Federalist 36 – Hamilton

We have finally reached the end of the first part of the Federalist Papers. Alexander Hamilton winds down a rather long discourse on the taxing powers in Federalist 36, while also laying down his ideas on what kinds of representatives the new republic will elect.  Generally speaking, he envisions a representative class consisting of “proprietors of land, of merchants, and of members of the learned professions.”  Alas, if he has simply said “lawyers” he’d capture a good chunk of the modern representative class.  He also elaborates on why there is no need to have an overly large number of representatives.

What greater affinity or relation of interest can be conceived between the carpenter and blacksmith, and the linen manufacturer or stocking weaver, than between the merchant and either of them? It is notorious that there are often as great rivalships between different branches of the mechanic or manufacturing arts as there are between any of the departments of labor and industry; so that, unless the representative body were to be far more numerous than would be consistent with any idea of regularity or wisdom in its deliberations, it is impossible that what seems to be the spirit of the objection we have been considering should ever be realized in practice. (more…)

Published in: on August 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm  Comments Off on Federalist 36 – Hamilton  
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Barbarian Diplomat

One of the more successful American diplomats of the Nineteenth Century, Townsend Harris, a native of New York City, became wealthy in the China trade in the early part of the century.  He then turned to public service, serving as the President of the New York City Board of Education from 1846-1848.  He founded the Free Academy of the City of New York, later renamed as the City College of New York, in order to provide college educations to low income people in New York.

In July 1856, Franklin Pierce named him the first American consul general to the Empire of Japan.  He opened the first American consulate in Japan in the city of Shimoda.  Overcoming enormous difficulties, in two years he negotiated what has become known as the Harris Treaty, which established full diplomatic and trade relations between Japan and the US. (more…)

Published in: on August 9, 2010 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Barbarian Diplomat  
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