Portrait of James Madison

James Madison argues that the Constitution places war-making powers squarely with the legislative branch; for the president to have these powers is the “the true nurse of executive aggrandizement” (1793)

Found in: The Pacificus-Helvidius Debates of 1793-1794

In 1793-94, Madison and Hamilton in the Pacificus-Helvidous Debates argued about the proper role of the executive and the legislative branches of the U.S. government in the conduct of war. Writing as "Helvidius", Madison observed that:

War & Peace

War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. In war, a physical force is to be created; and it is the executive will, which is to direct it. In war, the public treasures are to be unlocked; and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them. In war, the honours and emoluments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed. It is in war, finally, that laurels are to be gathered, and it is the executive brow they are to encircle.