# Alexander Hamilton on Governments and the Nature of Law

Liberty Letters, Alexander Hamilton

Government implies the power of making laws. It is essential to the idea of law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience. If there be no penalty annexed for disobedience, the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will, in fact, amount to nothing more than advice or recommendation.

Source: Alexander Hamilton, 1 December 1787, Federalist Papers No. 15.

Liberty Letters is a project of Steve Farrell and The Moral Liberal.