Thomas Jefferson – First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1801) I am called to this office & thank you for the trust you’ve put in me. This job is beyond any human being. We are a young nation with fruitful land, engaged in industry, & commerce with nations who are surgingContinue Reading

  “Areopagitica” by John Milton (1644) Euripides – liberty is when free men can advise the public freely. Those who can & do do this are to be praised. Those who can’t or won’t, can shut up. What can be better for the country than this? Now those who wantContinue Reading

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 theContinue Reading

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 toContinue Reading

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 butContinue Reading

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 ensuresContinue Reading

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 forContinue Reading

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 muchContinue Reading

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 ableContinue Reading

Federalist No. 15 – Alexander Hamilton The Confederation didn’t preserve peace and happiness. And will probably lead to anarchy, riots, large debts, territories near foreign powers, no military, no money, no commerce, no foreign respect and falling prospects. The Confederation needed a stronger central government but couldn’t do so withoutContinue Reading

Federalist No. 10 – James Madison The best argument for the Constitution is that it controls damage and chaos of factions – people have banded together to promote and protect special economic and political interests. These often work against the public’s interest. The Articles of Confederation and strong, independent mindedContinue Reading

Federalist No. 9 – Alexander Hamilton A strong union will act as a defense barrier against invasion and domestic problems. This will come from a system of checks and balances between the different branches of government. Compare the branches of government to planets orbiting the sun – in a singleContinue Reading

Federalist No. 8 – Alexander Hamilton The problem with in-fighting is bigger than foreign attack The US has no civil defense set up – no castles, no city walls, no militia, etc. Large states could overrun their smaller neighbors If disunited, standing armies would be necessary and they are costlyContinue Reading

Federalist No. 7 – Alexander Hamilton If states aren’t united, they will be more likely to go to war with other countries including neighbors Border disputes, commercial competition, public debt may lead states to fight each other. This will make us look weak and disunited and either be tempted byContinue Reading

Federalist No. 6 – Alexander Hamilton Commercial clashes have caused nations to be unfriendly with other nations Wars happen all the time based on this, religion and border disputes The British have almost always been at war for these reasons Popular wars often based on commerce between 2 parties areContinue Reading

Federalist No. 5 – John Jay If our country descended into 3 or 4 countries, there’d be many border disputes and many other problems. Large differences would occur and might lead to a war. 3 or 4 nations would have different commercial interests and different alliances with foreign countries andContinue Reading

Federalist No. 4 – John Jay One government uniting the states will deter France, Spain and Britain from interfering in our lives. The US is growing its economy and that may spark tensions between the US and other economic powers. A single government can defend better than 13 individual states.Continue Reading

Federalist No. 3 – John Jay When deciding on a Constitution, consensus has to be taken into account to build a government strong enough for the general purposes of a government: prevention of invasion, suppressing insurrection and prosecuting crimes. The Constitution allows the government to deal with foreign threats andContinue Reading

Federalist No.2 – John Jay Q: Should we have just one federal government or many separate confederacies with multiple governments? The fate of America depends on staying united and giving its brightest citizens the chance to set up a good government. America is not a bunch of separate territories butContinue Reading

Federalist No. 1 – Alexander Hamilton The Articles of Confederation aren’t cutting it anymore. Things are unstable and might descend into chaos. Some people may benefit from the Confederation but it’s clear that most of us aren’t doing so well. The following series of Federalist papers focus on 6 majorContinue Reading