The Arguement for a Union

March 4, 2009 at 8:05 pm 1 comment


Here is post two in my Federalist Paper series.

Letter 3 – a continuation of Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence

The premise here begins to explain why a United States as opposed to a divided state would be less likely to be involved in wars and conflict. The ability to maintain treaties and agreements with the six nations that had already made such arrangements with the states would be easier enforced by one nation instead of 13 individually governed countries. The national government would also benefit from having excellent minds for all the states serving the whole country. Theoretically giving a more balanced, wise government for the nation than each separate state might have from their own residents.

The arguement is made that, “as either designed or accidental violations of treaties and of the laws of nations afford just causes of war, they are less to be apprehended under one general government than under several lesser ones, and in that respect the former most favors the safety of the people.” So the premise is that countries we had negotiations and treaties with would be less likely to go to war with us as a nation in the case of a violation, than they would if an individual, smaller state violated the agreement. That one strong, good government afford more safety for the citizens than smaller individual countries. Letter three deals more with what would be considered “just” causes of wars and conflict.

Letter 4 – again more on the same topic, Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence

This letter deals more with wars created for “unjust” motives. More along the lines of personal issues, rivalries in trade or commerce (or even just imagined). A strong national government as opposed to smaller weaker governments would be more able to hold such conflicts at bay. The discussion continues to lay out reasoning why one United country would be better able to protect itself.

I thought this closing paragraph of letter 4 was a very good read. How applicable is this to today? Are we efficient, well run, credit-worthy, discreet in our finances, contented, etc?

But whatever may be our situation, whether firmly united under one national government, or split into a number of confederacies, certain it is that foreign nations will know and view it exactly as it is; and they will act towards us accordingly. If they see that our national government is efficient and well administered, our trade prudently regulated, our militia properly organized and disciplined, our resources and finances discreetly managed, our credit re-established, our people free, contented , and united, they will be much more disposed to cultivate our friendship than provoke our resentment. If, on the other hand , they find us either destitute of an effectual government (each State doing right or wrong, as to its rulers may seem convenient), or split into three of four independent and probably discordant republics or confederacies, one inclining to Britain, another to France, and a third to Spain, and perhaps played each other by the three, what a poor, pitiful figure will America make in their eyes! How liable would she become not only to show they contempt, but to their outrage; and how soon would dear-bought experience proclaim that when a people or family so divide, it never fails to be against themselves.

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The Federalist Papers More fun with the Federalist Papers!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. fourstringfuror  |  March 5, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Good post. I am enjoying reading your thoughts.

    The need for a central, federal government is certainly well-founded. However, the massive, sprawling, morbidly obese government we see in DC today is nothing at all like the government envisioned in the Papers.

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