AP US History
THE CONSTITUTION: NECESSARY AND PROPER CLAUSE
Preparing for the AP US History Exam
Don’t forget the necessary and proper clause!
Also known as the “elastic clause,” it gives Congress the power to make “all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution” other federal powers. Make sure you know that the Framers added this clause to rectify perceived weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.
During the 1790s, debates over a strict or loose interpretation of the clause contributed to the formation of political parties. Alexander Hamilton used the necessary and proper clause to justify passage of the National Bank. Henry Clay turned to the clause to federal funding of internal improvements.