Federalist Papers – Essay #83

In Essay #83, The Judiciary Continued in Relation to Trial by Jury, Alexander Hamilton wraps up his discussion of the judiciary by addressing concerns over the absence of a specific constitutional provision for trial by jury in civil cases. As he explains, this is rooted in one of the core principles of constitutional theory: the general “genius” of government is more effective than “particular provisions.”

By using examples from states and European countries, Hamilton shows that specifically dictating that juries must be allowed in civil cases would lead to inefficiency and miscarriages of justice due to the wide variety and considerable complexity in civil law.

The purpose of the Constitution is to provide a general framework for government in the United States, not a detailed and comprehensive set of laws. Issues such as the mode of trial in civil cases fall into the category of details best decided by the representatives of the people.

Credit for the summary and analysis of Essay #83 is given to Brittany Nelson and Christopher Higgins (second revision 09/15/2011). Weinbloom, Elizabeth ed. “The Federalist Papers Essay #83 Summary and Analysis”. GradeSaver, 30 December 2011 Web. 20 February 2019.

You can read a summary and analysis of Essay #83 by clicking HERE.

You can read the entire text of Essay #83 by clicking HERE.

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