Federalist No. 28

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Alexander Hamilton, author of Federalist No. 28

Federalist No. 28 is an essay attributed to Alexander Hamilton, the twenty-eighth of The Federalist Papers. It was published on December 26, 1787 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all The Federalist Papers were published. This is the last of three essays discussing the threat to the common good stemming from excessive restraint on legislative authority. It is titled, "The Same Subject Continued: The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense Considered."

Publius argues that rebellion is always a possibility with any government. In a Union, if the rebellion is small the state government may deal with it, but if insurrection involves an entire state then the national government must respond.

If, on the other hand, the national government usurps power and betrays the people then the state governments are in a better position to oppose the national government, being fully fledged governments in their own right and led by experienced men. The people may choose which government best upholds their rights and concerns, the national or the state government, and thereby determine the outcome of a conflict. The great geographical extent of the Union provides a defense against the usurpations of the national government. Also, the limited resources available to the national army make it unlikely that it would grow large enough to erect a despotism.

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