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James Madison, Federalist Papers #45

Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay

❶HAVING shown that no one of the powers transferred to the federal government is unnecessary or improper, the next question to be considered is, whether the whole mass of them will be dangerous to the portion of authority left in the several States.

Alleged Danger From the Powers of the Union to the State Governments Considered

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In Chapter 44, a fifth classification of powers consisted of certain restrictions imposed on the authority of the states. No state was to enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; or coin money, issue bills of credit, pass any law impairing the obligation of contracts, "or grant any title of nobility. A sixth classification consisted of several powers and provisions designed to give effect to all the rest.

One such provision gave the national government the power to make all laws deemed "necessary and proper for carrying into execution" all its other powers.

No part of the proposed constitution, Madison observed, was being assailed "with more intemperance" by Anti-Federalists, who objected to the blanket phrase "necessary and proper.

That was impossible, Madison replied. Had the Constitutional Convention attempted to specify the "particular" powers necessary for implementing the Constitution, that would have involved a "complete digest of laws on every subject to which the Constitution relates.

Taking higher ground, Madison declared: Another restriction on the states was salutary. As the measures adopted and the treaties signed by the national government were to be the supreme law of the land, that law was to be binding on all state judges, no matter what the constitution or laws of any state might be. Also, the law requiring all federal officials to take an oath to support the Constitution was to be extended to include state officers and all members of state legislatures.

State officials would be essential in giving effect to the federal Constitution. The election of the president and the United States Senate would depend in all cases upon the state legislatures. In Chapter 45, would the powers of the national government be dangerous to the authority of the states? Critics said they would be; Madison said not.

Under the Constitution, the states would retain a "very extensive portion of active sovereignty. The United States Senate would be elected "absolutely and exclusively" by the state legislatures.

The House of Representatives, though elected by the people, would be chosen very much under the influence of those men who had risen to become members of state legislatures. The national government would employ far fewer persons than the state governments in the aggregate. Consequently, the personal influence of national employees would be less than that of state employees, who would also be closer to the people. The powers to be delegated to the national government were few and defined, while those retained by the states were numerous and indefinite.

The operations of the national government would be most extensive in times of war and danger; those of the states, in times of peace and security. In Chapter 46, the author next asked whether the national government or the state governments would have the advantage in gaining the support of the people.

The state governments would, he argued, for they would take care of the more domestic and personal interests of the people. A greater number of individuals could expect to rise to office in state governments to enjoy the salaries and "emoluments" thereof. If the national government ever became disposed to extend its power beyond due limits and raised a standing army to carry out its designs, that army, in relation to the total population, could not exceed 30, men.

On the other hand, the combined militias of the states would total some , men, and American militiamen had proved what they could do by defeating British regulars during the Revolution. The states would have nothing to fear if they joined the union. There was no danger of state governments being annihilated. In this series of essays Madison was clear in his arguments that the new national government should have "unlimited" power in raising military forces for self-defense, in levying taxes and borrowing money, in dealing with foreign nations, in regulating interstate commerce and the Indian trade, in setting up uniform rules for naturalization and bankruptcy, and in establishing post offices, post roads, and other improvements.

In support of the provision that the new government should have the exclusive right to legislate for the national capital district not yet designated , Madison declared Chapter 43 that if it were otherwise, the "public authority might be insulted and its proceedings be interrupted, with impunity.

The residents of Washington, D. Congress still legislates for the city and as Congress directs its attention to national affairs, it has little time or disposition to deal with local affairs. Since the states, under the U. Constitution, keep a lot of power it is important to analyze whether enough checks have been placed on their authority to hurt the union.

The state governments gain from the relationship with the federal government. The federal government serves to protect states from disputes with their neighbors, to grant powers in the state governments and to provide the additional support of the people. The federal government cannot run without the state governments.

The state legislatures are the ones to elect the President of the United States, and to select the state Senators. Each branch of the federal government relies in these ways upon the state governments and will feel dependence towards them.

The number of federal employees will be much smaller than the total number of all the state employees. The state government employees will have more influence because of their larger numbers. State tax collectors will be much more present in the community than federal tax collectors which will focus on collecting tariffs on the seas.

Federalist Essays No.45 - No. 46

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The Federalist Papers Summary No Madison January 26, In this important paper Madison, the primary author of the Constitution, explains how the Constitution is designed to preserve States rights.

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Home» Federalist Papers» FEDERALIST PAPER #45 SUMMARY. Today’s post is FEDERALIST PAPER #45 – Alleged Danger From the Powers of the Union to the State Governments Considered – written by James Madison and published Saturday, January 26, Federalist 45 begins with the question: was the revolution fought to secure the peace, liberty, safety, and public good of the American people or to secure the sovereignty of the states? Madison says, the former, and he is willing, if necessary, to sacrifice the states for the “public happiness.”.