Federalist No. 26 is an essay by Alexander Hamilton, the twenty-sixth of the Federalist Papers. It was published on December 22, 1787 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all the Federalist Papers were published. This is the first of three essays discussing the threat to the common good stemming from excessive restraint on legislative authority. It is titled, "The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense Considered."
Publius outlines the fallacy of restricting the government's power to control the military. He reasons that restricting the size of standing armies is necessary for a people's government to function, but preventing standing armies altogether is outright foolish. He argues that the new system would require the Congress to consider the necessity of standing armies every two years. He states that the majority of laws meant to prevent standing armies are vague and ineffective.