Federalism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "federalism" (showing 1-7 of 7)
Colin Ward
“The anarchist conclusion is that every kind of human activity should begin from what from what is local and immediate, should link in a network with no centre and no directing agency, hiving off new cells as the original grows.”
Colin Ward, Anarchy in Action

Alexis de Tocqueville
“In examining the division of powers, as established by the Federal Constitution, remarking on the one hand the portion of sovereignty which has been reserved to the several States, and on the other, the share of power which has been given to the Union, it is evident that the Federal legislators entertained very clear and accurate notions respecting the centralization of government. The United States form not only a republic, but a confederation; yet the national authority is more centralized there than it was in several of the absolute monarchies of Europe....”
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

“The first grand federalist design...was that of the Bible, most particularly the Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament... Biblical thought is federal (from the Latin foedus, covenant) from first to last--from God's covenant with Noah establishing the biblical equivalent of what philosophers were later to term Natural Law to the Jews' reaffirmation of the Sinai covenant under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah, thereby adopting the Torah as the constitution of their second commonwealth. The covenant motif is central to the biblical world view, the basis of all relationships, the mechanism for defining and allocating authority, and the foundation of the biblical political teaching.”
Daniel J. Elazar

Alexander Hamilton
“No man ought certainly to be a judge in his own cause, or in any cause in respect to which he has the least interest or bias.”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers

George Grant
“As the American Patriots imagined it, a federal relationship would be a kind of confession of first principles or covenant that would allow states to bind themselves together substantially without entirely subsuming their sundry identities. The federal nature of the American Constitutional covenant would enable the nation to function as a republic – thus specifically avoiding the dangers of a pure democracy. Republics exercise governmental authority through mediating representatives under the rule of law. Pure democracies on the other hand exercise governmental authority through the imposition of the will of the majority without regard for the concerns of any minority – thus allowing law to be subject to the whims, fashions, and fancies of men. The Founders designed federal system of the United States so that the nation could be, as John Adams described it, a “government of law, not of men.” The Founders thus expressly and explicitly rejected the idea of a pure democracy, just as surely as totalitarian monarchy, because as James Madison declared “democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives, as they have been violent in their deaths.” The rule of the majority does not always respect the rule of law, and is as turbulent as the caprices of political correctness or dictatorial autonomy. Indeed, history has proven all too often that democracy is particularly susceptible to the urges and impulses of mobocracy.”
George Grant, The Magdeburg Confession: 13th of April 1550 AD

“If Jefferson's leadership is to be set apart from others similarly situated later on, it should not be because he was inclined to finesse a frontal assault on the old [Federalist] governmental establishment, but because he transformed national politics so thoroughly without being forced into any make-or-break confrontation with it. Jefferson pursued the reconstruction of American government and politics relentlessly, and the regime he created in the end was profoundly different from the one he displaced. Yet, the most remarkable aspect of his transformation is how little resistance he encountered in the process from the institutions and interests previously attached to the old order. Jefferson's authority to reconstruct proved singularly disarming and all-encompassing.”
Stephen Skowronek, The Politics Presidents Make: Leadership from John Adams to Bill Clinton, Revised Edition

Frank Chodorov
“To the early American his state government was at least on a par with the federal government in his esteem. Illustrative is the following incident:
President Washington was about to arrive at Boston on a visit, and Governor Hancock was perturbed over a matter of protocol; would he be compromising the dignity of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts if he went to meet the “father of his country” on arrival, or would it be more proper that the President call at the state Capitol? The Governor finally settled the problem by pleading illness…. The sequel to that incident is worth noting. President Washington was asked to review the Massachusetts militia; he refused on the ground that the militia was the military arm of the state, not the federal government; after all, the tacit understanding in those days was that the militia might be called upon to face the federal army.”
Frank Chodorov, The Income Tax: Root of All Evil