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The Federalist Papers: No. 13

On this day in 1787, Federalist Paper No. 13 is published. The Federalist Papers are a collection of essays that were published in New York newspapers in late 1787 and early 1788. They argued FOR the new Constitution, then being considered for ratification by the states.

Hamilton has one simple point to make in this paper. Good timing, because it is a holiday weekend!

Hamilton notes that a Union will be cheaper to sustain than three or four confederacies: The country will need one of everything; there will be less repetition. In other words, why create 3, 4 or 13 armies when you can create one? It’s cheaper to create one. It serves the ever-important goal of saving citizens’ money.

Interestingly, Hamilton’s theory seems to work when the federal government sticks to its legitimate purposes, such as national defense. It seems to do the opposite when Congress strays from genuinely national concerns and begins interfering in the states’ natural sphere of authority.

Probably not a coincidence.

Alexander Hamilton is the author of this particular paper. My post with more background on the Federalist Papers and their authorship can be found in the Federalist Paper No. 1 summary (see October 27 history post, here).



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