Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/566

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422
The Fœderalist.

elections to particular districts, would be as subversive of its own aim, as it would be exceptionable on every other account? The truth is, that there is no method of securing to the rich the preference apprehended, but by prescribing qualifications of property either for those who may elect, or be elected. But this forms no part of the power to be conferred upon the National Government. Its authority would be expressly restricted to the regulation of the times, the places, and the manner of elections. The qualifications of the persons who may choose, or be chosen, as has been remarked upon other occasions, are defined and fixed in the Constitution, and are unalterable by the Legislature.

Let it however be admitted, for argument sake, that the expedient suggested might be successful; and let it at the same time be equally taken for granted, that all the scruples which a sense of duty, or an apprehension of the danger of the experiment might inspire, were overcome in the breasts of the National rulers; still I imagine, it will hardly be pretended, that they could ever hope to carry such an enterprise into execution, without the aid of a military force sufficient to subdue the resistance of the great body of the People. The improbability of the existence of a force equal to that object, has been discussed and demonstrated in different parts of these papers; but that the futility of the objection under consideration may appear in the strongest light, it shall be conceded for a moment, that such a force might exist; and the National Government shall be supposed to be in the actual possession of it. What will be the conclusion? With a disposition to invade the essential rights of the community, and with the means of gratifying that disposition, is it presumable that the persons who were actuated by it would amuse themselves in the ridiculous task of fabricating election laws for securing a preference to a favorite class of