nothing of this kind declared in the articles that compose it. too many checks cannot be provided. 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. Its repugnancy to an adequate supply of the national exigencies has been already pointed out. Usurpation may rear its crest in each State. is a change of men. Let Virginia be contrasted with North Carolina. or Maryland with New Jersey. The position may be equally illustrated by a similar process between the counties of the same State. and has sufficiently appeared from the trial which has been made of it. The principle of regulating the contributions of the States to the common treasury by QUOTAS is another fundamental error in the Confederation. as involving an officious interference in the domestic concerns of the members. A successful faction may erect a tyranny on the ruins of order and law. though it might in its consequences endanger the Union. Towards the preventions of calamities of this kind. 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. and to imply a tacit guaranty from considerations of utility. I speak of it now solely with a view to equality among the States.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor and exhibits a new and unexampled phenomenon in the political world. The tempestuous situation from which Massachusetts has scarcely emerged. Who can determine what might have been the issue of her late convulsions. in relation to revenue. or even of France. If the like parallel were to be run between several of the American States. The guaranty could only operate against changes to be effected by violence. in a popular or representative constitution. A scruple of this kind would deprive us of one of the principal advantages to be expected from union. would have upon the liberties of New Hampshire or Rhode Island. must be renounced. Those who have been accustomed to contemplate the circumstances which produce and constitute national wealth. Neither the value of lands. and trample upon the liberties of the people. while no succor could constitutionally be afforded by the Union to the friends and supporters of the government. This right would remain undiminished. The peace of society and the stability of government depend absolutely on the efficacy of the precautions adopted on this head. bear little or no analogy to their comparative stock in lands or to their comparative population. must be satisfied that there is no common standard or barometer by which the degrees of it can be ascertained.

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

The interfering and unneighborly regulations of some States. Jenkinson. It is indeed evident. by which they conceded privileges of any importance to them. while they were apprised that the engagements on the part of the Union might at any moment be violated by its members. 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. 22 The Same Subject Continued (Other Defects of the Present Confederation) From the New York Packet. 1787. restrictions. and exclusions. which concur in rendering it altogether unfit for the administration of the affairs of the Union. .Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. from the gradual conflicts of State regulations. arising from the want of a general authority and from clashing and dissimilar views in the State. therefore. by the most obvious construction of the articles of the Confederation. has hitherto frustrated every experiment of the kind. either as it respects the interests of trade or finance. but the want of concert. to influence the conduct of that kingdom in this particular.[1] Several States have endeavored. 64 The want of a power to regulate commerce is by all parties allowed to be of the number. No nation acquainted with the nature of our political association would be unwise enough to enter into stipulations with the United States. if not restrained by a national control. that more strongly demands a federal superintendence. on the most superficial view. 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. December 14. 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. and for this reason. to be wondered at that Mr. yet we may reasonably expect. "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. 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. and will continue to do so as long as the same obstacles to a uniformity of measures continue to exist. The power of raising armies. Friday. The want of it has already operated as a bar to the formation of beneficial treaties with foreign powers. in ushering into the House of Commons a bill for regulating the temporary intercourse between the two countries. by separate prohibitions. This practice in the course of the late war. there are others of not less importance. have. given just cause of umbrage and complaint to others. contrary to the true spirit of the Union. is merely a power of making requisitions upon the States for quotas of men. and has given occasions of dissatisfaction between the States. It is not." Though the genius of the people of this country might never permit this description to be strictly applicable to us. The utility of such a power has been anticipated under the first head of our inquiries. by means of which the fine streams and navigable rivers with which Germany is so happily watered are rendered almost useless. and while they found from experience that they might enjoy every advantage they desired in our markets. that there is no object. little need be added in this place. and it is to be feared that examples of this nature. without granting us any return but such as their momentary convenience might suggest. HAMILTON To the People of the State of New York: IN ADDITION to the defects already enumerated in the existing federal system.

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

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

To avoid the confusion which would unavoidably result from the contradictory decisions of a number of independent judicatories. 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.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 67 stations of great pre-eminence and power. be ascertained by judicial determinations. may appear to exceed the proportion of interest they have in the common stock. are liable to the infractions of thirteen different legislatures. are thus continually at the mercy of the prejudices. like all other laws. which. in various instances. and to overbalance the obligations of duty. may find compensations for betraying their trust. How much this contributed to the ruin of the ancient commonwealths has been already delineated. and was a principal cause that the most limited monarch in Europe. in a single day. on so precarious a foundation? In this review of the Confederation. I have confined myself to the exhibition of its most material defects. intimates that his success in an important negotiation must depend on his obtaining a major's commission for one of those deputies. or rather fettered. as to admit not of amendment but by an entire change in its leading features and characters. under the present Constitution. 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. 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. The Earl of Chesterfield (if my memory serves me right). their safety. It is well known that the deputies of the United Provinces have. It must be by this time evident to all men of reflection. As often as such an interference was to happen. The treaties of the United States. became one of the most absolute and uncontrolled. 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 the interests of every member of which it is composed. there may be as many different final determinations on the same point as there are courts. There are endless diversities in the opinions of men. there would be reason to apprehend that the provisions of the particular laws might be preferred to those of the general laws. . if the particular tribunals are invested with a right of ultimate jurisdiction. must be considered as part of the law of the land. and authorized to settle and declare in the last resort a uniform rule of civil justice. they ought to be submitted. 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. to have any force at all. possessing a general superintendence. In this case. If there is in each State a court of final jurisdiction. as far as respects individuals. been purchased by the emissaries of the neighboring kingdoms. besides the contradictions to be expected from difference of opinion. there will be much to fear from the bias of local views and prejudices. and as many different courts of final jurisdiction. Their true import. to any but minds animated and guided by superior virtue. Laws are a dead letter without courts to expound and define their true meaning and operation. or opposition. the want of a judiciary power. all nations have found it necessary to establish one court paramount to the rest. We often see not only different courts but the judges of the came court differing from each other. These ingredients are both indispensable. the passions. in the last resort. To produce uniformity in these determinations. The treaties of the United States. And this tribunal ought to be instituted under the same authority which forms the treaties themselves. acting under the authority of those legislatures. the reputation. violence. their happiness. in a letter to his court. to one SUPREME TRIBUNAL. and from the interference of local regulations. that it is a system so radically vicious and unsound. without tumult. A single assembly may be a proper receptacle of those slender. The faith. Hence it is that history furnishes us with so many mortifying examples of the prevalency of foreign corruption in republican governments. The organization of Congress is itself utterly improper for the exercise of those powers which are necessary to be deposited in the Union. who can divest themselves of the prepossessions of preconceived opinions. A circumstance which crowns the defects of the Confederation remains yet to be mentioned. the peace of the whole Union. must.

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

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

it ought to be rejected. will best understand the extent and urgency of the dangers that threaten. and improvidently to trust the great interests of the nation to hands which are disabled from managing them with vigor and success. would be to violate the most obvious rules of prudence and propriety. but firmly embrace a rational alternative. that the impracticability of one general system cannot be shown. 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 the adversaries of the plan promulgated by the convention ought to have confined themselves to showing. 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. and resort to the expedient of separate confederacies. will be most sensibly impressed with the necessity of proper exertions. or may be. nor can any satisfactory argument be framed to show that they are chargeable with such an excess. 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. in other words. It will indeed deserve the most vigilant and careful attention of the people. without daring to trust it to the authorities which are indispensible to their proper and efficient management. it would prove that we ought to contract our views. as the centre of information. disorder. government. will serve to convince us. the coincident powers may safely accompany them. which shall appertain to the different provinces or departments of power. The same must be the case in respect to commerce. Not to confer in each case a degree of power commensurate to the end. that the difficulty arises from the nature of the thing. should not. which. I am greatly mistaken. and to every other matter to which its jurisdiction is permitted to extend. from the responsibility implied in the duty assigned to it. offered to our consideration. A government. I trust. which will move within more practicable spheres. or. For the absurdity must continually stare us in the face of confiding to a government the direction of the most essential national interests. Who is likely to make suitable provisions for the public defense. 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. allowing to each the most ample authority for fulfilling the objects committed to its charge. and that the extent of the country will not permit us to form a government in which such ample powers can safely be reposed. to see that it be modeled in such a manner as to admit of its being safely vested with the requisite powers. an unnecessary and intolerable increase of expense. that the internal structure of the proposed government was such as to render it unworthy of the confidence of the people. They ought not to have wandered into inflammatory declamations and unmeaning cavils about the extent of the powers. 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. Let us not attempt to reconcile contradictions. as far as it can be done. would be an unsafe and improper depositary of the NATIONAL INTERESTS. that it is both unwise and dangerous to deny the federal government an unconfined authority. Wherever THESE can with propriety be confided. as to all those objects which are intrusted to its management.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. a confederate instead of a sole. This is the true result of all just reasoning upon the subject. an undue distribution of the burdens and calamities of war. by the extension of its authority throughout the States. however. The POWERS are not too extensive for the OBJECTS of federal administration. that the observations which . If it be true. as has been insinuated by some of the writers on the other side. upon a dispassionate inspection. if any thing of weight has yet been advanced of this tendency. and with every other that may be allotted to their particular cognizance and direction. which. 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. as candid inquirers after truth. will feel itself most deeply interested in the preservation of every part. If any plan which has been. and to make all regulations which have relation to them. and I flatter myself. as the representative of the WHOLE. for the management of our NATIONAL INTERESTS. be found to answer this description. the essential point which will remain to be adjusted will be to discriminate the OBJECTS. as that body to which the guardianship of the public safety is confided. and which.

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

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

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

If. nourished by mutual jealousy. are more directly exposed. And the means of guarding against it ought. for a considerable time to come. from local situation. Spain. There are other lights besides those already taken notice of. As far as an army may be considered as a dangerous weapon of power. in reality. December 21. New York would have to sustain the whole weight of the establishments requisite to her immediate safety. to be the objects of common councils and of a common treasury. in addition to this immense advantage. 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. The territories of Britain. The framers of the existing Confederation. For it is a truth. would be apt to swell beyond their natural or proper size. which has been . have. The design of the objection. Various inconveniences would attend such a system. improvidence. and those probably amongst the most powerful. On the other hand. and to the mediate or ultimate protection of her neighbors. in like manner. and finally to subvert. which the experience of ages has attested. or inability of a part. New York is of this class. in which the impropriety of restraints on the discretion of the national legislature will be equally manifest. and being at the separate disposal of the members. This would neither be equitable as it respected New York nor safe as it respected the other States. fully aware of the danger to the Union from the separate possession of military forces by the States. Upon the plan of separate provisions. in express terms. Friday. The States. 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. is therefore common. they would be engines for the abridgment or demolition of the national authority. but encircle the Union from Maine to Georgia. It happens that some States. and of the Indian nations in our neighborhood do not border on particular States. 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. an inversion of the primary principle of our political association. would be as little able as willing. The danger. 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. If the resources of such part becoming more abundant and extensive. 1787. the constitutional authority of the Union. 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. to whose lot it might fall to support the necessary establishments. The truth is. 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. The security of all would thus be subjected to the parsimony. the ambition of the members should be stimulated by the separate and independent possession of military forces. They would each choose to have some counterpoise. unless with the consent of Congress. 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. military establishments. and pretenses could easily be contrived. 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. dangerous to all. 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. 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. though in different degrees. it would afford too strong a temptation and too great a facility to them to make enterprises upon. the foundation of which will be the love of power. In this situation. prohibited them from having either ships or troops. its provisions should be proportionally enlarged. But this would be. to bear the burden of competent provisions.

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

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

Though in speculative minds it may arise from a contemplation of the nature and tendency of such institutions. yet as a national sentiment. UNLESS WITH THE CONSENT OF PARLIAMENT. and instead of being taught by experience the propriety of correcting any extremes into which we may have heretofore run. The citizens of America have too much discernment to be argued into anarchy. and afterwards by the people. in favor of liberty. In England. an acknowledged prerogative of the crown. they appear disposed to conduct us into others still more dangerous. if experience has not wrought a deep and solemn conviction in the public mind. and more extravagant. we find unnecessary declarations that standing armies ought not to be kept up.000. when the pulse of liberty was at its highest pitch. The power of raising armies at all. It may be affirmed without the imputation of invective. that no precise bounds could be set to the national exigencies. the people of America may be said to have derived an hereditary impression of danger to liberty. from standing armies in time of peace. that if the principles they inculcate. which elevated the Prince of Orange to the throne of Great Britain. are of the number of these instances. Charles II. 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. beyond a prohibition of their being raised or kept up by the mere authority of the executive magistrate. Even in some of the States. The patriots. in this respect.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 77 power. can by no construction be deemed to reside anywhere else. had. were too temperate. they had arrived at the ultimate point of precaution which was reconcilable with the safety of the community. where this error was not adopted. As incident to the undefined power of making war. and in some instances raise the warmth of our zeal beyond the degree which consisted with the due temperature of the body politic. that "the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace. no security against the danger of standing armies was thought requisite. till the greatest part of its most formidable pretensions became extinct.000 regular troops. the general decision of America. 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. increased to 30. 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. But it was not till the revolution in 1688. From the same source. or too rigid. in time of peace. It may not be amiss in this place concisely to remark the origin and progress of the idea. fortified by the events that have happened in other ages and countries. The attempts of two of the States to restrict the authority of the legislature in the article of military establishments. The circumstances of a revolution quickened the public sensibility on every point connected with the security of popular rights. by his own authority. have been condemned or forborne. that English liberty was completely triumphant. under those constitutions. WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE LEGISLATURE. because the reason which had introduced a similar provision into the English Bill of Rights is not applicable to any of the State constitutions. could so far obtain as to become the popular creed. to think of any restraint on the legislative discretion. to abolish the exercise of so dangerous an authority. it became an article of the Bill of Rights then framed. too wellinformed. who were paid out of his civil list. At the revolution. they would utterly unfit the people of this country for any species of government whatever. And I am much mistaken. upon other occasions. Inroads were gradually made upon the prerogative." In that kingdom. by expedients which. As if the tone of government had been found too high. The opponents of the proposed Constitution combat. who effected that memorable revolution. that greater energy of government is essential to the welfare and prosperity of the community. I call them unnecessary. And this number James II. first by the barons. the doctrines they teach are calculated to induce us to depress or to relax it. the authority of the monarch was almost unlimited. on various points. But a danger of this kind is not to be apprehended. was against law. than in the . kept on foot in time of peace a body of 5. for a long time after the Norman Conquest. which aims at the exclusion of military establishments in time of peace. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

Its full efficacy will be examined hereafter. 29 Concerning the Militia From the New York Packet. is greater than in a small. 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. may be said to be entirely the masters of their own fate. its efforts would be renewed. be regulated by the resources of the country. We have already experienced its utility against the attacks of a foreign power. The legislatures will have better means of information. the distant States would have it in their power to make head with fresh forces. and system of independent nations? The apprehension may be considered as a disease. and its resistance revive. that the State governments will. for which there can be found no cure in the resources of argument and reasoning. by throwing themselves into either scale. They can readily communicate with each other in the different States. regularity. Power being almost always the rival of power. to take measures for their own defense. and the confidence of the people. and the military force in the possession of the usurpers can be more rapidly directed against the part where the opposition has begun. If the federal army should be able to quell the resistance of one State. The natural strength of the people in a large community. afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority. The advantages obtained in one place must be abandoned to subdue the opposition in others. without exaggeration. and the moment the part which had been reduced to submission was left to itself. and these will have the same disposition towards the general government. Wednesday. the general government will at all times stand ready to check the usurpations of the state governments. For a long time to come. But in a confederacy the people. We should recollect that the extent of the military force must. who are in a situation. in all possible contingencies. PUBLIUS 1.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor preparations and movements. In this situation there must be a peculiar coincidence of circumstances to insure success to the popular resistance. __ FEDERALIST No. The great extent of the country is a further security. through the medium of their State governments. at all events. it will not be possible to maintain a large army. in proportion to the artificial strength of the government. they can at once adopt a regular plan of opposition. and possessing all the organs of civil power. provided the citizens understand their rights and are disposed to defend them. Projects of usurpation cannot be masked under pretenses so likely to escape the penetration of select bodies of men. the population and natural strength of the community will proportionably increase. and as the means of doing this increase. They can discover the danger at a distance. If their rights are invaded by either. 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. And it would have precisely the same effect against the enterprises of ambitious rulers in the national councils. with all the celerity. 83 The obstacles to usurpation and the facilities of resistance increase with the increased extent of the state. 1788 HAMILTON . January 9. in which they can combine all the resources of the community. and of course more competent to a struggle with the attempts of the government to establish a tyranny. The people. as of the people at large. they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress. will infallibly make it preponderate. and unite their common forces for the protection of their common liberty.

that a right to pass all laws NECESSARY AND PROPER to execute its declared powers. 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. therefore. not much calculated to inspire a very favorable opinion of the sincerity or fair dealing of their authors. in its application to the authority of the federal government over the militia. is as uncandid as it is illogical. If standing armies are dangerous to liberty. 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. and disciplining the militia. and of watching over the internal peace of the Confederacy. in the hands of the federal government. that force was intended to be the sole instrument of authority. fortunately. that military force was intended to be his only auxiliary. 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. it will be obliged to recur to the latter. would include that of requiring the assistance of the citizens to the officers who may be intrusted with the execution of those laws. whenever they were called into service for the public defense. will be a more certain method of preventing its existence than a thousand prohibitions upon paper. ought.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. In order to cast an odium upon the power of calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union. and of commanding its services in times of insurrection and invasion are natural incidents to the duties of superintending the common defense. in the body to whose care the protection of the State is committed. that the conclusion which has been drawn from it. as it would be to believe. It is observed that select corps may be formed. and it would fit them much sooner to acquire the degree of proficiency in military functions which would be essential to their usefulness. as far as possible. is as much short of the truth as the former exceeds it. it can the better dispense with the employment of a different kind of force. and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States. or of abolishing the trial by jury in cases relating to it. whence it has been inferred. that the plan of the convention proposes to empower the Union "to provide for organizing." Of the different grounds which have been taken in opposition to the plan of the convention. 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. 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. an efficacious power over the militia. that it has not authority sufficient even to call out the POSSE COMITATUS. RESERVING TO THE STATES RESPECTIVELY THE APPOINTMENT OF THE OFFICERS. with the most evident propriety. If it cannot avail itself of the former. 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. The same persons who tell us in one breath. and sometimes even from the same quarter. we are even taught to apprehend danger from the militia itself. The latter. to assist the magistrate in the execution of his duty. it will follow. It would be as absurd to doubt. If a well-regulated militia be the most natural defense of a free country. . There is a striking incoherence in the objections which have appeared. it has been remarked that there is nowhere any provision in the proposed Constitution for calling out the POSSE COMITATUS. This desirable uniformity can only be accomplished by confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority. it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security. arming. inform us in the next. or is so untenable in itself. to take away the inducement and the pretext to such unfriendly institutions. It is. What reason could there be to infer. that the powers of the federal government will be despotic and unlimited. AND THE AUTHORITY OF TRAINING THE MILITIA ACCORDING TO THE DISCIPLINE PRESCRIBED BY CONGRESS. as the one from which this particular provision has been attacked. there is none that was so little to have been expected.

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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

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

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

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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

it must form a part of our policy to be able one day to defend that commerce. Or if the combustible materials that now seem to be collecting should be dissipated without coming to maturity. The support of a navy and of naval wars would involve contingencies that must baffle all the efforts of political arithmetic. 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. yet we may safely challenge those who make the assertion to bring forward their data. or hope to extinguish the ambition of others. 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. are insignificant in comparison with those which relate to the national defense. 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. A cloud has been for some time hanging over the European world. or if a flame should be kindled without extending to us. where all the ostentatious apparatus of monarchy is to be provided for. the possibility of forming a rational judgment of a due provision against probable dangers. If it should break forth into a storm. and the frugality and economy which in that particular become the modest simplicity of republican government. and that to model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquillity. would so soon have looked with so hostile an aspect upon each other? To judge from the history of mankind. with their different appendages. not above a fifteenth part of the annual income of the nation is appropriated to the class of expenses last mentioned. wars and rebellions. short of an indefinite power of providing for emergencies as they may arise? Though it is easy to assert. 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. 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. wearied and exhausted as they both were. yet certainly we ought not to disable it from guarding the community against the ambition or enmity of other nations. 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. where can we stop. If we balance a proper deduction from one side against that which it is supposed ought to be made from the other. that however moderate or unambitious we may be. and judicial departments. we ought to exceed this point. is to calculate on the weaker springs of the human character. in general terms. Who could have imagined at the conclusion of the last war that France and Britain. the proportion may still be considered as holding good. 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. we cannot count upon the moderation.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 97 maintain those establishments which. or would it not rather be the extreme of folly. would suffice in time of peace. on the contrary. Observations confined to the mere prospects of internal attacks can deserve no weight. and to the encouragement of agriculture and manufactures (which will comprehend almost all the objects of state expenditure). to be remarked that there should be as great a disproportion between the profusion and extravagance of a wealthy kingdom in its domestic administration. If. In the kingdom of Great Britain. to the support of its legislative. though even these will admit of no satisfactory calculation: but if we mean to be a commercial people. But would it be wise. and in the maintenance of fleets and armies. the support of those institutions which are necessary to guard the body politic against these two most mortal diseases of society. to stop at this point. The expenses arising from those institutions which are relative to the mere domestic police of a state. But let us advert to the large debt which we have ourselves contracted in a single war. and let us only . 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. it ought. by foreign war or domestic convulsions? If. for some time to come. on the one hand. on the other hand. executive. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet no blame has been whispered. a single body of men. who can RAISE TROOPS to an INDEFINITE NUMBER. and they have already begun to make use of it. and whether the Constitution. and the command of the army. which tends to realize all the dangers that can be apprehended from a defective construction of the supreme government of the Union. But this is not all. and to furnish. to yield any regular supplies for the public expenses. effective powers must either be granted to. or assumed by. and most of the States have recognized. Is an indefinite power to raise troops dangerous? The Confederation gives to Congress that power also. I shall be told. under proper management. that the Confederation is chargeable with the still greater folly of declaring certain powers in the federal government to be absolutely necessary. But waiving illustrations of this sort. Is a bill of rights essential to liberty? The Confederation has no bill of rights. in the first place. in either of which events. and were to continue in force. or the ceilings a little higher or lower than his fancy would have planned them. to appoint officers for them. for a certain period. that a rich and fertile country. therefore. are the sole depositary of all the federal powers. or because some of the rooms might be a little larger or smaller. Is it improper and unsafe to intermix the different powers of government in the same body of men? Congress. Is the importation of slaves permitted by the new Constitution for twenty years? By the old it is permitted forever. It is not necessary that the former should be perfect. but until ANOTHER should be agreed upon by this new assembly of lawgivers. It is a matter both of wonder and regret. if it were to be immediately adopted. the contrast just stated will hold good. No man would refuse to give brass for silver or gold. Congress have undertaken to do more: they have proceeded to form new States. that if the Union is to continue. because the latter had some alloy in it. with the concurrence of the Executive. as Lycurgus gave to that of Sparta. Then. 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. Congress have assumed the administration of this stock. Is it an objection against the new Constitution. and to prescribe the conditions on which such States shall be admitted into the Confederacy. now before the public. Is it particularly dangerous to give the keys of the treasury. A GREAT and INDEPENDENT fund of revenue is passing into the hands of a SINGLE BODY of men. both abroad and at home. no alarm has been sounded. liberal tributes to the federal treasury. in any one point. No man would refuse to quit a shattered and tottering habitation for a firm and commodious building. that however dangerous this mixture of powers may be in theory. yet must it hereafter be able. A very large proportion of this fund has been already surrendered by individual States. depart so widely from their example. and. without any such control. to erect temporary governments. will soon become a national stock. not until a BETTER. 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. they would.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 112 predecessors. and the States are constitutionally bound to furnish them. the existing Congress. . say I. or for some time to come. It is now no longer a point of speculation and hope. and appropriate money to their support for an INDEFINITE PERIOD OF TIME. of an area equal to the inhabited extent of the United States. it is rendered harmless by the dependence of Congress on the State for the means of carrying them into practice. in the next place. They have begun to render it productive. Out of this lifeless mass has already grown an excrescent power. can make treaties which they themselves have declared. as long as a shilling will be lent. and no better government be substituted. as in the discord and ferment that would mark their own deliberations. they can emit bills of credit as long as they will pay for the paper. both to effect a gradual discharge of the domestic debt. to make treaties which are to be the laws of the land? The existing Congress. All this has been done. that the Western territory is a mine of vast wealth to the United States. it is sufficient that the latter is more imperfect. by making its change to depend on his own return from exile and death. and at the same time rendering them absolutely nugatory. and although it is not of such a nature as to extricate them from their present distresses. that it empowers the Senate. that however large the mass of powers may be. We may calculate. it is in fact a lifeless mass. and it may with reason be expected that the remaining States will not persist in withholding similar proofs of their equity and generosity. would not stand as fair a chance for immortality. to be the supreme law of the land. they can borrow. because the latter had not a porch to it. into the same hands? The Confederation places them both in the hands of Congress. and done without the least color of constitutional authority.

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

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

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

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

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

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

convened at Annapolis. were turned with the keenest anxiety to the event of their deliberations. that they were so meant by the States. in a variety of instances. but actually carried into effect by twelve out of the thirteen States. has been in a manner waived by those who have criticised the powers of the convention. of recommending a great and critical object. how far considerations of duty arising out of the case itself could have supplied any defect of regular authority. This reflection places the subject in a point of view altogether different. They had seen the LIBERTY ASSUMED by a VERY FEW deputies from a VERY FEW States. They had seen. by occasions and objects infinitely less urgent than those by which their conduct was to be governed. unless it be stamped with the approbation of those to whom it is addressed. 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. 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. not only justified by the public opinion. has been the least urged in the publications which have swarmed against the convention. had been attended to and promoted. and so understood by the convention. They must have reflected. though the most plausible. Instead of reporting a plan requiring the confirmation OF THE LEGISLATURES OF ALL THE STATES. powers. and will enable us to judge with propriety of the course taken by the convention. As this objection. and by the same rules. and it is therefore essential that such changes be instituted by some INFORMAL AND UNAUTHORIZED PROPOSITIONS. but of operative. made by a single State (Virginia). and may be carried into effect by NINE STATES ONLY. In one particular it is admitted that the convention have departed from the tenor of their commission. that these principles are so feeble and confined as to justify all the charges of inefficiency which have been urged against it. forms ought to give way to substance. that they were deeply and unanimously impressed with the crisis. In the preceding inquiries the powers of the convention have been analyzed and tried with the same rigor. the alacrity with which the PROPOSITION. 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. towards a partial amendment of the Confederation. Let us view the ground on which the convention stood. as if they had been real and final powers for the establishment of a Constitution for the United States. 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. The THIRD point to be inquired into is. in the public estimation. 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. They had seen in the origin and progress of the experiment. They must have recollected that it was by this irregular and assumed privilege of proposing to the people plans for their safety and happiness. therefore. assumptions by Congress. throughout this great empire."[2] since it is impossible for the people spontaneously and universally to move in concert towards their object.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 119 misfortune under the latter system has been. warranted. It is worthy of remark that this objection. made by some patriotic and respectable citizen or number of citizens. I dismiss it without further observation. not only of recommendatory. 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. It is time now to recollect that the powers were merely advisory and recommendatory. It could not be unknown to them that the hopes and expectations of the great body of citizens. that a rigid adherence in such cases to the former. that the States were first united against the danger with which they were . We have seen in what manner they have borne the trial even on that supposition. 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. wholly foreign to their commission. 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. and to require a degree of enlargement which gives to the new system the aspect of an entire transformation of the old. that in all great changes of established governments. It may be collected from their proceedings.

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

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

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

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

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

are "their common defense. we must take the liberty of supposing. it clearly ought to be in respect to other nations. and mutual and general welfare." 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.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 125 descents. How difficult it is for error to escape its own condemnation! PUBLIUS __ FEDERALIST No. and consuls. and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent. must be very singularly expressed by the terms "to raise money for the general welfare. as to give meaning to every part which will bear it. whether they would in that case have employed the same reasoning in justification of Congress as they now make use of against the convention. to regulate foreign commerce. The objects of the Union among the States. if. If we are to be one nation in any respect. the importation of slaves. other public ministers. and they vest in the existing Congress a power to legislate in all cases whatsoever. attaching themselves to these general expressions. and allowed by the United States in Congress. shall be defrayed out of a common treasury. shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning. and offenses against the law of nations. This class of powers forms an obvious and essential branch of the federal administration. as a discouragement to such importations. as it appears that the language used by the convention is a copy from the articles of Confederation. . had not its origin with the latter." etc. and disregarding the specifications which ascertain and limit their import. The objection here is the more extraordinary. to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas. which. and to lay an intermediate duty of ten dollars per head. But what would have been thought of that assembly. they had exercised an unlimited power of providing for the common defense and general welfare? I appeal to the objectors themselves. and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. or the forms of conveyances. to wit: to make treaties. A similar language again occurs in article ninth. to send and receive ambassadors. including a power to prohibit. 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. January 22. as described in article third. is an absurdity. after the year 1808. and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted. security of their liberties. lodged in the general government. consists of those which regulate the intercourse with foreign nations. MADISON To the People of the State of New York: THE SECOND class of powers." But what color can the objection have. and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead. when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows. 42 The Powers Conferred by the Constitution Further Considered From the New York Packet. as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution. 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. Construe either of these articles by the rules which would justify the construction put on the new Constitution. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning. 1788. Tuesday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

and give a superiority of strength to any party with which they may associate themselves. by the accession of alien residents. or which determine the event of an election! May it not happen. for the satisfaction of the foreign creditors of the United States. and tearing a State to pieces." This can only be considered as a declaratory proposition. Insurrections in a State will rarely induce a federal interposition. the establishment of the principle in one case is sufficient for every case. of military talents and experience. The existence of a right to interpose. 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. that the minority of CITIZENS may become a majority of PERSONS. that such a case. Among the lesser criticisms which have been exercised on the Constitution. flying to arms. in the tempestuous scenes of civil violence. as it would be without the compass of human remedies. who. what better umpires could be desired by two violent factions. that a violent blow cannot be given to the one without communicating the wound to the other. among other reasons. an important one is. It will be much better that the violence in such cases should be repressed by the superintending power. than under the Confederation. if a project equally effectual could be established for the universal peace of mankind! Should it be asked. 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. than the representatives of confederate States. they are reformed by those that remain sound. under this Constitution. they would unite the affection of friends. are sunk below the level of men. and engagements entered into. In cases where it may be doubtful on which side justice lies. "To consider all debts contracted. and may have been inserted. an assertion of their validity on one side. of a casual concourse of adventurers. and comprising a superiority of the entire force. as well as against them. Should abuses creep into one part. "that should a popular insurrection happen in one of the States. than that the majority should be left to maintain their cause by a bloody and obstinate contest. so it is fortunately not within the compass of human probability. The authors of this discovery may be told. though not a constitutional right? the answer must be. that a change in the political form of civil society has the magical effect of dissolving its moral obligations. but who. or of secret succors from foreign powers. necessarily involves a validity on the other side. not heated by the local flame? To the impartiality of judges. and that it is a sufficient recommendation of the federal Constitution. as being no less valid against the United States. what few others need to be informed of. They may be further told. who cannot be strangers to the pretended doctrine. what is to be the redress for an insurrection pervading all the States. victory may be calculated by the rules which prevail in a census of the inhabitants.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 132 are certain parts of the State constitutions which are so interwoven with the federal Constitution. 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. will generally prevent the necessity of exerting it. the omission has been transformed and magnified into a plot against the national rights. the others are able to quell it. unless the number concerned in them bear some proportion to the friends of government. and in the spirit which usually characterizes little critics. before the adoption of this Constitution. that it diminishes the risk of a calamity for which no possible constitution can provide a cure. during the calm of regular government. that every . in fine. may emerge into the human character. 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." 7. and that as the article is merely declaratory. that as engagements are in their nature reciprocal. Happy would it be if such a remedy for its infirmities could be enjoyed by all free governments. Among the advantages of a confederate republic enumerated by Montesquieu. it has been remarked that the validity of engagements ought to have been asserted in favor of the United States.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. But are they not all that government will admit. assures us.a spirit which nourishes freedom.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 172 society? I answer: the genius of the whole system. 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. Is it supported by REASON? This cannot be said. and above all. in fact. interest. 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. Duty. the people will be prepared to tolerate any thing but liberty. 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. must we not deprive the people of the immediate choice of their public servants. unless he possess a like estate of half that annual value. To this qualification on the part of the county representatives is added another on the part of the county electors. it cannot be said that the representatives of the nation have elevated the few on the ruins of the many. nor of a city or borough. the nature of just and constitutional laws. Reason. whilst in the individual States. that as in so great a number a fit representative would be most likely to be found. or at least that the mode prescribed by the State constitutions was in some respect or other. and which favor in that country the pretensions of rank and wealth. it deserves to be examined. that the real representation in the British House of Commons very little exceeds the proportion of one for every thirty thousand inhabitants. 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. It is possible that these may all be insufficient to control the caprice and wickedness of man. on the contrary. are the chords by which they will be bound to fidelity and sympathy with the great mass of the people. the election of a representative is left to about as many hundreds. the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America -. and notwithstanding some very unequal laws in the British code. We have seen how far such a supposition would err. and an abhorrence to the federal government? If this be the point on which the objection turns. 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. . If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature. ambition itself. very grossly departed from. without maintaining that five or six thousand citizens are less capable of choosing a fit representative. yet boldly impeach the fundamental principle of it. 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. that each representative of the United States will be elected by five or six thousand citizens. Besides a variety of powerful causes not existing here. which restrains the right of suffrage to persons having a freehold estate of the annual value of more than twenty pounds sterling. or that the right of eligibility was limited to persons of particular families or fortunes. be less erroneous as to the last. Will it be pretended that this difference is sufficient to justify an attachment to the State governments. or more liable to be corrupted by an unfit one. as well as on the people. Nor would it. according to the present rate of money. gratitude. Notwithstanding these unfavorable circumstances. as to the two first points. Such will be the relation between the House of Representatives and their constituents. unless he possess real estate of the clear value of six hundred pounds sterling per year. and in return is nourished by it. than five or six hundred.

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

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

that the senators from all the new States may be gained over to the just views of the House of Representatives. In the first place. but they alone can propose. One observation. they will be interested in frequent reapportionments of the representatives to the number of inhabitants. will be particularly sensible to every prospect of public danger. although it could not have failed to involve every department of the state in the general confusion. and the senators from all the most growing States will be bound to contend for the latter. In the next place. however. Admitting. The utmost degree of firmness that can be displayed by the federal Senate or President. It is. Now. by which they will be able at all times to accomplish their just purposes. under present circumstances. it is precisely on characters of this description that the eloquence and address of the few are known to act with all their force. I have passed over the circumstances of economy.that powerful instrument by which we behold. As these States will. In this review of the Constitution of the House of Representatives. These considerations seem to afford ample security on this subject. if such a trial of firmness between the two branches were hazarded. where the whole body of the people assembled in person. a single orator. of men in power. Ignorance . or an artful statesman. hold the purse -. The House of Representatives cannot only refuse. The large States. the supplies requisite for the support of government. of whatever characters composed. be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people. by an expedient too obvious to be overlooked. for a great length of time. as far as it seems to have wished. Those who represent the dignity of their country in the eyes of other nations. and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure. and ought alone to satisfy all the doubts and fears which have been indulged with regard to it. and will they not therefore be unwilling to stake its existence or its reputation on the pliancy of the Senate? Or. whenever the engine of a money bill has been employed. They. has neither been apprehended nor experienced. which. the greater is known to be the ascendency of passion over reason. the stronger must be the interest which they will individually feel in whatever concerns the government. in the history of the British Constitution. in a word. On the same principle. might have had some effect in lessening the temporary number of representatives. will have nothing to do but to make reapportionments and augmentations mutually conditions of each other. in engaging in the federal service a large number of such characters as the people will probably elect. or of dishonorable stagnation in public affairs. in the present state of affairs. for obtaining a redress of every grievance. But will not the House of Representatives be as much interested as the Senate in maintaining the government in its proper functions. who will prevail in the House of Representatives. An absolute inflexibility on the side of the latter. therefore. in my judgment. and finally reducing. that they should all be insufficient to subdue the unjust policy of the smaller States. the more multitudinous a representative assembly may be rendered. 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.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 175 It will not be looking too far to add. advance in population with peculiar rapidity. a very serious attention. or their predominant influence in the councils of the Senate. I must be permitted to add on this subject as claiming. 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. the larger the number. by the interest which their States will feel in the former. will not be more than equal to a resistance in which they will be supported by constitutional and patriotic principles. a constitutional and infallible resource still remains with the larger States. This power over the purse may. an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance. was generally seen to rule with as complete a sway as if a sceptre had been placed in his single hand. however. I omit also any remarks on the difficulty which might be found. that in all legislative assemblies the greater the number composing them may be. the more it will partake of the infirmities incident to collective meetings of the people. the more numerous an assembly may be. the fewer will be the men who will in fact direct their proceedings. the greater will be the proportion of members of limited information and of weak capacities. all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. in fact. To those causes we are to ascribe the continual triumph of the British House of Commons over the other branches of the government. and the more permanent and conspicuous the station. In the ancient republics.

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

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

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

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

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

The importance of commerce. But upon what principle is the discrimination of the places of election to be made. by the urgent calls of public necessity. by some miraculous instinct or foresight. that the expedient suggested might be successful. however. and ruin of their authors? Would they not fear that citizens. those whom they designate by the description of "the wealthy and the well-born. might terminate in the dismission. in the view of revenue alone. to voerthrow their tyrants. however. 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. must effectually guard it against the enmity of a body which would be continually importuned in its favor. What will be the conclusion? With a disposition to invade the essential rights of the community. as far as I understand the meaning of the objectors. Particularly in the Southern States and in this State. for argument sake." as they are called. __ . than to trust to precarious expedients which. The qualifications of the persons who may choose or be chosen. confined to particular spots in the several States? Have they." These. (as every intelligent man knows it to be. They appear to have in view. they contemplate a discrimination of another kind. the PLACES. are to be exalted to an odious pre-eminence over the rest of their fellow-citizens. and the national government shall be supposed to be in the actual possession of it. were overcome in the breasts of the national rulers. I the rather consult brevity in discussing the probability of a preference founded upon a discrimination between the different kinds of industry and property. At one time. but by prescribing qualifications of property either for those who may elect or be elected. as the objects of the preference with which they endeavor to alarm us. 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. 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. it seems. be admitted. as has been remarked upon other occasions. The improbability of the existence of a force equal to that object has been discussed and demonstrated in different parts of these papers. in spite of all the precautions that might accompany them. and to substitute men who would be disposed to avenge the violated majesty of the people? PUBLIUS 1. on the contrary. not less tenacious than conscious of their rights. and with the means of gratifying that disposition. Its authority would be expressly restricted to the regulation of the TIMES. because.[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. would flock from the remote extremes of their respective States to the places of election. 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. Let it. 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. But this forms no part of the power to be conferred upon the national government. in order to answer the purpose of the meditated preference? Are "the wealthy and the well-born. 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. disgrace. and are unalterable by the legislature. that there is no method of securing to the rich the preference apprehended. it shall be conceded for a moment that such a force might exist. are defined and fixed in the Constitution.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. their elevation is to be a necessary consequence of the smallness of the representative body. but that the futility of the objection under consideration may appear in the strongest light. the MANNER of elections.

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

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

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

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

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

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

that the same extended situation. Circumstantial evidence makes it probable that it was not different in this particular from the two others. and that a smaller council. In these critical moments. may call for measures which they themselves will afterwards be the most ready to lament and condemn. that such an institution may be sometimes necessary as a defense to the people against their own temporary errors and delusions. having sufficient permanency to provide for such objects as require a continued attention. In each of the two first there was a senate for life. It is at least certain. I have. on the contrary. ultimately prevail over the views of its rulers. as well ancient as modern. stimulated by some irregular passion. this advantage ought not to be considered as superseding the use of auxiliary precautions. very instructive proofs of the necessity of some institution that will blend stability with liberty. until reason. for such acts of the body as have an immediate. but filled up vacancies itself. of America. needs no explanation. are. may be justly and effectually answerable for the attainment of those objects. and palpable operation on its constituents. though as unfit for the imitation. 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. like the crowded inhabitants of a small district. that it is one of the principal recommendations of a confederated republic. on which the general welfare may essentially depend. These examples. in fact. Sparta. which have a gradual and perhaps unobserved operation. I am not unaware of the circumstances which distinguish the American from other popular governments. and a train of measures. It may even be remarked. to recollect that history informs us of no long-lived republic which had not a senate. any more than a steward or tenant. could be justly made to answer for places or improvements which could not be accomplished in less than half a dozen years. The proper remedy for this defect must be an additional body in the legislative department. was appointed not only for life. notwithstanding. 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. ought not to be answerable for the final result. At the same time. or some illicit advantage. and to suspend the blow meditated by the people against themselves. that it had some quality or other which rendered it an anchor against popular fluctuations. and which render extreme circumspection necessary. and actually will. which will exempt the people of America from some of the dangers incident to lesser republics. in order to check the misguided career. 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. Rome. drawn out of the senate. in all governments. I am far from denying that this is a distinction of peculiar importance. and Carthage are. as they are repugnant to the genius. It is sufficiently difficult to preserve a personal responsibility in the members of a NUMEROUS body. I shall not scruple to add.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 188 succession of well-chosen and well-connected measures. so there are particular moments in public affairs when the people. in all free governments. It adds no small weight to all these considerations. The importance of the latter description to the collective and permanent welfare of every country. how salutary will be the interference of some temperate and respectable body of citizens. that a people spread over an extensive region cannot. To a people as little blinded by prejudice or corrupted by flattery as those whom I address. It may be suggested. be subject to the infection of violent passions. 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. detached. The constitution of the senate in the last is less known. As the cool and deliberate sense of the community ought. when compared with the fugitive and turbulent existence of other ancient republics. which. engaged for one year. endeavored in a former paper to show. or to the danger of combining in pursuit of unjust measures. 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. in reasoning . justice. the only states to whom that character can be applied.

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

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

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

he may at any time convene them. but who would not confide in that of the Senate. as well as a constant succession of official information will be preserved. if no attention had been paid to those objects. even when hours. in so disposing of the power of making treaties. uniformity and order. It seldom happens in the negotiation of treaties. nay. As in the field. It was wise. in the convention to provide. and that both our treaties and our laws should correspond with and be made to promote it. so in the cabinet. tides very irregular in their duration. These are cases where the most useful intelligence may be obtained. must have perceived that there are tides in them. and whose reputation for integrity inspires and merits confidence. who would rely on the secrecy of the President. there are moments to be seized as they pass. the death of a prince. that the Constitution would have been inexcusably defective. and still less in that of a large popular Assembly. therefore. therefore. and direction. and often much time. strength. may turn the most favorable tide into a course opposite to our wishes. The convention have done well. They who wish to commit the power under consideration to a popular assembly. and should any circumstance occur which requires the advice and consent of the Senate. and they who have had much experience on this head inform us. 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. that although the President must. Although the absolute necessity of system. not only that the power of making treaties should be committed to able and honest men. 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. composed of members constantly coming and going in quick succession.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 192 whether considered in relation to the several States or to foreign nations. that there frequently are occasions when days. and seldom found to run twice exactly in the same manner or measure. act by the advice and consent of the Senate. and there doubtless are many of both descriptions. Those apprehensions will operate on those persons whether they are actuated by mercenary or friendly motives. For these. or other circumstances intervening to change the present posture and aspect of affairs. and of rendering their accumulating experience more and more beneficial to their country. Those matters which in negotiations usually require the most secrecy and the most despatch. are those preparatory and auxiliary measures which are not otherwise important in a national view. which require to be steadily contemplated in all their relations and circumstances. than as they tend to facilitate the attainment of the objects of the negotiation. is universally known and acknowledged. in forming them. the President will find no difficulty to provide. yet he will be able to manage the business of intelligence in such a manner as prudence may suggest. It is of much consequence that this correspondence and conformity be carefully maintained. and they who preside in either should be left in capacity to improve them. the removal of a minister. With such men the power of making treaties may be safely lodged. So often and so essentially have we heretofore suffered from the want of secrecy and despatch. are precious. but that perfect SECRECY and immediate DESPATCH are sometimes requisite. 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. The duration prescribed is such as will give them an opportunity of greatly extending their political information. The loss of a battle. seem not to recollect that such a body must necessarily be inadequate to the attainment of those great objects. and which can only be approached and achieved by measures which not only talents. but also that they should continue in place a sufficient time to become perfectly acquainted with our national concerns. and to form and introduce a a system for the management of them. if the persons possessing it can be relieved from apprehensions of discovery. yet the high importance of it in national affairs has not yet become sufficiently impressed on the public mind. but also exact information. Thus we see that the Constitution provides that our negotiations for treaties shall have every . To discern and to profit by these tides in national affairs is the business of those who preside over them. for by leaving a considerable residue of the old ones in place. of whatever nature. They who have turned their attention to the affairs of men. who are best able to promote those interests. in the conduct of any business. are necessary to concert and to execute.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and all other OFFICERS of United States whose appointments are NOT in the Constitution OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR. as well as industriously. and WHICH SHALL BE . 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]. have been magnified into more than royal prerogatives. they have not scrupled to draw resources even from the regions of fiction. and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The authorities of a magistrate. which have been contrived to pervert the public opinion in relation to the subject.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. which I cite as a sample of the general spirit. The second clause of the second section of the second article empowers the President of the United States "to nominate. to appoint ambassadors. and there is. upon this false and unfounded suggestion. Calculating upon the aversion of the people to monarchy. they have endeavored to enlist all their jealousies and apprehensions in opposition to the intended President of the United States. justify or extenuate the shameful outrage he has offered to the dictates of truth and to the rules of fair dealing. Let him now be confronted with the evidence of the fact. to metamorphose the object. and let him. and who. if he be able. in all the supercilious pomp of majesty. but as the full-grown progeny. as to unmask the disingenuity and expose the fallacy of the counterfeit resemblances which have been so insidiously. has built a series of observations equally false and unfounded. The images of Asiatic despotism and voluptuousness have scarcely been wanting to crown the exaggerated scene. giving audience to the envoys of foreign potentates. He has been shown to us with the diadem sparkling on his brow and the imperial purple flowing in his train. of that detested parent. than those of a governor of New York. and to blush at the unveiled mysteries of a future seraglio. In one instance. 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. not less weak than wicked. judges of the Supreme Court. none which has been inveighed against with less candor or criticised with less judgment. it might rather be said. We have been taught to tremble at the terrific visages of murdering janizaries. claims next our attention. To establish the pretended affinity. He has been seated on a throne surrounded with minions and mistresses. not merely as the embryo. 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. 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. propagated. I mean the power of filling casual vacancies in the Senate. He has been decorated with attributes superior in dignity and splendor to those of a king of Great Britain. that even in a disposition the most candid and tolerant. there is no man who would not find it an arduous effort either to behold with moderation. Attempts so extravagant as these to disfigure or. other public ministers and consuls. They so far exceed the usual though unjustifiable licenses of party artifice. In the execution of this task. 200 There is hardly any part of the system which could have been attended with greater difficulty in the arrangement of it than this. or to treat with seriousness. perhaps. the devices. in few instances greater. Here the writers against the Constitution seem to have taken pains to signalize their talent of misrepresentation. 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 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. in some instances less.

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

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

This advantage will also be secured. in respect to the latter. that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue. Their votes. thus given. but they have referred it in the first instance to an immediate act of the people of America. can be of the numbers of the electors. The process of election affords a moral certainty. but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. Nor would it be found easy suddenly to embark them. it is provided that. may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State. in any combinations founded upon motives. might yet be of a nature to mislead them from their duty. Another and no less important desideratum was. and the little arts of popularity. 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. And they have excluded from eligibility to this trust. to be exerted in the choice of persons for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment. already taken notice of.That which is best administered is best. It will not be too strong to say. 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. Their transient existence. 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.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 203 corruption. The business of corruption. who shall assemble within the State. All these advantages will happily combine in the plan devised by the convention. and a different kind of merit. what is to be done by the House of Representatives. which though they could not properly be denominated corrupt. They have not made the appointment of the President to depend on any preexisting bodies of men. that the people of each State shall choose a number of persons as electors. that the Executive should be independent for his continuance in office on all but the people themselves. or other person holding a place of trust or profit under the United States. No senator. The Vice-President is to be chosen in the same manner with the President. by those who are able to estimate the share which the executive in every government must necessarily have in its good or ill administration. in respect to the former. all those who from situation might be suspected of too great devotion to the President in office. . representative. deputed by the society for the single purpose of making the important choice. and their detached situation. to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union. and vote for some fit person as President. in such a contingency. Talents for low intrigue. And this will be thought no inconsiderable recommendation of the Constitution. by making his re-election to depend on a special body of representatives. to the conclusion of it. but it will require other talents. with the most provident and judicious attention. are to be transmitted to the seat of the national government. How could they better gratify this. 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. equal to the number of senators and representatives of such State in the national government. the House of Representatives shall select out of the candidates who shall have the five highest number of votes. that the Senate is to do. afford a satisfactory prospect of their continuing so. requires time as well as means. when it is to embrace so considerable a number of men. with this difference. that the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration. and as it might be unsafe to permit less than a majority to be conclusive. the immediate agents in the election will at least enter upon the task free from any sinister bias. the man who in their opinion may be best qualified for the office. which is. and the person who may happen to have a majority of the whole number of votes will be the President. Thus without corrupting the body of the people. who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes." -yet we may safely pronounce. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter. Though we cannot acquiesce in the political heresy of the poet who says: "For forms of government let fools contest -. dispersed as they would be over thirteen States. But as a majority of the votes might not always happen to centre in one man.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The most to be expected from the generality of men. would at all times be detrimental to the community. experienced an absolute necessity of the services of particular men in particular situations. his vanity. he might hesitate to sacrifice his appetite for them to his appetite for gain. inasmuch as it would substitute inexperience to experience. as well as avaricious. It is not generally to be expected. By necessitating a change of men. the depriving the community of the advantage of the experience gained by the chief magistrate in the exercise of his office. and would tend to unhinge and set afloat the already settled train of the administration. nevertheless. to make the best use of the opportunity he enjoyed while it lasted. Another ill effect of the exclusion would be the temptation to sordid views. Would it promote the peace of the community. or his ambition. and reflected that no exertion of merit on his part could save him from the unwelcome reverse. probably. at one period or another. would feel a propensity. that it would operate as a constitutional interdiction of stability in the administration. too. Add to this that the same man might be vain or ambitious. their presence might be of the greatest moment to the public interest or safety. looking forward to a time when he must at all events yield up the emoluments he enjoyed. to the preservation of its political existence. though the same man. An ambitious man. And if he could expect to prolong his honors by his good conduct. is the negative merit of not doing harm. it is evident that a change of the chief magistrate. than if he had the probability of answering the same end by doing his duty. 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. might content himself with the regular perquisites of his situation. that men will vary and measures remain uniform. 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. would be much more violently tempted to embrace a favorable conjuncture for attempting the prolongation of his power. therefore. even of equal merit. in such a situation. in such a situation. after they have by a course of service fitted themselves for doing it with a greater degree of utility. who might happen to fill the office. or at any similar crisis. at every personal hazard. in some instances. its possessor shall be compelled to abandon the station in which it was acquired. 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. it would necessitate a mutability of measures. when he looked forward to the time at which he must descend from the exalted eminence for ever. How unwise. and to declare that the moment it is acquired. But with the prospect before him of approaching an inevitable annihilation.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 216 accomplish the work. A fourth ill effect of the exclusion would be the banishing men from stations in which. instead of the positive merit of doing good. is the precise import of all those regulations which exclude men from serving their country. by the choice of their fellowcitizens. to peculation. and. in the first office of the nation. His avarice might be a guard upon his avarice. and might even be unwilling to risk the consequences of an abuse of his opportunities. That experience is the parent of wisdom. An avaricious man. perhaps it would not be too strong to say. such a man. There is no nation which has not. A fifth ill effect of the exclusion would be. to hands which might be unequal or unfriendly to the task. when he found himself seated on the summit of his country's honors. is an adage the truth of which is recognized by the wisest as well as the simplest of mankind. wandering among the people like discontented ghosts. not easy to be resisted by such a man. with a different prospect before him. in certain emergencies of the state. his avarice would be likely to get the victory over his caution. to usurpation. at the breaking out of a war. . and sighing for a place which they were destined never more to possess? A third ill effect of the exclusion would be. and to which it is adapted? This. and must commit that. together with his own reputation. and might not scruple to have recourse to the most corrupt expedients to make the harvest as abundant as it was transitory. for another.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

to his political existence. which consists of independent and public-spirited men. that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful. than the supposition of universal rectitude.Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 226 with the approbation of the Senate. without either flattering its virtues or exaggerating its vices. not only that it will be impracticable to the Executive to corrupt or seduce a majority of its members. to a considerable extent. A man disposed to view human nature as it is. where there were not special and strong reasons for the refusal. And as no man could be appointed but on his previous nomination. that a future nomination would present a candidate in any degree more acceptable to them. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President. but that the necessity of its co-operation. yet the supposition. or of possessing the necessary insignificance and pliancy to render them the obsequious instruments of his pleasure. There can. The venalty of the British House of Commons has been long a topic of accusation against that body. it is not likely that their sanction would often be refused. that a man who had himself the sole disposition of offices. that there is always a large proportion of the body. To this reasoning it has been objected that the President. to rest satisfied. and might have the appearance of a reflection upon the judgment of the chief magistrate. The same motives which would influence a proper discharge of his duty in one case. in general. be no difference between nominating and appointing. He would be both ashamed and afraid to bring forward. from betraying a spirit of favoritism. should fill an office. will be a considerable . by the preference they might feel to another. though. in this view. To what purpose then require the co-operation of the Senate? I answer. could not fail to operate as a barrier to the one and to the other. from family connection. it would be an efficacious source of stability in the administration. would exist in the other. The person ultimately appointed must be the object of his preference. But it is as little to be doubted. from personal attachment. which may be a reasonable foundation of confidence. that the person they might wish would be brought forward by a second or by any subsequent nomination. or from a view to popularity. in the case of an elective magistrate. would be forced and improbable. They could not even be certain. and as their dissent might cast a kind of stigma upon the individual rejected. and that body an entier branch of the legislature. in the business of appointments. because they could not assure themselves. that there is a portion of virtue and honor among mankind. may secure the complaisance of the Senate to his views. will see sufficient ground of confidence in the probity of the Senate. every man who might be appointed would be. Though it might therefore be allowable to suppose that the Executive might occasionally influence some individuals in the Senate. for the most distinguished or lucrative stations. to the observation of a body whose opinion would have great weight in forming that of the public. In addition to this. This supposition of universal venalty in human nature is little less an error in political reasoning. by the influence of the power of nomination. yet this could only be to make place for another nomination by himself. who have an influential weight in the councils of the nation. It is also not very probable that his nomination would often be overruled. The Senate could not be tempted. though perhaps not in the first degree. candidates who had no other merit than that of coming from the same State to which he particularly belonged. in the country to which they belong as well as in this. and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice. to reject the one proposed. The possibility of rejection would be a strong motive to care in proposing. would be governed much more