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Federalist No. 39

Analysis of Federalist #51

❶The Senate is elective, for the period of six years; which is but one year more than the period of the Senate of Maryland, and but two more than that of the Senates of New York and Virginia. The act, therefore, establishing the Constitution will not be a national but a federal act.

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Federalist No. 39
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Besides, provision had been made for amending it to make it better, once it was adopted — which should be at once. In Chapter 38, America was like a man who finds his illness growing steadily worse and calls in doctors. After examinations and consultations, the doctors agree on what should be done in an increasingly dangerous situation. As soon as some of the patient's friends hear of this, they come in and, without any knowledge of medicine, warn the sick man that the doctors' prescription will poison his constitution and probably cause his death.

America was "sensible of her malady" and had called for advice from knowledgeable men of its choice. Yet this advice was being challenged and rejected by some. Madison then briefly considered the main objections to the proposed constitution. Some did not want it because it was not a confederation of states but a government of individuals.

Others agreed that it should be a government over individuals, but not to the extent proposed. There were those disturbed because the constitution did not contain a Bill of Rights. This was a chief objection of the Anti-Federalists, a legitimate objection soon removed by passage of the first ten amendments, since known as our national Bill of Rights. It was based on Virginia's celebrated Declaration of Rights drafted almost wholly by the great George Mason, a determined Anti-Federalist.

Having listed other objections raised against the proposed constitution, Madison asked critics to consider what kind of a government they had had before. It was not necessary that the proposed constitution be perfect: It would provide better government than under the Articles of Confederation. If the proposed constitution was not perfect, "no man would refuse to give brass for silver or gold, because the latter had some alloy in it.

An energetic government under the new constitution could help greatly in speeding the development of the Western frontier country, "a mine of vast wealth to the United States.

In Chapter 39, the first question Madison offers here is whether the new national government would be "strictly republican" in form. No other form would be compatible "with the genius of the people of America; with the fundamental principles of the revolution. Madison defined a republic as a government deriving all its powers from the great body of the people and administered by persons holding office during the people's pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior.

The government under the proposed constitution answered that description. The House of Representatives was to be elected immediately by the people; the Senate and the president, indirectly by the people. Even the judges along with all other important national officers were to be the choice, "though a remote choice," of the people themselves. Many objected that the new government would not be federal in form, based on the sovereignty of the states, but rather a national government based on a "consolidation" of the states.

Madison analyzed this objection at length, arguing that the new government would be at once a federal and national government — federal in most respects, but necessarily national in others. In Chapter 40, had the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia been "authorised to frame and propose this mixed Constitution"? As expressed in a resolution by the Continental Congress, the convention had been called for the "sole and express purpose of revising the articles of confederation ," and the Articles of Confederation, instead of being revised, had been entirely scrapped.

If the whole of the people voting a majority to ratify was required that would be a national act but that was not the case thus a federal act. The next relation is to the sources from which the government derives its powers.

The house of representatives derives its powers from the people and the people are represented in the same proportion as they are within each State, thus a national position. The Senate derives its power from the States whose legislatures select the senators with two from each States, which is federal position. The operation of the government is primarily directly on the people thus national. The last issue that of amendments is neither wholly national nor wholly federal.

The fact that States votes are required makes it federal but since a unanimous vote is not required that is a national characteristic. So in summary the proposed Constitution is neither a national nor a federal constitution but a composition of both. Ratification is federal , sources of power are both , operation is national , extent of powers is federal , and amending authority is both. Federalist Papers Summaries Index Page. Read The Federalist Papers No.

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The Federalist Papers Summary No Madison January 16, Madison begins the “candid survey of the plan of government reported by the Convention” by defining a republican form of government and then answering critics concerning whether the proposed plan is federal or national, that is, a confederacy of States or a consolidation . Summary This section of four chapters deals with a wide miscellany of subjects, some of which are touched on only briefly. In Chapter 37, it was a sad commentar.

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Federalist 39 was written for the Independent Journal, a New York newspaper, on January 16, by James Madison. In this essay Madison starts by defining and describing a republican government. In this essay Madison starts by defining and describing a republican government. What exactly is federal vs. national? Federalist No. 39 Tahlor Mills, Steven Ngo, Korbett O'Banion, Thao Nguyen FEDERALIST PEOPLE ESSAYS GOVERNMENT.