Defending the Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & the American Constitution
Wednesday July 23rd 2014

Self-Educated Man

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Federalist 58 by James Madison. 1. Under the proposed Constitution whose interests were represented by the U.S. Senate? Is it so today? If not, how might it be remedied & by what means? 2. How did the Constitution provide for updating representation in Congress? 3. Madison credits the U.S Constitution with assigning the greatest power, that of the “purse strings” to the U.S. House. In your opinion, how might the House assert that power to reduce the size & cost of government today? 4. Explain in your own words Madison’s warning against too many men serving in the House. How might his warning be applied today as calls abound for a more direct democracy & for scrapping the electoral college system? 5. Is democracy the form of government our Founders gave us or was it a republican form? Explain the difference.


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Hamilton’s Advice To The Supervisors of Boston


Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America’s first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury.

The Moral Liberal, Classics Library


Alexander Hamilton: The Works of Alexander Hamilton, Volume 1, 1774


Finance: Hamilton to Supervisors of Boston


Treasury Department,
July 27, 1791.
Gentlemen:

A temporary absence from the seat of government has delayed an answer to your letter of the 14th inst.

It is an established rule at the treasury not to disclose the amount of the stock which stands to the credit of any person on the public books to any but the proprietor himself, or his regular representative; and the reasons extend, of course, to the respective loan offices.

One of those reasons is, that as property in the public funds constitutes an usual and a considerable portion of mercantile capital, wherever public credit is well supported, the permitting an inspection into the stock account of individuals to others than the parties respectively interested, would have a tendency to lay open the affairs and operations of merchants more than is consistent with the spirit of trade. Indeed, not only merchants, but other classes of citizens, may often have very fair and valid reasons for being disinclined to such an inspection; and it may be even conceived that it would not at all times be expedient to allow access to the secret emissaries of a foreign power to discover the quantum of interest which its own citizens might have in the funds of a nation.

In thus assigning some of the reasons which have given occasion to the rule that has been mentioned, I yield to a desire of satisfying the Board that it is not unsupported by considerations of weight, and that a relaxation of it, in compliance with their request, could not with propriety be acceded to on my part.

At the same time, I feel myself called upon by the occasion to express an opinion that every thing in the nature of a direct tax on property in the funds of the United States is contrary to the true principles of public credit, and tends to disparage the value of the public stock. If any law of the State of Massachusetts, therefore, gives sanction to such a tax, it is presumed that it must have been passed without an advertence to this important idea; and it is not doubted that in the execution of it there will be all the care and moderation which the delicacy of the operation requires. It is desirable on every account that no occasion should be given to a discussion concerning the regularity of the proceeding.



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The Moral Liberal recommends you supplement this read with Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay’s constitutional classic: The Federalist: The Famous Papers on the Principles of American Government


The Works of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge (Federal Edition) (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). In 12 vols. The copyright for the original of this document is held in the Public Domain. Font, formatting, spelling modernizations, typo/transcription corrections, and explanatory footnotes for this version of  ”The Works of Alexander Hamilton” Copyright © 2011 Steve Farrell and The Moral Liberal.