Federalist No. 30

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Alexander Hamilton, author of Federalist No. 30

Federalist No. 30 is an essay by Alexander Hamilton, the thirtieth of The Federalist Papers. It was published on December 28, 1787 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all The Federalist papers were published. This is the first of seven essays by Hamilton on the then-controversial issue of taxation. It is titled "Concerning the General Power of Taxation".

Brief Precis[edit]

Hamilton details that taxes are extremely important to our government. Hamilton believes that the power to collect taxes deemed necessary is crucial for the government. Hamilton then details the differences between internal and external taxes. He argues that the federal government needs a power of taxation equal to its necessities, both present and future. External taxes alone cannot provide enough revenue for a government as extensive as the one proposed, especially in a time of war.


Federalist No. 30 is an important paper that was much needed during the latter part of the 1700s. Since America had just won the American Revolution, the country needed to find a way to set up a system for the financial situation. Hamilton was worried that the people would not appreciate the taxes. However, he believes that taxes are necessary in order to make the citizens happy.[1]

James Madison seemed to have had an issue with who got the power of taxation. He did not believe that the legislative branch had the right to tax to contribute in helping the welfare.[2]

Current Issues[edit]

Senator Ted Cruz and others believe that the legislative body has the power to limit the executive branch from over-spending. However, Federalist No. 30 argues this idea wrong since Alexander Hamilton had intended for the Constitution to prioritize paying back the debts that America owned.[3] This means that the government would be able to spend more money in order to pay back the debts.


  1. ^ "The Federalist Papers - Congress.gov Resources -". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
  2. ^ Hracho, Matthew R. (2010-02-05). "Purchase Health Insurance or Else: Why Individual Health Insurance Mandates Enacted by the Federal Government are Unconstitutional". Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network. SSRN 1579835.
  3. ^ Lim, Elving (2013). "The shutdown is not the fault of the US Constitution" (PDF). LSE American Politics and Policy. Retrieved October 17, 2016.

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