Federalist Papers Summary No. 27

 

Federalist Papers Summary No. 27

 
 

Federalist Papers Author Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton

Federalist Papers Summary Number 27

The Federalist Papers Summary No 27:  Hamilton
December 23, 1787

This paper addresses the allegation that the proposed constitution cannot operate without the aid of a military force to execute its laws.  No reason for this allegation is given by the critics so it is assumed that the obedience or disobedience to the laws must be related to the goodness or badness of the administration at the national level.  But these papers have shown that because the national elections have greater extent than those of the States the choice for representatives will be greater, the role of factions will be less and the national Senate will consist of men chosen by care and judgment by the State Legislatures.

As an aside consider the last phrase which entered the constitution as “the Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State chosen by the Legislature thereof for six years and each Senator shall have one vote” in Article 1, Section 3. That was followed in Article 1 Section 4  by “The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations except as the places of chusing(sic) Senators”.   This says congress may make no law changing the place of choosing Senators and that place is the State Legislatures.  But the seventeenth amendment passed during the progressive Wilson era does exactly that by causing popular elections of the Senators.  So is the seventeenth amendment constitutional and why did progressives want it changed?

Returning to the paper, a new idea is added that the more interaction between the national government and the people “the more it will conciliate the respect and attachment of the community”.  The premise is that a government out-of-mind is more likely to be disobeyed by the people than one that interacts often in routine manners.  From current experience we know this idea can be carried too far. The argument that extending federal jurisdiction to the people and not just to the States will enable magistrates to enforce laws without the force of armies is given. 

 

Summary Written by Donald Mellon

 

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