More fun with the Federalist Papers!
Back again with another installment of The Federalist Papers.
Letter 5 – Wrapping up the topic of Considering Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence
This final letter in the 4 letter series explaining why a Union was necessary focuses on the likelihood that if the states formed into many separate smaller nations they would likely be at odds with each other quite a bit and even oppose each other in times of war with other nations. They were using their knowledge of the workings of Britain and other European countries and the manner in which they in such close proximity fought with each other. There would be no greater ally than the 13 states becoming one Union to protect itself from other countries.
Letter 6 – Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the States
Publius (pen name used by all 3 authors) begins by suggesting that there is no doubt that if the states are not united as one nation there is no doubt that they will end up rivals and fighting amongst themselves. Multiple examples of a neighboring friendly country inviting war against a friend was given to show that it has historical basis. Pericles and numerous issues and the cardinal under Henry VIII precipitating war with England (that reminds me a bit of The Three Musketeers movie) being the two mentioned.
Also stated . . . “Commercial republics, like ours . . .will be governed by mutual interest, and will cultivate a spirit of mutual amity and concord.” I am not sure that I feel like we are still governing this way.
Then the writer goes on to list multiple wars between republics in Europe and how they were started between the countries that should be getting along and that we should be cautious to remember that what is said between friendly nations to one another is not always how things play out in the long term.
Here is another spectacular line, “Let the point of our extreme depression to which our national dignity and credit have sunk, let the inconveniences felt everywhere from a lax and ill administration of government . . .the actual insurrections and rebellions declare ——!” (i have no idea what the dashes are supposed to imply. but the beginning just fired me up enough to what our country is currently experiencing.)
Letter 7 – Finishing up Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the States
Opens by providing items which would most likely be causes of disputes between the states should they remain independent Nations. First example is territorial disputes. That seems like a given countries have always historically fought for land (they still do!) Especially considering how much more land there was in North America at the time that would have been crazy fodder for internal fighting between the confederacies as each tried to take more land.
A second issue that would arise should the states be independent would be commerce. Each state would most likely specialize in some sort of enterprise and each would try to outdo they other in trade. With no respect or reason to honor the others trade agreements there would be conflict here as well. As one united nation though, with everyone working together all would benefit.
Third, different states had duties paid that would only be levied on imports. Multiple states paid these duties. Should the states have become independent countries, these necessary taxes would have to be worked out.
The national debt is the next consideration. If the states were separated how would they divide the debt up between them? Not only that, but they would actually have to accept the responsibility and actually make the payments on time. With each smaller unit handling their own finances the odds of things getting worse were much higher. This could easily lead to conflict and war between neighboring states.
Non-uniform laws from state to state would be hard to enforce. There would be no national over-riding rule to protect the person who was wronged.
This wraps up their argument for this section . . Stay tuned for tomorrows edition, it deals with consequences of hostilty.
Entry filed under: General.