The Federalist Papers

federalist paper # 48

how would one go about describing the provision in the Constitution on #48 What is or should be the purpose of the provison? Is it desirable ? Is there a meaning and or a direct interpretation for Public Adminstration? What does it means for Public Adminstration ?

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The following excerpt can be found right here on gradesaver and is linked below. Gradesaver has complete analysis on the Federalist Papers available on this site, and they are quite thorough.

"The idea of separation of powers was, of course, not new, nor novel to the founding fathers. Plato and Polybius were concerned with it in their discussion of a mixed state, and the concept of a tempered or mixed monarchy was a familiar one during the Middle Ages. In England, the struggle between the crown and the courts of common law, and between the crown and Parliament, had given concrete importance to the separation of powers. Harrington had considered it a prerequisite for free government, and Locke had given it a subsidiary role in his theory of parliamentary supremacy. However, the idea of mixed government had never had a definite meaning. It had connoted a balancing of social and economic interests, or a sharing of power by such corporations as communes or municipalities. Often, the concept was proposed as a remedy against extreme centralization and as a reminder that a political organization would only work if there existed some degree of comity and fair dealing between its various parts. It was Montesquieu who modified the ancient doctrines by making the separation of powers into a system of legal checks and balances between the parts of a constitution.

Montesquieu's idea, which was derived inductively from a study of the English constitution, gained a great deal of popularity in America. After having been hailed by the colonists in their attempts to curb the powers and prerogatives of the royal governor, the principle of the separation of powers was a guiding light for the constitution making that took place after independence had been declared. It was mentioned in the Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776 and in the preamble of the constitution of Massachusetts of 1780, and it thus found official recognition in America years before it was put down in the famous article 16 of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. The members of the Philadelphia Convention reaffirmed the validity of the Montesquieuian concept, the more so since the preceding years had shown a lapse in its strict observance, which was due largely to the belief that a strong legislature, considered by many as the great liberator from monarchical despotism, could not very well be destructive of the Frenchman's ideal, liberty.

The Federalist accepts the framers' version of the separation of powers. Aware of the probability of legislative usurpations, the authors of that work desire a separation that would be likely to eliminate legislative supremacy. No matter how much Hamilton and Madison might disagree on certain aspects of the separation of powers, they see eye to eye with respect to that major point. Montesquieu's influence on the Papers, however, goes still further. Not only is his idea of a separation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches accepted, but also, his concept of checks and balances. Montesqieu seems to have had a special fascination of the authors, especially for Madison. This popularity may have been due partly to Montesquieu's inductive method, which was likely to have a certain appeal to statesmen who were, in a way, suspicious of mere philosophical speculations. However, what probably accounts most for Hamilton's, Madison's, and Jay's sympathy for the Frenchman was the fact that he chose the English constitution as an example of the merits of a separation of powers. Montesquieu thus became the great foreign herald of the rights of Englishmen. These were the rights that our authors believed in, that they hoped would exist in the free government under the Constitution."