Hamilton forcefully accuses the anti-federalists of misrepresenting the provisions in the Constitution relating to the presidency. He accuses the critics of misleading the American people and playing on their fears of monarchy in order to turn them against the Constitution. As evidence of this deception, Hamilton conducts a close reading the sections of the Constitution dealing with the powers of the presidency and focuses on dispelling the false claim that the president would have the power to appoint vacancies in the Senate.
This is the first of eleven papers in which Hamilton defends the office of the presidency as described in the proposed constitution. The presidency was perhaps the most controversial aspect of the proposed form of government. Anti-federalists accused the federalists of seeking to recreate a monarchy through the creation of a president with extensive executive powers. These claims were particularly worrisome to the American people since they had just fought a war to rid themselves of a monarchy they considered tyrannical.
Hamilton does not offer his opponents the benefit of the doubt. He questions not only the soundness of their arguments but also the goodness of their intentions. His strategy in this paper is to show, in exhaustive detail, that his opponents are purposely misinterpreting and distorting the meaning of the Constitution in order to convince the American people that it will lead to a despotic, tyrannical form of government.