By the division, the house becomes the proper body to impeach all officers for misconduct in office, and the senate the proper court to try them; and in a country where limited powers must be lodged in the first magistrate, the senate, perhaps, may be the most proper body to be found to have a negative upon him in making treaties, and managing foreign affairs. What has not America lost by her want of character with foreign nations; and how many errors and follies would she not have avoided, if the justice and propriety of her measures had, in every instance, been previously tried by the light in which they would probably appear to the unbiased part of mankind? Establishing authorial authenticity of the essays that comprise The Federalist Papers has not always been clear. Thus far I have considered the circumstances which point out the necessity of a well-constructed Senate only as they relate to the representatives of the people. New York, The Colonial Press. No government, any more than an individual, will long be respected without being truly respectable; nor be truly respectable, without possessing a certain portion of order and stability. The difference most relied on between the American and other republics consists in the principle of representation, which is the pivot on which the former move, and which is supposed to have been unknown to the latter, or at least to the ancient part of them. It is not possible that an assembly of men called for the most part from pursuits of a private nature, continued in appointment for a short time, and led by no permanent motive to devote the intervals of public occupation to a study of the laws, the affairs, and the comprehensive interests of their country, should, if left wholly to themselves, escape a variety of important errors in the exercise of their legislative trust.
On January 1, 1788, the New York publishing firm J. Men six years in office absolutely contract callous habits, and cease, in too great a degree, to feel their dependence, and for the condition of their constituents. The fact is the more remarkable, as unanimity was required in every act of the Tribunes, even after their number was augmented to ten. I have, on the contrary, endeavored in a former paper to show, that it is one of the principal recommendations of a confederated republic. The high demand for the essays led to their publication in a more permanent form. Circumstantial evidence makes it probable that it was not different in this particular from the two others. The Senate of that State is elected, as the federal Senate will be, indirectly by the people, and for a term less by one year only than the federal Senate.
Publius runs through a series of historical examples to support his point. It can only be found in a number so small that a sensible degree of the praise and blame of public measures may be the portion of each individual; or in an assembly so durably invested with public trust, that the pride and consequence of its members may be sensibly incorporated with the reputation and prosperity of the community. It ought, moreover, to possess great firmness, and consequently ought to hold its authority by a tenure of considerable duration. The only option, then, for the former, lies between the proposed government and a government still more objectionable. What bitter anguish would not the people of Athens have often escaped if their government had contained so provident a safeguard against the tyranny of their own passions? The principle of responsibility is strongly felt in men who are liable to be recalled and censured for their misconduct; and, if we may judge from experience, the latter will not abuse the power of recalling their members; to possess it will at least be a valuable check. One such was William Grayson, who doubted the need of any national government but who felt, if one was to be established, it ought to provide a president and a Senate elected for life terms, these to be balanced by a House of Representative elected triennially.
The reasons for lodging a power to recall are stronger, as they respect the senate, than as they respect the representatives. There are some other lesser distinctions which would expose the former to colorable objections that do not lie against the latter. Besides the conclusive evidence resulting from this assemblage of facts, that the federal senate will never be able to transform itself, by gradual usurpations, into an independent and aristocratic body; we are warranted in believing that if such a revolution should ever happen from causes which the foresight of man cannot guard against, the house of representatives with the people on their side will at all times be able to bring back the constitution to its primitive form and principles. There are others peculiar to the former, which require the control of such an institution. As the cool and deliberate sense of the community ought in all governments, and actually will in all free governments ultimately prevail over the views of its rulers; so there are particular moments in public affairs, when the people stimulated by some irregular passion, or some illicit advantage, or misled by the artful misrepresentations of interested men, may call for measures which they themselves will afterwards be the most ready to lament and condemn. In the most pure democracies of Greece, many of the executive functions were performed, not by the people themselves, but by officers elected by the people, and representing the people in their executive capacity. Responsibility, in order to be reasonable, must be limited to objects within the power of the responsible party, and in order to be effectual, must relate to operations of that power, of which a ready and proper judgment can be formed by the constituents.
It doubles the security to the people, by requiring the concurrence of two distinct bodies in schemes of usurpation or perfidy, where the ambition or corruption of one would otherwise be sufficient. Another effect of public instability is the unreasonable advantage it gives to the sagacious, the enterprising, and the moneyed few over the industrious and uniformed mass of the people. Index Entries Permalink Note: The annotations to this document, and any other modern editorial content, are copyright © University of Chicago Press. In answer to all these arguments, suggested by reason, illustrated by examples, and enforced by our own experience, the jealous adversary of the Constitution will probably content himself with repeating, that a senate appointed not immediately by the people, and for the term of six years, must gradually acquire a dangerous pre-eminence in the government, and finally transform it into a tyrannical aristocracy. Being attentive to the judgment of other nations will ensure that our plans are perceived as wise and honorable policy and if debate on internal policy is unresolved, the opinions of impartial nations might be a prudent guide to follow.
The Journal of Southern History. Many of the defects as we have seen, which can only be supplied by a senatorial institution, are common to a numerous assembly frequently elected by the people, and to the people themselves. Further, by the time New York came to a vote, ten states had already ratified the Constitution and it had thus already passed—only nine states had to ratify it for the new government to be established among them; the ratification by Virginia, the tenth state, placed pressure on New York to ratify. And yet it is evident that an assembly elected for so short a term as to be unable to provide more than one or two links in a chain of measures, on which the general welfare may essentially depend, ought not to be answerable for the final result any more than a steward or tenant, engaged for one year, could be justly made to answer for places or improvements which could not be accomplished in less than half a dozen years. I am not unaware of the circumstances which distinguish the American from other popular governments, as well ancient as modern; and which render extreme circumspection necessary, in reasoning from the one case to the other. Bessette and Jeffrey Tulis Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1981 , 65—114.
A sixth defect is the want of responsibility in the government to the people, because of the frequency of elections and other cases. This remark will, perhaps, appear not only new, but paradoxical. Some people, however, argue that six years is to long and leads to tyrannical situations. The half-yearly representatives of Rhode-Island, would probably have been little affected in their deliberations on the iniquitous measures of that state, by arguments drawn from the light in which such measures would be viewed by foreign nations, or even by the sister states; whilst it can scarcely be doubted, that if the concurrence of a select and stable body had been necessary, a regard to national character alone, would have prevented the calamities under which that misguided people is now labouring. There will not be found in them any of those genuine balances and checks, among the real different interests, and efforts of the several classes of men in the community we aim at. Summary Written by Donald Mellon. The tribunes of Rome, who were the representatives of the people, prevailed, it is well known, in almost every contest with the senate for life, and in the end gained the most complete triumph over it.
The want of confidence in the public councils damps every useful undertaking, the success and profit of which may depend on a continuance of existing arrangements. It is a misfortune incident to republican government, though in a less degree than to other governments, that those who administer it may forget their obligations to their constituents, and prove unfaithful to their important trust. Without entering into a disquisition which here would be misplaced, I will refer to a few known facts, in support of what I advance. But whenever the substitute acts under a constitution, then it becomes necessary that the power of recalling him be expressed. What bitter anguish would not the people of Athens have often escaped, if their government had contained so provident a safeguard against the tyranny of their own passions? What has not America lost by her want of character with foreign nations? I have, on the contrary, endeavored in a former paper to show, that it is one of the principal recommendations of a confederated republic. Unfortunately however, for the anti-federal argument, the British history informs us that this hereditary assembly has not even been able to defend itself against the continual encroachments of the House of Representatives, and that it no sooner lost the support of the monarch than it was actually crushed by the weight of the popular branch.
I believe but few do, and surely none ought to, consider them as places of profit and permanent support. To a people as little blinded by prejudice or corrupted by flattery as those whom I address, I shall not scruple to add, that such an institution may be sometimes necessary as a defense to the people against their own temporary errors and delusions. Could we separate the aristocratical and democratical interest, compose the senate of the former, and the house of assembly of the latter, they are too unequal in the United States to produce a balance. These examples, though as unfit for the imitation, as they are repugnant to the genius, of America, are, notwithstanding, when compared with the fugitive and turbulent existence of other ancient republics, very instructive proofs of the necessity of some institution that will blend stability with liberty. Thus occasionally to be among the people, is not only necessary to prevent or banish the callous habits and self-interested views of office in legislators, but to afford them necessary information, and to render them useful.
The remark is verified in private life, and becomes more just, as well as more important, in national transactions. In this point of view, a senate, as a second branch of the legislative assembly, distinct from, and dividing the power with, a first, must be in all cases a salutary check on the government. Sparta, Rome, and Carthage are, in fact, the only states to whom that character can be applied. It is not possible that an assembly of men called for the most part from pursuits of a private nature, continued in appointment for a short time, and led by no permanent motive to devote the intervals of public occupation to a study of the laws, the affairs, and the comprehensive interests of their country, should, if left wholly to themselves, escape a variety of important errors in the exercise of their legislative trust. User: E-mail: A confirmation mail will be sent to your e-mail address.