Federalist Papers – Essay #70

In Essay #70, The Executive Department Further Considered, Alexander Hamilton argues that a strong and energetic President is essential to good government and is compatible with the republican concept. In his opening sentence, he eloquently gets right to the point:

“THERE is an idea, which is not without its advocates, that a vigorous Executive is inconsistent with the genius of republican government. The enlightened well-wishers to this species of government must at least hope that the supposition is destitute of foundation; since they can never admit its truth, without at the same time admitting the condemnation of their own principles.”

He argues that an energetic executive branch must be characterized by unity, possession of sufficient powers, the ability to make decisions quickly and take prompt action, and a certain degree of secrecy.

Hamilton emphasizes the need for an energetic executive because (in his own words) –

“Energy in the Executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks; it is not less essential to the steady administration of the laws; to the protection of property against those irregular and high-handed combinations which sometimes interrupt the ordinary course of justice; to the security of liberty against the enterprises and assaults of ambition, of faction, and of anarchy.”

Credit for the summary and analysis of Essay #70 is given to Brittany Nelson and Christopher Higgins (second revision 09/15/2011). Weinbloom, Elizabeth ed. “The Federalist Papers Essay #70 Summary and Analysis”. GradeSaver, 30 December 2011 Web. 18 February 2019.

You can read a summary and analysis of Essay #70 by clicking HERE.

You can read the entire text of Essay #70 by clicking HERE.

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