Federalist No. 71 – Alexander Hamilton
- The President’s term should be four years.
- Some think that it’s too long and he could amass power.
- In this span, he has time to counteract temporary passions or influences of factions in the public and their representatives.
- His duty is to protect the interests of the people and greater good of the nation especially when the people want a bad policy.
- He’ll have enough time to pursue the best policies
- If this time is too short, he might not be bold and controversial actions with reelection looming will be afraid of electoral repercussions.
Federalist No. 70 – Alexander Hamilton
- A single executive is necessary for accountability, “executive energy” and defense against legislative encroachment on his power.
- One is enough to ensure secrecy, fewer fights and allowing decisions to be made quickly.
- Congress will have time to deliberate and listen to open discussion to prevent tyranny of the majority. Its function is to pass laws and once passed. Then opposition must end.
- The Executive there to execute laws and once they’ve been passed, it’s important to start enforcing them straight away.
- War demands a strong executive because divisiveness can be a killer.
- With more than one President, (i.e. council), no one person is responsible.
- He must not be immune to censure, accountability or punishment.
- Councils often act as a cushion between kings and make it so that the people don’t matter.
- Councils are expensive to maintain à the best model is the New York state governor.
Federalist No. 69 – Alexander Hamilton
- The President won’t be an elected monarch.
- He can only negate acts, not pass them.
- He can have a veto overturned but a king can’t.
- Both the President and King serve as commander and chief.
- A King can raise and maintain an army but the Congress alone can do that under the Constitution.
- The President can make treaties with the Senate’s approval but the King can do it alone.
- The President’s officers also need Senate approval but the King’s officers don’t.
- The President is limited with respect to commerce and currency.
- The President will have less power than a state governor.
Federalist No. 68 – Alexander Hamilton
- The Electoral College allows the sense of the people playing a role in selecting the President without mayhem and disorder.
- A direct election would bring us chaos and instability.
- Electors in the Electoral College would be unbiased since they don’t hold office.
- This ensures that the President is a man of virtue and ability.
- There are possibilities where the House can select the President if there is no majority.
Federalist No. 51 – James Madison
- Explains how the structure of government has an effect on liberty.
- Each branch should be mostly independent – no branch should have too much power in selecting members of the other branches.
- Easy to make executive and legislative branches elected positions but it’s difficult for judges to be chosen this way because the average person lacks the ability to determine if judges are qualified and reliable or not. Judges must be free from political pressures. Lifetime appointments get around this pressure.
- Members of the branch should not depend much on members of the other branches with respect to salaries.
- The Constitution must check against a government official’s ambitions and interests but we must be honest enough that this happens.
- Government is to control the people and itself à this depends on the will of the people to control itself.
- While all branches should be fairly equal, the legislature tends to be the strongest and it needs to be split into 2 parts to slow it down.
- Also, the government must watch out for citizens and group of majorities who threaten minorities. To avoid evil:
- Create a community that will be larger than and independent of a simple majority – This is dangerous because government might get involved to our collective detriment.
- Authority should come from all of society.
- The Constitution has society divided into many groups with different views and interests. This will make it difficult to dominate other groups.
- Make the purpose of government and civil society justice.
- If government allows or encourages tyranny against other groups, liberty is dead and you get mob rule.
- With many different groups, self-government flourishes. Aiming to design something like the Constitution to allow for this on a large scale.
Federalist No. 47 – James Madison
- Detractors say that the Constitution doesn’t divide the powers up enough so that they’re not wholly independent and that they are unevenly distributed.
- Important to focus on separation of powers.
- If too much power is given to one branch, it’s tyrannical but how much to give to each one and how separate should they be?
- Quotes Montesquieu who liked the British model – but the British model doesn’t have a clear separation between the branches of government.
- King appoints judges and signs treaties on his own
- Courts consult him, legislatures advise him and during impeachment he acts as judge.
- While legislative and executive powers can’t be united and have there be liberty me be the separation doesn’t need to be 100%
- The state governments aren’t completely separate but there’s no complaint against them.
Federalist No. 31 – Alexander Hamilton
- The federal government needs to tax because it needs money to perform its functions
- Needs enough power to fulfill its responsibilities
- Can’t predict future problems of the government and shouldn’t be constrained
- Needs money to do those things and it needs to be able to fix problems
- The structure must be set up to prevent money from leading to tyranny within the government