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Federalist 10 Essay - Term Paper
The American federal government is a republic,in Madison's terms (#10, rather than a democracy,because people do not vote themselves but are governed by representativesthey elect. However, the word "democracy" has become expanded since Madison'stime to include, at least in the popular meaning, democratically electedrepresentative government. America now is usually referred to asa democracy. I believe that when the teachers told the students thatthe election was democratic they were really meaning that it was the Americanway of doing things, which was intended to imply that it was thereforefair and good. If the word just means majorityrule, then it does no good to answer the students' complaint --that majorityrule in this case was unfair-- by saying that the election was fair becauseit was democratic, since that would just be to say that majority rule isfair because it is majority rule. At any rate, the point is thatthis election was not necessarily the American way of doing things (whetherwe want to call it or not), because our founding fatherswanted to prevent just this sort of tyranny of the majority that democracyin the strict or old sense tends to foster or permit. ()
This [new] government is to possess absolute and uncontrollable powers,legislative, executive and judicial, with respect to every object to which itextends, for by the last clause of section eighth, article first, it isdeclared, that the Congress shall have power "to make all laws which shallbe necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, andall other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the UnitedStates, or in any department or office thereof. " And by the sixth article,it is declared, "that this Constitution, and the laws of the United States,which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and the treaties made, or which shallbe made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law ofthe land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any thing in theConstitution or law of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. " Itappears from these articles, that there is no need of any intervention of theState governments, between the Congress and the people, to execute any one powervested in the general government, and that the Constitution and laws of everyState are nullified and declared void, so far as they are or shall beinconsistent with this Constitution, or the laws made in pursuance of it, orwith treaties made under the authority of the United States. The government,then, so far as it extends, is a complete one, and not a confederation. It isas much one complete government as that of New York or Massachusetts; has asabsolute and perfect powers to make and execute all laws, to appoint officers,institute courts, declare offenses, and annex penalties, with respect to everyobject to which it extends, as any other in the world. So far, therefore, asits powers reach, all ideas of confederation are given up and lost. It is truethis government is limited to certain objects, or to speak more properly, somesmall degree of power is still left to the States; but a little attention to thepowers vested in the general government, will convince every candid man, that ifit is capable of being executed, all that is reserved for the individual Statesmust very soon be annihilated, except so far as they are barely necessary to theorganization of the general government. The powers of the general legislatureextend to every case that is of the least importance - there is nothing valuableto human nature, nothing dear to freemen, but what is within its power. It hasthe authority to make laws which will affect the lives, the liberty, andproperty of every man in the United States; nor can the Constitution or laws ofany State, in any way prevent or impede the full and complete execution of everypower given. The legislative power is competent to lay taxes, duties, imposts,and excises; there is no limitation to this power, unless it be said that theclause which directs the use to which those taxes and duties shall be applied,may be said to be a limitation. But this is no restriction of the power at all,for by this clause they are to be applied to pay the debts and provide for thecommon defense and general welfare of the United States; but the legislaturehave authority to contract debts at their discretion; they are the sole judgesof what is necessary to provide for the common defense, and they only are todetermine what is for the general welfare. This power, therefore, is neithermore nor less than a power to lay and collect taxes, imposts, and excises, attheir pleasure; not only the power to lay taxes unlimited as to the amount theymay require, but it is perfect and absolute to raise ;hem in any mode theyplease. No State legislature, or any power in the State governments, have anymore to do in carrying this into effect than the authority of one State has todo with that of another. In the business, therefore, of laying and collectingtaxes, the idea of confederation is totally lost, and that of one entirerepublic is embraced. It is proper here to remark, that the authority to layand collect taxes is the most important of any power that can be granted; itconnects with it almost all other powers, or at least will in process of timedraw all others after it; it is the great mean of protection, security, anddefense, in a good government, and the great engine of oppression and tyranny ina bad one. This cannot fail of being the case, if we consider the contractedlimits which are set by this Constitution, to the State governments, on thisarticle of raising money. No State can emit paper money, lay any duties orimposts, on imports, or exports, but by consent of the Congress; and then thenet produce shall be for the benefit of the United States. The only means,therefore, left for any State to support its government and discharge its debts,is by direct taxation; and the United States have also power to lay and collecttaxes, in any way they please. Everyone who has thought on the subject, must beconvinced that but small sums of money can he collected in any country, bydirect tax; when the federal government begins to exercise the right of taxationin all its parts, the legislatures of the several states will find it impossibleto raise monies to support their governments. Without money they cannot besupported, and they must dwindle away, and, as before observed, their powers beabsorbed in that of the general government.
Federalist Paper 10 Analysis - 570 Words - StudyMode
Mr. [James] Wilson asserts that never was charge made with less reason, thanthat which predicts the institution of a baneful aristocracy in the federalSenate. ' In my first number, I stated that this body would be a very unequalrepresentation of the several States, that the members being appointed for thelong term of six years, and there being no exclusion by rotation, they might becontinued for life, which would follow of course from their extensive means ofinfluence, and that possessing a considerable share in the executive as well asthe legislative, it would become a permanent aristocracy, and swallow up theother orders in the government.
And in order to give the federal courts jurisdiction of an action, betweencitizens of the same state, in common acceptation - may not a court allow theplaintiff to say, he is a citizen of one state, and the defendant a citizen ofanother without carrying legal fictions so far, by any means, as they have beencarried by the courts of King's Bench and Exchequer, in order to bring causeswithin their cognizance? Further, the federal city and districts, will betotally distinct from any state, and a citizen of a state will not of course besubject of any of them. And to avail himself of the privileges and immunitiesof them, must he not be naturalized by congress in them? And may not congressmake any proportion of the citizens of the states naturalized subjects of thefederal city and districts, and thereby entitle them to sue or defend, in allcases, in the federal courts? I have my doubts, and many sensible men, I find,have their doubts, on these points. And we ought to observe, they must besettled in the courts of law, by their rules, distinctions, and fictions. Toavoid many of these intricacies and difficulties, and to avoid the undue andunnecessary extension of the federal judicial powers, it appears to me that nofederal districts ought to be allowed, and no federal city or town - exceptperhaps a small town, in which the government shall be republican, but in whichcongress shall have no jurisdiction over the inhabitants of the states. Can theunion want, in such a town, any thing more than a right to the soil to which itmay set its buildings, and extensive jurisdiction over the federal buildings,and property, its own members, officers, and servants in it? As to all federalobjects, the union will have complete jurisdiction over them of course anywhere, and every where. I still think that no actions ought to be allowed to bebrought in the federal courts, between citizens of different states; at least,unless the cause be of very considerable importance. And that no action againsta state government, by any citizen or foreigner, ought to be allowed; and noaction, in which a foreign subject is party, at least, unless it be of veryconsiderable importance, ought to be instituted in federal courts. I confess, Ican see no reason whatever, for a foreigner, or for citizens of differentstates, carrying sixpenny causes into the federal courts. I think the statecourts will be found by experience, to be bottomed on better principles, and toadminister justice better than the federal courts. The difficulties and dangersI have supposed will result from so large a federal city, and federal districts,from the extension of the federal judicial powers, etc. are not, I conceive,merely possible, but probable. I think pernicious political consequences willfollow from them, and from the federal city especially, for very obviousreasons, a few of which I will mention.
Federalist Papers 10 Essay - 1414 Words - StudyMode
The natural meaning of this paragraph seems to be no more than this, thatCongress may declare, that certain cases shall not be subject to the appellatejurisdiction, and they may point out the mode in which the court shall proceedin bringing up the causes before them, the manner of their taking evidence toestablish the facts, and the method of the court's proceeding. But I presumethey cannot take from the court the right of deciding on the fact, any more thanthey can deprive them of the right of determining on the law, when a cause isonce before them; for they have the same jurisdiction as to fact, as they haveas to the law. But supposing the Congress may under this clause establish thetrial by jury on appeals. It does not seem to me that it will render thisarticle much less exceptionable. An appeal from one court and jury, to anothercourt and jury, is a thing altogether unknown in the laws of our state [NewYork], and in most of the states in the union. A practice of this kind prevailsin the eastern states: actions are there commenced in the inferior courts, andan appeal lies from them on the whole merits to the superior courts. Theconsequence is well known. Very few actions are determined in the lower courts;it is rare that a case of any importance is not carried by appeal to the supremecourt, and the jurisdiction of the inferior courts is merely nominal; this hasproved so burdensome to the people in Massachusetts, that it was one of theprincipal causes which excited the insurrection in that state, in the year past.[There are] very few sensible and moderate men in that state but what willadmit, that the inferior courts are almost entirely useless, and answer verylittle purpose, save only to accumulate costs against the poor debtors who arealready unable to pay their just debts.
It has been the fate of this clause, as it has of most of those againstwhich unanswerable objections have been offered, to be explained different ways,by the advocates and opponents to the constitution. I confess I do not knowwhat the advocates of the system would make it mean, for I have not beenfortunate enough to see in any publication this clause taken up and considered. It is certain however, they do not admit the explanation which those who opposethe constitution give it, or otherwise they would not so frequently charge themwith want of candor, for alleging that it takes away the trial by jury. Appealsfrom an inferior to a superior court, as practised in the civil law courts, arewell understood. In these courts, the judges determine both on the law and thefact; and appeals are allowed from the inferior to the superior courts, on thewhole merits; the superior tribunal will re-examine all the facts as well as thelaw, and frequently new facts will be introduced, so as many times to render thecause in the court of appeals very different from what it was in the courtbelow.
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The Federalist #51 - Constitution Society
We may amuse ourselves with names; but the fact is, men will be governed bythe motives and temptations that surround their situation. Political evils tobe guarded against are in the human character, and not in the name of patricianor plebeian. Had the people of Italy, in the early period of the republic,selected yearly or biennially, four or five hundred of their best informed men,emphatically from among themselves, these representatives would have formed anhonest respectable assembly, capable of combining in them the views andexertions of the people and their respectability would have procured them honestand able leaders, and we should have seen equal liberty established. Trueliberty stands in need of a fostering band, from the days of Adam she has foundbut one temple to dwell in securely. She has laid the foundation of one,perhaps her last in America; whether this is to be completed and have duration,is yet a question. Equal liberty never yet found many advocates among thegreat. It is a disagreeable truth that power perverts men's views in a greaterdegree than public employments inform their understandings. They becomehardened in certain maxims, and more lost to fellow feelings. Men may always betoo cautious to commit alarming and glaring iniquities; but they, as well assystems, are liable to be corrupted by slow degrees. Junius well observes, weare not only to guard against what men will do, but even against what they maydo. Men in high public offices are in stations where they gradually lose sightof the people, and do not often think of attending to them, except whennecessary to answer private purposes.
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