Alexander Hamilton on Executive Power as the Guarantee of Liberty


This colloquium examined the nature of executive power through the thought and writing of one of its greatest proponents, Alexander Hamilton. The readings were arranged to first examine the theoretical influences on Hamilton’s political thought; second, the shape of the institutions he envisioned; and finally, the way he sought to implement those ideas through his political activity as a member of the first administration.


From Liberty Fund

The Federalist

by By Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison
Edited by George W. Carey and James McClellan

The Federalist, by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, constitutes a text central to the American political tradition. Written and published in newspapers in 1787 and 1788 to explain and promote ratification of the proposed Constitution for the United States, which were then bound by the Articles of Confederation,…

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The Pacificus-Helvidius Debates of 1793–1794

by By Alexander Hamilton (Pacificus) and James Madison (Helvidius)
Edited and with an Introduction by Morton J. Frisch

The Pacificus-Helvidius Debates of 1793–1794 matched Hamilton and Madison in the first chapter of an enduring discussion about the proper roles of executive and legislative branches in the conduct of American foreign policy. Ignited by President Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation of 1793, which annulled the eleventh article of America’s treaty with…

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Additional Readings

Washington, George. George Washington: A Collection. Edited by W. B. Allen. Compiled by W. B. Allen. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1988.

Hamilton, Alexander. The Works of Alexander Hamilton. Edited by Henry Cabot Lodge. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904. http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/1380/64326 (accessed November 17, 2009).

Hamilton, Alexander. Selected Writings and Speeches of Alexander Hamilton. Edited by Morton J. Frisch. Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1985.

Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1909.

Locke, John. The Two Treatises of Government. Edited by Thomas Hollis. London: A. Millar et al, 1764.