Selections from the Federalist
William Bennett Munro
Harvard University Press, 1914 - Constitutional history - 202 pages
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1914 Excerpt: ... VI JUSTIFICATION OF THE POWERS CONFERRED BY THE NEW CONSTITUTION UPON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (a) MILITARY POWERS General View Of The Powers Proposed To Be Vested In The Union The Constitution proposed by the Convention may be considered under two general points of view. The first relates to the sum or quantity of power which it vests in the government, including the restraints imposed on the states. The second, to the particular structure of the government, and the distribution of this power among its several branches. Under the first view of the subject, two important questions arise: i. Whether any part of the powers transferred to the general government be unnecessary or improper? 2. Whether the entire mass of them be dangerous to the portion of jurisdiction left in the several states? Is the aggregate power of the general government greater than ought to have been vested in it? This is the first question. It cannot have escaped those who have attended with candor to the arguments employed against the extensive powers of the government, that the authors of them have very little considered how far these powers were necessary means of attaining a necessary end. They have chosen rather to dwell on the inconveniences which must be unavoidably blended with all political advantages, and on the possible abuses which must be incident to every power or trust, of which a beneficial use can be made. This method of handling the subject cannot impose on the good sense of the people of America. It may display the subtlety of the writer, it may open a boundless field for rhetoric and declamation, it may inflame the passions of the unthinking, and may confirm the prejudices of the misthinking; but cool and candid people will at once reflect that the purest of human ble...
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Page 63 - By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.
Page 188 - In the government of this Commonwealth, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them : the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them : the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them: to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men.
Page 163 - Bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and laws impairing the obligation of contracts, are contrary to the first principles of the social compact and to every principle of sound legislation.
Page 56 - It is impossible to read the history of the petty republics of Greece and Italy without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were continually agitated, and at the rapid succession of revolutions by which they were kept in a state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy.
Page 184 - No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty, than that on which the objection is founded; The accumulation of all powers Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or manj% and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.
Page 145 - STATES, and to consist of one delegate from each state; and to appoint such other committees and civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs of the United States under their direction...
Page 195 - The other State which I shall take for an example is Pennsylvania; and the other authority, the Council of Censors which assembled in the years 1783 and 1784.
Page 64 - But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. 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 moneyed interest, with many lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide them into different classes, actuated...
Page 193 - Will it be sufficient to mark, with precision, the boundaries of these departments, in the constitution of the government, and to trust to these parchment barriers against the encroaching spirit of power...
Page 187 - When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty ; because apprehensions may arise, lest the same monarch or senate should enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in a tyrannical manner.