Michael Coblenz


Conservative jurists and politicians argue that the “Framers” wanted limited government. But the First Congress, with eighteen men who participated in the Constitutional Convention as members of either the Senate or the House of Representatives, overwhelmingly supported Alexander Hamilton’s plan for the First Bank of the United States, and rejected James Madison’s arguments that chartering a bank was beyond the enumerated powers granted Congress under the Constitution. Most of the framers in the first government, in other words, rejected Madison’s views, and hence the view of modern conservatives, on limited government.