Federalist 84

Summary

Federalist 84, written by Alexander Hamilton, addresses the idea that a Bill of Rights was not a necessary component of the proposed Constitution. He claims that the rights contained within a Bill of Rights were already stated in the convention's plan. He lists specific article and section numbers in order to give examples of how the Constitution already protected individual rights. In addition, Hamilton compares the proposed Constitution to that of the State of New York (the constitution of his target audience). He emphasizes that New York's constitution also does not contain a Bill of Rights. Hamilton goes one step further than saying the Bill of Rights is unnecessary; he states that it could potentially be dangerous. He contends that listing protections and exceptions to powers that don't exist could provide a basis for the federal government to claim more power than it was given. Next, he addresses the objection that the federal government is too distant from the people. He states that since state representatives will closely watch those representing their constituents at the federal level, the common people will have more knowledge about the actions of Congress than about their state legislatures. Hamilton wraps up the paper by addressing the fear that the proposed government will be too expensive. Hamilton points out that the new government would reduce state and federal overlap, thereby reducing the time both governments will spend in session, and as a result, the money spent on each. In conclusion, he states that even if the government costs a little bit more, the benefits clearly outweigh the extra cost. The current Confederation cannot hold together the Union for long.


Original Text

Translation

Certain General and Miscellaneous Objections to the Constitution Considered and Answered

Independent Journal
Wednesday, July 16, Saturday, July 26, Saturday, August 9, 1788
Alexander Hamilton

To the People of the State of New York:

IN THE course of the foregoingforegoing adjective just mentioned or stated; preceding. review of the Constitution, I have taken notice of, and endeavored to answer most of the objections which have appeared against it. There, however, remain a few which either did not fall naturally under any particular head or were forgotten in their proper places. These shall now be discussed; but as the subject has been drawn into great length, I shall so far consult brevity as to comprise all my observations on these miscellaneous points in a single paper. In the course of reviewing the Constitution, I have attempted to answer all of the objections raised against its ratification. However, there are a few topics that didn't naturally fit under any previously covered category, or that were forgotten. I will now briefly discuss them.
The most considerable of the remaining objections is that the plan of the convention contains no bill of rights. Among other answers given to this, it has been upon different occasions remarked that the constitutions of several of the States are in a similar predicament. I add that New York is of the number. And yet the opposers of the new system, in this State, who profess an unlimited admiration for its constitution, are among the most intemperateintemperate adjective having or showing a lack of self-control; immoderate. partisans of a bill of rights. To justify their zealzeal noun great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective. in this matter, they allege two things: one is that, though the constitution of New York has no bill of rights prefixed to it, yet it contains, in the body of it, various provisions in favor of particular privileges and rights, which, in substance amount to the same thing; the other is, that the Constitution adopts, in their full extent, the common and statute law of Great Britain, by which many other rights, not expressed in it, are equally secured. The biggest remaining objection to the Constitution is the lack of bill of rights. In response to this objection, it has been said that many states' constitutions, including New York's, also lack a bill of rights. Yet, New Yorkers who oppose the new Constitution, who claim to love their state constitution, are among those most loudly calling for a national bill of rights. To explain this contradiction, they claim two things: one, that the New York constitution contains provisions protecting privileges and rights amounting to a bill of rights and, second, that the New York constitution adopts the British common law system, which protects individual rights.
To the first I answer, that the Constitution proposed by the convention contains, as well as the constitution of this State, a number of such provisions. In reality, the proposed Constitution protects the people's privileges and rights in several ways.
Independent of those which relate to the structure of the government, we find the following: Article 1, section 3, clause 7 — "Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to law." Section 9, of the same article, clause 2 — "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus A writ of habeas corpus (literally to "produce the body") is a court order to a person (prison warden) or agency (institution) holding someone in custody to deliver the imprisoned individual to the court issuing the order. shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it." Clause 3 — "No bill of attainder An item of legislation (prohibited by the US Constitution) that inflicts the forfeiture of land and civil rights suffered as a consequence of a sentence of death for treason or felony without judicial process. or ex-post-facto law A law that makes illegal an act that was legal when committed, increases the penalties for an infraction after it has been committed, or changes the rules of evidence to make conviction easier. shall be passed." Clause 7 — "No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States; and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state." Article 3, section 2, clause 3 — "The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed." Section 3, of the same article — "Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court." And clause 3, of the same section — "The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason; but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture, except during the life of the person attainted." Many sections of the Constitution protect the people's rights: Article 1, section 3, clause 7 — In cases of impeachment, judgment can't go further than removing the defendant from office and disqualifying them from holding any office in the future; but, if convicted, the party will undergo sentencing and punishments in accordance with the laws of the United States. Section 9, of the same article, clause 2 — The right to demand a trial in court cannot be suspended unless a local rebellion or some threat to public safety requires it. Clause 3 — No bill of attainder or ex-post-facto law can be passed. Clause 7 — No title of nobility can be granted by the United States; and no United States officer can, without consent of Congress, accept any presents or gifts of any kind from any king, prince, or foreign state. Article 3, section 2, clause 3 — Trials, with the exception of impeachment trials, will be held in front of jury and will be held in the state the crime occurred in; but when the crime occurred in multiple states, the trial location will be chosen by Congress. Article 3, section 3 — The only actions that qualify as treason are: waging war against America, or aiding the United States' enemies. At least two witnesses of the act of treason or a confession in front of a court are necessary to convict someone of treason. And clause 3, of the same section — Congress decides the punishment for treason; no punishment can prevent the convicted person's family from inheriting, keeping, or passing on land or titles after the convicted person dies.
It may well be a question, whether these are not, upon the whole, of equal importance with any which are to be found in the constitution of this State. The establishment of the writ of habeas corpus, the prohibition of ex post facto laws, and of TITLES OF NOBILITY, to which we have no corresponding provision in our Constitution, are perhaps greater securities to liberty and republicanism than any it contains. The creation of crimes after the commission of the fact, or, in other words, the subjecting of men to punishment for things which, when they were done, were breaches of no law, and the practice of arbitrary imprisonments, have been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny. The observations of the judicious Blackstone, in reference to the latter, are well worthy of recital: "To bereavebereave verb be deprived of a loved one through a profound absence, especially due to the loved one's death. a man of life, [says he] or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism, as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole nation; but confinement of the person, by secretly hurrying him to jail, where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten, is a less public, a less striking, and therefore a more dangerous engine of arbitrary government." And as a remedy for this fatal evil he is everywhere peculiarly emphaticalemphatically adverb be deprived of a loved one through a profound absence, especially due to the loved one's death. in his encomiumsencomium noun a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly. on the habeas corpus act, which in one place he calls "the BULWARKbulwark noun a defensive wall of the British Constitution." Some may question if the protections within the federal Constitution are equally strong as those in the New York constitution. The establishment of the writ of habeas corpus and the prohibition of ex post facto laws, and titles of nobility are greater securities to the values of liberty and republicanism than any protections that the New York constitution contains. Punishing men for acts that were not illegal when they were committed and imprisoning people without trials are common tools of tyranny. The observations of the British legal scholar William Blackstone, in reference to the common tools of tyranny, are worth mentioning: To deprive a man of life, or violently confiscate his land, without an accusation or a trial, must be an alarm of tyranny for the entire nation; but imprisonment of the person, where they will suffer in silence and be forgotten, is a less public and therefore an incredibly dangerous means of tyranny. And as a remedy for this evil, Blackstone constantly emphasizes the habeas corpus act.
Nothing need be said to illustrate the importance of the prohibition of titles of nobility. This may truly be denominateddenominate verb call; name. the corner-stone of republican government; for so long as they are excluded, there can never be serious danger that the government will be any other than that of the people. The importance of prohibiting titles of nobility is self-explanatory. This is the corner-stone of republican government; the exclusion of titles of nobility ensures that the government will derive its power from the people.
To the second that is, to the pretended establishment of the common and state law by the Constitution, I answer, that they are expressly made subject "to such alterations and provisions as the legislature shall from time to time make concerning the same." They are therefore at any moment liable to repeal by the ordinary legislative power, and of course have no constitutional sanction. The only use of the declaration was to recognize the ancient law and to remove doubts which might have been occasionedoccasion verb cause (something). by the Revolution. This consequently can be considered as no part of a declaration of rights, which under our constitutions must be intended as limitations of the power of the government itself. With regards to the federal government passing laws that will contradict state laws, I answer that the federal government can change the laws if necessary. The laws are, at any moment, allowed to be repealed by the legislature. The only purpose of this declaration was to recognize historical tendencies and remove doubts about the national government that were left over from the Revolution.
It has been several times truly remarked that bills of rights are, in their origin, stipulations between kings and their subjects, abridgmentsabridgment noun a curtailment of rights of prerogativeprerogative noun a right or privilege exclusive to a particular individual or class in favor of privilege, reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince. Such was MAGNA CHARTA, obtained by the barons, sword in hand, from King John. Such were the subsequent confirmations of that charter by succeeding princes. Such was the Petition of Right assented to by Charles I., in the beginning of his reign. Such, also, was the Declaration of Right presented by the Lords and Commons to the Prince of Orange in 1688, and afterwards thrown into the form of an act of parliament called the Bill of Rights. It is evident, therefore, that, according to their primitive signification, they have no application to constitutions professedly founded upon the power of the people, and executed by their immediate representatives and servants. Here, in strictness, the people surrender nothing; and as they retain every thing they have no need of particular reservations. "WE, THE PEOPLE of the United States, to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterityposterity noun all future generations of people, do ordainordain verb order or decree (something) officially. and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Here is a better recognition of popular rights, than volumes of those aphorismsaphorism noun a pithy observation that contains a general truth, such as, “if it ain't broke, don't fix it.” which make the principal figure in several of our State bills of rights, and which would sound much better in a treatise of ethics than in a constitution of government. Bills of rights are, traditionally, contracts made between kings and their subjects, limiting the power of the King by listing the rights of his subjects. The Magna Charta is a perfect example, as are the British Petition of Right and the British Bill of Rights. A bill of rights has no place in a constitution founded on the power of the people and executed by their immediate representatives. Citizens are not surrendering any rights or powers to their representatives and they therefore have no need to worry about the protection of their rights. The citizens themselves are the ones establishing and giving power to the entire system of government. This is a better recognition of popular rights than the recognition in several of the State bills of rights, which apply more to theories on ethics than a system of government.
But a minute detail of particular rights is certainly far less applicable to a Constitution like that under consideration, which is merely intended to regulate the general political interests of the nation, than to a constitution which has the regulation of every species of personal and private concerns. If, therefore, the loud clamors against the plan of the convention, on this score, are well founded, no epithetsepithet noun an adjective or descriptive phrase expressing a quality characteristic of the person or thing mentioned of reprobationreprobate verb express or feel disapproval of will be too strong for the constitution of this State. But the truth is, that both of them contain all which, in relation to their objects, is reasonably to be desired. A list of specific rights is less applicable to a Constitution like the one under consideration, which will to regulate the general political interests of the nation, than it would be to a constitution that attempts to regulate all personal and private behavior. If someone argues against the convention's plan, with regards to the bill of rights, the same issues and negative comments should apply to the constitution of New York. But, in reality, both of the constitutions contain all desired protections of rights.
I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable colorable adjective apparently correct or justified. pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurpusurp verb take (a position of power or importance) illegally or by force., a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudiciousinjudicious adjective showing very poor judgment; unwise. zeal for bills of rights. A bill of rights is not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would actually be dangerous. It would list exceptions to powers never given to the national government, which would lead people falsely believe the federal government was given more powers it was. Why declare that something can't be done where there's no power to do it in the first place? Why say that freedom of the press can't be restrained when the power to restrict the press never existed? Saying that Congress cannot restrain the press might be used by some dishonest politicians to claim that Congress can regulate the press—after all, regulating is not the same as restricting. This should serve as a clear example of the problems that come from the unwise support of the bill of rights.
On the subject of the liberty of the press, as much as has been said, I cannot forbear adding a remark or two: in the first place, I observe, that there is not a syllable concerning it in the constitution of this State; in the next, I contend, that whatever has been said about it in that of any other State, amounts to nothing. What signifies a declaration, that "the liberty of the press shall be inviolably preserved"? What is the liberty of the press? Who can give it any definition which would not leave the utmost latitudelatitude noun scope for freedom of action or thought. for evasion? I hold it to be impracticableimpracticable adjective (of a course of action) impossible in practice to do or carry out.; and from this I infer, that its security, whatever fine declarations may be inserted in any constitution respecting it, must altogether depend on public opinion, and on the general spirit of the people and of the government. And here, after all, as is intimated upon another occasion, must we seek for the only solid basis of all our rights. On the subject of freedom of the press, since it is a hot-button topic, I have a couple additional comments: firstly, there is nothing concerning freedom of the press in the New York constitution; secondly, whatever other state constitutions say on the issue has no significance. What is liberty of the press? Who can define what it means in a way that does not leave opportunity for encroachment on individual rights? It isn't practical; its security will be ensured by the general attitude of the public and the government they elect. The opinion of the people should be the only basis for all our rights.
There remains but one other view of this matter to conclude the point. The truth is, after all the declamations we have heard, that the Constitution is itself, in every rational sense, and to every useful purpose, A BILL OF RIGHTS. The several bills of rights in Great Britain form its Constitution, and conversely the constitution of each State is its bill of rights. And the proposed Constitution, if adopted, will be the bill of rights of the Union. Is it one object of a bill of rights to declare and specify the political privileges of the citizens in the structure and administration of the government? This is done in the most ample and precise manner in the plan of the convention; comprehending various precautions for the public security, which are not to be found in any of the State constitutions. Is another object of a bill of rights to define certain immunities and modes of proceeding, which are relative to personal and private concerns? This we have seen has also been attended to, in a variety of cases, in the same plan. Advertingadvert verb refer to in speaking or writing. therefore to the substantial meaning of a bill of rights, it is absurd to allege that it is not to be found in the work of the convention. It may be said that it does not go far enough, though it will not be easy to make this appear; but it can with no propriety be contended that there is no such thing. It certainly must be immaterialimmaterial adjective unimportant under the circumstances; irrelevant. what mode is observed as to the order of declaring the rights of the citizens, if they are to be found in any part of the instrument which establishes the government. And hence it must be apparent, that much of what has been said on this subject rests merely on verbal and nominalnominal adjective (of a role or status) existing in name only. distinctions, entirely foreign from the substance of the thing. There is just one other point to cover in order to conclude this topic. After everything that has been said, the Constitution in and of itself is a Bill of Rights. The proposed Constitution, if it is adopted, will be the bill of rights of the entire Union. Is it the goal of a bill of rights to declare and specify privileges rights of the citizen under the government? This is what the Constitution does. Is it not another goal of the bill of rights to define certain protections, relative to common concerns? This was also outlined in the plan made at the convention. It is therefore ridiculous to argue that there is no bill of rights in the work of the convention. It could be argued that the Constitution doesn't go far enough, though that would be a hard argument to make, but it cannot be argued that it does not protect the people's rights. The declaration of rights is found in every part of the Constitution that establishes the new system of government. Therefore, it is clear that the argument stating there is no bill of rights does not take into account the actual substance of the Constitution.
Another objection which has been made, and which, from the frequency of its repetition, it is to be presumed is relied on, is of this nature: "It is improper [say the objectors] to confer such large powers, as are proposed, upon the national government, because the seat of that government must of necessity be too remote from many of the States to admit of a proper knowledge on the part of the constituent, of the conduct of the representative body." This argument, if it proves any thing, proves that there ought to be no general government whatever. For the powers which, it seems to be agreed on all hands, ought to be vested in the Union, cannot be safely intrusted to a body which is not under every requisite control. But there are satisfactory reasons to show that the objection is in reality not well founded. There is in most of the arguments which relate to distance a palpablepalpable adjective clear to the mind or plain to see. illusion of the imagination. What are the sources of information by which the people in Montgomery County A specific county in the State of New York. must regulate their judgment of the conduct of their representatives in the State legislature? Of personal observation they can have no benefit. This is confined to the citizens on the spot. They must therefore depend on the information of intelligent men, in whom they confide; and how must these men obtain their information? Evidently from the complexion of public measures, from the public prints, from correspondences with their representatives, and with other persons who reside at the place of their deliberations. This does not apply to Montgomery County only, but to all the counties at any considerable distance from the seat of government. Another objection to the Constitution is that it places too much power in the hands of a government that is far removed from the people. If this argument proves anything, it proves that there ought to be no general government. This argument states that powers of the country cannot be safely given to a body which isn't under the immediate control of the people. But this argument isn't well-founded. Most of the arguments relating to the distance between the government and the people are largely imaginary. What source of information do people use to regulate the judgment and conduct of their state representatives? They are incapable of following all of their representatives' actions by themselves. They therefore must depend on the information of the intelligent men in the area; how do those men obtain their information? They get their information from newspapers, correspondences with representatives, and with other additional correspondents. This isn't anything special to local politics, but rather it applies to people at any distance from the government's location.
It is equally evident that the same sources of information would be open to the people in relation to the conduct of their representatives in the general government, and the impediments to a prompt communication which distance may be supposed to create, will be overbalanced by the effects of the vigilance of the State governments. The executive and legislative bodies of each State will be so many sentinelssentinel noun a soldier or guard whose job is to stand and keep watch. over the persons employed in every department of the national administration; and as it will be in their power to adopt and pursue a regular and effectual system of intelligence, they can never be at a loss to know the behavior of those who represent their constituents in the national councils, and can readily communicate the same knowledge to the people. Their disposition to appriseapprise verb inform or tell (someone). the community of whatever may prejudice its interests from another quarter, may be relied upon, if it were only from the rivalship of power. And we may conclude with the fullest assurance that the people, through that channel, will be better informed of the conduct of their national representatives, than they can be by any means they now possess of that of their State representatives. The same sources of information available about local representatives would also be available at the national level. The slower communication with national representatives is balanced out by the active surveillance of the national government by state representatives. The executive and legislative bodies of each State can act as guards over the national administration. It is in their power to regularly collect information, so that they can always be aware of the behavior of those representing their constituents at the national level. They can then communicate that information to the people. Their reports will be accurate because the states are jealous of the federal government's power. Through this channel, people are likely to be even better informed about the behavior of their national representatives than that of their State representatives.
It ought also to be remembered that the citizens who inhabit the country at and near the seat of government will, in all questions that affect the general liberty and prosperity, have the same interest with those who are at a distance, and that they will stand ready to sound the alarm when necessary, and to point out the actors in any perniciouspernicious adjective having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way. project. The public papers will be expeditiousexpeditious adjective done with speed and efficiency. messengers of intelligence to the most remote inhabitants of the Union. In addition, citizens living near the seat of the government will, with regards to the general concepts of liberty and prosperity, have the same interests as those further away and they will be ready to draw attention to inappropriate behavior. Newspapers will be messengers of information to the most remote areas of the United States.
Among the many curious objections which have appeared against the proposed Constitution, the most extraordinary and the least colorable is derived from the want of some provision respecting the debts due to the United States. This has been represented as a tacit relinquishment of those debts, and as a wicked contrivancecontrivance noun a thing that is created skillfully and inventively to serve a particular purpose. to screen public defaulters. The newspapers have teemed with the most inflammatory railings on this head; yet there is nothing clearer than that the suggestion is entirely void of foundation, the offspring of extreme ignorance or extreme dishonesty. In addition to the remarks I have made upon the subject in another place, I shall only observe that as it is a plain dictate of common-sense, so it is also an established doctrine of political law, that "States neither lose any of their rights, nor are discharged from any of their obligations, by a change in the form of their civil government." Another objection made about the Constitution is that it does not mention the debts that are owed to the United States government. Opponents of the Constitution are falsely claiming that the government is going to forgive these debts, allowing the people who owe the federal government money to get away without paying it. This claim has no foundation and is caused by ignorance and dishonesty. It is common sense that states don't lose any of their rights and aren't released from any of their obligations by a change in their civil government.
The last objection of any consequence, which I at present recollect, turns upon the article of expense. If it were even true, that the adoption of the proposed government would occasion a considerable increase of expense, it would be an objection that ought to have no weight against the plan. The last serious objection that will be covered is that the new government will be too expensive. Even if it were true that the proposed government would increase expenses, that objection isn't a reason to vote against the proposed plan.
The great bulk of the citizens of America are with reason convinced, that Union is the basis of their political happiness. Men of sense of all parties now, with few exceptions, agree that it cannot be preserved under the present system, nor without radical alterations; that new and extensive powers ought to be granted to the national head, and that these require a different organization of the federal government — a single body being an unsafe depositary of such ample authorities. In conceding all this, the question of expense must be given up; for it is impossible, with any degree of safety, to narrow the foundation upon which the system is to stand. The two branches of the legislature are, in the first instance, to consist of only sixty-five persons, which is the same number of which Congress, under the existing Confederation, may be composed. It is true that this number is intended to be increased; but this is to keep pace with the progress of the population and resources of the country. It is evident that a less number would, even in the first instance, have been unsafe, and that a continuance of the present number would, in a more advanced stage of population, be a very inadequate representation of the people. The majority of American citizens are convinced that the Union is the basis of their political happiness. Logical men of all parties agree that the Union can't be preserved under the present system; that new and extensive powers should be given to the nation's leader, and that these require a different organization of the federal government — a single body being an unsafe place to put such a large amount of authority. Since all citizens agree on those points, the question of expense is no longer valid; it is impossible to create a safe, new government that will require less money or with fewer departments than the one we have now. The two branches of the legislature are to consist of sixty-five persons, which is the same number as members of Congress under the current Confederation. This number will increase over time, but this is to keep up with the population growth and resources of the country. It is clear that a smaller number would have been too few to adequately represent the nation, keeping the number at sixty-five as the population grows would be unsafe for the same reasons.
Whence is the dreaded augmentationaugmentation noun the action or process of making or becoming greater in size or amount. of expense to spring? One source indicated, is the multiplication of offices under the new government. Let us examine this a little. Where does the feared increase in expense come from? One source is the growth of offices under the new government. Let us examine this a little.
It is evident that the principal departments of the administration under the present government, are the same which will be required under the new. There are now a Secretary of War, a Secretary of Foreign Affairs, a Secretary for Domestic Affairs, a Board of Treasury, consisting of three persons, a Treasurer, assistants, clerks, etc. These officers are indispensable under any system, and will suffice under the new as well as the old. As to ambassadors and other ministers and agents in foreign countries, the proposed Constitution can make no other difference than to render their characters, where they reside, more respectable, and their services more useful. As to persons to be employed in the collection of the revenues, it is unquestionably true that these will form a very considerable addition to the number of federal officers; but it will not follow that this will occasion an increase of public expense. It will be in most cases nothing more than an exchange of State for national officers. In the collection of all duties, for instance, the persons employed will be wholly of the latter description. The States individually will stand in no need of any for this purpose. What difference can it make in point of expense to pay officers of the customs appointed by the State or by the United States? There is no good reason to suppose that either the number or the salaries of the latter will be greater than those of the former. It is clear the main departments of the administration under the current government, are going to also exist under the new government. These offices consist of a Secretary of War, a Secretary of Foreign Affairs, a Secretary for Domestic Affairs, a Board of Treasury, consisting of three people, a Treasurer, assistants, clerks, etc. These officers are necessary under any system and they will be essentially the same under the new government. With regards to ambassadors and other ministers and agents in foreign countries, the proposed Constitution won't make any changes other than making their jobs more respectable and make their services more useful. Those collecting taxes and other money will add a considerable number of federal officers; but it will not increase public expense. It will be, in most cases, an exchange of State for national officers. Tax collectors, for example, will all be national officers. The States individually will not need any of this type of officer. Is there a difference if the United States or the States employ and pay these officers? There is no good reason to assume that either of those salaries will differ from each other.
Where then are we to seek for those additional articles of expense which are to swell the account to the enormous size that has been represented to us? The chief item which occurs to me respects the support of the judges of the United States. I do not add the President, because there is now a president of Congress, whose expenses may not be far, if any thing, short of those which will be incurred on account of the President of the United States. The support of the judges will clearly be an extra expense, but to what extent will depend on the particular plan which may be adopted in regard to this matter. But upon no reasonable plan can it amount to a sum which will be an object of material consequence. Where else would additional expenses come from? The main item that I can think of is with the addition of United States judges. I don't include the President because there's currently a president of Congress whose expense will be similar to that of the President of the United States. The addition of judges will clearly be an extra expense, but the extent depends on what plan is adopted. No reasonable plan amounts to an amount of money that will be of great consequence.
Let us now see what there is to counterbalance any extra expense that may attend the establishment of the proposed government. The first thing which presents itself is that a great part of the business which now keeps Congress sitting through the year will be transacted by the President. Even the management of foreign negotiations will naturally devolvedevolve verb transfer or delegate (power) to a lower level, especially from central government to local or regional administration. upon him, according to general principles concerted with the Senate, and subject to their final concurrenceconcurrence noun agreement or union in action. Hence it is evident that a portion of the year will suffice for the session of both the Senate and the House of Representatives; we may suppose about a fourth for the latter and a third, or perhaps half, for the former. The extra business of treaties and appointments may give this extra occupation to the Senate. From this circumstance we may infer that, until the House of Representatives shall be increased greatly beyond its present number, there will be a considerable saving of expense from the difference between the constant session of the present and the temporary session of the future Congress. Now let's examine what can counterbalance the extra expenses caused by the proposed government. Much of the business that Congress was previously responsible for will now be taken on by the President. Even the management of negotiations with foreign countries will be his responsibility. Due to this shift in responsibilities, it will be sufficient to have the Senate and House of Representatives be in session for only a portion, approximately half, of the year. There will be significant savings coming from the difference between the constant session under the current government and the part-time session of the proposed Congress.
But there is another circumstance of great importance in the view of economy. The business of the United States has hitherto occupied the State legislatures, as well as Congress. The latter has made requisitions which the former have had to provide for. Hence it has happened that the sessions of the State legislatures have been protractedprotracted adjective lasting for a long time or longer than expected or usual. greatly beyond what was necessary for the execution of the mere local business of the States. More than half their time has been frequently employed in matters which related to the United States. Now the members who compose the legislatures of the several States amount to two thousand and upwards, which number has hitherto performed what under the new system will be done in the first instance by sixty-five persons, and probably at no future period by above a fourth or fifth of that number. The Congress under the proposed government will do all the business of the United States themselves, without the intervention of the State legislatures, who thenceforth will have only to attend to the affairs of their particular States, and will not have to sit in any proportion as long as they have heretofore done. This difference in the time of the sessions of the State legislatures will be clear gain, and will alone form an article of saving, which may be regarded as an equivalent for any additional objects of expense that may be occasioned by the adoption of the new system. There is another topic of great importance with regards to money. Any matters that concerned the entire Unites States have previously been the concern of both the States' legislatures and the Congress. The sessions of the State legislatures have gone way beyond what is necessary for the execution of the local business of the States. More than half their time has been spent of issues of the larger Union. The future Congress will take care of all the business of the United States without the intervention of the State legislatures. The State legislatures will no longer have to spend time on these issues. This elimination of overlap is a clear gain and will cause monetary savings equivalent to the expenses added by the adoption of the new system.
The result from these observations is that the sources of additional expense from the establishment of the proposed Constitution are much fewer than may have been imagined; that they are counterbalanced by considerable objects of saving; and that while it is questionable on which side the scale will preponderatepreponderate verb lasting for a long time or longer than expected or usual., it is certain that a government less expensive would be incompetent to the purposes of the Union. The added expenses from the proposed Constitution are fewer than they had previously been imagined to be. They are counterbalanced by many significant savings. It is also certain that the current, possibly less expensive, government isn't able to properly uphold the Union.
PUBLIUS
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