Federalist No. 29

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Alexander Hamilton

Federalist No. 29, authored by Alexander Hamilton under the pen name Publius, is the twenty ninth of 85 essays. Titled "Concerning the Militia", Hamilton writes about the importance of the armed forces, from times of insurrection and invasion to "the duties of superintending the common defense, and of watching over the internal peace of the Confederacy."

Federalist 29 is unusual in that it was published out of order on January 9, 1788, appearing after the publication of Federalist No. 36.

Second Amendment

Hamilton's argument in Federalist 29 has been pointed to by supporters of the Right to bear arms as one of many writings at the time of the founding which make clear that the Founders meant for arms to be in the hands of the people at all times. He wrote:

Little more can reasonably be aimed at with respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.

Hamilton's point is that if the people were not constantly armed throughout the year, even when not in government duty, the militia would be an ineffective organization.

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