Back for more. Finally. Letters #15-20
So I have been on a mental break these past couple weeks. So many stressful things put me in a crabby mood. So I took as much of a break as I could from all things stressful. But alas, I need to get back to reality. There are so many topics right now that I have some major opinions and strong feelings on, but for tonight I am going to continue on my Federalist Papers. I decided to read letters 15-20 and post at the same time since they are dealing with the same topic.
This grouping of letters deals with the issue, Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union.
At this point no one is in disagreement that the present national system was unable to protect the Union. Not even the ones who were against the Constitution argued the basic premise. The country was at the bottom of the barrel as far as how they were viewed by other countries. “We have neither troops, nor treasury, nor government”
None of the states individually could effectively regulate themselves. They needed a government to help settle internal disputes. Another objection is the fear that the government would ultimately be too powerful.
There was a great passage in letter 15 regarding government. Here it is for your reading pleasure:
Government implies the power of making laws. It is essential to the idea of a law that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience. If there be no penalty annexed to disobedience, the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will, in fact, amount to nothing more than advice or recommendation. This penalty, whatever it may be, can only be inflicted in two ways; by the agency of the courts and ministers of justice, or by military force; by the coercion of the magistracy, or by the coercion of arms.”
I found this interesting given all of today’s politicians and celebrity figures who break the law and then do not pay the penalty. (ie. Geithner) It is true, laws should have consequences for all. But that was not really the main focus of the letters.
There was a great deal of historical background given into Grecian republics as well as German nations. All had strengths and weaknesses. Finally the author gives a history of the United Netherlands. All of this information was given to give historical background and precedent for setting up a national government and making the states into one Union. By studying societies of the past we can learn from their experience which provides truth and wisdom.