federalist paper 52 summary
It must be satisfactory to every State, because it is comfortable to the standard already established, or which may be established, by the State itself. 75-77 (Hamilton), Section XII: Judiciary: Federalist No. The provision made by the convention appears, therefore, to be the best that lay within their option. Those of the former are to be the same with those of the electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures. It was estimated that, with population growth, the number would be 200 in 25 years, and 400 in 50 years, which should put an end to all fears about the small size of the body. It was incumbent on the convention, therefore, to define and establish this right in the Constitution. In the second place it has, on another occasion, been shown that the federal legislature will not only be restrained by its dependence on its people, as other legislative bodies are, but that it will be, moreover, watched and controlled by the several collateral legislatures, which other legislative bodies are not. The first view to be taken of this part of the government relates to the qualifications of the electors and the elected. There would be small chance of organized resistance to such adjustments, for the people would demand changes to secure adequate representation. Those of the former are to be the same with those of the electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures. More important was the provision in the Constitution that there should be uniformity in the times of periodically electing members to the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. The only dependence of the representatives on the people consisted in the right of the latter to supply occasional vacancies by the election of new members, and in the chance of some event which might produce a general new election. The first view to be taken of this part of the government relates to the qualifications of the electors and the elected. And even these annual sessions were left so much at the discretion of the monarch, that, under various pretexts, very long and dangerous intermissions were often contrived by royal ambition. , when a revolution took place in the government, the subject was still more seriously resumed, and it was declared to be among the fundamental rights of the people that parliaments ought to be held FREQUENTLY. The term for which the representatives are to be elected falls under a second view which may be taken of this branch. In Chapter 54, as the number of each state's delegates to the House was to be determined by the size of its population, were slaves to be included? 69-74 (Hamilton), Section XI: Need for a Strong Executive: Federalists No. The history of this branch of the English Constitution, anterior to the date of Magna Charta, is too obscure to yield instruction. Of late, these shackles, if I mistake not, have been broken; and octennial parliaments have besides been established. In the second place, it has, on another occasion, been shown that the federal legislature will not only be restrained by its dependence on its people, as other legislative bodies are, but that it will be, moreover, watched and controlled by the several collateral legislatures, which other legislative bodies are not. Removing #book# I shall begin with the House of Representatives. The very existence of it has been made a question among political antiquaries. The history of this branch of the English Constitution, anterior to the date of Magna Charta, is too obscure to yield instruction. , that the intermissions should not be protracted beyond a period of three years. The qualifications of the elected, being less carefully and properly defined by the State constitutions, and being at the same time more susceptible of uniformity, have been very properly considered and regulated by the convention. 82 (Hamilton), Section XII: Judiciary: Federalist No. Let us bring our inquiries nearer home. Under these reasonable limitations, the door of this part of the federal government is open to merit of every description, whether native or adoptive, whether young or old, and without regard to poverty or wealth, or to any particular profession of religious faith. 2 (John Jay), Section I: General Introduction: Federalist No. TeachingAmericanHistory.org is a project of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, Privacy Policy This particular example is brought into view, not as a proof of any peculiar merit, for the priority in those instances was probably accidental; and still less of any advantage in SEPTENNIAL elections, for when compared with a greater frequency they are inadmissible; but merely as a proof, and I conceive it to be a very substantial proof, that the liberties of the people can be in no danger from BIENNIAL elections. Public domain, courtesy of the White House Historical Association. Under these reasonable limitations, the door of this part of the federal government is open to merit of every description, whether native or adoptive, whether young or old, and without regard to poverty or wealth, or to any particular profession of religious faith. FROM the more general inquiries pursued in the four last papers, I pass on to a more particular examination of the several parts of the government. 13 (Hamilton), Section II: Advantages of Union: Federalist No. The ability also of the Irish parliament to maintain the rights of their constituents, so far as the disposition might exist, was extremely shackled by the control of the crown over the subjects of their deliberation. Publius disputed this. To have submitted it to the legislative discretion of the States would have been improper for the same reason; and for the additional reason that it would have rendered too dependent on the State governments that branch of the federal government which ought to be dependent on the people alone. Under such a circumstance, no representative could be expected to learn much about national affairs either in the domestic or foreign field. 47–51 (Madison or Hamilton), Next Under the proposed constitution, the number of seats in the House of Representatives at the beginning would be 65. The qualifications of the elected, being less carefully and properly defined by the State constitutions, and being at the same time more susceptible of uniformity, have been very properly considered and regulated by the convention. 37-40 (Madison), Section VII: General Powers: Federalists No. Have we any reason to infer, from the spirit and conduct of the representatives of the people, prior to the Revolution, that biennial elections would have been dangerous to the public liberties? This provision had been attacked, but nothing was more evident than the "plain proposition, that every government ought to contain in itself the means of its own preservation." The Boston Tea Party is a major link in the chain of events that resulted in the form of government we enjoy today. We the subscribers being of the number, who did not assent to the ratification of the federal constitution, under consideration in… 12 (Hamilton), Section II: Advantages of Union: Federalist No. In Virginia, nevertheless, if I have not been misinformed, elections under the former government were septennial. That was a mistaken view. . 52–61 (Madison or Hamilton), Section X: United States Senate: Federalists No. Going back to colonial days, the states had fixed varying periods of election from one to seven years. A House representing every 30,000 inhabitants in the country would be "both a safe and competent guardian of the interests . Frequent elections are unquestionably the only policy by which this dependence and sympathy can be effectually secured. Frequent elections are unquestionably the only policy by which this dependence and sympathy can be effectually secured. The first to which this character ought to be applied is the House of Commons in Great Britain. . The first view to be taken of this part of the government relates to the qualifications of the electors and the elected. As it is essential to liberty that the government in general should have a common interest with the people, so it is particularly essential that the branch of it under consideration should have an immediate dependence on, and an intimate sympathy with, the people. The first to which this character ought to be applied, is the House of Commons in Great Britain. Virginia was the colony which stood first in resisting the parliamentary usurpations of Great Britain; it was the first also in espousing, by public act, the resolution of independence. On the accession of William III, when a revolution took place in the government, the subject was still more seriously resumed, and it was declared to be among the fundamental rights of the people that parliaments ought to be held frequently. Such electors could be trusted to choose fitting public-spirited persons to represent them and their various interests in the House of Representatives. This would depend on who was entitled to vote for the representatives. After the Tea Party, Britain responded with economic actions including a blockade of Boston Harbor. The provision made by the convention appears, therefore, to be the best that lay within their option. First. 41-46 (Madison), Section VIII: Structure of New Government: Federalists No. 78 (Hamilton), Section XII: Judiciary: Federalist No. 23-29 (Hamilton), Section V: Powers of Taxation: Federalists No. The first is, that the federal legislature will possess a part only of that supreme legislative authority which is vested completely in the British Parliament; and which, with a few exceptions, was exercised by the colonial assemblies and the Irish legislature. And even here, in order to avoid a research too vague and diffusive, it will be proper to confine ourselves to the few examples which are best known, and which bear the greatest analogy to our particular case. In Chapter 52, what should be the qualifications of the electors and the elected? 67 (Hamilton), Section XI: Need for a Strong Executive: Federalist No. Summary Essay 52: The House of Representatives Madison now inaugurates a series of essays that consider each branch of the national government and the various subdivisions of each branch in turn. To have submitted it to the legislative discretion of the States, would have been improper for the same reason; and for the additional reason that it would have rendered too dependent on the State governments that branch of the federal government which ought to be dependent on the people alone. In order to decide on the propriety of this article, two questions must be considered: first, whether biennial elections will, in this case, be safe; second, whether they be necessary or useful. The example of Ireland, from this view of it, can throw but little light on the subject. Previous No comment is needed on this section, which is simply an exposition and justification of the provisions in the proposed constitution about the House of Representatives: qualifications of members, by whom elected, and tenure of office.

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