Federalist Papers – Essay #9

This is a “biggie!”

In Essay #9, The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection, Hamilton shares his true feelings about his concept for the new government. Essentially, he envisions a government similar to that of Great Britain – two legislative bodies and what he describes as a “republican monarch” or “elective king.”

Hamilton disagrees with the political philosopher, Montesquieu, where the philosopher argued that a republic would only function well in a small country, whereas Hamilton feels that a strong central government with a supportive military would be able to put down any regional rebellion. Hamilton’s concept also clashes with that of James Madison who argued that a strong union would prevent regional rebellions.

Along with a “republican monarch” who would be elected by the people for life, Hamilton proposed that one of the legislative bodies – the Senate – would comprise the wealthy few. The elected king would serve as the “chief organ” of a “strong souled government” that would check “the amazing violence and turbulence of the democratic spirit.”  This monarch would have the power to veto all national legislation, have the prerogative of appointing governors of all the states which would reduce their role to “administrative satrapies” (provinces) of the national government. He hoped that the elective king would be given control of the patronage in order to bribe the legislature and insure a steady administration – “a necessity of corruption required for a stable government.”

Hamilton’s views were not adopted in the Constitutional draft, and his disappointment and ultimate bitterness was so strong that he prophesied that the proposed union would fail. He attempted to conceal his opinions in later essays in order to achieve ratification but was never reconciled to what he described in private memoranda as the “Constitution’s weakness.”

Credit for the summary and analysis goes to Brittany Nelson and Christopher Higgins (second revision 09/15/2011). Weinbloom, Elizabeth ed. “The Federalist Papers Essay 9 Summary and Analysis”. GradeSaver, 30 December 2011 Web. 16 January 2019

You can read the summary and analysis by clicking HERE.

You can access the full essay by clicking HERE.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.