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NO. 13 Advantage of the Union in Respect to Economy in Government.
NO. 84 Certain General and Miscellaneous Objections to the Constitution Considered and Answered.
NO. 6 Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the States.
NO. 2 Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence
NO. 37 Concerning the Difficulties of the Convention in Devising a Proper Form of Government
NO. 30 Concerning the General Power of Taxation
NO. 59 Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of Members
NO. 85 Concluding Remarks
NO. 1 General Introduction
NO. 41 General View of the Powers Conferred by the Constitution
NO. 49 Method of Guarding Against the Encroachments of Any One Department of Government by Appealing to the People Through a Convention
NO. 58 Objection That The Number of Members Will Not Be Augmented as the Progress of Population Demands Considered
NO. 66 Objections to the Power of the Senate To Set as a Court for Impeachments Further Considered
NO. 14 Objections to the Proposed Constitution From Extent of Territory Answered.
NO. 21 Other Defects of the Present Confederation
NO. 50 Periodic Appeals to the People Considered
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End of Federalist Paper No. 50
FEDERALIST NO. 50
Periodic Appeals to the People Considered
From the New York Packet     Tuesday February 5, 1788
Author: Alexander Hamilton or James Madison
To the People of New York


      1: 1   IT MAY be contended, perhaps, that instead of OCCASIONAL appeals to the people, which are liable to the objections urged against them, PERIODICAL appeals are the proper and adequate means of PREVENTING AND CORRECTING INFRACTIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION. 2   It will be attended to, that in the examination of these expedients, I confine myself to their aptitude for ENFORCING the Constitution, by keeping the several departments of power within their due bounds, without particularly considering them as provisions for ALTERING the Constitution itself. 3   In the first view, appeals to the people at fixed periods appear to be nearly as ineligible as appeals on particular occasions as they emerge.

      2: 1   If the periods be separated by short intervals, the measures to be reviewed and rectified will have been of recent date, and will be connected with all the circumstances which tend to vitiate and pervert the result of occasional revisions. 2   If the periods be distant from each other, the same remark will be applicable to all recent measures; and in proportion as the remoteness of the others may favor a dispassionate review of them, this advantage is inseparable from inconveniences which seem to counterbalance it. 3   In the first place, a distant prospect of public censure would be a very feeble restraint on power from those excesses to which it might be urged by the force of present motives. 4   Is it to be imagined that a legislative assembly, consisting of a hundred or two hundred members, eagerly bent on some favorite object, and breaking through the restraints of the Constitution in pursuit of it, would be arrested in their career, by considerations drawn from a censorial revision of their conduct at the future distance of ten, fifteen, or twenty years? 7   In the next place, the abuses would often have completed their mischievous effects before the remedial provision would be applied. 8   And in the last place, where this might not be the case, they would be of long standing, would have taken deep root, and would not easily be extirpated. 9   The scheme of revising the constitution, in order to correct recent breaches of it, as well as for other purposes, has been actually tried in one of the States. 10   One of the objects of the Council of Censors which met in Pennsylvania in 1783 and 1784, was, as we have seen, to inquire, "whether the constitution had been violated, and whether the legislative and executive departments had encroached upon each other." 11   This important and novel experiment in politics merits, in several points of view, very particular attention. 12   In some of them it may, perhaps, as a single experiment, made under circumstances somewhat peculiar, be thought to be not absolutely conclusive. 13   But as applied to the case under consideration, it involves some facts, which I venture to remark, as a complete and satisfactory illustration of the reasoning which I have employed. 14   First. It appears, from the names of the gentlemen who composed the council, that some, at least, of its most active members had also been active and leading characters in the parties which pre-existed in the State.

      3: 1   Secondly. It appears that the same active and leading members of the council had been active and influential members of the legislative and executive branches, within the period to be reviewed; and even patrons or opponents of the very measures to be thus brought to the test of the constitution. 2   Two of the members had been vice-presidents of the State, and several other members of the executive council, within the seven preceding years. 3   One of them had been speaker, and a number of others distinguished members, of the legislative assembly within the same period.

      4: 1   Thirdly. Every page of their proceedings witnesses the effect of all these circumstances on the temper of their deliberations. 2   Throughout the continuance of the council, it was split into two fixed and violent parties. 3   The fact is acknowledged and lamented by themselves. 4   Had this not been the case, the face of their proceedings exhibits a proof equally satisfactory. 5   In all questions, however unimportant in themselves, or unconnected with each other, the same names stand invariably contrasted on the opposite columns. 6   Every unbiased observer may infer, without danger of mistake, and at the same time without meaning to reflect on either party, or any individuals of either party, that, unfortunately, PASSION, not REASON, must have presided over their decisions. 7   When men exercise their reason coolly and freely on a variety of distinct questions, they inevitably fall into different opinions on some of them. 8   When they are governed by a common passion, their opinions, if they are so to be called, will be the same.

      5: 1   Fourthly. It is at least problematical, whether the decisions of this body do not, in several instances, misconstrue the limits prescribed for the legislative and executive departments, instead of reducing and limiting them within their constitutional places.

      6: 1   Fifthly. I have never understood that the decisions of the council on constitutional questions, whether rightly or erroneously formed, have had any effect in varying the practice founded on legislative constructions. 2   It even appears, if I mistake not, that in one instance the contemporary legislature denied the constructions of the council, and actually prevailed in the contest. 3   This censorial body, therefore, proves at the same time, by its researches, the existence of the disease, and by its example, the inefficacy of the remedy. 4   This conclusion cannot be invalidated by alleging that the State in which the experiment was made was at that crisis, and had been for a long time before, violently heated and distracted by the rage of party. 5   Is it to be presumed, that at any future septennial epoch the same State will be free from parties? 6   Is it to be presumed that any other State, at the same or any other given period, will be exempt from them? 7   Such an event ought to be neither presumed nor desired; because an extinction of parties necessarily implies either a universal alarm for the public safety, or an absolute extinction of liberty. 8   Were the precaution taken of excluding from the assemblies elected by the people, to revise the preceding administration of the government, all persons who should have been concerned with the government within the given period, the difficulties would not be obviated. 9   The important task would probably devolve on men, who, with inferior capacities, would in other respects be little better qualified. 10   Although they might not have been personally concerned in the administration, and therefore not immediately agents in the measures to be examined, they would probably have been involved in the parties connected with these measures, and have been elected under their auspices.
Beginning of Federalist Paper No. 50

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NO. 44 Restrictions on the Authority of the Several States
NO. 45 The Alleged Danger From the Powers of the Union to the State Governments Considered
NO. 57 The Alleged Tendency of the New Plan to Elevate the Few at the Expense of the Many Considered in Connection with Representation
NO. 77 The Appointing Power Continued and Other Powers of the Executive Considered
NO. 76 The Appointing Power of the Executive
NO. 54 The Apportionment of Members Among the States
NO. 74 The Command of the Military and Naval Forces, and the Pardoning Power of the Executive
NO. 39 The Conformity of the Plan to Republican Principles
NO. 8 The Consequences of Hostilities Between the States
NO. 71 The Duration in Office of the Executive.
NO. 67 The Executive Department
NO. 70 The Executive Department Further Considered
NO. 52 The House of Representatives
NO. 26 The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense Considered
NO. 46 The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared
NO. 15 The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union.
NO. 82 The Judiciary Continued
NO. 83 The Judiciary Continued in Relation to Trial by Jury
NO. 81 The Judiciary Continued, and the Distribution of the Judicial Authority
NO. 78 The Judiciary Department
NO. 79 The Judiciary Department Continued
NO. 68 The Mode of Electing the President
NO. 23 The Necessity of a Government as Energetic as the One Proposed to the Preservation of the Union
NO. 47 The Particular Structure of the New Government and the Distribution of Power Among Its Different Parts
NO. 29 THE power of regulating the militia, and of commanding its services in times of insurrection and invasion are natural incidents to the duties of superintending the common defense, and of watching over the internal peace of the Confederacy
NO. 42 The Powers Conferred by the Constitution Further Considered
NO. 24 The Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further Considered
NO. 40 The Powers of the Convention to Form a Mixed Government Examined and Sustained
NO. 80 The Powers of the Judiciary
NO. 64 The Powers of the Senate
NO. 65 The Powers of the Senate Continued
NO. 73 The Provision For The Support of the Executive, and the Veto Power
NO. 69 The Real Character of the Executive
NO. 61 The Same Subject Continued (Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of Members)
NO. 34 The Same Subject Continued Concerning the General Power of Taxation
NO. 72 The Same Subject Continued, and Re-Eligibility of the Executive Considered
NO. 38 The Same Subject Continued, and the Incoherence of the Objections to the New Plan Exposed
NO. 7 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the States.
NO. 4 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers From Foreign Force and Influence
NO. 3 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers From Foreign Force and Influence
NO. 5 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence.
NO. 32 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation
NO. 33 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation
NO. 35 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation
NO. 36 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation
NO. 31 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation
NO. 60 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of Members
NO. 22 The Same Subject Continued: Other Defects of the Present Confederation
NO. 53 The Same Subject Continued: The House of Representatives
NO. 27 The Same Subject Continued: The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense Considered
NO. 28 The Same Subject Continued: The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense Considered
NO. 16 The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union
NO. 17 The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union
NO. 18 The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union
NO. 19 The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union
NO. 20 The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union.
NO. 43 The Same Subject Continued: The Powers Conferred by the Constitution Further Considered
NO. 25 The Same Subject Continued: The Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further Considered
NO. 10 The Same Subject Continued: The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection.
NO. 62 The Senate
NO. 63 The Senate Continued
NO. 51 The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments
NO. 55 The Total Number of the House of Representatives
NO. 56 The Total Number of the House of Representatives
NO. 75 The Treaty Making Power of the Executive
NO. 9 The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection.
NO. 11 The Utility of the Union in Respect to Commercial Relations and a Navy
NO. 12 The Utility of the Union In Respect to Revenue.
NO. 48 These Departments Should Not Be So Far Separated as to Have No Constitutional Control Over Each Other