expect in a representation so many of the members of which may rationally feel themselves candidates for these offices? Let common sense decide. It is true, that members chosen to offices must leave their seats in congress; and to some few offices they cannot be elected till the time shall be expired for which they were elected members. But this scarcely will effect the bias arising from the hopes and expectations of office. . . .
But it is asked how shall we remedy the evil, so as to complete and perpetuate the temple of equal laws and equal liberty? Perhaps we never can do it. Possibly we never may be able to do it in this immense country, under any one system of laws however modified. Nevertheless, at present, I think the experiment worth making. I feel an aversion to the disunion of the states, and to separate confederacies; the states have fought and bled in a common cause, and great dangers too may attend these confederacies. I think the system proposed capable of very considerable degrees of perfection, if we pursue first principles. I do not think that De Lolme, or any writer I have seen, has sufficiently pursued the proper inquiries and efficient means for making representation and balances in government more perfect. It is our task to do this in America. Our object is equal liberty, and equal laws diffusing their influence among all orders of men. To obtain this we must guard against the bias of interest and passions, against interested combinations, secret or open. We must aim at a balance of efforts and strength.
Clear it is, by increasing the representation we lessen the prospects of each member of congress being provided for in public offices. We proportionably lessen official influence, and strengthen his prospects of becoming a private citizen, subject to the common burdens, without the compensation of the emoluments of office. By increasing the representation we make it more difficult to corrupt and influence the members. We diffuse them more extensively among the body of the people, perfect the balance, multiply information, strengthen the confidence of the people, and consequently support the laws on equal and free principles. There are two other ways, I think, of obtaining in some degree the security we want; the one is, by excluding more extensively the members from being appointed to offices; the other is, by limiting some of their powers. These two I shall examine hereafter.
THE FEDERAL FARMER
See the Headnote to Antifederalist No. 55. The following essay is from the Additional Letters, pp. 82-89.
It is said that our people have a high sense of freedom, possess power, property, and the strong arm; meaning, I presume, that the body of the people can take care of themselves, and awe their rulers; and, therefore,