command and control of the army, navy and militia; he is the general conservator of the peace of the union--he may pardon all offences, except in cases of impeachment, and the principal fountain of all offices and employments. Will not the exercise of these powers therefore tend either to the establishment of a vile and arbitrary aristocracy or monarchy? The safety of the people in a republic depends on the share or proportion they have in the government; but experience ought to teach you, that when a man is at the head of an elective government invested with great powers, and interested in his re-election, in what circle appointments will be made; by which means an imperfect aristocracy bordering on monarchy may be established.
You must, however, my countrymen, beware that the advocates of this new system do not deceive you by a fallacious resemblance between it and your own state government [ New York] which you so much prize; and, if you examine, you will perceive that the chief magistrate of this state is your immediate choice, controlled and checked by a just and full representation of the people, divested of the prerogative of influencing war and peace, making treaties, receiving and sending embassies, and commanding standing armies and navies, which belong to the power of the confederation, and will be convinced that this government is no more like a true picture of your own than an Angel of Darkness resembles an Angel of Light.
ON THE MODE OF ELECTING THE PRESIDENT
In Federalist No. 68 Hamilton declared that "the mode of appointment of the Chief Magistrate of the United States is almost the only part of the system, of any consequence, which has escaped without severe censure, or which has received the slightest approbation from its opponents." Quite the contrary, Antifederalists strongly disapproved of the procedures for selecting the President. They envisioned a multiplicity of candidates; of no individual obtaining a majority of the electoral votes; and of the dangers--sectional influences, personal corruption, foreign intrigues--inherent in giving the lower house, voting as states, the authority to select the executive. The election of 1824 was exactly the type of political nightmare the Antifederalists had predicted. By and large, however, the unforeseen development of political parties has obviated this particular Antifederalist objection.
The following is taken from a speech by William Grayson at the Virginia ratifying convention, June 18, 1788, reprinted in Elliot, III, 490-92.
Mr. [William] GRAYSON. Mr. Chairman, one great objection with me is this: If we advert to . . . [the] democratical, aristocratical, or executive branch, we shall find their powers are perpetually varying and fluctuating throughout the whole. Perhaps the democratic branch would be well constructed, were it not for this defect. The executive is still worse, in this respect, than the democratic branch. He is to be elected by a number of
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Publication information: Book title: The Antifederalist Papers. Contributors: Morton Borden - Editor. Publisher: Michigan State University Press. Place of publication: East Lansing, MI. Publication year: 1965. Page number: 199.
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