Federalist No. 71

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Alexander Hamilton

Federalist No. 71, authored by Alexander Hamilton under the pen name Publius, is the seventy first of 85 essays. Titled "The Duration in Office of the Executive", Hamilton writes about duration as an important requisite for the person elected as president. At issue is the four-year term that the president is elected to serve, and the independence that provides for the executive branch.

It was published on March 18, 1788.


Hamilton talks about the negative effect of public passions in the mix of day to day affairs. For this reason, he wanted the president to have longer terms for which he could weather the temporary storms and not be subject to them; or do damage because of them. He wrote:

There are some who would be inclined to regard the servile pliancy of the Executive to a prevailing current, either in the community or in the legislature, as its best recommendation. But such men entertain very crude notions, as well of the purposes for which government was instituted, as of the true means by which the public happiness may be promoted.

The President has as one of his most important jobs to protect the liberty of the people and the republican form of the Constitution.

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