Executive Branch Quotes

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Alexander Hamilton was a critical thought leader in the development of the US Executive Branch. For example, in the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton authored all of the essays pertaining to the "Executive Department."

As a member of George Washington's first cabinet, Hamilton had a large influence on the early development of the Presidency, including its daily operations, its protocol and procedures, and its constitutional relationship to the legislative branch. Many of the policy issues faced during Washington's presidency brought up debates as to what role the president would play - debates in which Hamilton actively participated in answering. 

Alexander Hamilton advocated for an "energetic executive" that would make wise and timely decisions within the framework of its Constitutional bounds. Read some of Alexander Hamilton's quotes on the Executive Branch below.

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 A feeble Executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever may be its theory, must be, in practice, a bad government.

- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 70, "The Executive Department Further Considered", New York Packet, March 18, 1788


Energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks; it is not less essential to the steady administration of the laws; to the protection of property against those irregular and high-handed combinations which sometimes interrupt the ordinary course of justice; to the security of liberty against the enterprises and assaults of ambition, of faction, and of anarchy.

- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 70, "The Executive Department Further Considered", New York Packet, March 18, 1788


The ingredients which constitute energy in the Executive are, first, unity; secondly, duration; thirdly, an adequate provision for its support; fourthly, competent powers.

The ingredients which constitute safety in the republican sense are, first, a due dependence on the people, secondly, a due responsibility.

- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 70, "The Executive Department Further Considered", New York Packet, March 18, 1788


The republican principle demands that the deliberate sense of the community should govern the conduct of those to whom they intrust the management of their affairs; but it does not require an unqualified complaisance to every sudden breeze of passion, or to every transient impulse which the people may receive from the arts of men, who flatter their prejudices to betray their interests.

– Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 71, "The Duration in Office of the Executive," New York Packet, March 18, 1788


In a government framed for durable liberty, not less regard must be paid to giving the magistrate a proper degree of authority to make and execute the laws with rigor, than to guard against encroachments upon the rights of the community. As too much power leads to despotism, too little leads to anarchy, and both, eventually, to the ruin of the people.

- Alexander Hamilton, Continentalist No. 1 , July 1781


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