47 (1788), titled "The Particular Structure of the New Government and the Distribution of Power Among Its Different Parts," is an essay by American politician James Madison, who later served as the fourth president of the United States. [58 ]Veto Message, March 3, 1817. [21 ]Madison’s famed “break” with Hamilton did not come over the bank issue. In most cases he indicates the scope and nature of the states’ residual powers by spelling out in some detail the powers of the national government. We might find, as the very examples before us suggest, that what is sufficient precedent for one might not be so for another. 10 is an essay written by James Madison as the tenth of The Federalist Papers, a series of essays initiated by Alexander Hamilton arguing for the ratification of the United States Constitution. Moreover, as we note, within his second period his positions are not easily categorized, although his abiding concern is to preserve a system of “divided sovereignty” in order to avoid the dangers he associates with either confederate or unitary systems. In his famous letter to Washington on the eve of the Philadelphia Convention, he set forth his candid views concerning the nature of state-national relations he would like to see obtain under a new constitution. The situation, from Madison’s perspective, could only worsen if the federal government were to undertake “ambitious encroachments ... on the authority of the State government.” Such encroachments, he writes, “would be signals of general alarm. While this view was, no doubt, commonly held, it is safe to say that Madison’s opinions on what form the new government should take were not so widely shared. [7] Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, The Federalist Papers, ed. The He teamed up with Alexander Hamilton (who in just three short years would become his most ardent rival) to write the Federalist Papers. So were the arguments of 1798, with which Madison’s early understanding of the Constitution was not in conflict” (8–9). We can look at the passage in another light that would, at first glance, seem to make more sense; namely, by “rules of the Constitution” Madison was referring simply to procedures called for by the Constitution; that is, for example, disputes are to be settled by a national authority, not by the states. Suppose, for instance, that Marshall in McCulloch v. Maryland had declared the national bank unconstitutional on the same grounds originally advanced by Representative Madison. John Vanderlyn. branches]. Each branch should be, in Madison's opinion, mostly independent. On the practical side, it should be noted, interposition, however it might be exercised by a state, presumably could be resorted to only when all the states had come to agreement concerning its appropriateness or necessity. While he is widely hailed as the “father” of the Philadelphia Constitution, we find that he was, almost from the outset of its operations, schizophrenic about the nature of the political union it fashioned. First, we must deal with Madison the “nationalist,” that is, with Madison during what we will call his “first” or “nationalist” stage, which runs from almost the beginning of his political career to his famous break with Hamilton over the incorporation of a national bank in the very first session of Congress. He collaborated on the Federalist papers and sponsored the Bill of Rights. To this we may add another consideration not at all alien to Madison’s more general views: reliance on the Court could well produce an inflexibility that might seriously impair the national government in meeting its constitutional obligations; or, if not that, the flouting of the Court’s decisions by the political arms would, on any showing, undermine popular confidence in the system. Where real difficulties do arise, as our discussion of founding intimates, is over test (d), the “extent” of the powers of the national government. That is why they defend activist courts that operate through the Fourteenth Amendment to impose their will upon the states: the courts, that is, are perceived as rising above the parochialism that characterizes congressional deliberations and that often delays or forecloses needed “reforms.” Beyond this, of course, the proponents of the new morality would sleep easier with disciplined, programmatic, and centrally controlled political parties that would be able to resist and overcome the centrifugal forces that arise from the mere existence of politically viable states. From what we have said to this point, we can readily see that Madison’s task in preserving the divided sovereignty would have been easier if he could have substantively identified those portions of “inviolable sovereignty” retained by the states.53 This is to say, if he could somehow draw a line between the two jurisdictions, then the task of maintaining the proper division would be immensely facilitated. Thus, the multiplicity and diversity of interests combined with representation by “fit characters” provided what he believed to be a “republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government,” namely, a cure for the ravages of “majority factions” (10:48). To put this matter in its starkest terms, our present situation represents a violation of one of Madison’s most fundamental political principles. 50. [27 ]Ibid., 212. Lithograph after an original painting by Gilbert Stuart, circa 1828, from the Library of Congress. But small republics were, in his view, susceptible to the very same dangers. In this sense, federalism contributes to the “messiness” or “untidiness” of the constitutional system that the proponents of the new morality deplore. Writing with regard to the national powers to provide for the national defense (e.g., “raise armies,” “build and equip fleets”) Hamilton puts the matter this way: “These powers ought to exist without limitation, because it is impossible to foresee or to define the extent and variety of national exigencies, and the correspondent extent and variety of the means which may be necessary to satisfy them. However, it soon became clear that the national Congress created by the Articles could not meet the needs of the American union. These explanations certainly point to the conclusion that the major and enduring principles to be derived from Madison’s thoughts on federalism will have to be found in the context of a wider, extra-constitutional framework. In other words, such an interpretation, he believed, would render the system virtually unitary with respect to extent of powers. The final paragraph of the Declaration is evidence of this, calling as it does for “Free and Independent States” with “full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.” And, although the Constitution was a decisive move toward greater unity, it certainly did not provide a definitive resolution of these tensions. Lawrence Goldman (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 192. The Federalist essays were formally addressed to the people of New York and were intended to influence the New York ratifying convention. Click here for more about James Madison or Madison families. Author: James Madison (Publius) January 19, 1788. Beyond this there are very serious problems with interposition, so serious that it is highly doubtful that it could ever represent a workable means or method for the settlement of state-national tensions. Years later, Madison noted that, while both levels of governments had attempted unconstitutional power-grabs, recent “theoretical innovations at least are putting new weights into the scale of federal sovereignty,” upsetting the balance in that direction. And, returning to Federalist 39, we see that Madison, immediately after writing of the states’ “residual and inviolable sovereignty,” turns to the crucial matter of how controversies should be settled. As we might expect, it is a search in which we find Madison again shifting ground, so much so that he appears to provide no definitive answer to this critical concern. Federalist Papers Authored by James Madison For instance, what rules does the Constitution set forth for the impartial resolution of state-national conflicts that arise over the meaning of the “necessary and proper” clause? What seems equally clear, moreover, is that Madison was fully aware of the impossibility of spelling out a substantive division or allocation of powers between the state and national governments, just as he could perceive the futility of attempting “a positive enumeration of the powers necessary and proper” for the exercise of delegated powers (44:232). Such seems to have been the morality even at the time the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted: Section 5 of that amendment grants to Congress—significantly, not the courts—the authority to enforce the broad provisions of Section 1 (e.g., “due process of law,” “equal protection of the laws”) which can be used to severely limit state authority. Federalist #39 describes and defends Madison’s interpretation of the distinctive theory of federalism embodied in the Constitution. James Madison begins his famous federalist paper by explaining that the purpose of this essay is to help the readers understand how the structure of the proposed government makes liberty possible. It seems that Madison, along with many other Federalists, embraced a long-term commitment to a balance of power between the two levels of government, but altered his specific stance depending on which level he considered to be too powerful at the time. Alexander Hamilton was the force behind the project, andwas responsible for recruiting James Madison and John Jay towrite with him as Publius. Extensiveness, he notes, also requires “the delegation of the government ... to a small number of citizens elected by the rest” (10:46). Madison uses the same argument to support the position that the Congressional power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, and excises” along with the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations” conveys the authority to encourage domestic manufactures. To assure such independence, no one branch should have too much power in selecting members of the other two … Irving Brant, Madison’s premier biographer, seems keen on proving that Madison was his own man, not simply Jefferson’s chief lieutenant. Writings, IX, 396–97. What this means is that, even if all the states were to agree to interpose, their subsequent actions would lack constitutional sanction.69. In the last analysis, to judge from what he does say about it in relation to the Alien and Sedition Acts, he did look upon interposition in this fashion. He held out no prospect that “pure” democracies, wherein the citizens “assemble and administer the government in person,” could avoid the evils of faction. And, if this be the case, is it not “legitimate” for one’s views of state-national powers to vary according to the issues at stake in any particular controversy? In his veto message, however, he is evidently concerned with the matter of precedents and consent. Federalist 41. a federal form with the forms of individual Republics, as may enable each to supply the defects of the other and obtain the advantages of both. To this end Brant writes: “It is part of the long-prevalent myth that Jefferson broke with Hamilton over funding and assumption and carried Madison along with him, thus rupturing the Madison-Hamilton friendship. "The Federalist," commonly referred to as the "Federalist Papers," is a series of 85 essays written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison between October 1787 and May 1788. Anticipating the argument he was to develop in Federalist 10, he maintained that the difficulties and injustices prevalent within the states, “contrary to prevailing Theory,” were not to be found “in proportion” to the “extent, but to the narrowness of their limits.” 7 At the same time, Madison also faulted the government under the Articles for its inability to act to advance the common interests of the states. One beneficial effect of interposition from Madison’s point of view might be its bearing upon the establishment of “precedent” for the exercise of national power such as that he refers to in explaining his shift on the bank issues. It is vain to oppose constitutional barriers to the impulse of self-preservation. Source: An essay from George W. Carey, In Defense of James Madison, 1816. Nevertheless, we are still left to deal with the matter of the states’ “inviolable sovereignty.” It seems evident that Madison wanted to avoid spelling out the contents of that sovereignty. In this regard, Madison seemed to envision the states not only playing a role in shaping the view of the common constituents, but also in setting the broad limits within which the consensus would have to come to rest. Perhaps most surprisingly, in 1798 he penned the “Virginia Resolution” in opposition to the Alien and Sedition, which gave the President power to deport unnaturalized immigrants and suppress criticism of the government. Some see him as a radical nationalist who sought to centralize power in the federal government, while others emphasize his affinity with advocates of “states’ rights.” So: was Madison consistent? James Madison, fourth president of the United States (1809–17) and one of the Founding Fathers of his country. to date; Chicago, 1962——). Morton J. Frisch and Richard G. Stevens (2d ed. Beyond this, as our previous remarks would suggest, it is doubtful—despite Madison’s assertion to the contrary—that the states’ residual powers could be considered “inviolable.” At the very least, Madison’s theory as set forth in The Federalist points to a “tension” on this score, for, as we have seen, it cannot entertain the notion of any limits on the exercise of powers necessary for the national defense. It would seem that, on the basis of what Madison writes in this regard, we have good reason to presume such a consensus if the political parties have held the same constitutional construction for a “reasonable” period of time. That Madison shared this view is clear from his discussion of the separation of powers in essays 47 through 51. They acted upon it, in the only manner in which they can act safely, effectively, and wisely, on such a subject, by assembling in convention. Hamilton writes as follows to this effect: “the means ought to be proportioned to the end; the persons from whose agency the attainment of any end is expected ought to possess the means by which it is to be attained.” This proposition, he contends, rests upon “axioms as simple as they are universal” (31:15). In the American context, Madison specified several “means of contestation” that would enable the states to defend their jurisdiction by directly representing states interests in Congress. The Essential James Madison www.thefederalistpapers.org Page 2 JAMES MADISON QUOTES A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest while we are building ideal monuments of Renown and Bliss here we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven. Moreover, principally because the national government was charged with the responsibility of providing for the national defense, both men were opposed to placing any a priori limitations on the powers of the national government. “The proposed Constitution,” in his words, “so far from implying an abolition of the State governments, makes them a constituent part of the national sovereignty ... and leaves in their possession certain exclusive and very important portions of sovereign powers” (41).48 But Hamilton surely did not come to look upon this division in the same way as Madison, namely, as a limitation on the extent of the exercise of the delegated powers of the national government. New York: John Tiebout, 1799. Peter Schotten shares much the same view as Meyers concerning Madison’s behavior. Writings, IX, 397. Due to their expectation that the states would have natural advantages in inter-level disputes, most Federalists sincerely feared that state encroachments on federal jurisdiction would happen far more often than the reverse. [19] Only when the nullification crisis threatened to destroy the union did he once again prioritize national unity and federal power. What but the highest political authority, could make such a Constitution?” He answers that the “sovereignty” that created such a Constitution “resides not in a single state but in the people of each of the several states, uniting with those of the others in the express and solemn compact which forms the Constitution.” 38 Nor, in this connection, could Madison entertain the proposition implicit in nullification, namely, “that ... every party to a compact, has a right to take for granted, that its construction is the infallible one, and to act upon it against the construction of all others, having an equal right to expound the instrument, nay against the regular exposition of the constituted authorities, with the tacit sanction of the community.” This “doctrine” he termed “subversive of all constitutions, all laws, and all compacts.” 39 What is more, from his vantage point, the proponents of nullification were forced to deny reality to support their position; that is, they had to look upon the Constitution as “a treaty, a league, or at most a confederacy among nations, as independent and sovereign, in relation to each other, as before the charter which calls itself a Constitution was formed.” 40, Despite this, we must note, Madison did not deny the right of a state to rebel against national authority. 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