Federalist No. 8

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Alexander Hamilton

Federalist No. 8, authored by Alexander Hamilton under the pen name Publius, is the eighth of 85 essays. Titled "The Consequences of Hostilities Between the States", Hamilton points to Western European nations as an example of endless wars among neighbors.

It was published on November 20, 1787.

Liberty and safety

An important theme in the eighth paper is that societies in the face of continual danger will run the risk of being less free in order to be more safe. With this in view, Hamilton talks at length about standing armies and their existence not explicitly being prohibited in the new constitution.

At the time of the founding, the citizens were very afraid of standing armies since it was a standing army which gave the King power over their lives.

In other Federalist papers, most notably the 29th, Hamilton notes the importance of the militia, which served in part to prevent a standing army as well as preserve the institutions of the states.

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