Federalist No. 46

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James Madison

Federalist No. 46, authored by James Madison under the pen name Publius, is the forty sixth of 85 essays. Titled "The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared", Madison points out that the states are closer to the people, and are thus more important.

Additionally, Madison discusses at length the militia and the prospect of a national military force.

It was published on January 29, 1788.

State and federal

In the 1780s, most Americans favored their state governments, and preferred to have governmental functions performed where they were closer to them. This was, in part, because of the experience of Americans living at the time who remembered life under the King of Britain. After independence was declared, many additional freedoms were gained that the citizens did not have previously, and each state had its own particular form of government from the rest. In the Declaration of Independence, the states are described thus:

Free and Independent States they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all the other things which Independent States may of right do.

With the ratification of the Constitution, a small handful of the powers retained to Free and Independent States would be "delegated", or in other words expressly given up as a power better exercised by one single general government. Those powers not delegated, were to remain with the states as the states and the people living in them did not agree to a further delegation of powers.

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