Federalist Nos. 26 – 28

These papers encapsulate the central issue being tackled win the constitution – namely the balance of powers between branches of government. Of course these are concerned specifically with the authority to raise a standing army, but the central point is important even today. An insightful question from Federalist No. 26 illustrates how times have changed from then until now.

Is it probable that {collusion between the legislative and executive branches} would be persevered in, and transmitted along through all the successive variations in a representative body, which biennial elections would naturally produce in both houses?

At the time the answer would have been no, but today, with little variation coming from one election to the next the answer is that there is a much higher probability of that happening.

Federalist No. 27 and Federalist No. 28 continue to show that the dangers of centralized control of a standing army are hardly greater than the dangers of individual state control of militias.