And both of these are provided for, in the most ample manner, in the plan of the convention.So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts.
This may be considered as the violent death of the Confederacy.In Connecticut and Rhode Island, the periods are half-yearly.
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.There can be no doubt that this circumstance will always secure to them a preponderating influence over the militia.The result of these observations to an intelligent mind must be clearly this, that if it be possible at any rate to construct a federal government capable of regulating the common concerns and preserving the general tranquillity, it must be founded, as to the objects committed to its care, upon the reverse of the principle contended for by the opponents of the proposed Constitution.PERHAPS, also, an answer may be found without searching beyond the principles of the compact itself.It has been heretofore noted among the defects of the Confederation, that in many of the States it had received no higher sanction than a mere legislative ratification.How shall we prevent a conflict between charity and judgment.The tenure by which the judges are to hold their places, is, as it unquestionably ought to be, that of good behavior.The immediate election of the President is to be made by the States in their political characters.
The members of the judiciary department are appointed by the legislative department and removable by one branch of it, on the impeachment of the other.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.The founders of our republics have so much merit for the wisdom which they have displayed, that no task can be less pleasing than that of pointing out the errors into which they have fallen.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.This doctrine, in substance, had like to have lost us our independence.But what particular degree of frequency may be absolutely necessary for the purpose, does not appear to be susceptible of any precise calculation, and must depend on a variety of circumstances with which it may be connected.
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.It was requisite, therefore, that a mode for introducing them should be provided.
The palpable necessity of the power to provide and maintain a navy has protected that part of the Constitution against a spirit of censure, which has spared few other parts.If, contrary to probability, it should be admitted by all the States, that each had a right to a share of this common stock, there would still be a difficulty to be surmounted, as to a proper rule of apportionment.This situation would even take away the motive to such combinations, by inducing an impracticability of success.Hence the same irregularity and confusion would be introduced by a compliance with this proposition, that I have already noticed as resulting from the regulation proposed by the Pennsylvania minority.If it should break forth into a storm, who can insure us that in its progress a part of its fury would not be spent upon us.But its real operation is to embarrass the administration, to destroy the energy of the government, and to substitute the pleasure, caprice, or artifices of an insignificant, turbulent, or corrupt junto, to the regular deliberations and decisions of a respectable majority.What colorable reason could be assigned, in a country so situated, for such vast augmentations of the military force.
Imposts, excises, and, in general, all duties upon articles of consumption, may be compared to a fluid, which will, in time, find its level with the means of paying them.If, therefore, the loud clamors against the plan of the convention, on this score, are well founded, no epithets of reprobation will be too strong for the constitution of this State.This class of powers forms an obvious and essential branch of the federal administration.As the powers delegated under the new system are more extensive, the government which is to administer it would find itself still more distressed with the alternative of betraying the public interests by doing nothing, or of violating the Constitution by exercising powers indispensably necessary and proper, but, at the same time, not EXPRESSLY granted.
The powers relating to war and peace, armies and fleets, treaties and finance, with the other more considerable powers, are all vested in the existing Congress by the articles of Confederation.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.
And even these annual sessions were left so much at the discretion of the monarch, that, under various pretexts, very long and dangerous intermissions were often contrived by royal ambition.And as no man could be appointed but on his previous nomination, every man who might be appointed would be, in fact, his choice.In the course of time and things, an equilibrium, as far as it is attainable in so complicated a subject, will be established everywhere.Provocations to produce the desired appearances might even be given to some foreign power, and appeased again by timely concessions.The public debt of the Union would be a further cause of collision between the separate States or confederacies.Different answers, equally satisfactory, may be given to this question.Owing its ratification to the law of a State, it has been contended that the same authority might repeal the law by which it was ratified.From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction.
It is of high importance to the peace of America that she observe the laws of nations towards all these powers, 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.Hence, it clearly appears, that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy, in controlling the effects of faction, is enjoyed by a large over a small republic,--is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it.When did the independent states, into which Britain and Spain were formerly divided, combine in such alliance, or unite their forces against a foreign enemy.But the convention have guarded against all danger of this sort, with the most provident and judicious attention.A plentiful addition of evils would have their source in that relation in which Europe stands to this quarter of the earth, and which no other quarter of the earth bears to Europe.Restrictions on the Authority of the Several States From the New York Packet.Author: Alexander 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.The best judges of the matter will be the least anxious for a constitutional establishment of the trial by jury in civil cases, and will be the most ready to admit that the changes which are continually happening in the affairs of society may render a different mode of determining questions of property preferable in many cases in which that mode of trial now prevails.