The Federalist Papers Reader and Historical Documents of Our American Heritage

By Frederick Quinn | Go to book overview

No. 84
Concerning Several Miscellaneous Objections

Federalist Paper No. 84 is a catchall for some concluding arguments and the least enduring of the essays. Hamilton argues a bill of rights is not needed, since rights are protected throughout the Constitution and in the state constitutions. In fact, at the moment Hamilton was writing, momentum for a bill of rights was gaining support throughout the states. Likewise, be says the Constitution does not discuss what will later be a thorny constitutional issue, press freedom, because "who can give it any definition which would not leave the utmost latitude for evasion?" Finally, he tries to quell fears that the new government will be expensive to operate. "Whence is the dreaded augmentation of expense to spring?" he asks, and gives a hasty answer. The modest increase in the federal government's size will be offset by short sessions for Congress, and "a great part of the business which now keeps Congress sitting through the year will be transacted by the President."

In this course of the foregoing review of the Constitution, I have taken notice of, and endeavoured to answer, most of the objections which have appeared against it. There however remain a few which either did not fall naturally under any particular head or were forgotten in their proper places. These shall now be discussed; but as the subject has been drawn into great length, I shall so far consult brevity as to comprise all my observations on these miscellaneous points in a single paper.

-172-

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