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Federalist No. 70 is widely viewed as a sweeping description and defense of the need for energy in the executive. This essay begins this detailed examination of Federalist No. 70 by comparing Alexander Hamilton’s ideals with James Madison’s more cautionary exposition on separated powers. According to the author, Hamilton’s notion of a public service driven by honor eventually was undermined by partisanship and congressional prerogatives expressed in the rise of a “businesslike” path away from corruption and waste. The essay concludes with a brief description of a “counterfactual” revision to Federalist No. 70 containing a conception of good public service with a capacity to resist the incursions of expanding democratization and political parties.