Saving our Constitutional Republic – A Summary of Federalist Paper #27

In Federalist #27, a continuation of The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense Considered, Hamilton argues that a national government with the authority to impose laws on the citizens themselves will ultimately provide for greater stability and peace than a system of independent states loosely connected within a confederation.

Hamilton argues that the federal government will be well-administered by highly competent individuals and that, as a result, it will enjoy the support and willing compliance of the people: “I believe it may be laid down as a general rule, that [the people’s] confidence in, and their obedience to, a government, will commonly be proportioned to the goodness or badness of its administration.”

Hamilton attempts to allay fears of a tyrannical government violently imposing its laws by arguing that people will obey the laws – and even if some people do not, they can be dealt with through the courts. Under a loose confederation, the national government would be able to enforce its laws only violently. Thus, he argues, the ratification of the Constitution is the country’s best bet to prevent those fears from being realized.

Credit for the summary and analysis of Essay #27 is given to Brittany Nelson and Christopher Higgins (second revision 09/15/2011). Weinbloom, Elizabeth ed. “The Federalist Papers Essay 27 Summary and Analysis”. GradeSaver, 30 December 2011 Web. 27 January 2019.

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