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To judge from the history of mankind, we shall be compelled to conclude that the fiery destructive passions of war reign in the human breast with much more powerful sway than the mild and beneficent sentiments of peace; and that to model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquility would be to calculate on the weaker springs of human character.

– Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 34, January 4, 1788.



Experience is the oracle of truth: and where its responses are unequivocal, they ought to be conclusive and sacred.

James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 20, December 11, 1787.

Follow Through

In the commencement of a revolution…nothing was more natural than that the public mind should be influenced by an extreme spirit of jealousy…and to nourish this spirit, was the great object of all our public and private institutions. Zeal for liberty became predominant and excessive. In forming our confederation, this passion alone seemed to actuate us, and we appear to have had no other view than to secure ourselves from despotism. The object certainly was a valuable one. But Sir, there is another object, equally important, and which our enthusiasm rendered us little capable of regarding. I mean the principle of strength and stability in the organizing of our government, and of vigor in its operation.

–Alexander Hamilton

New York Ratifying Convention, 1788