August 28, 2010 – Federalist No. 82 & Federalist No. 83 – Janine Turner
Saturday, August 28th, 2010
“By increasing the obstacles to success, it discourages attempts to seduce the integrity of either.”
Alexander Hamilton Federalist Paper No. 83
Howdy from North Carolina! We just finished filming our We the People 9.17 Contest winner, Katie Strawinski, who won the Best Short Film Category. We filmed her at her school in Georgia and watched her in action as she filmed her football game as the school’s official video photographer. Be sure to check out her short film on our site. She is very talented. Her work was selected by Michael Flaherty, President of Walden Media.
Even though we are officially finished with our “90 in 90,” I realized that I had not written an essay for Federalist Papers No. 82 & 83 because we have been wildly preoccupied on this road trip across America. Thus, I am writing about them today as we journey through North Carolina.
As I read these particular papers, I think about our nation’s youth. Our judicial system is a wonder. It is very easy to take things for granted, such as trial by jury, and forget the many reasons that why this system of government is vitally important – one of the reasons being a fortification against tyranny.
Alexander Hamilton says it best:
“The friends and adversaries of the plan of the convention, if they agree in nothing else, concur at least in the value they set upon the trial by jury; or if there is any difference between them it consists in this: the former regard it as a valuable safeguard to liberty; the latter represent it as the very palladium of free government. For my own part, the more the operation of the institution has fallen under my observation, the more reason I have discovered for holding it in high estimation; and it would be altogether superfluous to examine to what extent it deserves to be esteemed useful or essential in a representative republic, or how much more merit it may be entitled to, as a defense against the oppressions of an hereditary monarch, than as a barrier to the tyranny of popular magistrates in a popular government.”
Our Constitution and our legal system are designed to keep those in power in check.
“Willful abuses of a public authority, to the oppression of the subject, and every species of official extortion, are offenses against the government, or which the persons who commit them may be indicted and punished according to the circumstances of the case. The strongest argument in its favor is, that it is a security against corruption.”
Alexander Hamilton comments on the necessity of a Constitution, which is a boundary for all potential miscreants of power.
“It may be added that these encroachments have generally originated with the men who endeavor to persuade the people they are the warmest defenders of popular liberty, but who have rarely suffered constitutional obstacles to arrest them in a favorite career.”
Another statement of Alexander Hamilton’s from Federalist Paper No. 83 reveals our forefather’s intention to honor each state’s uniqueness and their desire to remain sovereign.
“It may be asked, Why could not a reference have been made to the constitution of this State, taking that, which is allowed by me to be a good one, as a standard for the United States? I answer that it is not very probable the other States would entertain the same opinion of our institutions as we do ourselves. It is natural to suppose that they are hitherto more attached to their own, and that each would struggle for the preference.”
Only by knowledge of such wisdoms such as these may we have the power to preserve our liberties – awareness, acceptance, action.
August 28, 2010