Category Archives: Federalist

Federalist No. 30

In Federalist No. 30, Hamilton addresses the issue of taxation.

In this essay, Hamilton makes it clear that there must be interwoven, in the frame of the government, a general power of taxation, in one shape or another. After all, 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.

Hamilton also argues that 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
. To support this position, he asks 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
? In other words, a government must be adequately funded to do its job.

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
and take the actions necessary to maintain, and defend, the Union.

Federalist No. 29

In this essay, Hamilton clearly states that 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 as a militia under a union could be much better governed and aligned than one split between the states of a confederacy.

Furthermore, if a well-regulated militia be the most natural defense of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security. Plus, 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, it can the better dispense with the employment of a different kind of force.

With respect to the subject of a standing 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

And to those who object the concept of a standing militia, Hamilton poses the question of where in the name of common-sense, are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbours, 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
? It’s a good question!

Federalist No 28

In Federalist No 28, Hamilton continues his discussion on the idea of restraining the legislative authority in regard to the common defense. With respect to this essay, there is again no substitute for the words of Hamilton.

THAT there may happen cases in which the national government may be necessitated to resort to force, cannot be denied. However, the idea of governing at all times by the simple
force of law has no place but in the
reveries of those political doctors whose sagacity disdains the admonitions of experimental instruction

Because, independent of all other reasonings upon the subject, it is a full answer to those who require a more peremptory provision
against military establishments in time of peace, to say that the whole power of the proposed government is to be in the
hands of the representatives of the people. This is the essential, and, after all, only efficacious security for the rights and
privileges of the people, which is attainable in civil society

Federalist No. 27

In Federalist No. 27, Hamilton continues his consideration of the idea of restraining the legislative authority in regard to the common defense. In this particular essay, there is no substitute for his words.

Unless we presume at the same time that the powers of the general
government will be worse administered than those of the State government, there seems to be no room for the presumption of
ill-will, disaffection, or opposition in the people. 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.

It will be sufficient here to remark,
that until satisfactory reasons can be assigned to justify an opinion, that the federal government is likely to be administered in
such a manner as to render it odious or contemptible to the people, there can be no reasonable foundation for the supposition
that the laws of the Union will meet with any greater obstruction from them, or will stand in need of any other methods to
enforce their execution, than the laws of the particular members.

The plan reported by the convention, by extending the authority of the federal head to the individual citizens of the several
States, will enable the government to employ the ordinary magistracy of each, in the execution of its laws

man who will pursue, by his own reflections, the consequences of this situation, will perceive that there is good ground to
calculate upon a regular and peaceable execution of the laws of the Union, if its powers are administered with a common
share of prudence