FEDERALISTS V ANTI-FEDERALISTS PART SEVEN: Union, First And Last

we-the-people

The Federalists appeared to be in agreement that, above all else, the most important thing for Americans was that they present a united front to the world…

“America united, with a handful of troops or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat,” wrote Madison in Federalist #41. And in Federalist #14, he described the Union as acting… as our bulwark against foreign danger, as the conservator of peace among ourselves, as the guardian of our commerce and other common interests.”

A great fear of Federalists was that the replanted Europeans populating the country would eventually turn the New World into a new version of the Old. Madison warned in Federalist #41 that if States were to become a set of contending, separate nations, “the face of America will be but a copy of that of the continent of Europe. It will present liberty everywhere crushed between standing armies and perpetual taxes.”

In Federalist #15, Hamilton wrote that a situation of less-than-complete Union, one in which the individual States only allied for purposes “offensive and defensive,” would… place us in a situation to be alternate friends and enemies of each other as our mutual jealousies and rivalships, nourished by the intrigues of foreign nations, should prescribe to us.”

America, wrote Jay in Federalist #4, would make “a poor, pitiful figure” if it were to become divided into small confederacies which were played off against each other by the European powers. “A band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties.”

“It is of high importance to the peace of America,” wrote Jay in Federalist #3, “that she observe the laws of Nations towards all these powers, and to me it appears evident that this will be more perfectly and punctually done by one national government than it could be either by thirteen separate States or by three or four distinct confederacies.”

Perhaps no Federalist felt more strongly that all Americans formed ONE PEOPLE than Jay. Writing in Federalist #2, Jay held that… “to all general purposes we have uniformly been one People; each individual citizen everywhere enjoying the same national rights, privileges, and protection. As a Nation we have made peace and war; as a Nation, we have vanquished our common enemies; as a Nation we have formed alliances and made treaties and entered into various compacts and conventions with foreign States.”

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