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Federalist Papers

Philosophy entails two main senses: that of listening, and that of seeing where one has to read carefully, examine arguments and come up with a significant personal point of view. Federalism is the supposition or promotion of federal standards for separating powers between member components and common institutions. Federal political orders have non-centralized autonomy between a minimum of two levels such that each has final power and can be self-governing in some area. Federalist papers are a sequence of 85 essays supporting the endorsement of the U.S. constitution written by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison as Publius. These papers continue to be prime sources for explanation of the U.S. constitution. This paper discusses how the Federalism papers still haunt American governance and the conflict between Hamilton’s philosophy of governance and administration and the Madison’s philosophy.

Hamilton was a Scottish philosophy His philosophy was that anything deemed is between the two extremes, which, though contradictory, can’t be both true, however as mutually contradictory, one must be true (Anonymous, 2001). According to Hamilton, such incongruity was as an attempt of pushing reason outside its proper limits. Madison’s political philosophy was based on the unchallengeable right of the person to freedom subject to religion, that is, in order to be fully human, men had to be free, and this freedom, would be by participating in their government (Rowley, 1999).

I believe that the basic tensions between The Federalist Papers still haunt American governance. This is acknowledged by Frisch (2010) in his paper, where he points out that it is not simply probable to determine the divergence among the reasoning of the three men by adopting any one of the three. The greatest tension in the history of Americans was between Hamilton on one side and Jefferson and Madison on the other. These two sides found themselves in a clash over what the basic character of the American constitution was supposed to be. Hamilton proposed a the presence of a more powerful executive to counteract the overly powerful legislature, Jefferson believed that the constitution had the president in possession of too much power on the possibility of a second ruling, while Madison’s concern was on the lack of power, as vested in the national legislature to state laws, by the central government.

First it can be seen that out of the 85 papers, 51 were written by Hamilton who wrote mostly about the advantages of union, why a strong government with plenary powers was important and the construction of the executive and the judiciary branches to neutralize the over powerful legislature powers, while Madison (who wrote 29) scrutinizes the partition powers between state and national administration, check and balances amongst these three branches and he discuss the constitution of the House and the Senate and the theory they reflect about representation (Rowley, 1999). Such an argument by Madison is important as the most persistent themes in politics in America today are those of representation and lawful limits of legislative power. For instance, a president can only rule for two consecutive terms at the end of which they retire and new leaders come in. As indicated in Madison’s essays number 51 and number 10, his issues of generation of immensity and power versus liberty are cut though to demonstrate that a nation can be immense in power and dimension and also republican and free which makes Hamilton’s papers appear like Madison’s enhancement (Avalon project, 2008).

On the other hand, Hamilton’s papers can be seen as relevant in the setting down of the base of national union for Madison to fabricate. In Madison’s argument, the relationship between the council to their electorates must reveal the wellbeing of the mainstream as well as rise above any influence to bargain them to fairness and the good of all. This meant that there must be union amongst the representative hence calling for governance. But just how large must the number of representatives be (Avalon project, 2008). In the Federalist number 14, Madison should describe his dimension of a nation as it should not be too large or too small but just right (Avalon project, 2008). To make this scheme work in America today, the inclusion of improvement in communication and travel must be incorporated as reasons that intimidate the fraction of representatives to their citizens.

One of the numerous advantages of the promised well build Union was it propensity to break and control violence of faction. For Hamilton, the key to the strength of the national government is not so much the concurrent majoritarianism that Madison describes in The Federalist Numbers 10 and 51, but rather it is the unity and the degree of independence of the executive that he himself discusses in Federalist numbers 67- 77 (Avalon project, 2008). Hamilton’s political program then and now is mainly on the support of an independent executive. In addition, Hamilton’s take was that legislative preeminence was one obligation of legitimate government where the level of features that the law must descend to in directing the executive matters. Hamilton’s executive had to be a genuine bureau of the government since only it had the necessary level of unity to create the energy and rationality necessary for sound public policy as can be seen in Federalism number 69 (Avalon project, 2008).

Hamilton protected the administrative power under the Constitution as being under the leadership of a single officer and was against the idea of a double managerial or the executive council as in Federalist number 70. He goes a head to defend the indefinite re-eligibility of the president in The Federalist Numbers 72 and 73 (Avalon project, 2008). In contrast to the present day America, what is required is an executive that has a limited number of years in power as opposed to Hamilton’s power for life executive. In Federalist number 70, Hamilton defends the unity of the executive by citing the bottomless, concrete and resourceful executive power is more easily restricted when it is one. The question that arises on the issue of executive government is if it would guarantee government’s obligations and not attempt to run contrary to the people (Avalon project, 2008). As can be seen from Hamilton’s defense for the executive, the government is to be held responsible for the general interests and good of the people and not segments of the population who Madison deems as the majority.

From this discussion, it is evident that there is apprehension between Madison and Hamilton’s argument in the Federalist Papers regarding the executive versus legislative supremacy, and presentation. In the Federalist number 80 -83, Hamilton clearly defines the need for a judicial branch of the government to remain responsible for all court systems as well as for the benefit of the maintenance of law and order for the citizens of the nation of America as a whole (Avalon project, 2008). The judiciary will also serve as a means of disintegrating the power that is bestowed to the current time by Madison


Anonymous, (2001). William Hamilton (1788-1856). Retrieved on 13-04-2011 from last updated on 2001 April 16.

Frisch M.J., (2011). The Hamilton-Madison-Jefferson Triangle: Their Three-Cornered Perspectives on the Constitution. John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs. Retrieved on 13-04-2011 from

The Avalon Project, (2008). The Federalist papers. Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library. Retrieved on 13-04-2011 from last updated in 2008.

Rowley C. K., (1999). The Thought of James Madison. The Locke Luminary Vol. II, No. 1 (summer 1999). Part 4.

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