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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
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
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End of Federalist Paper No. 74
FEDERALIST NO. 74
The Command of the Military and Naval Forces, and the Pardoning Power of the Executive
Alexander Hamilton     Tuesday March 25, 1788
Author: From the New York Packet
To the People of New York


      1: 1   THE President of the United States is to be "commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several States WHEN CALLED INTO THE ACTUAL SERVICE of the United States." 2   The propriety of this provision is so evident in itself, and it is, at the same time, so consonant to the precedents of the State constitutions in general, that little need be said to explain or enforce it. 3   Even those of them which have, in other respects, coupled the chief magistrate with a council, have for the most part concentrated the military authority in him alone. 4   Of all the cares or concerns of government, the direction of war most peculiarly demands those qualities which distinguish the exercise of power by a single hand. 5   The direction of war implies the direction of the common strength; and the power of directing and employing the common strength, forms a usual and essential part in the definition of the executive authority.

      2: 1   "The President may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective officers." 2   This I consider as a mere redundancy in the plan, as the right for which it provides would result of itself from the office.

      3: 1   He is also to be authorized to grant "reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, EXCEPT IN CASES OF IMPEACHMENT." 2   Humanity and good policy conspire to dictate, that the benign prerogative of pardoning should be as little as possible fettered or embarrassed. 3   The criminal code of every country partakes so much of necessary severity, that without an easy access to exceptions in favor of unfortunate guilt, justice would wear a countenance too sanguinary and cruel. 4   As the sense of responsibility is always strongest, in proportion as it is undivided, it may be inferred that a single man would be most ready to attend to the force of those motives which might plead for a mitigation of the rigor of the law, and least apt to yield to considerations which were calculated to shelter a fit object of its vengeance. 5   The reflection that the fate of a fellow-creature depended on his sole fiat, would naturally inspire scrupulousness and caution; the dread of being accused of weakness or connivance, would beget equal circumspection, though of a different kind. 6   On the other hand, as men generally derive confidence from their numbers, they might often encourage each other in an act of obduracy, and might be less sensible to the apprehension of suspicion or censure for an injudicious or affected clemency. 7   On these accounts, one man appears to be a more eligible dispenser of the mercy of government, than a body of men.

      4: 1   The expediency of vesting the power of pardoning in the President has, if I mistake not, been only contested in relation to the crime of treason. 2   This, it has been urged, ought to have depended upon the assent of one, or both, of the branches of the legislative body. 3   I shall not deny that there are strong reasons to be assigned for requiring in this particular the concurrence of that body, or of a part of it. 4   As treason is a crime levelled at the immediate being of the society, when the laws have once ascertained the guilt of the offender, there seems a fitness in referring the expediency of an act of mercy towards him to the judgment of the legislature. 5   And this ought the rather to be the case, as the supposition of the connivance of the Chief Magistrate ought not to be entirely excluded. 6   But there are also strong objections to such a plan. 7   It is not to be doubted, that a single man of prudence and good sense is better fitted, in delicate conjunctures, to balance the motives which may plead for and against the remission of the punishment, than any numerous body whatever. 8   It deserves particular attention, that treason will often be connected with seditions which embrace a large proportion of the community; as lately happened in Massachusetts. 9   In every such case, we might expect to see the representation of the people tainted with the same spirit which had given birth to the offense. 10   And when parties were pretty equally matched, the secret sympathy of the friends and favorers of the condemned person, availing itself of the good-nature and weakness of others, might frequently bestow impunity where the terror of an example was necessary. 11   On the other hand, when the sedition had proceeded from causes which had inflamed the resentments of the major party, they might often be found obstinate and inexorable, when policy demanded a conduct of forbearance and clemency. 12   But the principal argument for reposing the power of pardoning in this case to the Chief Magistrate is this: in seasons of insurrection or rebellion, there are often critical moments, when a welltimed offer of pardon to the insurgents or rebels may restore the tranquillity of the commonwealth; and which, if suffered to pass unimproved, it may never be possible afterwards to recall. 13   The dilatory process of convening the legislature, or one of its branches, for the purpose of obtaining its sanction to the measure, would frequently be the occasion of letting slip the golden opportunity. 14   The loss of a week, a day, an hour, may sometimes be fatal. 15   If it should be observed, that a discretionary power, with a view to such contingencies, might be occasionally conferred upon the President, it may be answered in the first place, that it is questionable, whether, in a limited Constitution, that power could be delegated by law; and in the second place, that it would generally be impolitic beforehand to take any step which might hold out the prospect of impunity. 16   A proceeding of this kind, out of the usual course, would be likely to be construed into an argument of timidity or of weakness, and would have a tendency to embolden guilt.
Beginning of Federalist Paper No. 74

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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