Skip to comments.The Federalist Papers
Posted on 04/19/2002 8:05:01 PM PDT by PsyOp
The Federalist Papers, 1787-88. Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison.
Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. - Madison, Federalist #51.
This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence. - Jay, Federalist #2.
As a nation we have made peace and war--as a nation we have vanquished our common enemies.... - Jay, Federalist #2.
America, united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition, than America disunited, with an hundred-thousand veterans ready for combat. - Madison, Federalist #41.
It was a thing hardly to be expected, that in a popular revolution the minds of men should stop at that happy mean, which marks the salutary boundary between Power and Privilege, and combines the energy of government with the security of private rights. - Hamilton, Federalist #26.
The kindred blood which flows in the veins of American citizens, the mingled blood which they have shed in defence of their scared rights, consecrate their union, and excite horror at the idea of their becoming aliens, rivals, enemies. - Madison, Federalist #14.
Is it not the glory of the people of America, that whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience? - Madison, Federalist #14.
The citizens of America have too much discernment to be argued into anarchy. - Hamilton, Federalist #26.
A government resting on a minority is an aristocracy, not a republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press, and a disarmed populace. - Madison, Federalist #46.
Plunder and devastation ever march in the train of irregulars. - Hamilton, Federalist #8.
Safety from external danger is the most powerful direction of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war--the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, 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 they, at length, become willing to ruin the risk of being less free. - Hamilton, Federalist #8.
The steady operations of war against a regular and disciplined army, can only be successfully conducted be a force of the same kind. - Hamilton, Federalist #25.
To render an army unnecessary will be a more certain method of preventing its existence than a thousand prohibitions upon paper. - Hamilton, Federalist #29.
Next to the effectual establishment of Union, the best possible precaution against danger from standing armies, is a limitation of the term for which revenue may be appropriated to their support. - Madison, Federalist #41.
It has been several times truly remarked, that bills of rights are in their origin, stipulations between kings and their subjects, abridgments of prerogative in favor of privilege, reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince. Such was Magna Charta, obtained by the Barons, sword in hand, from King John. - Hamilton, Federalist #84.
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, as were before occasioned by the cupidity of territory or dominion? - Hamilton, Federalist #6.
There is perhaps nothing more likely to disturb the tranquility of nations, than their being bound to mutual contributions for any common object, which does not yield an equal and coincident benefit. For it is an observation as true as it is trite, that there is nothing men differ so readily about as the payment of money. - Hamilton, Federalist #7.
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; and has accordingly become a primary object of their political cares. - Hamilton, Federalist #12.
If we mean to be a commercial people, it must form a part of our policy, to be able one day to defend that commerce. - Hamilton, Federalist #34.
We are rivals in navigation and the carrying trade; and we shall deceive ourselves, if we suppose that any of them will rejoice to see it flourish: for as our carrying cannot increase, without in some degree diminishing theirs, it is more their interest and will be more their policy, to restrain, than to promote it. - Jay, Federalist #4.
If we should be disunited, and the integral parts should either remain separated, or which is most probable, should be thrown together into two or three confederacies, we should be in a short course of time, in the predicament of the continental powers of Europe--Our liberties would be a prey to the means of defending ourselves against the ambition and jealous of each other. - Hamilton, Federalist #8.
The perpetual charges which have been rung upon the wealthy, the well-born and the great, have been such as to inspire the disgust of all sensible men. And the unwarrantable concealments and misrepresentations which have been in various ways practiced to keep the truth from the public eye, have been of a nature to demand the reprobation of all honest men. - Hamilton, Federalist #85.
There are strong minds in every walk of life that will rise superior to the disadvantages of situation, and will command the tribute due to their merit, not only from the classes to which they particularly belong, but from the society in general. - Hamilton, Federalist #36.
Those who hold, and those who are without property, have ever formed distinct interests in society. Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, fall under a like discrimination. A landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a mercantile interest, a monied interest, with many lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide them into different classes actuated by different sentiments and views. - Madison, Federalist #10.
A bad cause seldom fails to betray itself. - Madison, Federalist #41.
It is of great importance in a republic, not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers; but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. - Madison, Federalist #51.
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. - Hamilton, Federalist #71.
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. - Hamilton, Federalist #71.
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, were a breach of their privilege and an outrage to their dignity. - Hamilton, Federalist #71.
That experience is the parent of wisdom is an adage, the truth of which is recognized by the wisest as well as the simplest of mankind. What more desirable or more essential than this quality in the governors of nations. - Hamilton, Federalist #72.
From a body which had had even a partial agency in passing bad laws, we could rarely expect a disposition to temper and moderate them in the application. The same spirit, which had operated in making them, would be too apt to operate in interpreting them: Still less could it be expected, that men who had infringed the constitution, in the character of legislatures, would be disposed to repair the breach, in the character of judges. - Hamilton, Federalist #81.
[Congress shall] make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as the mass of society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every governments degenerates into tyranny. - Madison, The Federalist.
The history of almost all the great councils and consultations, held among mankind for reconciling their discordant opinions, assuaging their mutual jealousies, and adjusting their respective interests, is a history of factions, contentions, and disappointments; and may be classed among the most dark and degrading pictures which display the infirmities and depravities of the human character. - Madison, Federalist #37.
No man can be a competent legislator who does not add to an upright intention and a sound judgement, a certain degree of knowledge of the subject on which he is to legislate. - Madison, Federalist #53.
If it be asked what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer, the genius of the whole system, the nature of just and constitutional laws, and above all the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America, a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it. - Madison, Federalist #57,
The more multitudinous a representative assembly may be rendered, the more it will partake of the infirmities incident to collective meetings of the people. Ignorance will be the dupe of cunning: and passion the slave of sophistry and declamation. - Madison, Federalist #58.
The more numerous any assembly may be, of whatever character composed, the greater is known to be the ascendancy of passion over reason. - Madison, Federalist #58.
The people can never willfully betray their own interests: But they may possibly be betrayed by the representatives of the people. - Madison, Federalist #63.
It has been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country [America], 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. - Hamilton, Federalist #1.
It is very probable that mankind would have been obliged, at length, to live constantly under the government of a single person, had they not contrived a kind of constitution, that has all the internal advantages of a republican, together with the external force of a monarchial government. I mean a confederate republic. - Hamilton, Federalist #9.
Constitutions of civil Government are not to be framed upon a calculation of existing exigencies of; but upon a combination of these, with the probable exigencies of ages, according to the natural and tried course of human affairs.... 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. - Hamilton, Federalist #34.
A constitution is in fact, and must be, regarded by the judges as a fundamental law. - Hamilton, Federalist #78.
A weak constitution must necessarily terminate in dissolution, for want of proper powers, or the usurpation of powers requisite for public safety. - Madison, Federalist #20.
The important distinction so well understood in America between a Constitution established by the people, and unalterable by the government; and a law established by the government and alterable by the government, seems to have been little understood and less observed in any other country. - Madison, Federalist #53,
The aim of every political Constitution is or ought to be first to obtain for rulers, men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous, whilst they continue to hold their public trust. - Madison, Federalist #57. February 19, 1788.
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, by the aid of a foreign power, the price of his treachery to his constituents. - Hamilton, Federalist #75.
The remark is unquestionably just, that an hereditary monarch, though often the oppressor of his people, has personally too much at stake in the government to be in any material danger by foreign powers. But a man raised from the station of private citizen to the rank of chief magistrate, possessed of but a moderate or slender fortune, 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, might sometimes be under temptations to sacrifice his duty to his interest, which it would require superlative virtue to withstand. - Hamilton, Federalist #75.
It is evident that there is no process of a court by which the observance of the laws can, in the last resort be enforced. - Hamilton, Federalist #15.
Laws are a dead letter without courts to expound and define their true meaning and operation. - Hamilton, Federalist #22.
Juries are frequently influenced by the opinions of judges. They are sometimes induced to find special verdicts which refer the main question to the decision of the court. - Hamilton, Federalist #65.
The courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority. - Hamilton, Federalist #78,.
In a democracy, the people meet and exercise the government in person; in a republic they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents. A democracy consequently will be confined to a small spot. A republic may be extended over a large region. - Madison, Federalist #14.
The genius of a Republican liberty, seems to demand on one side, not only that all power should be derived from the people; but, that those entrusted with it should be kept in dependence on the people, by a short duration of their appointments; and, that, even during this short period, the trust should be placed not in a few, but in a number of hands. - Madison, Federalist #37.
The disciplined armies always kept on foot on the continent of Europe, though they bear a malignant aspect to liberty and economy, have notwithstanding been productive of the signal advantage, of rendering sudden conquests impracticable, and of preventing that rapid desolation, which used to mark the progress of war prior to their introduction. - Hamilton, Federalist #8.
The rights of neutrality will only be respected, when they are defended by an adequate power. A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral. - Hamilton, Federalist #11.
The people of America are aware that inducements to war, may arise... and that whenever such inducements may find fit time and opportunity for operation, pretences to labour and justify them will not be wanting. Wisely therefore do they consider Union and good national Government as necessary to put and keep them in such a situation as instead of inviting war, will tend to repress and discourage it. - Jay, Federalist #4.
How could a readiness for war in time of peace be safely prohibited, unless we could prohibit in like manner the preparations and establishments of every hostile nation? The means of security can only be regulated by the means and the danger of attack. - Madison, Federalist #41.
If one nation maintains constantly a disciplined army ready for the service of ambition or revenge, it obliges the most pacific nations, who may be within the reach of its enterprises, to take corresponding precautions. - Madison, Federalist #41.
The best security for the fidelity of mankind is to make their interest coincide with their duty. - Hamilton, Federalist #72.
There are men, who under any circumstances will have the courage to do their duty at every hazard. - Hamilton, Federalist #73.
Unity of commercial, as well as political interests, can only result from an unity of government. - Hamilton, Federalist #11.
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. - Hamilton, Federalist #30.
I am unable to conceive that the people of America in their present temper, or under any circumstances which can speedily happen, will choose, and every second year repeat the choice of sixty-five or an hundred men, who would be disposed to form and pursue a scheme of tyranny or treachery. - Madison, Federalist #53.
Who are to be the objects of popular choice? Every citizen whose merit may recommend him to the esteem and confidence of his country. No qualification of wealth, of birth, of religious faith, or of civil profession, is permitted to fetter the judgement or disappoint the inclination of the people. - Madison, Federalist #57.
Caution and investigation are a necessary armour against error and imposition. - Hamilton, Federalist #31.
There is a contagion in example which few men have sufficient force of mind to resist. - Hamilton, Federalist #61.
Experience is the oracle of truth; and where its responses are unequivocal, they ought to be conclusive and sacred. - Madison, Federalist #20.
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, of military talents and experience, or of secret succors from foreign powers, as will render it superior also in an appeal to the sword? - Madison, Federalist #43.
The causes of hostility among nations are innumerable. There are some which have a general and almost constant operation upon the collective bodies of society: Of this description are the love of power or the desire of preeminence and dominion--the jealousy of power, or the desire of equality and safety. - Hamilton, Federalist #6.
There frequently are occasions when days, nay even when hours are precious. The loss of a battle, the death of a prince, the removal of a minister, or other circumstances intervening to change the present posture and aspect of affairs, may turn the most favorable tide into a course opposite to our wishes. As in the field, so in the cabinet, there are moments to be seized as they pass. - Jay, The Federalist, #64.
One nation is to another what one individual is to another; with this melancholy distinction perhaps, that the former with fewer of the benevolent emotions than the latter, are under fewer restraints also from taking undo advantage of the indiscretions of each other. - Madison, Federalist #62.
Every nation... whose affairs betray a want of wisdom and stability, may calculate on every loss which can be sustained from the more systematic policy of its wiser neighbors. - Madison, Federalist #62.
An attention to the judgement of other nations is important to every government for two reasons: The one is, that independently of the merits of any particular plan or measure, it is desirable on various accounts, that it should appear to other nations as the offspring of a wise and honorable policy: The second is, that in doubtful cases, particularly where the national councils may be warped by some strong passion, or momentary interest, the presumed or known opinion of the impartial world, may be the best guide that can be followed. - Madison, Federalist #63.
An enlightened zeal for the energy and efficiency of government will be stigmatized, as the off-spring of a temper fond of despotic power and hostile to the principles of liberty. - Hamilton, Federalist #1.
Government is essential to the security of liberty. - Hamilton, Federalist #1.
Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint. - Hamilton, Federalist #15.
It is in vain to hope to guard against events too mighty for human foresight or precaution, and it would be idle to object to a government because it could not perform impossibilities. - Hamilton, Federalist #16.
Where the whole power of the government is in the hands of the people, there is the less pretence for the use of violent remedies, in partial or occasional distempers of the State. The natural cure for an ill administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men. - Hamilton, Federalist #21.
Government ought to be clothed with all the powers requisite to the complete execution of its trust. - Hamilton, Federalist #23.
In any contest between the federal head and one of its members, the people will be most apt to unite with their local government. - Hamilton, Federalist #25.
Man is very much a creature of habit. A thing that rarely strikes his senses will generally have but little influence upon his mind. A government continually at a distance and out of sight, can hardly be expected to interest the sensations of the people. - Hamilton, Federalist #27.
The people can never err more than in supposing that by multiplying their representatives beyond a certain limit, they strengthen the barrier against the government of a few. - Hamilton, Federalist #58.
Every government ought to contain in itself the means of its own preservation. - Hamilton, Federalist #59.
If mankind were to resolve to agree in no institution of government, until every part of it had been adjusted to the most exact standard of perfection, society would soon become a general scene of anarchy, and the world a desert. - Hamilton, Federalist #65.
The true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration. - Hamilton, Federalist #68.
Nothing is more certain than the indispensable necessity of Government, and it is equally undeniable, that whenever and however it is instituted, the people must cede to it some of their natural rights, in order to vest it with requisite powers. - Jay, Federalist #2.
The pride of States as well as of men, naturally disposes them to justify all their actions, and opposes their acknowledging, correcting or repairing their errors and offences. - Jay, Federalist #3.
A weak government, when not at war, is ever agitated by internal dissentions; so these never fail to bring on fresh calamities from abroad. - Madison, Federalist #18.
In every political institution, a power to advance the public happiness, involves a discretion which may be misapplied and abused. - Madison, Federalist #41.
The operations of the Federal Government will be the most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State Governments, in times of peace and security. - Madison, Federalist #45.
Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit. - Madison, Federalist #51.
In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the greatest difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. - Madison, Federalist #51.
What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. - Madison, Federalist #51.
As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust: So there are other qualities in human nature, which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican Government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form. - Madison, Federalist #55.
A good government implies two things; first, fidelity to the object of government, which is the happiness of the people; secondly, a knowledge of the means by which that object can be attained. - Madison, Federalist #62.
No government any more than an individual will long be respected without being truly respectable, nor be truly respectable without possessing a certain portion of order and stability. - Madison, Federalist #62.
There is in every breast a sensibility to marks of honor, of favor, of esteem, and of confidence, which, apart from all considerations of interest, is some pledge for grateful and benevolent returns. - Madison, Federalist #57.
It is a general principle of human nature, that a man will be interested in whatever he possess, 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 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. - Hamilton, Federalist #71.
The desire for reward is one of the strongest incentives of human conduct. - Hamilton, Federalist #72.
So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinction have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions, and excite their most violent conflict. - Madison, Federalist #10.
The faculties of the mind itself have never yet been distinguished and defined, with satisfactory precision, by all the efforts of the most acute and metaphysical Philosophers. Sense, perception, judgement, desire, volition, memory, imagination, are found to be separated by such delicate shades, and minute gradations, that their boundaries have eluded the most subtle investigations, and remain a pregnant source of ingenious disquisition and controversy. - Madison, Federalist #37.
The use of words is to express ideas. Perspicuity therefore requires not only that the ideas should be distinctly formed, but that they should be expressed by words distinctly and exclusively appropriated to them. But no language is so copious as to supply words and phrases for every complex idea, or so correct as not to include many equivocally denoting different ideas. - Madison, Federalist #37.
One of the weak sides of republics, among their numerous advantages, is that they afford too easy an inlet to foreign corruption. - Hamilton, Federalist #22.
So numerous indeed and so powerful are the causes, which serve to give a false bias to the judgement, that we upon many occasions, see wise and good men on the wrong as well as on the right side of questions of the first magnitude to society. - Hamilton, Federalist #1.
No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause; because his interest would certainly bias his judgement, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. - Madison, Federalist #10.
We often see not only different courts, but the judges of the same court differing from each other. To avoid the confusion... all nations have found it necessary to establish one court paramount to the rest--possessing a general superintendence, and authorized to settle and declare in the last resort, an uniform rule of civil justice. - Hamilton, Federalist #22.
There can be but few men in the society, who will have sufficient skill in the laws to qualify them for the stations of judges. And making the proper deductions for the ordinary depravity of human nature, the number must be still smaller of those who unite the requisite integrity with the requisite knowledge. - Hamilton, Federalist #28.
Though the proper province of juries be to determine matters of fact, yet in most cases legal consequences are complicated with fact in such a manner as to render a separation impracticable. - Hamilton, Federalist #83.
It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience. If there be no penalty annexed to disobedience, the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will in fact amount to nothing more than advice or recommendation. - Hamilton, Federalist #15.
Laws are a dead letter without courts to expound and define their true meaning and operation. - Hamilton, Federalist #22.
It has been frequently remarked with great propriety, that a voluminous code of laws is one of the inconveniences necessarily connected with the advantages of a free government. - Hamilton, Federalist #78.
The possibility of particular mischiefs can never be viewed by a well-informed mind as a solid objection to a general principal, which is calculated to avoid general mischiefs, and to obtain general advantages. - Hamilton, Federalist #80.
The rules of legal interpretation are rules of common sense, adapted by the courts in the construction of the laws. The true test therefore, of a just application of them, is its conformity to the source from which they are derived. - Hamilton, Federalist #83.
There is no nation which has not at one period or another experienced an absolute necessity of the services of particular men, in particular situations, perhaps it would not be too strong to say, to the preservation of its political existence. - Hamilton, Federalist #72.
Men often oppose a thing because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike. But if they have been consulted and have happened to disapprove, opposition then becomes in their estimation an indispensable duty of self-love. - Hamilton, Federalist #70.
It is a misfortune, inseparable from human affairs, 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. - Madison, Federalist #37.
There are particular moments in public affairs, when the people, stimulated by some irregular passion, or some illicit advantage, or misled by the artful misrepresentations of interested men, may call for measures which they themselves will afterwards be the most ready to lament and condemn. - Madison, Federalist #63.
The noble enthusiasm of liberty is too apt to be infected with a spirit of narrow and illiberal distrust. - Hamilton, Federalist #1.
The American Militia, in the course of the late war, have by their valor on numerous occasions, erected eternal monuments to their fame; but the bravest of them feel and know, that the liberty of their country could not have been established by their efforts alone, however great and valuable they were. - Hamilton, Federalist #25.
We take into our view the aid to be derived from the militia, which ought always to be counted upon, as a valuable and powerful auxiliary. - Hamilton, Federalist #26.
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. - Hamilton, Federalist #29.
If standing armies are dangerous to liberty, an efficacious power over the militia, in the body to whose care the protection of the State is committed, ought as far as possible to take away the inducement and the pretext to such unfriendly institutions. - Hamilton, Federalist #29.
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, whenever they were called into service for the public defense.... And it would fit them much sooner to acquire the degree of proficiency in military functions, which would be essential to their usefulness. - Hamilton, Federalist #29.
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.... 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. - Hamilton, Federalist #29.
Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. - Madison, Federalist #46.
Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the Federal Government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State Government with the people on their side would be able to repel the danger. - Madison, Federalist #46.
The circumstances that endanger the safety of nations are infinite; and for this reason no constitutional shackles can wisely be imposed on the power to which the care of it is committed. - Hamilton, Federalist #23.
We should recollect that the extent of military force must at all events be regulated by the resources of the country. - Hamilton, Federalist #23.
Security against foreign danger is one of the primitive objects of civil society. It is an avowed and essential object of the American Union. - Madison, Federalist #41.
Every man who loves peace, every man who loves his country, every man who loves liberty, ought to have it ever before his eyes, that he may cherish in heart a due attachment to the union of America, and be able to set a due value on the means of preserving it. - Madison, Federalist #41.
The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought to flow immediately from that pure original fountain of all legitimate authority. - Hamilton, Federalist #22.
When a people or family divide, it never fails to be against themselves. - Jay, Federalist #4.
We have heard of the impious doctrine in the old world that the people were made for kings, not kings for the people. Is the same doctrine to be revived in the new, in another shape, that the solid happiness of the people is to be sacrificed to the views of the political institutions of a different form? - Madison, Federalist #45.
In every exercise of the power of appointing to offices by an assembly of men, we must expect to see a full display of all the private and party likings and dislikes, partialities and antipathies, attachments and animosities, which are felt by those who compose the assembly. The choice which may at any time happen to be made under such circumstances will of course be the result either of a victory gained by one party over the other, or of a compromise between parties. In either case, the intrinsic merit of the candidate will be too often out of sight. - Hamilton, Federalist #76.
As the spirit of party, in different degrees, must be expected to infect all political bodies, there will be no doubt persons in the national Legislature willing enough to arraign the measures and criminate the views of the majority. - Hamilton, Federalist #26.
Liberty is to faction, what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be a less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency. - Madison, Federalist #10.
An extinction of parties necessarily implies either a universal alarm for the public safety, or an absolute extinction of liberty. - Madison, Federalist #50.
We may safely rely on the disposition of the state legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority.
If the foregoing argument is a fallacy, certain it is that I am myself deceived by it; for it is, in my conception, one of those rare instances in which political truth can be brought to the test of mathematical demonstration. - Hamilton, Federalist #85.
Men... whether the favorites of a king or of a people, have in too many instances abused the confidence they possessed; and assuming the pretext of some public motive, have not scrupled to sacrifice the national tranquility to personal advantage, or personal gratification. - Hamilton, Federalist #6.
In Republics, persons elevated from the mass of the community by the suffrages of their fellow-citizens, to stations of great pre-eminence and power, may find compensation for betraying their trust, which to any but minds animated and guided by superior virtue, may appear to exceed the proportion of interest they have in the common stock, and to overbalance the obligations of duty. - Hamilton, Federalist #22.
Politicians have ever with great reason considered the ties of blood as feeble and precarious links of political connection. - Hamilton, Federalist #24.
Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. - Madison, Federalist #10.
It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people is the supreme object to be pursued; and that no form of Government whatever, has any other value, than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object. - Madison, Federalist #45.
It is a misfortune incident to republican government, though in a less degree than to other governments, that those who administer it, may forget their obligations to their constituents, and prove unfaithful to their important trust. - Madison, Federalist #62.
In politics as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution. - Hamilton, Federalist #1.
Necessity, especially in politics, often occasions false hopes, false reasonings and a system of measures, correspondingly erroneous. - Hamilton, Federalist #35.
They who have turned their attention to the affairs of men, Must have perceived that there are tides in them. Tides very irregular in their duration, strength and direction, and seldom found to run twice exactly in the same manner or measure. To discern and to profit by these tides in national affairs, is the business of those who preside over them. - Jay, Federalist #64.
Power controlled or abridged is almost always the rival and enemy of that power by which it is controlled or abridged. - Hamilton, Federalist #15.
There is in the nature of sovereign power an impatience of control, that disposes those who are invested with the exercise of it, to look with an evil eye upon all external attempts to restrain or direct its operations. - Hamilton, Federalist #15.
Power being almost always the rival of power; the General Government will at all times stand ready to check the usurpations of the state government; and those will have the same disposition toward the General Government. - Hamilton, Federalist #28.
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. - Hamilton, Federalist #33.
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 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. - Hamilton, Federalist #70.
In the main it will be found, that a power over a mans support is a power over his will. - Hamilton, Federalist #73.
That the love of power may sometimes betray it into a disposition to encroach upon the rights of the other members of the government; that a spirit of faction may sometimes pervert its deliberations; that impressions of the moment may sometimes hurry it into measures which itself on maturer reflection would condemn. The primary inducement to conferring the power in question upon the executive, is to enable him to defend himself; the secondary one is to increase the chances in favor of the community, against the passing of bad laws, through haste, inadvertence, or design. - Hamilton, Federalist #73.
Where power is to be conferred, the point first to be decided is whether such a power be necessary to the public good. - Madison, Federalist #41.
No axiom is more clearly established in law, or in reason, than that wherever the end is required, the means are authorized; wherever a general power to do a thing is given, every particular power necessary for doing it, is included. - Madison, Federalist #44.
It will not be denied, that power is of an encroaching nature, and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it. - Madison, Federalist #48.
Power over the purse, may in fact be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure. - Madison, Federalist #58.
It is not a new observation that the people of any country (if like the Americans intelligent and well informed) seldom adopt, and steadily persevere for many years in, as erroneous opinion respecting their interests. - Jay, The Federalists #3.
As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. - Madison, Federalist #10.
It is the reason of the public alone that ought to control and regulate the government. The passions ought to be controlled and regulated by the government. - Madison, Federalist #10.
The mild voice of reason, pleading the cause of an enlarged and permanent interest, is but too often drowned before public bodies as well as individuals, by the clamors of an impatient avidity for immediate and immoderate gain. - Madison, Federalist #42.
If it be true that all governments rest on opinion, it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual, and its practical influence on his conduct, depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. - Madison, Federalist #49.
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, weaknesses and evils incident to society in every shape? is it not time to awake from the deceitful dream of a golden age, and to adopt as a practical maxim for the direction of our political conduct....? - Hamilton, Federalist #6.
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. - Hamilton, Federalist #71.
Whatever may be our situation, whether firmly united under one national Government, or split into a number of confederacies, certain it is, that foreign nations will know and view it exactly as it is; and they will act towards us accordingly. If they see that our national Government is efficient and well administered--our trade prudently regulated--our militia properly organized and disciplined--our resources and finances discretely managed--our credit re-established--our people free, contented, and united, they will be much more disposed to cultivate our friendship, than provoke our resentment. - Jay, Federalist #4.
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. - Madison, Federalist #53.
What at first sight may seem a remedy, is in reality a poison. - Hamilton, Federalist #22.
Responsibility is of two kinds, to censure and to punishment. The first is the most important of the two; especially in an elective office. Man, in public trust, will much oftener act in such a manner as to render him unworthy of being any longer trusted, than in such a manner as to make him obnoxious to legal. - Hamilton, Federalist #70.
When men engaged in unjustifiable pursuits are aware, that obstructions may come from a quarter which they cannot control, they will often be restrained, by the bare apprehension of opposition, from doing what they would with eagerness rush into, if no such external impediments were to be feared. - Hamilton, Federalist #73.
If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense, which is paramount to all positive forms of government; and which, against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success, than against those of the rulers of an individual State. - Hamilton, Federalist #28.
An insurrection, whatever may be its immediate cause, eventually endangers all government: regard to the public peace, if not to the rights of the union, would engage the citizens, to whom the contagion had not communicated itself, to oppose the insurgents: and if the general government should be found in practice conducive to the prosperity and felicity of the people, it were irrational to believe that they would be disinclined to its support. - Hamilton, Federalist #28.
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. - Hamilton, Federalist #25.
The rights of humanity must in all cases be duly and mutually respected. - Madison, Federalist #43.
Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. - Madison, Federalist #46.
In a free government, the security for civil rights must be the same as for religious rights. - Madison, Federalist #51.
Schemes to subvert the liberties of a great community require time to mature them for execution. - Hamilton, Federalist #26.
The hope of impunity is a strong incitement to sedition--the dread of punishment--a proportionately strong discouragement to it. - Hamilton, Federalist #27.
Has it not... invariably been found that momentary passions and immediate interests have a more active and imperious control over human conduct than general or remote considerations of policy, utility or justice? - Hamilton, Federalist #6.
The safety and happiness of society are the objects at which all political institutions aim, and to which all such institutions must be sacrificed. - Madison, Federalist #43.
Whoever attentively considers the different deportments of power must perceive, that in a government in which they are separated from each other, the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them. - Hamilton, Federalist #78.
A nation cannot long exist without revenue. Destitute of this essential support, it must resign its independence and sink into the degraded condition of a province. - Hamilton, Federalist #12.
It is evident from the state of the country, from the habits of the people, from the experience we have had on the point itself, that it is impracticable to raise any very considerable sums by direct taxation. - Hamilton, Federalist #12.
The ability of a country to pay taxes must always be proportioned, in a great degree, to the quality of money in circulation, and to the celerity with which it circulates. - Hamilton, Federalist #12.
As connected with the subject of revenue, we may with propriety consider that of economy. The money saved from one object may be usefully applied to another; and there will be so much less to be drawn from the pockets of the people. - Hamilton, Federalist #13.
[Taxes] prescribe their own limit; which cannot be exceeded without defeating the end proposed--that is an extension of the revenue. When applied to this object, the saying is as just as it is witty, that in political arithmetic, two and two do not always make four. If duties are too high they lessen the consumption--the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds. - Hamilton, Federalist #21.
Money is with propriety considered as the vital principal of the body politic; as that which sustains its life and motion, and enables it to perform its most essential functions. A complete power therefor 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. - Hamilton, Federalist #30.
There is no part of the administration of government that requires extensive information and a thorough knowledge of the principles of political economy so much as the business of taxation. The man who understands those principles best will be least likely to resort to oppressive expedients, or to sacrifice any particular class of citizens to the procurement of revenue. - Hamilton, Federalist #35.
Exorbitant duties on important articles would beget a general spirit of smuggling; which is always prejudicial to the fair trader, and eventually to the revenue itself. - Hamilton, Federalist #35.
The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property, is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet, there is perhaps no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party, to trample on the rules of justice. Every shilling with which they over-burden the inferior number, is a shilling saved to their own pockets. - Madison, Federalist #10.
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. - Hamilton, Federalist #72.
An avaricious man, who might happen to fill the offices, looking forward to a time when he must at all events yield up the emoluments he enjoyed, would feel a propensity, not easy to be resisted by such a man, to make the best use of opportunity he enjoyed while it lasted; and might not scruple to have recourse to the most corrupt expedients to make the harvest as abundant as it was transitory. - Hamilton, Federalist #72.
By the proposed Constitution the offense of treason is limited to levying war upon the United States, and adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. - Hamilton, Federalist #69.
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, place, circumstance and quantity; leaving nothing to future discretion; and depending for its execution on the good faith of the parties. - Hamilton, Federalist #15.
These gentlemen would do well to reflect that a treaty is only another name for a bargain; and that it would be impossible to find a nation who would make any bargain with us, which should be binding on them absolutely, but on us only so long and so far as we may think proper to be bound by it. - Jay, Federalist #64.
It is an established doctrine on the subject of treaties, that all the articles are mutually conditions of each other; that a breach of any one article is a breach of the whole treaty; and that a breach committed by either of the parties absolves the others; and authorizes them, if they please, to pronounce the treaty violated and void. - Madison, Federalist #43. January 23, 1788.
We are not always sure, that those who advocate the truth are influenced by purer principles than their antagonists. - Hamilton, Federalist #1.
Of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics the greatest number have begun their career, by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants. - Hamilton, Federalist #1.
Tyranny has perhaps oftener grown out of the assumptions of power, called for, on pressing exigencies, by a defective constitution, than by the full exercise of the largest constitutional authorities. - Madison, Federalist #20.
The accumulation of all powers legislative, executive and judiciary in the same hands, whether of one, a few or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. - Madison, Federalist #47.
It is of the nature of war to increase the executive at the expense of the legislative authority. - Hamilton, Federalist #8.
Talents for low intrigue and the little arts of popularity may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single state; but it will require other talents and a different kind of merit to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole union, 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. - Hamilton, Federalist #68.
A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution: and a government ill executed, whatever it may be in theory, must be in practice a bad government. - Hamilton, Federalist #70.
Energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks: It is not less essential to the steady administration of the laws, to the protection of property against those irregular and high handed combinations, which sometimes interrupt the ordinary course of justice, to the security of liberty against the enterprises and assaults of ambition, of faction and of anarchy. - Hamilton, Federalist #70.
Of all the cares or concerns of government, the direction of war most peculiarly demands those qualities which distinguish the exercise of power by a single hand. The direction of war implies the direction of the common strength; and the power of directing and employing the common strength, forms an usual and essential part in the definition of the executive authority. - Hamilton, Federalist #74.
The appointment of an extraordinary person, as vice-president, has been objected to as superfluous. - Alexander Hamilton. Federalist Papers #68.
There have been, if I may so express it, almost as many popular as royal wars. The cries of the nation and the importunities of their representatives have, upon various occasions, dragged their monarchs into war, or continued them in it contrary to their inclinations, and, sometimes, contrary to the real interests of the State. - Hamilton, Federalist #6.
Territorial disputes have at all times been found one of the most fertile sources of hostility among nations. Perhaps the greatest proportion of the wars that have desolated the earth have sprung from this origin. - Hamilton, Federalist #7.
When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation. - Hamilton, Federalist #16.
War, like most other things, is a science to be acquired and perfected by diligence, by perseverance, by time, and by practice. - Hamilton, Federalist #25.
To judge from the history of mankind, 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, that to model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquility, is to calculate on the weaker springs of the human character. - Hamilton, Federalist #34.
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, whether real or pretended, which provoke or invite them. - Jay, Federalist #3.
The just causes of war for the most part arise either from violations treaties, or from direct violence. - Jay, Federalist #3.
A thirst for military glory, revenge for personal affronts; ambition of private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families, or partizans. These and a variety of motives, which affect only the mind of the Sovereign, often lead him to engage in wars not sanctified by justice, or the voice of and interests of his people. - Jay, Federalist #4.
Nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it. - Jay, Federalist #4.
The federalist papers are one of the most important of the classical LIBERAL writings. They cannot be claimed by modern conservatives because liberalism was a far more dynamic philosophy than conservatism. There are many things that have driven me to be more philosophically in line with John Locke than Pat Buchanan, Robert Bork, Rush Limbaugh, et al.
I often see leftists decrying "neo-liberalism." So here is how I shall sum it up:
"A spectre haunting the Earth, the spectre of liberalism. Even now the police states of the Earth mobilize their forces to exorcise this sectre: billionaire aristocrat and anti-globalization protester, Western Parliamentarian and Chinese Politiburo Official, Radical Muslim and Communist Philosopher."
Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as too liberal by its opponents in power? Where is the opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of seeking too much freedom for the citizenry, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?
Two things result from this fact:
The powers of the old order acknowledge liberalism to be a force of nature unto itself
It is high time that the liberals should infilitrate every corrupt social institution and undermine them for the public good, to corrupt any government official that must be corrupted in order to advance the cause of individual freedom and to do whatever it takes to bring about a new world order based on universal freedom rooted in the acknowledgement of inalienable rights
A government resting on a minority is an aristocracy, not a republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press, and a disarmed populace. - Madison, Federalist #46.
Tree falling, some day, unless they suspend it with wires.
Yep! It cracks me up when liberals start spewing all that "constitution as a living-document" crap on the grounds that the Framers couldn't possibly have been that prescient. We must change with the times! they rant.
In over 2,000 years of recorded human history, human nature has not changed. The Framers new that. They also knew that it was unlikely to change during the next 2,000. Meanwhile, Dems and Libs continue trying to tinker with social engineering. They just don't get - and never will.
You do understand, of course, that Liberalism during the 18th and 19th centuries meant something entirely different than it does today. Locke, Hume, Rousseau, our founders, all understood Liberalism to encompass such notions as personal liberty, personal rights and responsibilities, economic and political freedom, individualism, religious tolerance, etc.
Those who claim the mantle of liberal today (though they don't always seem very proud of it), no longer stand for most of those things. Today, it is conservatives that have picked up the mantle of classical liberalism (as opposed to modern liberalism - if you want to really confuse a college student today ask them to define the difference).
Todays liberals can no longer point to classical liberalism as their touchstone. That touchstone has become socialism to one degree or another, which contradicts many of the key elements of Classical Liberalism.
But we stick with labels like conservative and liberal because they became common usage as applied to certain political parties - even if they do not really apply.
People now mistake the dictionary definitions of conservative and liberal for the classical definitions of the political ideas they once expressed - which are today about 180 degrees out of sync.
The dictionary loosely defines a conservative as someone resistent to change or looking fondly to the past (in this case, the ideas of Classical Liberalism as expressed by our Founding Fathers and those who preceded them in the development of this political philosophy like Locke, Hume, Adam Smith, Rousseau, etc.)
The dictionary loosely defines a liberal as someone open to change or who looks forward (in this case away from Classical Liberalism and torward socialism, monolithic government, restrictions on personal freedom and responsibility, constrictions on economic freedom, and religious intolerance).
Unless we share this post (and others like it) with as many people as we can and remind people what it takes to keep a Republic free.