Display by
Items 41-60 of 110
  • Federalist 48

     |  Rethinking Union and Government

    Federalist 48 Federalist 48 1 James Madison Taking the argument of the previous paper one step further, Publius argues that overlapping branches are essential to the maintenance of separation of powers. Unless each branch possesses "practical security" against the other two, departmental boundaries will be mere "parchment barriers" and the legislative branch will likely absorb all power to itself. February 1, 1788 These Departments Should Not Be So Far Separated as to Have No Constitutional Control Over Each Other It was shown in the last paper that the political apothegm there examined does not require that the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments should be wholly unconnected with each other. I shall undertake, in the next ...
  • Federalist 49

     |  Rethinking Union and Government

    Federalist 49 Federalist 49 1 James Madison Thomas Jefferson proposed a direct appeal to the people as a method of solving constitutional disputes among the branches. Publius argues that in addition to being dangerous, such a system would inherently favor the legislative branch. What is more, such appeals would give the impression that the Constitution is defective, thus depriving it of veneration. February 2, 1788 Method of Guarding Against the Encroachments of Any One Department of Government by Appealing to the People Through a Convention The author of the Notes on the State of Virginia, quoted in the last paper, has subjoined to that valuable work the draught of a constitution, which had been prepared in order to be laid before a convention ...
  • Federalist 51

     |  Rethinking Union and Government

    Federalist 51 Federalist 51 1 James Madison Publius argues that the Constitution will maintain separation of powers by means of its "interior structure." The "great security" against tyranny is to give the members of each department the "necessary constitutional means" combined with the requisite "personal motives" to resist encroachments on their power. The fact "that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government" is a "reflection on human nature." February 6, 1788 The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments To what expedient, then, shall we finally resort, for maintaining in practice the necessary partition of power among the several departments as ...
  • Federalist 52

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 52 Federalist 52 1 James Madison The House of Representatives is designed, Publius explains, to be closest to the people. February 8, 1788 The House of Representatives From the more general inquiries pursued in the four last papers, I pass on to a more particular examination of the several parts of the government. I shall begin with the House of Representatives. The first view to be taken of this part of the government relates to the qualifications of the electors and the elected. Those of the former are to be the same with those of the electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures. The definition of the right of suffrage is very justly regarded as a fundamental article of republican government. It was incumbent ...
  • Federalist 53

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 53 Federalist 53 1 James Madison Publius often returns to the problem posed by majority tyranny. Here he expresses his preference for biennial over annual elections. February 9, 1788 The Same Subject Continued: The House of Representatives I shall here, perhaps, be reminded of a current observation "that where annual elections end, tyranny begins." If it be true, as has often been remarked, that sayings which become proverbial are generally founded in reason, it is not less true that when once established they are often applied to cases to which the reason of them does not extend. I need not look for a proof beyond the case before us. What is the reason on which this proverbial observation is founded? No man will subject himself ...
  • Federalist 54

     |  Roots of the Slavery Crisis

    Federalist 54 Federalist 54 1 James Madison Madison here gives voice to the understanding of the South regarding the three-fifths clause of the Constitution, which required that three-fifths of the slaves in each state be counted for purposes of representation. This clause had a strange history. Most Southerners argued that slaves should be counted as full persons for voting purposes, while Northerners opposed to slavery advocated that they not be counted at all. Here Madison's "Southerner" presents the compromise position with approval, but in the process admits much of its moral illogic. February 12, 1788 The Apportionment of Members Among the States ..."We subscribe to the doctrine," might one of our Southern brethren observe, "that ...
  • Federalist 55

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 55 Federalist 55 1 James Madison Under the Constitution's original formula, the House would have sixty-five members. This number was too small according to Anti-Federalists. Publius employs a number of arguments to demonstrate that the ratio of elected representatives to constituents is prudent. February 13, 1788 The Total Number of the House of Representatives The number of which the House of Representatives is to consist forms another and a very interesting point of view under which this branch of the federal legislature may be contemplated. Scarce any article, indeed, in the whole Constitution seems to be rendered more worthy of attention by the weight of character and the apparent force of argument with which it has been ...
  • Federalist 57

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 57 Federalist 57 1 James Madison Publius explains the necessity of virtue in elected representatives and of a spirit of manly vigilance in the American people. February 19, 1788 The Alleged Tendency of the New Plan to Elevate the Few at the Expense of the Many Considered in Connection with Representation The third charge against the House of Representatives is that it will be taken from that class of citizens which will have least sympathy with the mass of the people, and be most likely to aim at an ambitious sacrifice of the many to the aggrandizement of the few. Of all the objections which have been framed against the federal Constitution, this is perhaps the most extraordinary. Whilst the objection itself is leveled against ...
  • Federalist 62

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 62 Federalist 62 1 James Madison The Senate, with its equal representation of each state and members selected by state legislatures, was at once a concession to small states and a bulwark of federalism. Due to its structure, it would also lend the legislative branch stability and wisdom. February 27, 1788 The Senate Having examined the constitution of the House of Representatives, and answered such of the objections against it as seemed to merit notice, I enter next on the examination of the Senate. The heads into which this member of the government may be considered are: I. The qualification of senators; II. The appointment of them by the State legislatures; III. The equality of representation in the Senate; IV. The number of ...
  • Federalist 63

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 63 Federalist 63 1 James Madison To the Anti-Federalists, the Senate's six-year term and smaller number seemed too aristocratic. But to Publius, the selection of senators by state legislatures was a built-in protection for state interests. As a footnote to this argument, in making senatorial elections popular, the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913 changed not just the Senate, but the entire architecture of the Founders' Constitution. March 1, 1788 The Senate Continued A fifth desideratum, illustrating the utility of a senate, is the want of a due sense of national character. Without a select and stable member of the government, the esteem of foreign powers will not only be forfeited by an unenlightened and variable policy, proceeding ...
  • Federalist 70

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 70 Federalist 70 1 Alexander Hamilton To prevent the president from becoming monarchical, Anti-Federalists recommended a plural executive, shorter terms, and a one-term limit. Publius argues for the presidency as structured in the Constitution, and explains the necessity of an energetic executive. March 14, 1788 The Executive Department Further Considered There is an idea, which is not without its advocates, that a vigorous executive is inconsistent with the genius of republican government. The enlightened well-wishers to this species of government must at least hope that the supposition is destitute of foundation; since they can never admit its truth, without at the same time admitting the condemnation of their own principles ...
  • Federalist 71

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 71 Federalist 71 1 Alexander Hamilton Publius continues his defense of the presidency under the Constitution. March 18, 1788 The Duration in Office of the Executive 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 man will be interested ...
  • Federalist 72

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 72 Federalist 72 1 Alexander Hamilton Anti-Federalists argued that an executive without term limits could, through demagoguery, keep office for as long as he could manipulate the public. Publius counters that re-eligibility will encourage good behavior. Subsequently, the Twenty-Second Amendment, enacted in 1951, limited the presidency to two terms. March 21, 1788 The Same Subject Continued, and Re-eligibility of the Executive Considered 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 ...
  • Federalist 73

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 73 Federalist 73 1 Alexander Hamilton Although all legislation originates in Congress, the executive plays an integral role through the veto power. March 21, 1788 The Provision for the Support of the Executive, and the Veto Power The third ingredient towards constituting the vigor of the executive authority is an adequate provision for its support. It is evident that without proper attention to this article, the separation of the executive from the legislative department would be merely nominal and nugatory. The legislature, with a discretionary power over the salary and emoluments of the Chief Magistrate, could render him as obsequious to their will as they might think proper to make him. They might, in most cases, either reduce ...
  • Letter to the English Anti-Slavery Society

     |  Roots of the Slavery Crisis

    Letter to the English Anti-Slavery Society Letter to the English Anti-Slavery Society 1 John Jay (1745-1829) In 1777, Jay's first attempt to abolish slavery in New York failed. In 1788, the state banned the importation of slaves. By 1799, the New York Manumission Society advocated for a bill, signed into law that year by then-Governor Jay, specifying that as of July 4, all children born to slave parents would be freed by a certain age. Less than a year after the Constitutional Convention, Jay addresses concerns from his British counterparts that anti-slavery progress in America is too slow. June 1788 Gentlemen: Our society has been favored with your letter of the 1st of May last, and are happy that efforts so honorable to the nation are ...
  • Federalist 78

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 78 Federalist 78 1 Alexander Hamilton Defending the idea of judicial review—the authority of the courts to declare a law unconstitutional—Publius denies that it leads to judicial supremacy. The courts must never substitute "will" for "judgment," as all branches of government answer to the Constitution. June 14, 1788 The Judiciary Department We proceed now to an examination of the judiciary department of the proposed government. In unfolding the defects of the existing Confederation, the utility and necessity of a federal judicature have been clearly pointed out. It is the less necessary to recapitulate the considerations there urged as the propriety of the institution in the abstract is not disputed; the only questions which ...
  • Federalist 84

     |  Rethinking Union and Government

    Federalist 84 Federalist 84 1 Alexander Hamilton Although New York had ratified the Constitution by the time this essay was published, the debate it addresses lived on. The original Constitution did not include what came to be known as the Bill of Rights. Many Anti-Federalists ended up supporting the Constitution because of the concession made in some states that the first Congress would adopt a Bill of Rights. Publius here makes no such concession, arguing that a listing of rights would be potentially dangerous. In the end, Publius lost this battle, and even James Madison, despite his earlier opposition, ended up championing the Bill of Rights. August 9, 1788 Certain General and Miscellaneous Objections to the Constitution Considered and Answered ...
  • Letter to the Hebrew Congregation

     |  Religion, Morality, and Property

    Letter to the Hebrew Congregation Letter to the Hebrew Congregation 1 George Washington (1732-1799) The Constitution of 1787 said little directly about religion, with the notable exception of a ban on religious tests as a requirement for federal office. When Washington was elected president, the Bill of Rights had not yet been adopted. Despite this, in his response to a congratulatory note sent to him by a group of Jewish Americans, President Washington characterized religious liberty not as a gift of government or a matter of toleration, but as a natural right possessed by every human being. August 18, 1790 Gentlemen: While I receive, with much satisfaction, your Address replete with expressions of esteem; I rejoice in the opportunity ...
  • On Property

     |  Religion, Morality, and Property

    On Property On Property 1 James Madison Madison, known as the "Father of the Constitution," was elected from Virginia to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1788, where he served four terms. This essay, which then-Congressman Madison wrote for a New York newspaper, connects the idea of property rights as commonly understood to man's natural rights, culminating in the right of conscience. March 29, 1792 This term in its particular application means "that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual." In its larger and juster meaning, it embraces every thing to which a man may attach a value and have a right; and which leaves to every one else the like advantage ...
  • Farewell Address

     |  Religion, Morality, and Property

    Farewell Address Farewell Address 1 George Washington Washington had first prepared a farewell address to be delivered in 1792, upon the conclusion of his first term as president. Having been convinced to stand for a second term, he was unanimously re-elected. When he finally issued this address in 1796, it was his last public work. After nearly forty-five years of service, he retired to Mount Vernon. September 19, 1796 Friends, and Fellow Citizens: The period for a new election of a Citizen, to Administer the Executive government of the United States, being not far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person, who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper ...
Display by
Items 41-60 of 110