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Antifederalist Paper 10

Federalist No. 10

❶As they have a common interest in being our carriers, and in preventing us from being theirs, they would most likely work together to embarrass our navigation to the point where they will effectively destroy it and confine us to a passive commerce. It might seem like common sense that the people who live on that island should be united as one nation, yet we know that they were for centuries divided into three which were almost always embroiled in conflict of some kind or another with each other.

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Federalist Essays No.10 - No.17
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We can gain knowledge from their experience without having to pay the same price for it as they did. It might seem like common sense that the people who live on that island should be united as one nation, yet we know that they were for centuries divided into three which were almost always embroiled in conflict of some kind or another with each other. While their true interest regarding European nations were the same, their mutual jealousies were always causing conflict, and for many years these jealousies were inconvenient and troublesome rather than helpful or useful.

If the people of America were to divide into three or four nations, wouldn't the same thing happen here? Wouldn't the same jealousies arise and be in a like manner exercised? Therefore, like most other bordering nations, they would always be either involved in disagreements or war, or there would be the constant threat of these things happening. The most enthusiastic supporters for three or four confederacies surely cannot reasonably argue that these confederacies would long remain equal in strength, even if they were at first formed as such.

But even if we were to admit that that could be accomplished, what human invention could maintain that equality? Without the local circumstances which make and increase power in one part while impeding the growth of power in another, we must recognize that superior policy and good government would cause one government to grow disproportionately at the expense of the other, and their comparable equality would no longer exist.

We can't presume that these separate confederacies would continue to exercise the same degree of sound policy, prudence and foresight for a long succession of years.

Whatever causes it, and whenever it might happen — and it will happen — that one of the confederacies becomes more powerful or politically important than the neighboring confederacies, the fact is that her neighbors would then have cause to regard the more powerful confederacy with envy and fear.

Both envy and fear might lead these neighboring confederacies to permit or even promote policies which will inhibit this growth of power, or, on the other hand, they might avoid measures that could advance or secure the more powerful confederacy's prosperity. It wouldn't then take the more powerful confederacy long to figure out which neighbors were friendly and which were not, and she would soon begin to lose confidence in her neighbors while also feeling equally unfavorable to them.

Distrust creates distrust and nothing more speedily damages good will and kindness than does hateful jealousies or distrustful accusations, whether they are expressed or implied. Right now, the north is a strong region, and most indications are that local influences will cause the Northern hive of the proposed confederacies to be the strongest region in the not so distant future.

As soon as this was apparent it will promote the same ideas and sensations in the southern parts of America just as it did in the southern parts of Europe. It's not crazy to think that the younger swarms in the population might be more tempted to gather honey in the fields that bloom the best and in air that is more luxurious. Those who know well the history of similar divisions and confederacies will find plenty of reason to believe that those who support division into confederacies would not be neighbors that shared a border.

They would neither love nor trust one another but rather would be subject to not getting along, with jealousy or injuries between themselves. In short, this would place us in exactly the kind of situation that some other nations doubtless would like to see us in, that is, threatening only to each other.

From these considerations it appears that those who support the idea of confederacies are mistaken if they think that offensive and defensive alliances might be formed between these confederacies. Instead what we'd see is that it would be necessary for each individual component of the confederacy to acquire the will, the arms and resources necessary to keep them in a strong state of defense against foreign enemies.

When did the independent states into which Britain and Spain were formerly divided ever form any alliance or unite their forces against a foreign enemy? The proposed confederacies will likewise be distinct nations.

Each of them would have separate treaties regarding commerce with foreigners, and since their products and commodities would are suitable for different markets, then the respective treaties of each confederacy would also be different. Differing commercial concerns would create different interests, and this will entail different degrees of political attachment with the various foreign nations.

Therefore it might, actually probably would, happen that the foreign nation that might be at war with the southern confederacy would be the very same one that it would be in the northern confederacy's interest to maintain a peaceful and friendly relationship with.

An alliance between the two confederacies under these circumstances would be difficult at best to form, and even if it was formed, it would be difficult to honor it in perfect good faith.

No, it is far more probable that in America, as in Europe, neighboring nations will be found frequently in opposition because they'd be pursuing opposite interests or operating under unfriendly loyalties. Considering our distance from Europe, it makes sense that the confederacies would be more fearful of each other than they would be of more distant nations.

Therefore, it would be more natural for them to guard against each other through the development of foreign alliances, rather than have the alliance amongst themselves to guard against foreigners. Let's not forget how much easier it is to receive foreign fleets into our ports, or foreign armies into our country, than it is to persuade or compel them to leave. Let honest men judge whether the division of America into any given number of independent sovereignties would help protect us against hostilities or the improper interference of foreign nations.

I shall now proceed to enumerate the dangers of a different and perhaps more alarming kind — those which will probably result from disagreements between the states themselves and from domestic factions and upheavals. These have already been in some to some degree anticipated, but this issue deserves a more complete and full investigation. If the States are not united, or if we are divided into partial confederacies, it would be wishful thinking to believe that the subdivisions that were formed would not end up having frequent and violent engagements with each other.

There would be no lack of motives for these engagements since men are ambitious, vindictive, greedy, and predatory. Expecting harmony between a number of independent, separate sovereignties situated in the same neighborhood would be to ignore the predictable course of human behavior and to ignore what we learned about this throughout history. The causes of hostilities among nations are infinite.

There are some causes which have a constant place among societies. For example, the love of power or the desire to be superior or to dominate, or the jealousy of power, or the desire for equality or safety. Other causes for hostilities between nations are more confined to a particular situation but they are still equally as important in the context of that particular situation.

For example, commercial rivalries that might arise between competing nations. There are other reasons for conflict that are no less numerous than either that has been mentioned, but these reasons are attributable specifically to the private issues of the leaders of communities involved in the conflict. So attachments, ill will, interests, hopes, and fears of leaders can all lead to conflict between nations.

Pericles also had a private disagreement against the Megarensians; he was threatened with prosecution for conniving with his associate Phidias to steal public gold that was to be spent on a statute of Minerva [the Roman name for Athena, the Greek god of warriors, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, crafts and musicians]; and he was accused of dissipating public funds for the purchase of popularity.

In response to any one or any combination of these issues, he orchestrated the famous and fatal Peleponnesian war [ BC — BC , which after a series of phases, intermissions and renewals, ended in the ruin of the commonwealth of Athens. Henry VIII's ambitious cardinal Wolsey vainly aspired to wear the triple crown [worn by popes] and hoped to succeed to that honored position by virtue of the influence of Emperor Charles V.

In order to secure the favor of this powerful monarch, the cardinal managed to push England into a war with France, despite the fact that this was contrary to the plainest interpretations of policy, not to mention that he put into jeopardy the safety and independence of England. If there ever was a sovereign who was supportive of universal monarchy, that would be Emperor Charles V, and it was in pursuit of his support that Wolsey was at once his instrument and the dupe.

Their influence on politics is discussed often enough to be commonly known. To mention further examples of how personal issues can affect national events either foreign or domestic would be a waste of time.

Those who have just a passable knowledge with other similar instances will no doubt be able to remember some of them on their own, and those who enjoy a decent understanding of human nature won't need further examples to help them form an opinion regarding either the reality or extent of the human influence into national affairs.

Nevertheless, one more example from a recent situation might help illustrate the general principle to which I refer. If Daniel Shay [of Shay's Rebellion, an armed uprising in Massachusetts from by small farmers angered by crushing taxes and debt] had not been a desperate debtor, then it is doubtful that Massachusetts would have been plunged into a civil war. Despite what we have learned from what we have experienced, there still exists in this situation visionary and designing men, who are ready to support the absurd notion of perpetual peace between the states, even if they are separated and alienated from each other.

They say that the genius of republics is peace; the spirit of commerce tends to soften the manners of men which works to extinguish the flames that often kindle into wars. Commercial republics like ours will never be disposed to waste so much in ruinous conflict with each other.

The parties will be governed by mutual interests and this will encourage a spirit of mutual friendship and harmony. I ask of those who engage in politics: If this is truly their interest, have these nations in fact pursued it?

On the other hand, hasn't it been found always to be true that momentary passions and immediate interests have a more active and domineering control over human conduct than does general or calm considerations of policy, economics, or justice? Have republics in practice been less addicted to war than monarchies? Are not republics administered by men just as monarchies are? Are there not aversions, preferences, rivalries and greed that affect nations as well as kings?

Are not popular assemblies frequently also subject to the impulses of rage, resentment, jealousy, greed and other irregular and violent propensities? Is it not well known that republics are often governed by a few individuals in whom the people place their confidence, and that these individuals are just as liable to be influenced by their own respective passions?

Has commerce ever done any thing other than change the objects of war? Is not greed just as dominant and influential an emotion as the desire for power or glory? Has not the spirit of commerce, in many instances, encouraged the appetite for greed or the desire for power? Let experience be the guide for answers to these questions, since experience is the most reliable guide regarding human influence on the human existence.

Sparta, Athens, Rome, and Carthage were all republics; two of them, Athens and Carthage, were commercial republics. And yet, they were engaged in war as often as the monarchies that surrounded them. Sparta was little better than a well-regulated camp, and Rome was never satisfied in its need for carnage or conquest.

Carthage, though a commercial republic, was the aggressor in the very war that destroyed her. The provinces of Holland, until they were overwhelmed in debt and taxes, took a leading and conspicuous part in European wars. They had furious contests with England over the domination of the sea.

They also were among the most persevering and relentless of the enemies of Louis XV. In the government of Britain the representatives of the people compose one branch of the national legislature. Commerce has for ages been the primary pursuit of the country. However, few nations have been more frequently engaged in war, and the wars that the government engages in, in many instances, had proceeded from the people.

There have been, if I may say so, almost as many popular wars as there have been royal wars. The cries of a nation and the interests and opportunities of their representatives have on many occasions dragged a monarch into war, or encouraged them to continue on with it, contrary to their inclinations and sometimes contrary to the interests of the state.

It is well known that in the struggle for superiority between the houses of Austria and Bourbon, it was the hatred of the English against the French, supported by the ambition or rather the greed of [the Duke of Marlborough], rather than the leadership, that kept that conflict alive for as long as it did, causing the war to last much longer than it should have in light of sound policy or the views of the court.

The wars of England and France have to a large extent been driven by commercial interests. There is the desire to prevail or the fear of another prevailing, either in certain lanes of traffic or in the general advantages of trade and navigation.

Sometimes there is the desire to share in the commerce of other nations without their consent. Recent war between Britain and Spain arose from English attempts to engage in illegal trade with the subjects of Spain.

Spain's response was to engage in unjustifiable acts against British subjects which produced hardships that exceeded the bounds of a just retaliation and were inhumane and cruel. Many of the English taken by the Spanish were sent to dig in the mines of Potosi on the Spanish coast, and due to the spirit of resentment that existed, the innocent were mixed in with the guilty and they suffered indiscriminate punishment. The complaints of the British merchants kindled a violent flame throughout Britain, and the sentiment traveled to the House of Commons, and from that body was communicated to the ministry.

Letters of reprisal were granted and a war ensued, which ruined twenty years of alliances formed between the countries, alliances that were initially expected by countries to bear the most beneficial fruits. From this summary of what has taken place in other countries whose situations were very similar to ours, what reason do we have to be confident in those speeches would seduce us to believe that there would be peace and good relations between the members of the current confederacies, which exist in a state of separation?

Have we not already had enough of the deceptions and waste of those aimless theories which have amused us with promises that we would be exempt from the imperfections, the weaknesses or the evils incident to society in any shape? Isn't it time we wake from the deceitful dream of a golden age and adopt as a practical sentiment to direct our political conduct that we, as well as other inhabitants of the globe, have not yet reached the happy empire of perfect wisdom and perfect virtue?

Let the inconveniences we experience everywhere from a lax and ineffective government, let the revolt from North Carolina, the recent disturbances in Pennsylvania, and the insurrections and rebellion in Massachusetts declare !

An intelligent writer expresses himself on this subject to this effect: In Pennsylvania, structure with state constitution resulted in a lack of checks and balances which lead to a weak and unstable state government. In Massachusetts Shays' Rebellion had taken place when angry farmers became overwhelmed by taxes and debts, forcing many into foreclosure. Principes des Negociatians par l'Abbe' de Mably. It would fully answer the question to respond, the same reasons that have dragged all of the nations of the world into conflicts deluged with blood.

But, unfortunately for us, the question requires a more particular answer. These are issues that cause problems that apply directly to us, and, even under the restraints of a federal constitution, we have had enough experience with these problems to enable us to form a judgment of what we might expect if those restraints are removed.

Territorial disputes between nations have always been one of the most fertile sources for conflicts between nations. Perhaps the greatest number of wars that have devastated the earth have arisen because of this.

This same cause would apply to us in full force. We have a vast tract of unsettled territory within the boundaries of the United States.

There are still conflicting and undecided claims between several of them, and the dissolution of the Union would lay the foundation for similar claims for this unsettled territory. It has been said all along that this property was acquired through a contract with a foreign nation. It has been the wise policy of Congress to deal with this controversy by requesting that the States make allowances to the United States for the benefit of the whole.

Under the continuation of the Union, this has been accomplished in order to provide a better chance of a friendly end to the dispute. Breaking up the Confederacy, however, would revive the dispute, and would create others on the same subject. At present a large part of the vacant Western territory is, by concession at least if not by a right, the common property of the Union. The States made these concessions based upon the principle of federal compromise, and if the Union ceased, it's probable they will claim that the territories should revert back to the custody of States.

The other States would no doubt claim a right of their portion based upon a right of representation. They would argue that a grant once made can not be revoked, and that their efforts in participating in acquiring the territory as participants in the Confederacy should justly remain recognized. And though it's improbable that it would happen, even if the States agreed that each had a right to share the territory, there would still be the problem as to how to divide the territory.

Different states would assert different reasons for their claims, and since division would have differing effects on the respective States' interests, it's unlikely that there could be a peaceful reconciliation of the matter. In the vastness of Western territory there is ample room for disagreements without any common umpire or judge there to settle the issue.

So to take this reasoning from the past to the future, we would have good reason to believe that the sword would sometimes end up being used to deal with the matter. Take for example the dispute between Connecticut and Pennsylvania regarding the lands at Wyoming: Under the Articles of Confederation the parties were required to submit the issue to a federal court, and the judge ruled for Pennsylvania. But Connecticut was apparently very dissatisfied with the decision and did not appear to be entirely resigned to it, either, until through negotiations and management, she was satisfied by being offered something of the equivalent that she felt that she had lost.

Nothing here is meant as a censure against Connecticut. She no doubt sincerely believed that she was injured by that decision, and States, like individuals, give in with great reluctance regarding rulings that are disadvantageous to them. Those who had the opportunity to be familiar with what transpired in the controversy between this State and the district of Vermont can vouch for the opposition we experienced, from States both interested and not interested in the claim, and they can attest that keeping the peace in the Confederacy would have been risked had this State attempted to assert its rights by force.

Two motives prevailed in opposing the use of force: Even States which brought in claims that were contrary to our own claims seemed more desirous to dismember this State than to establish their own claims. These were New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. New Jersey and Rhode Island in all instances discovered a warm enthusiasm for the independence of Vermont; and Maryland, until alarmed by what appeared to be a connection between Canada and Vermont, was of the same mind.

Being small states, these saw with an unfriendly eye the possibility of our growing greatness. In reviewing these transactions we are considering some of the similar causes that might be likely to cause the States to become involved in conflict, if it should become their unfortunate destiny to separate.

Competitions regarding commerce would be another fruitful source for conflicts. The States less favorably situated would want to be able to escape from the disadvantages of their local situation, and would want to share in the advantages of their more fortunate neighbors. Each State, or separate confederacy, would pursue their own individual system of commerce. This would cause distinctions, preferences and exclusions which would cause discontent.

Our commercial habits, to which we have been familiar with since our earliest settlement and which are based upon equal privileges, would be more prone to cause discontent under these circumstances. We should be ready to recognize injustices which in reality were the justifiable acts of independent sovereignties negotiating according to their own interests.

The spirit of enterprise, which is what defines the commercial part of America, has always shown itself in an improved state. It is improbable that this unleashed spirit would be restrained by the regulations of trade that particular States might use to try and secure benefits that are exclusive to their own citizens. The disregard of these regulations, on the one hand, and efforts to sabotage them, on the other, would naturally lead to outrages that would then lead to revenge or war.

The opportunities that some States would have of using commercial regulations to make other States dependent or subordinate to them would no doubt be submitted to impatiently by the dependent States.

New York, for the purpose of securing revenue, must apply duties on her imports. A great part of these duties must be paid by the inhabitants of the other two States as the consumers of the imports. New York would not be willing or able to give up this advantage. Her citizens would not consent that duties paid by them should be canceled in favor the citizens of her neighbors; and it wouldn't be workable, if the obstacle of paying the duty didn't exist, to determine who the customers are in our own markets.

Should we for long be allowed to enjoy living in a city from which we derive an advantage that is repulsive and oppressive to our neighbor? Should we be able to keep that situation with a lack of cooperation from Connecticut on one side and the cooperation of New Jersey on the other?

These are questions can only be answered affirmatively if they are answered recklessly. The public debt of the Union would offer another reason for conflict between the States of confederacies. In the first place, determining who would pay what portion, and how it would be applied to extinguish the debt, would both cause bad feelings and hostility.

How could we possibly decide on a manner of apportionment that would satisfy everyone? There is scarcely any proposal that can be offered which is entirely free from legitimate objections, and these, as usual, would be distorted by those opposed to them according to their particular interests.

In fact, there are even differing views among the States as to the general principle of discharging the public debt. Some of them, either because they are less concerned about the public debt, or because their citizens have little debt, have any real immediate interest in the issue.

These States would most likely make the difficulties of distribution of debt even worse. Other States, whose citizens are creditors disproportionately according to the actual amount of the public debt, would want a solution that is just and effective.

The procrastinations of those who owe little debt would incite the resentment of those who owe more. Any settlement would be delayed because of real differences of opinion and deliberate delays.

The citizens of interested States would press for solutions and foreign power would be impatient for satisfaction of their just demands, and the peace of the States would be compromised by the threat from external invasion or internal contention. Let's say the difficulties of agreeing upon a rule about paying the debt were overcome and the apportionment happened. There is still a lot of room to suppose that the rule agreed upon would be an experiment that put more pressure on some states than others.

Those who suffered most would naturally seek relief from that burden. The other States would be reluctant to revise the rule because that would bring an end to their good situation. Their refusal would be a good reason for the complaining States to withhold their contributions, and the noncompliance of these States would be grounds for dissension and fighting.

Even if the adopted rule provided equality in it's application, there will still be some States who are going to be delinquent in paying due to a variety of reasons, such as a lack of resources, mismanagement of their finances, accidental disorders in State government, and the reluctance people have in parting with their money once the reason for the bill to be paid becomes distant in their memory and they have more pressing concerns in front of them.

For whatever their reason, delinquencies would produce complaints, recriminations, and arguments. There is perhaps nothing else that is more likely to upset the peace among nations than their owing to a common burden, the benefit of which is not equal. For there is the observation, as true as it is trite, that there is nothing men so readily differ on than about the payment of money. When some states have laws that aggressively infringe upon private contracts, and this hurts the citizens in other States, then you have another source of hostility.

Some uncharitable codes grace many States laws on this subject now, and we shouldn't expect that a more liberal or equitable spirit will influence the laws of the individual States from here on out, if they are unrestrained by any additional checks than we have seen.

We've already seen how Connecticut was driven to retaliate against some of the outrageous legislation that we've seen coming from the Rhode Island legislature; and it's reasonable to infer that in similar cases under other circumstances, a war, not of parchment, but of the sword, would correct such horrible breaches of moral obligation and social justice. In the preceding papers, I have explained at length about the probability of incompatible alliances between the States, or confederacies, and different foreign nations, and the effects of this upon the peace of the whole.

The conclusion has to be drawn that if America is not connected at all, or bound only by the feeble ties of a simple league, offensiveness and defensiveness would become entangled by virtue of the disruption of alliances within that will be akin to the problems we've seen in European politics that have lead to European wars; and because of the destructive contentions of the parts into which she were divided, the system would likely become prey to the deceptions and schemes of powers that are equally the enemy of all of the States.

Any war between the States, soon after they were to separate, would involve many more problems than you normally see in countries that have an established military. The disciplined armies that are kept at the ready in Europe, though they can be perceived as a threat to the concepts of liberty and economy, are nonetheless advantageous in discouraging sudden conquests by others and of preventing the quick desolation caused by war that might have occurred had the troops not been present.

The art of fortification has the same effect. The nations of Europe are guarded by fortifications which block invasion. Military campaigns are squandered just from attempts to penetrate one of two frontier garrisons. Similar impediments occur regularly to exhaust the strength of and delay the progress of the enemy. It used to be that an invading army could penetrate into the heart of a neighboring country as quickly as it would take for that country to learn that the invasion was occurring.

Now, however, a comparatively small force of disciplined troops, acting defensively, using assigned positions, is able to slow and even end the attempts of a more considerable force. The history of war in Europe is not a history of nations subdued or empires overturned, but of towns taken and retaken, of battles that decide nothing, of retreats that were more beneficial than victories, of much effort and little gain.

In this country, however, the opposite would occur. The distrust of military establishments would postpone their development. The lack of fortifications, leaving the frontiers of one State vulnerable to another, would facilitate invasion. The more heavily populated States would defeat the less populated States with very little difficulty. Conquests would be as easy to create and difficult to keep.

Therefore, war would become haphazard and predatory. Plunder and devastation always follow this sort of chaos. The disasters suffered by individuals would become the focus that would define our military exploits. The situation I describe is not too dreadfully constructed, although I confess, it would not long remain a fitting description.

Safety from the dangers posed by others is the most powerful influence on national behavior. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to what liberty requires. The destruction of life and property that comes with war, the constant effort and alarm that come with being in a state of continual danger, will compel the nations that most value liberty to turn to, for peace and security, organizations that have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights.

To be safer, they are willing to run the risk of being less free. The organizations that I mainly refer to are standing armies and the corresponding extensions of military establishments. Standing armies are not prohibited by the new Constitution and it is therefore said that they may exist under it. This inference is at best questionable and uncertain. Frequent war or constant worry about war will require a constant state of preparation which will naturally result in the existence of standing armies.

The weaker States, or confederacies, would first have standing armies to equal themselves with more formidable neighbors. They would try to make up for a smaller population and fewer resources with a organized system of defense, by disciplined troops and by fortifications.

The weaker States or confederacies would also have to strengthen the executive branch of government and in doing so they encourage development of an eventual monarchy.

It is the nature of war to increase the power of the executive branch at the expense of the legislative branch. The opportunities that I have mentioned would give the States or confederacies that use them an advantage over their neighbors. When they have a stronger government and a disciplined army, smaller States or those less fortified have often prevailed over stronger states which have not had the same advantages.

The pride and safety of larger States would not permit them to submit to the humiliation of the natural superiority of the smaller State. Rather, they larger States would quickly try to attain the same status so they could regain their own predominant status. We would quickly see established in every part of this country the same scourge of tyranny that we saw in Europe.

This is the very least that could happen, and we should adjust our assumptions according to this line of reasoning. These are not vague conclusions drawn from supposed or speculative defects in a Constitution, the whole power of which is lodged in a people or their representatives or delegates.

They are solid conclusions, drawn as a natural result regarding the progress of human affairs. As a way of objecting to what I have said, we might ask, why did standing armies not spring up out of the conflicts that so preoccupied the ancient Greek republics? There are different but equally satisfactory answers to this question.

The habits of busy modern people that keep them engaged in pursuits of gain, including improvements to agriculture and commerce, are inconsistent with the habits of a nation of soldiers like the Greek republics. Because of modernization, wealth has increased due to increase in gold and silver and due to improvements in the arts of industry and the science of finance.

This has changed the nature of the issue of war, which makes disciplined armies, separate from the citizenry, a constant companion of frequent conflicts. There is a huge difference between militaries in countries hardly ever exposed to the constant threat of internal invasions and those which are often subject to them and therefore always worried about them.

The small size of the army means that the community will naturally be a stronger force, and the citizenry is therefore not forced to depend on the military for protection nor submit to their tyranny.

It follows from this that the citizenry neither love not fear their military, but rather view the military with suspicious compliance as a necessary evil, one as a power they stand ready to resist should military do anything which might threaten their individual rights. An army when necessary may usefully aid public officials in putting down a riot or occasional mob or uprising, but it will be unable to stop the united efforts of the great body of people.

In a country that is frequently threatened with aggression from another, the contrary of all of this happens. The constant need for their protection elevates the importance of the soldier, and coincidentally degrades the importance of the citizen. The military state becomes elevated above the civil state. The inhabitants in these countries are consequently subject to frequent infringements of their rights, which cause them to be less aware or conscientious about their rights, and by degrees the people come to believe that the soldiers are not only their protectors but also their superiors.

This transition to considering the military as the master is possible and not difficult; but it will be difficult to convince the people who are suffering under these impressions to make a bold and effective resistance to infringements upon them by the government that is supported by the military.

The kingdom of Great Britain falls within this description. They are in an isolated situation, with a powerful navy, guarding them against foreign invasion, replacing the need for a large army within the kingdom itself.

A sufficient force to have ready against a sudden attack, until the militia have time to rally and organize, is all that is considered necessary. No foreign policy issue has required, and public opinion would not tolerate, a larger number of domestic troops.

There has been for a long time little room for the other causes I have mentioned that often lead to internal war. This strangely happy situation has greatly contributed to preserving the liberty which that country enjoys today, in spite of the regular propensity towards bribery and corruption. If Britain had been located on the European continent, rather than an island, she would have been forced to build her military up comparably with the other European countries, and that would probably have lead her to be the victim of the power of a single man.

This is not a superficial or impossible idea, but rather trustworthy and important. It deserves the most serious and mature consideration of every prudent and honest man of any party. If such men will take a firm and solemn pause and think calmly about the importance of this interesting idea; if they will consider this issue in all of its approaches, and logically consider all of the possible consequences of these situations, they will easily part with trivial objections to the Constitution, the rejection of which will in all probability put a final end to the Union.

The airy phantoms which flit before the afflicted imaginations of the opponents to the Constitution would give way instead to the more probable prospects of dangers, real, certain and terrible. It is impossible to read the history of the small republics of Greece and Italy without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the disturbances with which they were constantly rocked, and at the rapid succession of revolutions by which they were kept in a constant state of instability between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy.

If there were occasional calms, they were short in duration before being interrupted by the next furious storm of upheaval. If now and then periods of peace occurred, they are viewed with a mixture of regret, knowing that soon that peace will be upset by yet more violent waves of treason and party rage. If momentary rays of glory break forth from the gloom, while they dazzle us with a brief and fleeting brilliance, they at the same time caution us to mourn that the vices of government will twist the direction and tarnish the luster of those bright, talented individuals and celebrated efforts for which the blessed countries which produced them have been so rightly distinguished.

Advocates of despotism have drawn on the history of those republics as a basis for their arguments against not only republican government, but the principles of civil liberty as well. They condemn all free government as inconsistent with an orderly society, and they indulge in spiteful triumph over those that support that concept. Happily for mankind, there have been remarkable structures formed on the basis of liberty throughout history that provide magnificent examples that refute their gloomy reasoning.

And I trust that America will be the solid influence for the growth of other structures, equally magnificent, which will also stand as permanent monuments to their incorrect assumptions. It is true that the portraits that the detractors have sketched of republic governments were just copies of the originals.

If it is true that republican government can not be developed into a more perfect model, the enlightened friends of liberty would then be required to abandon the idea of that sort of government. But the science of politics, like most other sciences, has over time improved. The effectiveness of various principles that were not known, or not well known, to the ancients are now well understood.

The distribution of power into distinct departments; the principle of legislative checks and balances; the creation of courts where judges hold their positions as long as demonstrate good behavior; the representation of the people in legislatures by representatives of their own choosing; these are either wholly new discoveries or mechanisms that have been perfected more recently. They are powerful means by which the positive aspects of republican government can be made to last while the negative aspects can be avoided.

To the list of instances that tend to improve popular systems of civil government I would add, even though it might seem novel, one more that stems from the objections to the new Constitution: I mean the enlargement of the orbit within which these types of systems tend to revolve, either in the context of a single State or in the context of several States operating in a Confederacy.

The Confederacy is one of the immediate concerns, although it will also be useful to examine this in the context of a single State, so I will discuss that later.

The usefulness of a Confederacy as a means of suppressing rebellion and to protect internal peace is not a new idea. When Montesquieu recommends a small territory for republics, the standards he had in mind were of proportions far short of the limits of every one of these States.

Neither Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina nor Georgia can by any means be compared with the models which he considered and described. Some of the writers who support the other side seem to be aware of the problem, and have even been so bold as to hint that the division of the larger States is a good thing. While examination of the issue itself will be reserved for a later time, as has already been mentioned, it will be good enough for now to state that, referring to the author who has been most forcefully quoted regarding this issue, it would only require a reduction of the size of the larger members of the Union, but it would not have a major effect on their all being put together under one confederate government.

And this is the true question in which we are currently interested. The suggestions that Montesquieu was opposed to a general Union of States are wrong, and in fact, he clearly treats a Confederate Republic as the means for extending the influence of popular government and reconciling the advantages of monarchy with those of republicanism.

I mean a Confederate Republic. It is a kind of gathering of societies that will constitute a new one, able to increase by means of new states joining, until they are strong enough to be able to provide security for the whole united body.

The form of this society prevents all kinds of discomfort. Were he to have too much influence over one, this would alarm the rest. Were he to subdue one part, those that remain free might oppose him with forces separate from those he seized, and overpower him before he could make this power permanent.

Should abuses creep into one part, they can be reconciled by the others who are not corrupted. The state may be destroyed on one side and not on the other; the confederacy may be dissolved and the confederates can still retain their sovereignty. These passages must effectively remove the false impressions one might get about this form of government just because of failed experiences with it in other parts of the world. Quoting Montesquieu also has a more direct connection with the purpose of this paper, which is to show the tendency of the Union to prevent domestic upheaval and disagreement.

A subtle and not quite accurate distinction has been brought up regarding the difference between a confederacy and a consolidation of the States. The main characteristic of a confederacy is that power is restricted to the members collectively, without reaching to the individuals of which they are composed.

An exact equality of political suffrage between the members has also been insisted upon as a leading characteristic of a confederate government. These positions are mainly unreasonable; they are not supported by principle or past experience. Experience shows that governments of this kind generally operate in the manner which is considered inherent in their nature; but there have been in most of these governments many exceptions to the practice, which serves to prove by example that there is no absolute rule on the subject.

And in the course of this investigation it will be clearly shown that, as far as the principle argued for has survived, it has been the cause of incurable disorder and stupidity in the government. The extent, changes, or items of federal authority are only matters of choice. So long as the separate organization of the members remains intact; as long as it exists by constitutional necessity for local purposes; although it should remain completely secondary to the general power of the union, it would still be, in fact and in theory, an association of states or a confederacy.

The proposed Constitution does not consider the end of the State governments, but rather makes them members of the national sovereignty by direct representation in the Senate, leaving in their possession certain singular and very important portions of sovereign power.

In every rational sense, this fully conforms to the idea of a federal government. In the Lycian confederacy, which consisted of twenty-three cities, or republics, the largest were entitled to three votes in the common council, the middle class were allowed two votes, and the lowest class one. The common council had the appointment of all of the judges and magistrates of the respective cities.

This was surely the touchiest instance of interference in their internal administration, because if there is anything that should be completely given to the local jurisdictions, it should be the choosing of its own officers.

The friend of popular governments never worries about the character and fate of them so much as when he considers their tendency to the dangerous habit of rebellion. So he will consider any proposals which provide a cure for this tendency, as long as they do not breach the basic principles he believes in. The instability, injustice, and confusion that public councils have succumbed to have truthfully been the deadly sicknesses under which popular governments everywhere have perished, and this fact has been used by the opponents of liberty as a means by which they can assert their most misleading claims.

But it would improper favoritism to claim that these improvements have prevented the danger of rebellion, even though we wish it or expect it. Our most concerned and worthy citizen, supporters of private faith and personal liberty, complain that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is ignored by those who are lost in party rivalries.

They complain that issues are too often decided by the superior force of an prejudiced and overbearing majority parties rather than pursuant to justice and consideration for the rights of the minority. We might wish these concerns to not exist, but the evidence shows that in some degree, they are true. In clearly reviewing our situation, we can see that some of the worries that we have been wrongly blamed on the way our governments work.

I refer mainly to the constant and increasing distrust of public affairs while at the same time there is alarm concerning private rights and we hear these concerns echoed from one end of the continent to the other. These concerns follow directly from the lack of stability and injustice that have created the divisive atmosphere which has corrupted the current administration.

These divisions amount to a number of citizens, being a majority or minority, who band together pursuant to a common impulse or interest, and this impulse or interest conflicts with the rights of other citizens or to the permanent and combined interests of the community. There are two ways to fixing the problems of division: And there are two ways of stopping the causes of division: It can be truly said that the first remedy is worse than the disease.

Liberty is to division like air is to fire, and without liberty, division instantly ends. It would be just as wrong to abolish liberty, which is necessary for political life, just because it also encourages divisions.

This would be as wrong as wishing for the abolishment of air, which is necessary for life, just because it also gives life to the occasional destructive fire. The second remedy is not practical any more than the first remedy is wise.

As long as the reasoning of men is imperfect, and yet he is at liberty to exercise it anyway, differences of opinion will happen. As long as there is a connection between his reason and his self-interest, his opinions and his passions will have a mirror effect on each other, and his reason will be an object to which his self-interest attaches. The abilities of men differ, which leads to differences in status, also leads to diversity of interests.

The protection and nurturing of these abilities should be the first priority of government. When the government protects differing abilities, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results, and from this springs a dividing up of society into different interests and parties. The hidden causes of division are therefore natural to man; and we see the differing interests manifest themselves in different activities according to the varying circumstances in the community.

Men possess differing eagerness for many things: Men also form an attachment to different leaders who are ambitiously vying for power and prestige, or to others whose situation has caught the public eye. This in turn has divided mankind into parties, provoking them to with mutual hatred and encouraged them to irritate and oppress each other than to cooperate for the common good. The tendency of man towards mutual animosity is so strong that even when no real situation presents itself, then silly and imaginative situations will be enough to create cold relations and provoked violent conflicts.

But the most common and lasting source of divisions has been the varying and unequal distribution of property. The same can be said for creditors and debtors. There are men with land, men in manufacturing, those that are wealthy and many more that are not, are a natural part of civilized societies that divide into different classes because of their differing interests.

The regulation of these differing interests is one of the main jobs of modern legislation and it involves the spirit of party and division that is an ordinary part of the functions of government. Men cannot be judges in their own cases because their self-interests would bias their judgment and probably also corrupt their character.

It follows with even greater reasoning that a group of men are not fit to be both judges and parties at the same time. What if a law is proposed that deals with private debts?

This is a question that has creditors on side and debtors on the other. Justice ought to hold the balance between them. Yet, the parties are and must be the judges and the most numerous and powerful faction will be expected to prevail.

Shall domestic manufacturers be supportive, and just how much, of restrictions on foreign manufacturers? This is a question that would be decided upon differently between the wealthy and the manufacturing classes, and both would put self-interest above regard for justice and the public good.

The dividing up of the tax burden with regards to the different descriptions of property is an act requiring the greatest degree of impartiality, and yet, there is probably no other legislative act more prone to the perversion of justice due to the opportunity and temptation of those developing the law. In , Henry Dawson published an edition containing the original text of the papers, arguing that they should be preserved as they were written in that particular historical moment, not as edited by the authors years later.

Modern scholars generally use the text prepared by Jacob E. Cooke for his edition of The Federalist ; this edition used the newspaper texts for essay numbers 1—76 and the McLean edition for essay numbers 77— The authorship of seventy-three of The Federalist essays is fairly certain. Twelve of these essays are disputed over by some scholars, though the modern consensus is that Madison wrote essays Nos.

The first open designation of which essay belonged to whom was provided by Hamilton who, in the days before his ultimately fatal gun duel with Aaron Burr , provided his lawyer with a list detailing the author of each number.

This list credited Hamilton with a full sixty-three of the essays three of those being jointly written with Madison , almost three-quarters of the whole, and was used as the basis for an printing that was the first to make specific attribution for the essays. Madison did not immediately dispute Hamilton's list, but provided his own list for the Gideon edition of The Federalist.

Madison claimed twenty-nine numbers for himself, and he suggested that the difference between the two lists was "owing doubtless to the hurry in which [Hamilton's] memorandum was made out. Statistical analysis has been undertaken on several occasions to try to ascertain the authorship question based on word frequencies and writing styles.

Nearly all of the statistical studies show that the disputed papers were written by Madison, although a computer science study theorizes the papers were a collaborative effort. The Federalist Papers were written to support the ratification of the Constitution, specifically in New York. Whether they succeeded in this mission is questionable. Separate ratification proceedings took place in each state, and the essays were not reliably reprinted outside of New York; furthermore, by the time the series was well underway, a number of important states had already ratified it, for instance Pennsylvania on December New York held out until July 26; certainly The Federalist was more important there than anywhere else, but Furtwangler argues that it "could hardly rival other major forces in the ratification contests"—specifically, these forces included the personal influence of well-known Federalists, for instance Hamilton and Jay, and Anti-Federalists, including Governor George Clinton.

In light of that, Furtwangler observes, "New York's refusal would make that state an odd outsider. Only 19 Federalists were elected to New York's ratification convention, compared to the Anti-Federalists' 46 delegates. While New York did indeed ratify the Constitution on July 26, the lack of public support for pro-Constitution Federalists has led historian John Kaminski to suggest that the impact of The Federalist on New York citizens was "negligible".

As for Virginia, which only ratified the Constitution at its convention on June 25, Hamilton writes in a letter to Madison that the collected edition of The Federalist had been sent to Virginia; Furtwangler presumes that it was to act as a "debater's handbook for the convention there," though he claims that this indirect influence would be a "dubious distinction.

Furtwangler notes that as the series grew, this plan was somewhat changed. The fourth topic expanded into detailed coverage of the individual articles of the Constitution and the institutions it mandated, while the two last topics were merely touched on in the last essay. The papers can be broken down by author as well as by topic. At the start of the series, all three authors were contributing; the first twenty papers are broken down as eleven by Hamilton, five by Madison and four by Jay.

The rest of the series, however, is dominated by three long segments by a single writer: The Federalist Papers specifically Federalist No. The idea of adding a Bill of Rights to the Constitution was originally controversial because the Constitution, as written, did not specifically enumerate or protect the rights of the people, rather it listed the powers of the government and left all that remained to the states and the people.

Alexander Hamilton , the author of Federalist No. However, Hamilton's opposition to a Bill of Rights was far from universal. Robert Yates , writing under the pseudonym Brutus , articulated this view point in the so-called Anti-Federalist No. References in The Federalist and in the ratification debates warn of demagogues of the variety who through divisive appeals would aim at tyranny.

The Federalist begins and ends with this issue. Federal judges, when interpreting the Constitution, frequently use The Federalist Papers as a contemporary account of the intentions of the framers and ratifiers. Davidowitz to the validity of ex post facto laws in the decision Calder v.

Bull , apparently the first decision to mention The Federalist. The amount of deference that should be given to The Federalist Papers in constitutional interpretation has always been somewhat controversial.

Maryland , that "the opinions expressed by the authors of that work have been justly supposed to be entitled to great respect in expounding the Constitution. No tribute can be paid to them which exceeds their merit; but in applying their opinions to the cases which may arise in the progress of our government, a right to judge of their correctness must be retained. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Redirected from Federalist Papers. For the website, see The Federalist website. For other uses, see Federalist disambiguation. Series of 85 essays arguing in favor of the ratification of the US Constitution.

Title page of the first collection of The Federalist Retrieved 18 June Retrieved March 16, — via Library of Congress. The Encyclopedia of New York City: Morris, The Forging of the Union: The Authority of Publius: A Reading of the Federalist Papers. However, Adair concurs with previous historians that these are Madison's writing alone: Federalist , note 1. Ralph Ketcham, James Madison. Macmillan, ; reprint ed.

University Press of Virginia, See also Irving N. Father of the Constitution, — Retrieved February 16, Wesleyan University Press, and later reprintings.

Retrieved December 5, Signet Classic, pp. A similar division is indicated by Furtwangler, 57— Louisiana State University Press, , 65—


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The Federalist Papers (Modern Language Interpretation) Marshall Overstedt Summarizing arguments in support of the United States Constitution of , put forward in a series of newspaper essays by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay.

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The Federalist Papers study guide contains a biography of Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full.

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Article I, Section 10(2) of the United States Constitution No State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty on tonnage, keep troops and ships of war in time of. A summary of Federalist Essays No - No in The Founding Fathers's The Federalist Papers (). Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Federalist Papers () and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, .

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The Federalist Papers (In Modern Language) 1. FEDERALIST NO. 1 General Introduction Hamilton To the People of the State of New York: It is obvious that the Articles of Confederation have will be allowed, acknowledging that they will release failed to establish a viable government. The Federalist Papers: Modern English Edition Two/copyright /Mary E Webster Number Large Republic: Best Control of Effects of Faction A well-constructed Union is the best way to control the violence of faction. Faction is a dangerous vice that occurs.