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Federalist No. 45

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Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay
Federalist No. 45
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The Lycian Confederacy, as far as its principles and form are transmitted, must have borne a still greater analogy to it. Yet history does not inform us that either of them ever degenerated, or tended to degenerate, into one consolidated government.

On the contrary, we know that the ruin of one of them proceeded from the incapacity of the federal authority to prevent the dissensions, and finally the disunion, of the subordinate authorities. These cases are the more worthy of our attention, as the external causes by which the component parts were pressed together were much more numerous and powerful than in our case; and consequently less powerful ligaments within would be sufficient to bind the members to the head, and to each other.

In the feudal system, we have seen a similar propensity exemplified. Notwithstanding the want of proper sympathy in every instance between the local sovereigns and the people, and the sympathy in some instances between the general sovereign and the latter, it usually happened that the local sovereigns prevailed in the rivalship for encroachments. Had no external dangers enforced internal harmony and subordination, and particularly, had the local sovereigns possessed the affections of the people, the great kingdoms in Europe would at this time consist of as many independent princes as there were formerly feudatory barons.

The State governments will have the advantage of the Federal government , whether we compare them in respect to the immediate dependence of the one on the other; to the weight of personal influence which each side will possess; to the powers respectively vested in them; to the predilection and probable support of the people; to the disposition and faculty of resisting and frustrating the measures of each other.

The State governments may be regarded as constituent and essential parts of the federal government; whilst the latter is nowise essential to the operation or organization of the former. Without the intervention of the State legislatures, the President of the United States cannot be elected at all. They must in all cases have a great share in his appointment, and will, perhaps, in most cases, of themselves determine it.

The Senate will be elected absolutely and exclusively by the State legislatures. Even the House of Representatives, though drawn immediately from the people, will be chosen very much under the influence of that class of men, whose influence over the people obtains for themselves an election into the State legislatures.

Thus, each of the principal branches of the federal government will owe its existence more or less to the favor of the State governments, and must consequently feel a dependence, which is much more likely to beget a disposition too obsequious than too overbearing towards them. On the other side, the component parts of the State governments will in no instance be indebted for their appointment to the direct agency of the federal government, and very little, if at all, to the local influence of its members.

The number of individuals employed under the Constitution of the United States will be much smaller than the number employed under the particular States. There will consequently be less of personal influence on the side of the former than of the latter. The members of the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments of thirteen and more States, the justices of peace, officers of militia, ministerial officers of justice, with all the county, corporation, and town officers, for three millions and more of people, intermixed, and having particular acquaintance with every class and circle of people, must exceed, beyond all proportion, both in number and influence, those of every description who will be employed in the administration of the federal system.

Compare the members of the three great departments of the thirteen States, excluding from the judiciary department the justices of peace, with the members of the corresponding departments of the single government of the Union; compare the militia officers of three millions of people with the military and marine officers of any establishment which is within the compass of probability, or, I may add, of possibility, and in this view alone, we may pronounce the advantage of the States to be decisive.

If the federal government is to have collectors of revenue, the State governments will have theirs also. And as those of the former will be principally on the seacoast, and not very numerous, whilst those of the latter will be spread over the face of the country, and will be very numerous, the advantage in this view also lies on the same side.

It is true, that the Confederacy is to possess, and may exercise, the power of collecting internal as well as external taxes throughout the States; but it is probable that this power will not be resorted to, except for supplemental purposes of revenue; that an option will then be given to the States to supply their quotas by previous collections of their own; and that the eventual collection, under the immediate authority of the Union, will generally be made by the officers, and according to the rules, appointed by the several States.

Indeed it is extremely probable, that in other instances, particularly in the organization of the judicial power, the officers of the States will be clothed with the correspondent authority of the Union. Should it happen, however, that separate collectors of internal revenue should be appointed under the federal government, the influence of the whole number would not bear a comparison with that of the multitude of State officers in the opposite scale.

Within every district to which a federal collector would be allotted, there would not be less than thirty or forty, or even more, officers of different descriptions, and many of them persons of character and weight, whose influence would lie on the side of the State.

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.

The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security. Constitution , and responses to each of the criticisms of the plan. Opponents to the new plan criticize it most on it creating a strong central government that will be abusive to individual liberty. However, an energetic government is crucial to the protection of individual liberty. The plan of government under the Articles of Confederation was unable to effectively protect individual liberties because it did not act directly upon the people, and had no authority to enforce its laws.

One of the biggest problems resulting from the Articles of Confederation was that there was no means to enforce unity amongst the states. This led to competition between the states over land, commerce, and repayment of public debt. Over time, this would naturally lead to further competition, and an inability to provide for the common defense. Additionally, individual states would seek to increase their own military strength to defend themselves against foreign invasions and invasions by their neighbors, leading to more wars, and to the suppression of civil liberties by military despotism.

The confederate republic form of government is ideal for the United States because it extends the advantages of popular government, in the form of the central government, without reducing the compactness, in the form of the state governments that retain much of their sovereignty. Factions are less likely in this form of government because the base of representation is spread over a much larger population.

The proposed plan of government will also improve commerce and the wealth of the nation because European nations will be compelled to follow uniform trade regulations enforced by a single navy. They will become inclined to negotiate for more mutually beneficial trade. The wealth of the nation will improve and the government's revenue will increase, thereby reducing the likelihood for property taxes. The most important function of the government is to provide for the common defense, and the central government should be given as much power as necessary to match the responsibility of providing for the common defense.

The confederacy failed to effectively provide for the common defense because the responsibility fell upon the central government, while the power rested with the states. The central government must be able to maintain standing armies, provide for a national militia, and be able to levy direct taxes to support its common defense and provide for national prosperity. Fears about the central government becoming too powerful and abusing its military authority or right to tax should be soothed by understanding the role of legislature, or the representatives of the people, in determining the central government's authority to raise an army and levy taxes.

Allowing both the federal and state government to levy taxes will ensure that they both have enough funds to effectively plan to meet their different needs. Critics claim that the Constitutional Convention was not authorized to remove the Articles of Confederation.

In fact, resolutions of both the Annapolis Convention and the Confederation Congress allowed for any changes consistent with the needs of the nation.

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The Federalist Papers Summary No Madison January 26, In this important paper Madison, the primary author of the Constitution, explains how the Constitution is designed to preserve States rights.

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A summary of Federalist Essays No - No. 46 in The Founding Fathers's The Federalist Papers (). Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Federalist Papers () and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. A short summary of The Founding Fathers's The Federalist Papers (). This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of The Federalist Papers ().

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Home» Federalist Papers» FEDERALIST PAPER #45 SUMMARY. Today’s post is FEDERALIST PAPER #45 – Alleged Danger From the Powers of the Union to the State Governments Considered – written by James Madison and published Saturday, January 26, Federalist 45 begins with the question: was the revolution fought to secure the peace, liberty, safety, and public good of the American people or to secure the sovereignty of the states? Madison says, the former, and he is willing, if necessary, to sacrifice the states for the “public happiness.”.