Federalist 32 – Hamilton

On the surface, Federalist 32 is a relatively minor work within the collection of essays written by Hamilton and Madison.  Yet this piece offers readers a very good insight into Alexander Hamilton’s mode of constitutional interpretation.

This essay is largely concerned with the concurrent taxation powers of the federal and state governments.  Hamilton rebuffs the idea that the states would be deprived of most of their taxing power, arguing instead that the Constitution leaves the states with the power tax most anything except where expressly prohibited.

He begins the essay with a subject that would be debated for years by Civil War historians.

An entire consolidation of the States into one complete national sovereignty would imply an entire subordination of the parts; and whatever powers might remain in them, would be altogether dependent on the general will. But as the plan of the convention aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, exclusively delegated to the United States. (more…)

Anti-Jefferson Attack Ad

This one is for my co-blogger Paul, not the biggest fan, to put it mildly, of the Third President of the United States.  I think that when it comes to personal vilification, the Presidential campaign of 1800 still claims pride of place, with each candidate accused of every vice imaginable except, perhaps, of cannibalism.   If  television had been available in 1800 the attack ads would have been sulphurous.

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Published in: on May 17, 2010 at 5:31 am  Comments (2)  
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