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Rick Santorum: “Freedom’s not absolute. What rights in the Constitution are absolute?”

By Gary P Jackson

Holy Bill of Rights Batman:

Freedom’s not absolute. What rights in the Constitution are absolute? There is no right to absolute freedom. There are limitations. You might want to say the same thing about a whole variety of other things that are on the Internet — “let everybody have it, let everybody do it.” No. There are certain things that actually do cost people a lot of money, cost them their lives, cost them their fortunes that we shouldn’t have and make available, to make it that easy to do. That’s why we regulate gambling. You have a big commission here that regulates gambling, for a reason.

If the above quote from Rick Santorum doesn’t have chills running up and down your spine, there is something seriously wrong with you!

Now let me put this in context. This quote, and more, comes from an article Jim Geraghty wrote about Newt Gingrich’s sugar daddy, billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson. Santorum is talking about internet gambling, and evidently, in Rick’s world it’s evil, and the government, being our nanny, must take steps to protect the American people from itself. You can read the entire article here.

Now Rick may be right, in theory, there are some legitimate limits on freedom that are also constitutional, they are, however, few and far between.

The American experiment, as envisioned by our founders, is based on personal Liberty and Freedom, as well as personal responsibility. In other words, you are free to do pretty much as you wish, as long as you break no laws. If your actions causes you problems, well, you made your bed, now lie in it!

This is pretty much how God works as well. He gave us the ability to distinguish right from wrong, and the free will to choose. He also gave us a strong path to redemption. But, we have to live with the consequences of our actions.

Thing is, government isn’t God, and neither are our lawmakers. Government has no business trying to be the nanny of over 300 million Americans, micro managing our lives down to the last detail.

Government has no business trying to protects, from ourselves.

Yeah, there are obvious exceptions to that, but we now have government officials trying to control our ever action. That ain’t Liberty and that ain’t Freedom.

There are far too many, in both political parties, who want to do just that. Politicians who think they know what’s best for everyone.

I’ve always been rather neutral on Santorum, seeing him as a mixed bag, some good, some bad. My only real concern, since day one, is he has always seemed to be more interested in being the bedroom police, rather then Senator, or President. Other than that, I thought he was at least somewhat Conservative. That was a grave error on my part.

I’d call Santorum a “compassionate conservative” in the mold of George W Bush, but looking into Rick’s record, I see nothing particularly compassionate or conservative about the man. What I see is just another Big Government Statist. Just another person who wants to exert his power over everyone else.

There is little difference between Santorum and those who want to regulate what you can eat, what you can drink, what kind of car you can drive, what kind of toilet and shower head you must buy, and what sort of light bulb you must have.

For people like Santorum, government knows best. As a free man or woman, you don’t have the capability of exercising good judgment, so government must protect you from yourself.

There’s something inherently evil in this sort of thing. Something un-American.

Santorum’s argument on gambling, online gambling, is troubling. From the article Rick says:

I’m someone who takes the opinion that gaming is not something that is beneficial, particularly having that access on the Internet. Just as we’ve seen from a lot of other things that are vices on the Internet, they tend to grow exponentially as a result of that.

It’s one thing to come to Las Vegas and do gaming and participate in the shows and that kind of thing as entertainment, it’s another thing to sit in your home and have access to that it. I think it would be dangerous to our country to have that type of access to gaming on the Internet.

I like Vegas and since I’m not that much of a gambler, I enjoy the shows and the good eats. That said, what business is it of Santorum’s? Even more so, what business is it Rick’s what I do on the internet? If Rick is worried about gambling on the internet, folks can find a game anywhere. Don’t need the internet for that, unless you are booking a hotel!

Look, I know why Baptists don’t like gambling, they are afraid it might lead to dancing! [relax it’s just a joke] But what is Rick’s excuse?

Oh, and about those shows and fine dining in Las Vegas? Lots of folks have a problem with overeating. Vegas is a place where that is not only possible, but probable. What is Rick’s position on this?

Most Americans don’t like the idea of government telling them what they can and can’t do, within reason, and gambling, while most certainly a vice, is also reasonable.

In fact, this entire election, for the American people, is about getting away from a government that wants to control our every move.

Sarah Palin put it best when she said this election will come down to the “Freedom Party” vs the “Government Party.”

Between this latest by Santorum, and his extreme ideas about all things of a sexual nature, as well as many of his votes and positions over the years, I’m beginning to thing Santorum belongs in the “Government Party.”

I have no qualms with Rick’s personal beliefs, though I disagree with many. What I have a problem with is his desire to impose those beliefs on others.

People need to take a long, hard look at Rick Santorum. He is not what he represents himself to be. He is a progressive, not a Conservative. He’s the sort who can’t wait to get in power so he can exert his authority over the American people.

We already have a nanny state president, and a nanny state government. No use to send them re-enforcements like Rick Santorum.

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Constituting America: The Federalist Papers: Federalist 12

If there was but just one edition of The Federalist that Barack Obama and the rest of his Marxist fellow travelers should read, it would be Federalist 12.

Far from touting the tenets so espoused by Karl Marx, Hamilton praises capitalism, noting that Commerce will be the lifeblood of the Nation. Hamilton understood, just like most Conservatives do today, that the free flow of Commerce would not only grow the Nation, but fund government.

It’s been proven time and time again that when government gets out of the way of Commerce, and keeps taxes low, not only do American’s thrive, so does the treasury. High taxes have the opposite effect. Commerce is slowed and tax reaccepts dwindle.

Should one doubt this, look at economic growth when both Kennedy and Reagan made dramatic cuts in taxes. One can only wonder what America’s economy would look like today had the Obama regime given everyone tax holiday instead of throwing the $1 trillion “stimulus“down a bottomless pit.

Here Hamilton talks not only about how government should help promote Commerce, and ingenuity, but what the tax structure should look like. Note an income tax wasn’t on Hamilton’s mind. His scheme was to fund government through tariffs and fees.

This is a very sound system, and one based on maximizing economic growth and strength. Obviously, under this system, government has the incentives to have a very small imprint, allowing business to thrive. It’s in government’s interest not to interfere or impede Commerce.

What a concept!

Now that’s not to say there shouldn’t be sensible regulations and protections, but draconian laws do not a healthy economy make, nor do taxes that border on usury, or a perverted desire to “spread the wealth.”

One should again note Hamilton’s healthy respect of those who desire to enjoy the fruits of their own labor and the sweat of their brow.

Obviously enforcing tax law was of concern, as was the distaste of using armed military to collect those taxes. Sticking with the theme of a United States as superior to separate nation states, or small confederacies of states, Hamilton speaks to the benefits of not only collecting taxes, but stopping illegal trade, and conflict arising from same.

This is a definite read for that communist who aggravates you on a regular basis with his Utopian fantasies of the glorious revolution.

Federalist No. 12

The Utility of the Union In Respect to Revenue

From the New York Packet.

Tuesday, November 27, 1787.

Author: Alexander Hamilton

To the People of the State of New York:

THE effects of Union upon the commercial prosperity of the States have been sufficiently delineated. Its tendency to promote the interests of revenue will be the subject of our present inquiry.

The prosperity of commerce is now perceived and acknowledged by all enlightened statesmen to be the most useful as well as the most productive source of national wealth, and has accordingly become a primary object of their political cares. By multipying the means of gratification, by promoting the introduction and circulation of the precious metals, those darling objects of human avarice and enterprise, it serves to vivify and invigorate the channels of industry, and to make them flow with greater activity and copiousness. The assiduous merchant, the laborious husbandman, the active mechanic, and the industrious manufacturer,–all orders of men, look forward with eager expectation and growing alacrity to this pleasing reward of their toils. The often-agitated question between agriculture and commerce has, from indubitable experience, received a decision which has silenced the rivalship that once subsisted between them, and has proved, to the satisfaction of their friends, that their interests are intimately blended and interwoven. It has been found in various countries that, in proportion as commerce has flourished, land has risen in value. And how could it have happened otherwise? Could that which procures a freer vent for the products of the earth, which furnishes new incitements to the cultivation of land, which is the most powerful instrument in increasing the quantity of money in a state–could that, in fine, which is the faithful handmaid of labor and industry, in every shape, fail to augment that article, which is the prolific parent of far the greatest part of the objects upon which they are exerted? It is astonishing that so simple a truth should ever have had an adversary; and it is one, among a multitude of proofs, how apt a spirit of ill-informed jealousy, or of too great abstraction and refinement, is to lead men astray from the plainest truths of reason and conviction.

The ability of a country to pay taxes must always be proportioned, in a great degree, to the quantity of money in circulation, and to the celerity with which it circulates. Commerce, contributing to both these objects, must of necessity render the payment of taxes easier, and facilitate the requisite supplies to the treasury. The hereditary dominions of the Emperor of Germany contain a great extent of fertile, cultivated, and populous territory, a large proportion of which is situated in mild and luxuriant climates. In some parts of this territory are to be found the best gold and silver mines in Europe. And yet, from the want of the fostering influence of commerce, that monarch can boast but slender revenues. He has several times been compelled to owe obligations to the pecuniary succors of other nations for the preservation of his essential interests, and is unable, upon the strength of his own resources, to sustain a long or continued war.

But it is not in this aspect of the subject alone that Union will be seen to conduce to the purpose of revenue. There are other points of view, in which its influence will appear more immediate and decisive. It is evident from the state of the country, from the habits of the people, from the experience we have had on the point itself, that it is impracticable to raise any very considerable sums by direct taxation. Tax laws have in vain been multiplied; new methods to enforce the collection have in vain been tried; the public expectation has been uniformly disappointed, and the treasuries of the States have remained empty. The popular system of administration inherent in the nature of popular government, coinciding with the real scarcity of money incident to a languid and mutilated state of trade, has hitherto defeated every experiment for extensive collections, and has at length taught the different legislatures the folly of attempting them.

No person acquainted with what happens in other countries will be surprised at this circumstance. In so opulent a nation as that of Britain, where direct taxes from superior wealth must be much more tolerable, and, from the vigor of the government, much more practicable, than in America, far the greatest part of the national revenue is derived from taxes of the indirect kind, from imposts, and from excises. Duties on imported articles form a large branch of this latter description.

In America, it is evident that we must a long time depend for the means of revenue chiefly on such duties. In most parts of it, excises must be confined within a narrow compass. The genius of the people will ill brook the inquisitive and peremptory spirit of excise laws. The pockets of the farmers, on the other hand, will reluctantly yield but scanty supplies, in the unwelcome shape of impositions on their houses and lands; and personal property is too precarious and invisible a fund to be laid hold of in any other way than by the inperceptible agency of taxes on consumption.

If these remarks have any foundation, that state of things which will best enable us to improve and extend so valuable a resource must be best adapted to our political welfare. And it cannot admit of a serious doubt, that this state of things must rest on the basis of a general Union. As far as this would be conducive to the interests of commerce, so far it must tend to the extension of the revenue to be drawn from that source. As far as it would contribute to rendering regulations for the collection of the duties more simple and efficacious, so far it must serve to answer the purposes of making the same rate of duties more productive, and of putting it into the power of the government to increase the rate without prejudice to trade.

The relative situation of these States; the number of rivers with which they are intersected, and of bays that wash there shores; the facility of communication in every direction; the affinity of language and manners; the familiar habits of intercourse; –all these are circumstances that would conspire to render an illicit trade between them a matter of little difficulty, and would insure frequent evasions of the commercial regulations of each other. The separate States or confederacies would be necessitated by mutual jealousy to avoid the temptations to that kind of trade by the lowness of their duties. The temper of our governments, for a long time to come, would not permit those rigorous precautions by which the European nations guard the avenues into their respective countries, as well by land as by water; and which, even there, are found insufficient obstacles to the adventurous stratagems of avarice.

In France, there is an army of patrols (as they are called) constantly employed to secure their fiscal regulations against the inroads of the dealers in contraband trade. Mr. Neckar computes the number of these patrols at upwards of twenty thousand. This shows the immense difficulty in preventing that species of traffic, where there is an inland communication, and places in a strong light the disadvantages with which the collection of duties in this country would be encumbered, if by disunion the States should be placed in a situation, with respect to each other, resembling that of France with respect to her neighbors. The arbitrary and vexatious powers with which the patrols are necessarily armed, would be intolerable in a free country.

If, on the contrary, there be but one government pervading all the States, there will be, as to the principal part of our commerce, but ONE SIDE to guard–the ATLANTIC COAST. Vessels arriving directly from foreign countries, laden with valuable cargoes, would rarely choose to hazard themselves to the complicated and critical perils which would attend attempts to unlade prior to their coming into port. They would have to dread both the dangers of the coast, and of detection, as well after as before their arrival at the places of their final destination. An ordinary degree of vigilance would be competent to the prevention of any material infractions upon the rights of the revenue. A few armed vessels, judiciously stationed at the entrances of our ports, might at a small expense be made useful sentinels of the laws. And the government having the same interest to provide against violations everywhere, the co-operation of its measures in each State would have a powerful tendency to render them effectual. Here also we should preserve by Union, an advantage which nature holds out to us, and which would be relinquished by separation. The United States lie at a great distance from Europe, and at a considerable distance from all other places with which they would have extensive connections of foreign trade. The passage from them to us, in a few hours, or in a single night, as between the coasts of France and Britain, and of other neighboring nations, would be impracticable. This is a prodigious security against a direct contraband with foreign countries; but a circuitous contraband to one State, through the medium of another, would be both easy and safe. The difference between a direct importation from abroad, and an indirect importation through the channel of a neighboring State, in small parcels, according to time and opportunity, with the additional facilities of inland communication, must be palpable to every man of discernment.

It is therefore evident, that one national government would be able, at much less expense, to extend the duties on imports, beyond comparison, further than would be practicable to the States separately, or to any partial confederacies. Hitherto, I believe, it may safely be asserted, that these duties have not upon an average exceeded in any State three per cent. In France they are estimated to be about fifteen per cent., and in Britain they exceed this proportion. [1] There seems to be nothing to hinder their being increased in this country to at least treble their present amount. The single article of ardent spirits, under federal regulation, might be made to furnish a considerable revenue. Upon a ratio to the importation into this State, the whole quantity imported into the United States may be estimated at four millions of gallons; which, at a shilling per gallon, would produce two hundred thousand pounds. That article would well bear this rate of duty; and if it should tend to diminish the consumption of it, such an effect would be equally favorable to the agriculture, to the economy, to the morals, and to the health of the society. There is, perhaps, nothing so much a subject of national extravagance as these spirits.

What will be the consequence, if we are not able to avail ourselves of the resource in question in its full extent? A nation cannot long exist without revenues. Destitute of this essential support, it must resign its independence, and sink into the degraded condition of a province. This is an extremity to which no government will of choice accede. Revenue, therefore, must be had at all events. In this country, if the principal part be not drawn from commerce, it must fall with oppressive weight upon land. It has been already intimated that excises, in their true signification, are too little in unison with the feelings of the people, to admit of great use being made of that mode of taxation; nor, indeed, in the States where almost the sole employment is agriculture, are the objects proper for excise sufficiently numerous to permit very ample collections in that way. Personal estate (as has been before remarked), from the difficulty in tracing it, cannot be subjected to large contributions, by any other means than by taxes on consumption. In populous cities, it may be enough the subject of conjecture, to occasion the oppression of individuals, without much aggregate benefit to the State; but beyond these circles, it must, in a great measure, escape the eye and the hand of the tax-gatherer. As the necessities of the State, nevertheless, must be satisfied in some mode or other, the defect of other resources must throw the principal weight of public burdens on the possessors of land. And as, on the other hand, the wants of the government can never obtain an adequate supply, unless all the sources of revenue are open to its demands, the finances of the community, under such embarrassments, cannot be put into a situation consistent with its respectability or its security. Thus we shall not even have the consolations of a full treasury, to atone for the oppression of that valuable class of the citizens who are employed in the cultivation of the soil. But public and private distress will keep pace with each other in gloomy concert; and unite in deploring the infatuation of those counsels which led to disunion.


PUBLIUS.

1. If my memory be right they amount to twenty per cent.

For more on the Constitution and the Federalist Papers check out Constituting America here.

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Constituting America: The Federalist Papers: Federalist 11

After discussing the dangers of disunity, the strengths of a United States, and comparing the superiority of the republican form of government to all others, in Federalist 11 Hamilton gets into more practical matters. And a few digs at the Europeans. It seems, they were a tad too arrogant for America’s taste back then as well. .

Then, as now, international trade was an important consideration. America was already an exporter, as well as an importer. So this was a real concern.

In the late 18th century, early 19th century, almost all trading was done over the waters. Even within America, the great waterways were the most efficient way of sending large amounts of freight. It’s not by accident that we call sending things somewhere “shipping” to this day.

As shipping was important, so was protecting that shipping. Many think of pirates, and they were certainly an issue. In fact, America’s first real international war was over issues with the Barbary Pirates. Our first war with radical Muslims, BTW. But shipping in general had it’s hazzards.

Hamilton points out it would be prudent for the United States, already a player on the world’s stage, to create a strong Navy.

Hamilton also speaks to the finer points trade policy, and how America’s new found strength would get established powers upset. In the late 1700’s trade policy was often carried out at the end of a bayonet or the barrel of a cannon. Hamilton speaks to the fact a United States would far better meet the challenges of this.

Then as now, strong foreign trade is vital to the economic health of the nation.


Federalist No. 11

The Utility of the Union in Respect to Commercial Relations and a Navy

For the Independent Journal.

Author: Alexander Hamilton

To the People of the State of New York:

THE importance of the Union, in a commercial light, is one of those points about which there is least room to entertain a difference of opinion, and which has, in fact, commanded the most general assent of men who have any acquaintance with the subject. This applies as well to our intercourse with foreign countries as with each other.

There are appearances to authorize a supposition that the adventurous spirit, which distinguishes the commercial character of America, has already excited uneasy sensations in several of the maritime powers of Europe. They seem to be apprehensive of our too great interference in that carrying trade, which is the support of their navigation and the foundation of their naval strength. Those of them which have colonies in America look forward to what this country is capable of becoming, with painful solicitude. They foresee the dangers that may threaten their American dominions from the neighborhood of States, which have all the dispositions, and would possess all the means, requisite to the creation of a powerful marine. Impressions of this kind will naturally indicate the policy of fostering divisions among us, and of depriving us, as far as possible, of an ACTIVE COMMERCE in our own bottoms. This would answer the threefold purpose of preventing our interference in their navigation, of monopolizing the profits of our trade, and of clipping the wings by which we might soar to a dangerous greatness. Did not prudence forbid the detail, it would not be difficult to trace, by facts, the workings of this policy to the cabinets of ministers.

If we continue united, we may counteract a policy so unfriendly to our prosperity in a variety of ways. By prohibitory regulations, extending, at the same time, throughout the States, we may oblige foreign countries to bid against each other, for the privileges of our markets. This assertion will not appear chimerical to those who are able to appreciate the importance of the markets of three millions of people–increasing in rapid progression, for the most part exclusively addicted to agriculture, and likely from local circumstances to remain so–to any manufacturing nation; and the immense difference there would be to the trade and navigation of such a nation, between a direct communication in its own ships, and an indirect conveyance of its products and returns, to and from America, in the ships of another country. Suppose, for instance, we had a government in America, capable of excluding Great Britain (with whom we have at present no treaty of commerce) from all our ports; what would be the probable operation of this step upon her politics? Would it not enable us to negotiate, with the fairest prospect of success, for commercial privileges of the most valuable and extensive kind, in the dominions of that kingdom? When these questions have been asked, upon other occasions, they have received a plausible, but not a solid or satisfactory answer. It has been said that prohibitions on our part would produce no change in the system of Britain, because she could prosecute her trade with us through the medium of the Dutch, who would be her immediate customers and paymasters for those articles which were wanted for the supply of our markets. But would not her navigation be materially injured by the loss of the important advantage of being her own carrier in that trade? Would not the principal part of its profits be intercepted by the Dutch, as a compensation for their agency and risk? Would not the mere circumstance of freight occasion a considerable deduction? Would not so circuitous an intercourse facilitate the competitions of other nations, by enhancing the price of British commodities in our markets, and by transferring to other hands the management of this interesting branch of the British commerce?

A mature consideration of the objects suggested by these questions will justify a belief that the real disadvantages to Britain from such a state of things, conspiring with the pre-possessions of a great part of the nation in favor of the American trade, and with the importunities of the West India islands, would produce a relaxation in her present system, and would let us into the enjoyment of privileges in the markets of those islands elsewhere, from which our trade would derive the most substantial benefits. Such a point gained from the British government, and which could not be expected without an equivalent in exemptions and immunities in our markets, would be likely to have a correspondent effect on the conduct of other nations, who would not be inclined to see themselves altogether supplanted in our trade.

A further resource for influencing the conduct of European nations toward us, in this respect, would arise from the establishment of a federal navy. There can be no doubt that the continuance of the Union under an efficient government would put it in our power, at a period not very distant, to create a navy which, if it could not vie with those of the great maritime powers, would at least be of respectable weight if thrown into the scale of either of two contending parties. This would be more peculiarly the case in relation to operations in the West Indies. A few ships of the line, sent opportunely to the reinforcement of either side, would often be sufficient to decide the fate of a campaign, on the event of which interests of the greatest magnitude were suspended. Our position is, in this respect, a most commanding one. And if to this consideration we add that of the usefulness of supplies from this country, in the prosecution of military operations in the West Indies, it will readily be perceived that a situation so favorable would enable us to bargain with great advantage for commercial privileges. A price would be set not only upon our friendship, but upon our neutrality. By a steady adherence to the Union we may hope, erelong, to become the arbiter of Europe in America, and to be able to incline the balance of European competitions in this part of the world as our interest may dictate.

But in the reverse of this eligible situation, we shall discover that the rivalships of the parts would make them checks upon each other, and would frustrate all the tempting advantages which nature has kindly placed within our reach. In a state so insignificant our commerce would be a prey to the wanton intermeddlings of all nations at war with each other; who, having nothing to fear from us, would with little scruple or remorse, supply their wants by depredations on our property as often as it fell in their way. The rights of neutrality will only be respected when they are defended by an adequate power. A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral.

Under a vigorous national government, the natural strength and resources of the country, directed to a common interest, would baffle all the combinations of European jealousy to restrain our growth. This situation would even take away the motive to such combinations, by inducing an impracticability of success. An active commerce, an extensive navigation, and a flourishing marine would then be the offspring of moral and physical necessity. We might defy the little arts of the little politicians to control or vary the irresistible and unchangeable course of nature.

But in a state of disunion, these combinations might exist and might operate with success. It would be in the power of the maritime nations, availing themselves of our universal impotence, to prescribe the conditions of our political existence; and as they have a common interest in being our carriers, and still more in preventing our becoming theirs, they would in all probability combine to embarrass our navigation in such a manner as would in effect destroy it, and confine us to a PASSIVE COMMERCE. We should then be compelled to content ourselves with the first price of our commodities, and to see the profits of our trade snatched from us to enrich our enemies and p rsecutors. That unequaled spirit of enterprise, which signalizes the genius of the American merchants and navigators, and which is in itself an inexhaustible mine of national wealth, would be stifled and lost, and poverty and disgrace would overspread a country which, with wisdom, might make herself the admiration and envy of the world.

There are rights of great moment to the trade of America which are rights of the Union–I allude to the fisheries, to the navigation of the Western lakes, and to that of the Mississippi. The dissolution of the Confederacy would give room for delicate questions concerning the future existence of these rights; which the interest of more powerful partners would hardly fail to solve to our disadvantage. The disposition of Spain with regard to the Mississippi needs no comment. France and Britain are concerned with us in the fisheries, and view them as of the utmost moment to their navigation. They, of course, would hardly remain long indifferent to that decided mastery, of which experience has shown us to be possessed in this valuable branch of traffic, and by which we are able to undersell those nations in their own markets. What more natural than that they should be disposed to exclude from the lists such dangerous competitors?

This branch of trade ought not to be considered as a partial benefit. All the navigating States may, in different degrees, advantageously participate in it, and under circumstances of a greater extension of mercantile capital, would not be unlikely to do it. As a nursery of seamen, it now is, or when time shall have more nearly assimilated the principles of navigation in the several States, will become, a universal resource. To the establishment of a navy, it must be indispensable.

To this great national object, a NAVY, union will contribute in various ways. Every institution will grow and flourish in proportion to the quantity and extent of the means concentred towards its formation and support. A navy of the United States, as it would embrace the resources of all, is an object far less remote than a navy of any single State or partial confederacy, which would only embrace the resources of a single part. It happens, indeed, that different portions of confederated America possess each some peculiar advantage for this essential establishment. The more southern States furnish in greater abundance certain kinds of naval stores–tar, pitch, and turpentine. Their wood for the construction of ships is also of a more solid and lasting texture. The difference in the duration of the ships of which the navy might be composed, if chiefly constructed of Southern wood, would be of signal importance, either in the view of naval strength or of national economy. Some of the Southern and of the Middle States yield a greater plenty of iron, and of better quality. Seamen must chiefly be drawn from the Northern hive. The necessity of naval protection to external or maritime commerce does not require a particular elucidation, no more than the conduciveness of that species of commerce to the prosperity of a navy.

An unrestrained intercourse between the States themselves will advance the trade of each by an interchange of their respective productions, not only for the supply of reciprocal wants at home, but for exportation to foreign markets. The veins of commerce in every part will be replenished, and will acquire additional motion and vigor from a free circulation of the commodities of every part. Commercial enterprise will have much greater scope, from the diversity in the productions of different States. When the staple of one fails from a bad harvest or unproductive crop, it can call to its aid the staple of another. The variety, not less than the value, of products for exportation contributes to the activity of foreign commerce. It can be conducted upon much better terms with a large number of materials of a given value than with a small number of materials of the same value; arising from the competitions of trade and from the fluctations of markets. Particular articles may be in great demand at certain periods, and unsalable at others; but if there be a variety of articles, it can scarcely happen that they should all be at one time in the latter predicament, and on this account the operations of the merchant would be less liable to any considerable obstruction or stagnation. The speculative trader will at once perceive the force of these observations, and will acknowledge that the aggregate balance of the commerce of the United States would bid fair to be much more favorable than that of the thirteen States without union or with partial unions.

It may perhaps be replied to this, that whether the States are united or disunited, there would still be an intimate intercourse between them which would answer the same ends; this intercourse would be fettered, interrupted, and narrowed by a multiplicity of causes, which in the course of these papers have been amply detailed. A unity of commercial, as well as political, interests, can only result from a unity of government.

There are other points of view in which this subject might be placed, of a striking and animating kind. But they would lead us too far into the regions of futurity, and would involve topics not proper for a newspaper discussion. I shall briefly observe, that our situation invites and our interests prompt us to aim at an ascendant in the system of American affairs. The world may politically, as well as geographically, be divided into four parts, each having a distinct set of interests. Unhappily for the other three, Europe, by her arms and by her negotiations, by force and by fraud, has, in different degrees, extended her dominion over them all. Africa, Asia, and America, have successively felt her domination. The superiority she has long maintained has tempted her to plume herself as the Mistress of the World, and to consider the rest of mankind as created for her benefit. Men admired as profound philosophers have, in direct terms, attributed to her inhabitants a physical superiority, and have gravely asserted that all animals, and with them the human species, degenerate in America–that even dogs cease to bark after having breathed awhile in our atmosphere.[1] Facts have too long supported these arrogant pretensions of the Europeans. It belongs to us to vindicate the honor of the human race, and to teach that assuming brother, moderation. Union will enable us to do it. Disunion will will add another victim to his triumphs. Let Americans disdain to be the instruments of European greatness! Let the thirteen States, bound together in a strict and indissoluble Union, concur in erecting one great American system, superior to the control of all transatlantic force or influence, and able to dictate the terms of the connection between the old and the new world!


PUBLIUS.

1. “Recherches philosophiques sur les Americains.”

For more information, check out Constituting America here.

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Constituting America: The Federalist Papers: Federalist 10

Madison takes us on a whole other path today than we have been on. Though he is still talking about the benefits of unity, and the dangers of inner strife and insurrection, in Federalist 10, Madison explains very well why a democracy is due to fail, and why the representative republican form of government is the answer.

I know we often say we live in a democracy, even those that know better are guilty, but the truth is, we do not live in a democracy, we live in a Representative Republic. History is laced with governments that have been set up as true democracies, one man…one vote. All have failed, and the end result is a strong dictatorial, command and control government. This cycle has repeated itself over and over.

It’s almost the same case with Marxism, communism, socialism: People who see that true democracies always fail, but still put forth the plans to become that kind of government are of a kindred spirit to those who think communism will work this time because THEY are the ones doing it!

You see, to the true believer, whether it be the aforementioned isms, communism, socialism, and so forth, or a democracy….the problem is not with the plan, no…the problem, in their eyes, is simply the wrong people have been in charge! These so-called intellectuals just KNOW that if they are at the helm, proven failure can be turned into the Utopian Paradise they all dream of. Such is the folly of the intellectual elites who have no practical experience in any facet of real life.

For a perfect example of this, see the complete and total failure represented by the Obama regime, and those that support it. .

Madison makes the case for the republican form of government quite well. In theory, solid statesmen, who are accountable to the people, would streamline government, and best represent the will of the people, and at least counter the dangers that occur from certain factions who would seek to oppose their will on the rest, causing much strife and even insurrection.

I know most will say, that through the lens of our current situation, the representative republican form of government has failed. Well, as the old saying goes, the republican form of government is the worst kind there is, except for all of the rest!

What has failed, and this will be hard to accept, are the people of this great Nation. That means you and I. You see, most of us get so involved in just living life, doing our own thing, that we simply don’t think about government at all, until something happens that is completely upsetting, then we stand around complaining, and well, doing little else.

I can’t tell you how many friends and acquaintances over the years have said “I don’t do politics.” In fact, looking at the rather sad voting habits of Americans, or lack there of, there are a whole lot of Americans who “don’t do politics.”

Now frankly, this is understandable. Politics can be quite frustrating and time consuming. It is quite easy to get caught up in it, and little else. Also, like religion, we are often timid to speak openly about politics, even with friends, because like religion, wars have been fought over political differences! Friends have ceased to be friends over heated discussions of either subject.

What happens though, is while the public is distracted with other affairs, government, even one so well designed, starts to fail us. Human nature takes over our elected representatives, and with no supervision, all sorts mayhem ensue.

This is the time to insert the reminder that our elected representatives work for us, we have a direct employer-employee relationship. We are like a major corporation, with the people being the employer, and the government being the employee. We are government’s supervisor. Anyone who has worked with a number of people knows that if the supervision is poor, and the direction is not clear, it’s very easy to have the mission stray, and for employees to spend more time working against the interests of the company, and for their own.

In our system, the people of each Congressional district serve as supervisors, managers of their elected representatives. It is their duty to keep an eye on their representative, to make sure that they are in line with not only their values, but the Constitution. While we can’t fire them on the spot when they fail, we do have a remedy, our vote.

By not doing our duty as American citizens, our government has now drifted into crisis mode. A tyrannical regime has come to power, and we have been subjected to many Intolerable Acts by our government. Such is the price we pay for not “doing politics.”

Ours is an advanced form of government that requires a certain amount of effort from each of us to be at least minimally involved.

The Tea Parties are the natural consequence of our failure to do our job and supervise our government. Government has grown into an out of control monster and it will take a herculean effort to put the genie back in the bottle, so to speak.

Thankfully, as the people are waking up, and joining activist groups, like the Tea Parties, we are slowly, steadily, turning the corner. Many unworthy politicians are seeing their careers end, or about to end, as their employers are finally giving them their long overdue work review, and the results of that review show our employees have performed poorly, and some have even performed criminally.

Though Madison is selling us on the idea of the republican form of government, he is also reminding us that in order for this to work, we must do our part.

Federalist No. 10

The Same Subject Continued: The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection

From the New York Packet.

Friday, November 23, 1787.

Author: James Madison

To the People of the State of New York:

AMONG the numerous advantages promised by a well-constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate, as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice. He will not fail, therefore, to set a due value on any plan which, without violating the principles to which he is attached, provides a proper cure for it. The instability, injustice, and confusion introduced into the public councils, have, in truth, been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished; as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious declamations. The valuable improvements made by the American constitutions on the popular models, both ancient and modern, cannot certainly be too much admired; but it would be an unwarrantable partiality, to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger on this side, as was wished and expected. Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation, the evidence, of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true. It will be found, indeed, on a candid review of our situation, that some of the distresses under which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our governments; but it will be found, at the same time, that other causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes; and, particularly, for that prevailing and increasing distrust of public engagements, and alarm for private rights, which are echoed from one end of the continent to the other. These must be chiefly, if not wholly, effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations.

By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.

There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects.

There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests.

It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy, that it was worse than the disease. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.

The second expedient is as impracticable as the first would be unwise. As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves. The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a division of the society into different interests and parties.

The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society. A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts. But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society. Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, fall under a like discrimination. A landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a mercantile interest, a moneyed interest, with many lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide them into different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views. The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government.

No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time; yet what are many of the most important acts of legislation, but so many judicial determinations, not indeed concerning the rights of single persons, but concerning the rights of large bodies of citizens? And what are the different classes of legislators but advocates and parties to the causes which they determine? Is a law proposed concerning private debts? It is a question to which the creditors are parties on one side and the debtors on the other. Justice ought to hold the balance between them. Yet the parties are, and must be, themselves the judges; and the most numerous party, or, in other words, the most powerful faction must be expected to prevail. Shall domestic manufactures be encouraged, and in what degree, by restrictions on foreign manufactures? are questions which would be differently decided by the landed and the manufacturing classes, and probably by neither with a sole regard to justice and the public good. The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice. Every shilling with which they overburden the inferior number, is a shilling saved to their own pockets.

It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests, and render them all subservient to the public good. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. Nor, in many cases, can such an adjustment be made at all without taking into view indirect and remote considerations, which will rarely prevail over the immediate interest which one party may find in disregarding the rights of another or the good of the whole.

The inference to which we are brought is, that the CAUSES of faction cannot be removed, and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its EFFECTS.

If a faction consists of less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote. It may clog the administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution. When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens. To secure the public good and private rights against the danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object to which our inquiries are directed. Let me add that it is the great desideratum by which this form of government can be rescued from the opprobrium under which it has so long labored, and be recommended to the esteem and adoption of mankind.

By what means is this object attainable? Evidently by one of two only. Either the existence of the same passion or interest in a majority at the same time must be prevented, or the majority, having such coexistent passion or interest, must be rendered, by their number and local situation, unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression. If the impulse and the opportunity be suffered to coincide, we well know that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control. They are not found to be such on the injustice and violence of individuals, and lose their efficacy in proportion to the number combined together, that is, in proportion as their efficacy becomes needful.

From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.

A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union.

The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended.

The effect of the first difference is, on the one hand, to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations. Under such a regulation, it may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened for the purpose. On the other hand, the effect may be inverted. Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people. The question resulting is, whether small or extensive republics are more favorable to the election of proper guardians of the public weal; and it is clearly decided in favor of the latter by two obvious considerations:

In the first place, it is to be remarked that, however small the republic may be, the representatives must be raised to a certain number, in order to guard against the cabals of a few; and that, however large it may be, they must be limited to a certain number, in order to guard against the confusion of a multitude. Hence, the number of representatives in the two cases not being in proportion to that of the two constituents, and being proportionally greater in the small republic, it follows that, if the proportion of fit characters be not less in the large than in the small republic, the former will present a greater option, and consequently a greater probability of a fit choice.

In the next place, as each representative will be chosen by a greater number of citizens in the large than in the small republic, it will be more difficult for unworthy candidates to practice with success the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried; and the suffrages of the people being more free, will be more likely to centre in men who possess the most attractive merit and the most diffusive and established characters.

It must be confessed that in this, as in most other cases, there is a mean, on both sides of which inconveniences will be found to lie. By enlarging too much the number of electors, you render the representatives too little acquainted with all their local circumstances and lesser interests; as by reducing it too much, you render him unduly attached to these, and too little fit to comprehend and pursue great and national objects. The federal Constitution forms a happy combination in this respect; the great and aggregate interests being referred to the national, the local and particular to the State legislatures.

The other point of difference is, the greater number of citizens and extent of territory which may be brought within the compass of republican than of democratic government; and it is this circumstance principally which renders factious combinations less to be dreaded in the former than in the latter. The smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it; the fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party; and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression. Extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other. Besides other impediments, it may be remarked that, where there is a consciousness of unjust or dishonorable purposes, communication is always checked by distrust in proportion to the number whose concurrence is necessary.

Hence, it clearly appears, that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy, in controlling the effects of faction, is enjoyed by a large over a small republic,–is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it. Does the advantage consist in the substitution of representatives whose enlightened views and virtuous sentiments render them superior to local prejudices and schemes of injustice? It will not be denied that the representation of the Union will be most likely to possess these requisite endowments. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties, against the event of any one party being able to outnumber and oppress the rest? In an equal degree does the increased variety of parties comprised within the Union, increase this security. Does it, in fine, consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority? Here, again, the extent of the Union gives it the most palpable advantage.

The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States. A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction in a part of the Confederacy; but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it must secure the national councils against any danger from that source. A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State.

In the extent and proper structure of the Union, therefore, we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans, ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists.

Be sure to visit Constituting America for more thoughts and essays on the Constitution and The Federalist.

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Constituting America: The Federalist Papers: Federalist 9

The definition of a CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC seems simply to be “an assemblage of societies,” or an association of two or more states into one state. The extent, modifications, and objects of the federal authority are mere matters of discretion. So long as the separate organization of the members be not abolished; so long as it exists, by a constitutional necessity, for local purposes; though it should be in perfect subordination to the general authority of the union, it would still be, in fact and in theory, an association of states, or a confederacy. The proposed Constitution, so far from implying an abolition of the State governments, makes them constituent parts of the national sovereignty, by allowing them a direct representation in the Senate, and leaves in their possession certain exclusive and very important portions of sovereign power. This fully corresponds, in every rational import of the terms, with the idea of a federal government

~Alexander Hamilton

Today brings us Federalist 9, and Hamilton, who frankly speaks in a loftier tone than I prefer, nails it all down. While still talking about the benefits of union vs the dangers of the several states going it alone, Federalist 9 is where Hamilton really starts to clarify the concept of the republican form of government.

After spending a bit of time going over the epic failure of once glowing civilizations, and how glory is fleeting, Hamilton gets right into how he and the other founders envisioned the greatest nation the world has ever known.

Hamilton goes into great detail describing the representative republican form of government and the confederacy of the several states. As we often mention in discussions nowadays concerning Tenth Amendment rights, states’ rights, the United States is exactly what it sounds like, a group of sovereign, mostly independent states, that came together, of their own free will, to form a confederation for the mutual benefit of all. The basic “strength in numbers” idea.

The idea being built on the fact that man gets all of his rights from Nature’s God, but will cede a minimal amount of control, for the benefit of civil society as a whole. Taking this further, the sovereign states agreed, in concept, to give up a small amount of power and control, to a central government, for the mutual benefit of the confederacy. In other words, the several states were still strong and had almost complete control of affairs within their own borders, so long as it didn’t violate certain basics rights of all, or adversely effect another state or the republic as a whole.

Obviously, this is important reading for our time. One of the biggest issues of our day is states’ rights, and the gradual erosion of those rights in the last century. With the advent of Marxism, “progressivism” if you will, in the early 20th century, we saw Big Government types, Statists, insist on growing the federal government at an alarming rate, and seizing power once reserved to the several states, for themselves.

This is a very dangerous situation and one our founders worried of greatly. With the election of Barack Obama, a Marxist, raised from birth by hard core anti-American communists, our founder’s greatest fears may come to pass if the Obama regime, and Marxist-progressivism is not fully abated.

Hamilton also speaks to a system of checks and balances in a way many Americans may not have considered, especially younger Americans who have no experience with a weaker federal government, one that didn’t seek to involve itself in the incredible minutia of everyday life. One that didn’t seek to control where we live, what we eat, what we drive, and so on.

We are all familiar with the concept of checks and balances as it applies to the Constitution, and the federal government. We know the three separate branches of government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial are, at least in theory…equal.

The concept that many miss, but Hamilton speaks to here, is the strong check to power the sovereignty of the several states offer. As designed, the states were at least as strong, if not stronger than the central government. Under our system, at least as envisioned, the several states have the ability to push back against unfair and unjust power grabs. The Civil War, rightly or wrongly, was a push back against what the South saw as an encroachment of states’ rights, a violation of the Tenth Amendment.

Some would say it was push back to the extreme, and it’s hard to argue against that. But just as Jefferson wrote:… “When the people fear government, there is tyranny, and when the government fears the people, there is Freedom and Liberty”… when talking about individual Freedom and Liberty, that same concept once held true with the relations between the federal government and the several states. There existed a mutual respect for each other’s place in the grand scheme of things.

The erosion of states didn’t just start, it’s been going on for quite some time, but it is at a fever pitch now. As we have all witnessed, Barack Obama isn’t just a run of the mill Big Government Statist of the kind that sadly exist in both political parties, indeed he is a Marxist authoritarian who seeks to not only render out very Constitution invalid and unused, he is intent on building a strong, heavy handed, central command and control government that involves itself not only in the minutia of state government, but every little facet of each individual’s life. Complete and total authoritarian control. A dictatorship, no matter how you chose to “pretty it up”

We are seeing some life though. With the great constitutional usurpation, and unprecedented power grab the Obama regime just shoved down America’s throat, disguised as ,i>”health care reform” we are seeing the states stand up again.

At last count, twenty states, representing roughly 45% of the nation’s population, have filed suit against the federal government to stop the implementation of this unholy and incredibly destructive legislation. Look for more to follow.

Now let’s look to Arizona and illegal immigration. The United States is under invasion and the federal government has simply refused to protect the nation, one of the only real jobs spelled out in the Constitution. It’s not just Obama, though he is making it worse by playing to racial tensions for political gain. We haven’t had a President since Eisenhower who took illegal immigration seriously.

This is a real problem on many levels. First and foremost, these invaders are breaking the law. We are the only nation on earth without severe penalties for crossing the border illegally. Check out Mexico’s laws sometime if you want a dose of reality.

Anther issue is a human rights issue. These illegals…those who only come to work, and not commit even further crimes, are held as little more than indentured slaves. Unable to enjoy the protections offered to citizens, and legal residents, they are at the mercy of whoever employs them, and provides them with a place to live. Not a good life.

Then of course there is the crime, serious crime, that crosses the border with these invaders. We lose over 2000 a year, murdered by illegals. That’s like having 3/4 of September 11, 2001, every single year. And this doesn’t count the injuries, rapes, identity theft, and so on. Nor does it take into consideration many of the diseases once wiped out in America, these illegals, who haven’t benefitted from proper inoculations, and other preventative care, these invaders bring with them.

The most basic problem though, is for purely political reasons, government, at almost all levels, has consciously decided to ignore the Rule of Law. Once a nation loses the Rule of Law, it’s over.

With that in mind, and facing some of the most horrific aspects of illegal immigrations, Phoenix being the nation’s kidnaping capital, for instance, Arizona’s legislature passed a law, which mirror’s federal law, BTW, empowering Arizona law enforcement to do the job the federal government refuses to do, in violation of it’s constitutional duties.

Both the health care issues, as well as Arizona’s tough stance against the federal government on enforcement of the Rule of Law, are signs that the several states are becoming more aware of not only their rights, but their obligations to serve as another check and balance to an overreaching, out of control federal government.



Federalist No. 9

The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection

For the Independent Journal.

Author: Alexander Hamilton

To the People of the State of New York:

A FIRM Union will be of the utmost moment to the peace and liberty of the States, as a barrier against domestic faction and insurrection. It is impossible to read the history of the petty republics of Greece and Italy without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were continually agitated, and at the rapid succession of revolutions by which they were kept in a state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy. If they exhibit occasional calms, these only serve as short-lived contrast to the furious storms that are to succeed. If now and then intervals of felicity open to view, we behold them with a mixture of regret, arising from the reflection that the pleasing scenes before us are soon to be overwhelmed by the tempestuous waves of sedition and party rage. If momentary rays of glory break forth from the gloom, while they dazzle us with a transient and fleeting brilliancy, they at the same time admonish us to lament that the vices of government should pervert the direction and tarnish the lustre of those bright talents and exalted endowments for which the favored soils that produced them have been so justly celebrated.

From the disorders that disfigure the annals of those republics the advocates of despotism have drawn arguments, not only against the forms of republican government, but against the very principles of civil liberty. They have decried all free government as inconsistent with the order of society, and have indulged themselves in malicious exultation over its friends and partisans. Happily for mankind, stupendous fabrics reared on the basis of liberty, which have flourished for ages, have, in a few glorious instances, refuted their gloomy sophisms. And, I trust, America will be the broad and solid foundation of other edifices, not less magnificent, which will be equally permanent monuments of their errors.

But it is not to be denied that the portraits they have sketched of republican government were too just copies of the originals from which they were taken. If it had been found impracticable to have devised models of a more perfect structure, the enlightened friends to liberty would have been obliged to abandon the cause of that species of government as indefensible. The science of politics, however, like most other sciences, has received great improvement. The efficacy of various principles is now well understood, which were either not known at all, or imperfectly known to the ancients. The regular distribution of power into distinct departments; the introduction of legislative balances and checks; the institution of courts composed of judges holding their offices during good behavior; the representation of the people in the legislature by deputies of their own election: these are wholly new discoveries, or have made their principal progress towards perfection in modern times. They are means, and powerful means, by which the excellences of republican government may be retained and its imperfections lessened or avoided. To this catalogue of circumstances that tend to the amelioration of popular systems of civil government, I shall venture, however novel it may appear to some, to add one more, on a principle which has been made the foundation of an objection to the new Constitution; I mean the ENLARGEMENT of the ORBIT within which such systems are to revolve, either in respect to the dimensions of a single State or to the consolidation of several smaller States into one great Confederacy. The latter is that which immediately concerns the object under consideration. It will, however, be of use to examine the principle in its application to a single State, which shall be attended to in another place.

The utility of a Confederacy, as well to suppress faction and to guard the internal tranquillity of States, as to increase their external force and security, is in reality not a new idea. It has been practiced upon in different countries and ages, and has received the sanction of the most approved writers on the subject of politics. The opponents of the plan proposed have, with great assiduity, cited and circulated the observations of Montesquieu on the necessity of a contracted territory for a republican government. But they seem not to have been apprised of the sentiments of that great man expressed in another part of his work, nor to have adverted to the consequences of the principle to which they subscribe with such ready acquiescence.

When Montesquieu recommends a small extent for republics, the standards he had in view were of dimensions far short of the limits of almost every one of these States. Neither Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, nor Georgia can by any means be compared with the models from which he reasoned and to which the terms of his description apply. If we therefore take his ideas on this point as the criterion of truth, we shall be driven to the alternative either of taking refuge at once in the arms of monarchy, or of splitting ourselves into an infinity of little, jealous, clashing, tumultuous commonwealths, the wretched nurseries of unceasing discord, and the miserable objects of universal pity or contempt. Some of the writers who have come forward on the other side of the question seem to have been aware of the dilemma; and have even been bold enough to hint at the division of the larger States as a desirable thing. Such an infatuated policy, such a desperate expedient, might, by the multiplication of petty offices, answer the views of men who possess not qualifications to extend their influence beyond the narrow circles of personal intrigue, but it could never promote the greatness or happiness of the people of America.

Referring the examination of the principle itself to another place, as has been already mentioned, it will be sufficient to remark here that, in the sense of the author who has been most emphatically quoted upon the occasion, it would only dictate a reduction of the SIZE of the more considerable MEMBERS of the Union, but would not militate against their being all comprehended in one confederate government. And this is the true question, in the discussion of which we are at present interested.

So far are the suggestions of Montesquieu from standing in opposition to a general Union of the States, that he explicitly treats of a CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC as the expedient for extending the sphere of popular government, and reconciling the advantages of monarchy with those of republicanism.

It is very probable,” (says he [1] ) “that mankind would have been obliged at length to live constantly under the government of a single person, had they not contrived a kind of constitution that has all the internal advantages of a republican, together with the external force of a monarchical government. I mean a CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC.

This form of government is a convention by which several smaller STATES agree to become members of a larger ONE, which they intend to form. It is a kind of assemblage of societies that constitute a new one, capable of increasing, by means of new associations, till they arrive to such a degree of power as to be able to provide for the security of the united body.

A republic of this kind, able to withstand an external force, may support itself without any internal corruptions. The form of this society prevents all manner of inconveniences.

If a single member should attempt to usurp the supreme authority, he could not be supposed to have an equal authority and credit in all the confederate states. Were he to have too great influence over one, this would alarm the rest. Were he to subdue a part, that which would still remain free might oppose him with forces independent of those which he had usurped and overpower him before he could be settled in his usurpation.

Should a popular insurrection happen in one of the confederate states the others are able to quell it. Should abuses creep into one part, they are reformed by those that remain sound. The state may be destroyed on one side, and not on the other; the confederacy may be dissolved, and the confederates preserve their sovereignty.

As this government is composed of small republics, it enjoys the internal happiness of each; and with respect to its external situation, it is possessed, by means of the association, of all the advantages of large monarchies.”

I have thought it proper to quote at length these interesting passages, because they contain a luminous abridgment of the principal arguments in favor of the Union, and must effectually remove the false impressions which a misapplication of other parts of the work was calculated to make. They have, at the same time, an intimate connection with the more immediate design of this paper; which is, to illustrate the tendency of the Union to repress domestic faction and insurrection.

A distinction, more subtle than accurate, has been raised between a CONFEDERACY and a CONSOLIDATION of the States. The essential characteristic of the first is said to be, the restriction of its authority to the members in their collective capacities, without reaching to the individuals of whom they are composed. It is contended that the national council ought to have no concern with any object of internal administration. An exact equality of suffrage between the members has also been insisted upon as a leading feature of a confederate government. These positions are, in the main, arbitrary; they are supported neither by principle nor precedent. It has indeed happened, that governments of this kind have generally operated in the manner which the distinction taken notice of, supposes to be inherent in their nature; but there have been in most of them extensive exceptions to the practice, which serve to prove, as far as example will go, that there is no absolute rule on the subject. And it will be clearly shown in the course of this investigation that as far as the principle contended for has prevailed, it has been the cause of incurable disorder and imbecility in the government.

The definition of a CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC seems simply to be “an assemblage of societies,” or an association of two or more states into one state. The extent, modifications, and objects of the federal authority are mere matters of discretion. So long as the separate organization of the members be not abolished; so long as it exists, by a constitutional necessity, for local purposes; though it should be in perfect subordination to the general authority of the union, it would still be, in fact and in theory, an association of states, or a confederacy. The proposed Constitution, so far from implying an abolition of the State governments, makes them constituent parts of the national sovereignty, by allowing them a direct representation in the Senate, and leaves in their possession certain exclusive and very important portions of sovereign power. This fully corresponds, in every rational import of the terms, with 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, those of the middle class to TWO, and the smallest to ONE. The COMMON COUNCIL had the appointment of all the judges and magistrates of the respective CITIES. This was certainly the most, delicate species of interference in their internal administration; for if there be any thing that seems exclusively appropriated to the local jurisdictions, it is the appointment of their own officers. Yet Montesquieu, speaking of this association, says: “Were I to give a model of an excellent Confederate Republic, it would be that of Lycia.” Thus we perceive that the distinctions insisted upon were not within the contemplation of this enlightened civilian; and we shall be led to conclude, that they are the novel refinements of an erroneous theory.


PUBLIUS.

1. “Spirit of Lawa,” vol. i., book ix., chap. I.

As we read continue our amazing journey, reading the Constitution and The Federalist, it becomes quite clear that our founders were men of great wisdom and great foresight. It also becomes quite clear that the nation, and especially our so-called leaders, really need this re-introduction, this constituting of America.

Federalist 9 answers a whole lot of questions concerning how our founders looked at the balance of power in our nation and just how far we have strayed.

On Monday we will continue to explore this subject, in Federalist 10, from the perspective of James Madison. In the meantime visit the Constituting America website for more essays and information.

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Constituting America: The Federalist Papers: Federalist 8

In Federalist 8, Hamilton again talks of the dangers of disunity. As it has become quite obvious, there were many who, despite having fought hard to win Freedom and Liberty, to birth a Nation, wanted to then break it all up.

Hamilton goes into greater detail in Federalist 8 than previously, even painting a more dire circumstance than John Jay.

The concerns, obviously, were those rooted in security and safety. It was of great concern that not only would the several states be wide open to invasion from foreign interlopers, but from each other as well.

As Hamilton lays it out we see the folly of new nations, and the lack of a real military apparatus, vs mature nations with seasoned armies and solid fortifications. Then, as now, having a strong, well trained, and well equipped military was one of the very best deterrents to hostilities.

Another concern, one that is most certainly with us today, is the knowledge that war, by nature, tends to give the Executive more power than the Legislature. After all, the head of state, be he the President of a Republic, or a monarch or dictator, is also the Commander-In-Chief of all forces. Having that distinction gives the Executive certain liberties to carry out his duty as C-I-C.

Hamilton foresaw a situation where a divided America, with small nation states, would be all but perpetually at war. While that is distressing enough, it would most certainly lead to an overbearing Executive, which can easily see a nation change into a dictatorship.

We have seen this all throughout history where evil men, with an unhealthy ambition for power, have been popularly elected, then once in office use circumstances to gain more Executive power, often with the blessing of the people, at first. Of course, at some point the Executive becomes so powerful that the normal checks and balances that intelligent constitutions provide, are rendered null and void, totally ineffective.

The solution, as our founders saw it, was to remain united under a solid, intelligent Constitution, that offered the people protection for their Freedom and Liberty, and by nature would serve to stop many conflicts before they started.

As we have been talking about, this sort of thing applies today, but a tad differently. The Obama regime is all about dividing the nation. Oh, Obama doesn’t want a bunch of separate nation states, in fact, just the opposite, Obama sees a time when our current Constitution will cease to exist, or be rendered so ineffective by judicial fiat that it might as well not exist.

You can read more about that coming constitutional crisis here.

Obama wants to establish a strong central command and control sort of government, a defacto dictatorship, where one party, Marxist rule, is the norm.

Obama is doing this by dividing the nation’s people against one another. Obama is using race as a great divider. Not only is he playing black against white, with the heated debate on how to stop illegal immigration, and what to do with all of the illegal invaders who are in our nation, Obama now seeks to use this debate to turn everyone against the Hispanics, even those who are Americans.

This is a very dangerous game Obama, his thug government, and those who support him are playing. While taking great pains to sew hate and discontent throughout the land, Obama is dividing America into small, easily manageable (and conquerable) groups. It is the Obama regime’s great hope that at some point racial tensions, along with all out class warfare, will descend into some sort of armed conflict between one or more, if not all of the groups, thus giving Obama an excuse to expand the power of the Executive to “regain control of the nation.

This will be nothing less than a coup d’état.

Obama, and his party are nothing short of evil. These people thirst for power and control, as well as great riches like no others in our nation’s history, and will use every excuse, every crisis, every single opportunity, to advance their cause.

Of course, they don’t want to gain power and riches through hard, productive work. No, no…Obama and his cronies seek to subjugate the American people and once conquered, simply take what they wish, and leave America a shell of what she once was. These parasites have no regard for the host whatsoever.

This is why Americans, ALL Americans, who love this great nation, and do not want to see it destroyed, need to come together and defeat this great evil that has gripped the nation. It’s time to really reflect on the wisdom of founders like Hamilton:


Federalist No. 8

The Consequences of Hostilities Between the States

From the New York Packet.

Tuesday, November 20, 1787.

Author: Alexander Hamilton

To the People of the State of New York:

ASSUMING it therefore as an established truth that the several States, in case of disunion, or such combinations of them as might happen to be formed out of the wreck of the general Confederacy, would be subject to those vicissitudes of peace and war, of friendship and enmity, with each other, which have fallen to the lot of all neighboring nations not united under one government, let us enter into a concise detail of some of the consequences that would attend such a situation.

War between the States, in the first period of their separate existence, would be accompanied with much greater distresses than it commonly is in those countries where regular military establishments have long obtained. The disciplined armies always kept on foot on the continent of Europe, though they bear a malignant aspect to liberty and economy, have, notwithstanding, been productive of the signal advantage of rendering sudden conquests impracticable, and of preventing that rapid desolation which used to mark the progress of war prior to their introduction. The art of fortification has contributed to the same ends. The nations of Europe are encircled with chains of fortified places, which mutually obstruct invasion. Campaigns are wasted in reducing two or three frontier garrisons, to gain admittance into an enemy’s country. Similar impediments occur at every step, to exhaust the strength and delay the progress of an invader. Formerly, an invading army would penetrate into the heart of a neighboring country almost as soon as intelligence of its approach could be received; but now a comparatively small force of disciplined troops, acting on the defensive, with the aid of posts, is able to impede, and finally to frustrate, the enterprises of one much more considerable. The history of war, in that quarter of the globe, is no longer a history of nations subdued and empires overturned, but of towns taken and retaken; of battles that decide nothing; of retreats more beneficial than victories; of much effort and little acquisition.

In this country the scene would be altogether reversed. The jealousy of military establishments would postpone them as long as possible. The want of fortifications, leaving the frontiers of one state open to another, would facilitate inroads. The populous States would, with little difficulty, overrun their less populous neighbors. Conquests would be as easy to be made as difficult to be retained. War, therefore, would be desultory and predatory. PLUNDER and devastation ever march in the train of irregulars. The calamities of individuals would make the principal figure in the events which would characterize our military exploits.

This picture is not too highly wrought; though, I confess, it would not long remain a just one. Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.

The institutions chiefly alluded to are STANDING ARMIES and the correspondent appendages of military establishments. Standing armies, it is said, are not provided against in the new Constitution; and it is therefore inferred that they may exist under it. [1] Their existence, however, from the very terms of the proposition, is, at most, problematical and uncertain. But standing armies, it may be replied, must inevitably result from a dissolution of the Confederacy. Frequent war and constant apprehension, which require a state of as constant preparation, will infallibly produce them. The weaker States or confederacies would first have recourse to them, to put themselves upon an equality with their more potent neighbors. They would endeavor to supply the inferiority of population and resources by a more regular and effective system of defense, by disciplined troops, and by fortifications. They would, at the same time, be necessitated to strengthen the executive arm of government, in doing which their constitutions would acquire a progressive direction toward monarchy. It is of the nature of war to increase the executive at the expense of the legislative authority.

The expedients which have been mentioned would soon give the States or confederacies that made use of them a superiority over their neighbors. Small states, or states of less natural strength, under vigorous governments, and with the assistance of disciplined armies, have often triumphed over large states, or states of greater natural strength, which have been destitute of these advantages. Neither the pride nor the safety of the more important States or confederacies would permit them long to submit to this mortifying and adventitious superiority. They would quickly resort to means similar to those by which it had been effected, to reinstate themselves in their lost pre-eminence. Thus, we should, in a little time, see established in every part of this country the same engines of despotism which have been the scourge of the Old World. This, at least, would be the natural course of things; and our reasonings will be the more likely to be just, in proportion as they are accommodated to this standard.

These are not vague inferences drawn from supposed or speculative defects in a Constitution, the whole power of which is lodged in the hands of a people, or their representatives and delegates, but they are solid conclusions, drawn from the natural and necessary progress of human affairs.

It may, perhaps, be asked, by way of objection to this, why did not standing armies spring up out of the contentions which so often distracted the ancient republics of Greece? Different answers, equally satisfactory, may be given to this question. The industrious habits of the people of the present day, absorbed in the pursuits of gain, and devoted to the improvements of agriculture and commerce, are incompatible with the condition of a nation of soldiers, which was the true condition of the people of those republics. The means of revenue, which have been so greatly multiplied by the increase of gold and silver and of the arts of industry, and the science of finance, which is the offspring of modern times, concurring with the habits of nations, have produced an entire revolution in the system of war, and have rendered disciplined armies, distinct from the body of the citizens, the inseparable companions of frequent hostility.

There is a wide difference, also, between military establishments in a country seldom exposed by its situation to internal invasions, and in one which is often subject to them, and always apprehensive of them. The rulers of the former can have a good pretext, if they are even so inclined, to keep on foot armies so numerous as must of necessity be maintained in the latter. These armies being, in the first case, rarely, if at all, called into activity for interior defense, the people are in no danger of being broken to military subordination. The laws are not accustomed to relaxations, in favor of military exigencies; the civil state remains in full vigor, neither corrupted, nor confounded with the principles or propensities of the other state. The smallness of the army renders the natural strength of the community an over-match for it; and the citizens, not habituated to look up to the military power for protection, or to submit to its oppressions, neither love nor fear the soldiery; they view them with a spirit of jealous acquiescence in a necessary evil, and stand ready to resist a power which they suppose may be exerted to the prejudice of their rights. The army under such circumstances may usefully aid the magistrate to suppress a small faction, or an occasional mob, or insurrection; but it will be unable to enforce encroachments against the united efforts of the great body of the people.

In a country in the predicament last described, the contrary of all this happens. The perpetual menacings of danger oblige the government to be always prepared to repel it; its armies must be numerous enough for instant defense. The continual necessity for their services enhances the importance of the soldier, and proportionably degrades the condition of the citizen. The military state becomes elevated above the civil. The inhabitants of territories, often the theatre of war, are unavoidably subjected to frequent infringements on their rights, which serve to weaken their sense of those rights; and by degrees the people are brought to consider the soldiery not only as their protectors, but as their superiors. The transition from this disposition to that of considering them masters, is neither remote nor difficult; but it is very difficult to prevail upon a people under such impressions, to make a bold or effectual resistance to usurpations supported by the military power.

The kingdom of Great Britain falls within the first description. An insular situation, and a powerful marine, guarding it in a great measure against the possibility of foreign invasion, supersede the necessity of a numerous army within the kingdom. A sufficient force to make head against a sudden descent, till the militia could have time to rally and embody, is all that has been deemed requisite. No motive of national policy has demanded, nor would public opinion have tolerated, a larger number of troops upon its domestic establishment. There has been, for a long time past, little room for the operation of the other causes, which have been enumerated as the consequences of internal war. This peculiar felicity of situation has, in a great degree, contributed to preserve the liberty which that country to this day enjoys, in spite of the prevalent venality and corruption. If, on the contrary, Britain had been situated on the continent, and had been compelled, as she would have been, by that situation, to make her military establishments at home coextensive with those of the other great powers of Europe, she, like them, would in all probability be, at this day, a victim to the absolute power of a single man. ‘T is possible, though not easy, that the people of that island may be enslaved from other causes; but it cannot be by the prowess of an army so inconsiderable as that which has been usually kept up within the kingdom.

If we are wise enough to preserve the Union we may for ages enjoy an advantage similar to that of an insulated situation. Europe is at a great distance from us. Her colonies in our vicinity will be likely to continue too much disproportioned in strength to be able to give us any dangerous annoyance. Extensive military establishments cannot, in this position, be necessary to our security. But if we should be disunited, and the integral parts should either remain separated, or, which is most probable, should be thrown together into two or three confederacies, we should be, in a short course of time, in the predicament of the continental powers of Europe –our liberties would be a prey to the means of defending ourselves against the ambition and jealousy of each other.

This is an idea not superficial or futile, but solid and weighty. It deserves the most serious and mature consideration of every prudent and honest man of whatever party. If such men will make a firm and solemn pause, and meditate dispassionately on the importance of this interesting idea; if they will contemplate it in all its attitudes, and trace it to all its consequences, they will not hesitate to part with trivial objections to a Constitution, the rejection of which would in all probability put a final period to the Union. The airy phantoms that flit before the distempered imaginations of some of its adversaries would quickly give place to the more substantial forms of dangers, real, certain, and formidable.


PUBLIUS.

1. This objection will be fully examined in its proper place, and it will be shown that the only natural precaution which could have been taken on this subject has been taken; and a much better one than is to be found in any constitution that has been heretofore framed in America, most of which contain no guard at all on this subject.

As always, don’t forget to visit Constituting America to read more essays on the Constitution and the Federalist Papers.

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Constituting America: The Federalist Papers: Federalist 7

Federalist 7 is a continuation on the theme of unity vs the break up of the nation into individual nation states, or groups of such. It’s always striking to me, that after a hard won Independence, so many of the states actually wanted to free themselves from the ties that bound them into battle.

Here Hamilton discusses some of the very real issues faced by the several states, and the already brewing conflicts between some. Though in a different context, it’s interesting to see that huge debt, and how to pay for it, played a large role in all of this.

It’s a real testament to the men who founded our nation, and wrote our truly unique Constitution, that in the days before real mass communication they were able to bring such a divided nation together. These were true leaders.

It’s notable today how the Obama regime is doing the exact opposite, with the benefit of a pliant media. Obama and his media partners are using the power of communication to divide our nation, to start conflicts between many groups, to drive a wedge between Americans.

As both Hamilton and Jay extensively warn, a divided people are subject to great harm. Obama and his gangster government know this as well. It’s why he and his people seemingly work overtime at sowing the seeds of hatred between many different groups. He is masterfully pitting American against American at the very time we should all be coming together and be stronger than ever. This is an incredibly evil proposition.

Of course, should all Americans come together again, as we once were, and speak in one voice, the Obama regime will be no more. This is why we must find a way to put petty grievances on hold, as difficult as that may be, and unite against the enemies of Freedom and Liberty, before it is too late.

Federalist No. 7

The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the States

For the Independent Journal.

Author: Alexander Hamilton

To the People of the State of New York:

IT IS sometimes asked, with an air of seeming triumph, what inducements could the States have, if disunited, to make war upon each other? It would be a full answer to this question to say–precisely the same inducements which have, at different times, deluged in blood all the nations in the world. But, unfortunately for us, the question admits of a more particular answer. There are causes of differences within our immediate contemplation, of the tendency of which, even under the restraints of a federal constitution, we have had sufficient experience to enable us to form a judgment of what might be expected if those restraints were removed.

Territorial disputes have at all times been found one of the most fertile sources of hostility among nations. Perhaps the greatest proportion of wars that have desolated the earth have sprung from this origin. This cause would exist among us in full force. We have a vast tract of unsettled territory within the boundaries of the United States. There still are discordant and undecided claims between several of them, and the dissolution of the Union would lay a foundation for similar claims between them all. It is well known that they have heretofore had serious and animated discussion concerning the rights to the lands which were ungranted at the time of the Revolution, and which usually went under the name of crown lands. The States within the limits of whose colonial governments they were comprised have claimed them as their property, the others have contended that the rights of the crown in this article devolved upon the Union; especially as to all that part of the Western territory which, either by actual possession, or through the submission of the Indian proprietors, was subjected to the jurisdiction of the king of Great Britain, till it was relinquished in the treaty of peace. This, it has been said, was at all events an acquisition to the Confederacy by compact with a foreign power. It has been the prudent policy of Congress to appease this controversy, by prevailing upon the States to make cessions to the United States for the benefit of the whole. This has been so far accomplished as, under a continuation of the Union, to afford a decided prospect of an amicable termination of the dispute. A dismemberment of the Confederacy, however, would revive this dispute, and would create others on the same subject. At present, a large part of the vacant Western territory is, by cession at least, if not by any anterior right, the common property of the Union. If that were at an end, the States which made the cession, on a principle of federal compromise, would be apt when the motive of the grant had ceased, to reclaim the lands as a reversion. The other States would no doubt insist on a proportion, by right of representation. Their argument would be, that a grant, once made, could not be revoked; and that the justice of participating in territory acquired or secured by the joint efforts of the Confederacy, remained undiminished. If, contrary to probability, it should be admitted by all the States, that each had a right to a share of this common stock, there would still be a difficulty to be surmounted, as to a proper rule of apportionment. Different principles would be set up by different States for this purpose; and as they would affect the opposite interests of the parties, they might not easily be susceptible of a pacific adjustment.

In the wide field of Western territory, therefore, we perceive an ample theatre for hostile pretensions, without any umpire or common judge to interpose between the contending parties. To reason from the past to the future, we shall have good ground to apprehend, that the sword would sometimes be appealed to as the arbiter of their differences. The circumstances of the dispute between Connecticut and Pennsylvania, respecting the land at Wyoming, admonish us not to be sanguine in expecting an easy accommodation of such differences. The articles of confederation obliged the parties to submit the matter to the decision of a federal court. The submission was made, and the court decided in favor of Pennsylvania. But Connecticut gave strong indications of dissatisfaction with that determination; nor did she appear to be entirely resigned to it, till, by negotiation and management, something like an equivalent was found for the loss she supposed herself to have sustained. Nothing here said is intended to convey the slightest censure on the conduct of that State. She no doubt sincerely believed herself to have been injured by the decision; and States, like individuals, acquiesce with great reluctance in determinations to their disadvantage.

Those who had an opportunity of seeing the inside of the transactions which attended the progress of the controversy between this State and the district of Vermont, can vouch the opposition we experienced, as well from States not interested as from those which were interested in the claim; and can attest the danger to which the peace of the Confederacy might have been exposed, had this State attempted to assert its rights by force. Two motives preponderated in that opposition: one, a jealousy entertained of our future power; and the other, the interest of certain individuals of influence in the neighboring States, who had obtained grants of lands under the actual government of that district. Even the States which brought forward claims, in contradiction to ours, seemed more solicitous to dismember this State, than to establish their own pretensions. These were New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. New Jersey and Rhode Island, upon all occasions, discovered a warm zeal for the independence of Vermont; and Maryland, till alarmed by the appearance of a connection between Canada and that State, entered deeply into the same views. These being small States, saw with an unfriendly eye the perspective of our growing greatness. In a review of these transactions we may trace some of the causes which would be likely to embroil the States with each other, if it should be their unpropitious destiny to become disunited.

The competitions of commerce would be another fruitful source of contention. The States less favorably circumstanced would be desirous of escaping from the disadvantages of local situation, and of sharing in the advantages of their more fortunate neighbors. Each State, or separate confederacy, would pursue a system of commercial policy peculiar to itself. This would occasion distinctions, preferences, and exclusions, which would beget discontent. The habits of intercourse, on the basis of equal privileges, to which we have been accustomed since the earliest settlement of the country, would give a keener edge to those causes of discontent than they would naturally have independent of this circumstance. WE SHOULD BE READY TO DENOMINATE INJURIES THOSE THINGS WHICH WERE IN REALITY THE JUSTIFIABLE ACTS OF INDEPENDENT SOVEREIGNTIES CONSULTING A DISTINCT INTEREST. The spirit of enterprise, which characterizes the commercial part of America, has left no occasion of displaying itself unimproved. It is not at all probable that this unbridled spirit would pay much respect to those regulations of trade by which particular States might endeavor to secure exclusive benefits to their own citizens. The infractions of these regulations, on one side, the efforts to prevent and repel them, on the other, would naturally lead to outrages, and these to reprisals and wars.

The opportunities which some States would have of rendering others tributary to them by commercial regulations would be impatiently submitted to by the tributary States. The relative situation of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey would afford an example of this kind. New York, from the necessities of revenue, must lay duties on her importations. A great part of these duties must be paid by the inhabitants of the two other States in the capacity of consumers of what we import. New York would neither be willing nor able to forego this advantage. Her citizens would not consent that a duty paid by them should be remitted in favor of the citizens of her neighbors; nor would it be practicable, if there were not this impediment in the way, to distinguish the customers in our own markets. Would Connecticut and New Jersey long submit to be taxed by New York for her exclusive benefit? Should we be long permitted to remain in the quiet and undisturbed enjoyment of a metropolis, from the possession of which we derived an advantage so odious to our neighbors, and, in their opinion, so oppressive? Should we be able to preserve it against the incumbent weight of Connecticut on the one side, and the co-operating pressure of New Jersey on the other? These are questions that temerity alone will answer in the affirmative.

The public debt of the Union would be a further cause of collision between the separate States or confederacies. The apportionment, in the first instance, and the progressive extinguishment afterward, would be alike productive of ill-humor and animosity. How would it be possible to agree upon a rule of apportionment satisfactory to all? There is scarcely any that can be proposed which is entirely free from real objections. These, as usual, would be exaggerated by the adverse interest of the parties. There are even dissimilar views among the States as to the general principle of discharging the public debt. Some of them, either less impressed with the importance of national credit, or because their citizens have little, if any, immediate interest in the question, feel an indifference, if not a repugnance, to the payment of the domestic debt at any rate. These would be inclined to magnify the difficulties of a distribution. Others of them, a numerous body of whose citizens are creditors to the public beyond proportion of the State in the total amount of the national debt, would be strenuous for some equitable and effective provision. The procrastinations of the former would excite the resentments of the latter. The settlement of a rule would, in the meantime, be postponed by real differences of opinion and affected delays. The citizens of the States interested would clamour; foreign powers would urge for the satisfaction of their just demands, and the peace of the States would be hazarded to the double contingency of external invasion and internal contention.

Suppose the difficulties of agreeing upon a rule surmounted, and the apportionment made. Still there is great room to suppose that the rule agreed upon would, upon experiment, be found to bear harder upon some States than upon others. Those which were sufferers by it would naturally seek for a mitigation of the burden. The others would as naturally be disinclined to a revision, which was likely to end in an increase of their own incumbrances. Their refusal would be too plausible a pretext to the complaining States to withhold their contributions, not to be embraced with avidity; and the non-compliance of these States with their engagements would be a ground of bitter discussion and altercation. If even the rule adopted should in practice justify the equality of its principle, still delinquencies in payments on the part of some of the States would result from a diversity of other causes–the real deficiency of resources; the mismanagement of their finances; accidental disorders in the management of the government; and, in addition to the rest, the reluctance with which men commonly part with money for purposes that have outlived the exigencies which produced them, and interfere with the supply of immediate wants. Delinquencies, from whatever causes, would be productive of complaints, recriminations, and quarrels. There is, perhaps, nothing more likely to disturb the tranquillity of nations than their being bound to mutual contributions for any common object that does not yield an equal and coincident benefit. For it is an observation, as true as it is trite, that there is nothing men differ so readily about as the payment of money.

Laws in violation of private contracts, as they amount to aggressions on the rights of those States whose citizens are injured by them, may be considered as another probable source of hostility. We are not authorized to expect that a more liberal or more equitable spirit would preside over the legislations of the individual States hereafter, if unrestrained by any additional checks, than we have heretofore seen in too many instances disgracing their several codes. We have observed the disposition to retaliation excited in Connecticut in consequence of the enormities perpetrated by the Legislature of Rhode Island; and we reasonably infer that, in similar cases, under other circumstances, a war, not of PARCHMENT, but of the sword, would chastise such atrocious breaches of moral obligation and social justice.

The probability of incompatible alliances between the different States or confederacies and different foreign nations, and the effects of this situation upon the peace of the whole, have been sufficiently unfolded in some preceding papers. From the view they have exhibited of this part of the subject, this conclusion is to be drawn, that America, if not connected at all, or only by the feeble tie of a simple league, offensive and defensive, would, by the operation of such jarring alliances, be gradually entangled in all the pernicious labyrinths of European politics and wars; and by the destructive contentions of the parts into which she was divided, would be likely to become a prey to the artifices and machinations of powers equally the enemies of them all. Divide et impera [1] must be the motto of every nation that either hates or fears us. [2]

PUBLIUS.

1. Divide and command.

2. In order that the whole subject of these papers may as soon as possible be laid before the public, it is proposed to publish them four times a week–on Tuesday in the New York Packet and on Thursday in the Daily Advertiser.

As always, you can find more information, and great discussion at Constituting America’s website here.

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Constituting America: The Federalist Papers: Federalist 6

In Federalist 6, Hamilton picks up on the theme of the dangers of becoming disunited as a nation that was started by John Jay. This time Hamilton notes that while there would be many dangers posed to a disunited people by foreign powers, perhaps the most danger would be fighting among the several states.

Hamilton gives real world examples of just such infighting, and how it negatively effected the nations involved. The main point being: The continuation of a United States, combined with a solid Constitution, would serve to prevent many of the issues that would naturally occur between neighboring nations.

This serves as a remainder that a united people can defeat any enemy, both foreign, or domestic, while a divided people are easy prey for those who would seek to harm them. As we all know, we now have a federal government ran by the most radical of men who seek to harm us all through various programs, and gain almost unlimited power and glory for themselves.

This is the most dangerous time in our nation’s history, at no time have Freedom and Liberty been in more danger of extinction. Never has Tyranny gained such a foothold. This is why we have called out to all people to set aside petty differences, at least momentarily, and focus on our mutual goals, for the preservation of the nation.

Federalist No. 6

Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the States

For the Independent Journal.

Author: Alexander Hamilton

To the People of the State of New York:

THE three last numbers of this paper have been dedicated to an enumeration of the dangers to which we should be exposed, in a state of disunion, from the arms and arts of foreign nations. I shall now proceed to delineate dangers of a different and, perhaps, still more alarming kind–those which will in all probability flow from dissensions between the States themselves, and from domestic factions and convulsions. These have been already in some instances slightly anticipated; but they deserve a more particular and more full investigation.

A man must be far gone in Utopian speculations who can seriously doubt that, if these States should either be wholly disunited, or only united in partial confederacies, the subdivisions into which they might be thrown would have frequent and violent contests with each other. To presume a want of motives for such contests as an argument against their existence, would be to forget that men are ambitious, vindictive, and rapacious. To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent, unconnected sovereignties in the same neighborhood, would be to disregard the uniform course of human events, and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of ages.

The causes of hostility among nations are innumerable. There are some which have a general and almost constant operation upon the collective bodies of society. Of this description are the love of power or the desire of pre-eminence and dominion–the jealousy of power, or the desire of equality and safety. There are others which have a more circumscribed though an equally operative influence within their spheres. Such are the rivalships and competitions of commerce between commercial nations. And there are others, not less numerous than either of the former, which take their origin entirely in private passions; in the attachments, enmities, interests, hopes, and fears of leading individuals in the communities of which they are members. Men of this class, whether the favorites of a king or of a people, have in too many instances abused the confidence they possessed; and assuming the pretext of some public motive, have not scrupled to sacrifice the national tranquillity to personal advantage or personal gratification.

The celebrated Pericles, in compliance with the resentment of a prostitute, [1] at the expense of much of the blood and treasure of his countrymen, attacked, vanquished, and destroyed the city of the SAMNIANS. The same man, stimulated by private pique against the MEGARENSIANS, [2] another nation of Greece, or to avoid a prosecution with which he was threatened as an accomplice of a supposed theft of the statuary Phidias, [3] or to get rid of the accusations prepared to be brought against him for dissipating the funds of the state in the purchase of popularity, [4] or from a combination of all these causes, was the primitive author of that famous and fatal war, distinguished in the Grecian annals by the name of the PELOPONNESIAN war; which, after various vicissitudes, intermissions, and renewals, terminated in the ruin of the Athenian commonwealth.

The ambitious cardinal, who was prime minister to Henry VIII., permitting his vanity to aspire to the triple crown, [5] entertained hopes of succeeding in the acquisition of that splendid prize by the influence of the Emperor Charles V. To secure the favor and interest of this enterprising and powerful monarch, he precipitated England into a war with France, contrary to the plainest dictates of policy, and at the hazard of the safety and independence, as well of the kingdom over which he presided by his counsels, as of Europe in general. For if there ever was a sovereign who bid fair to realize the project of universal monarchy, it was the Emperor Charles V., of whose intrigues Wolsey was at once the instrument and the dupe.

The influence which the bigotry of one female, [6] the petulance of another, [7] and the cabals of a third, [8] had in the contemporary policy, ferments, and pacifications, of a considerable part of Europe, are topics that have been too often descanted upon not to be generally known.

To multiply examples of the agency of personal considerations in the production of great national events, either foreign or domestic, according to their direction, would be an unnecessary waste of time. Those who have but a superficial acquaintance with the sources from which they are to be drawn, will themselves recollect a variety of instances; and those who have a tolerable knowledge of human nature will not stand in need of such lights to form their opinion either of the reality or extent of that agency. Perhaps, however, a reference, tending to illustrate the general principle, may with propriety be made to a case which has lately happened among ourselves. If Shays had not been a DESPERATE DEBTOR, it is much to be doubted whether Massachusetts would have been plunged into a civil war.

But notwithstanding the concurring testimony of experience, in this particular, there are still to be found visionary or designing men, who stand ready to advocate the paradox of perpetual peace between the States, though dismembered and alienated from each other. The genius of republics (say they) is pacific; the spirit of commerce has a tendency to soften the manners of men, and to extinguish those inflammable humors which have so often kindled into wars. Commercial republics, like ours, will never be disposed to waste themselves in ruinous contentions with each other. They will be governed by mutual interest, and will cultivate a spirit of mutual amity and concord.

Is it not (we may ask these projectors in politics) the true interest of all nations to cultivate the same benevolent and philosophic spirit? If this be their true interest, have they in fact pursued it? Has it not, on the contrary, invariably been found that momentary passions, and immediate interest, have a more active and imperious control over human conduct than general or remote considerations of policy, utility or justice? Have republics in practice been less addicted to war than monarchies? Are not the former administered by MEN as well as the latter? Are there not aversions, predilections, rivalships, and desires of unjust acquisitions, that affect nations as well as kings? Are not popular assemblies frequently subject to the impulses of rage, resentment, jealousy, avarice, and of other irregular and violent propensities? Is it not well known that their determinations are often governed by a few individuals in whom they place confidence, and are, of course, liable to be tinctured by the passions and views of those individuals? Has commerce hitherto done anything more than change the objects of war? Is not the love of wealth as domineering and enterprising a passion as that of power or glory? Have there not been as many wars founded upon commercial motives since that has become the prevailing system of nations, as were before occasioned by the cupidity of territory or dominion? Has not the spirit of commerce, in many instances, administered new incentives to the appetite, both for the one and for the other? Let experience, the least fallible guide of human opinions, be appealed to for an answer to these inquiries.

Sparta, Athens, Rome, and Carthage were all republics; two of them, Athens and Carthage, of the commercial kind. Yet were they as often engaged in wars, offensive and defensive, as the neighboring monarchies of the same times. Sparta was little better than a wellregulated camp; and Rome was never sated of carnage and conquest.

Carthage, though a commercial republic, was the aggressor in the very war that ended in her destruction. Hannibal had carried her arms into the heart of Italy and to the gates of Rome, before Scipio, in turn, gave him an overthrow in the territories of Carthage, and made a conquest of the commonwealth.

Venice, in later times, figured more than once in wars of ambition, till, becoming an object to the other Italian states, Pope Julius II. found means to accomplish that formidable league, [9] which gave a deadly blow to the power and pride of this haughty republic.

The provinces of Holland, till they were overwhelmed in debts and taxes, took a leading and conspicuous part in the wars of Europe. They had furious contests with England for the dominion of the sea, and were among the most persevering and most implacable of the opponents of Louis XIV.

In the government of Britain the representatives of the people compose one branch of the national legislature. Commerce has been for ages the predominant pursuit of that country. Few nations, nevertheless, have been more frequently engaged in war; and the wars in which that kingdom has been engaged have, in numerous instances, proceeded from the people.

There have been, if I may so express it, almost as many popular as royal wars. The cries of the nation and the importunities of their representatives have, upon various occasions, dragged their monarchs into war, or continued them in it, contrary to their inclinations, and sometimes contrary to the real interests of the State. In that memorable struggle for superiority between the rival houses of AUSTRIA and BOURBON, which so long kept Europe in a flame, it is well known that the antipathies of the English against the French, seconding the ambition, or rather the avarice, of a favorite leader, [10] protracted the war beyond the limits marked out by sound policy, and for a considerable time in opposition to the views of the court.

The wars of these two last-mentioned nations have in a great measure grown out of commercial considerations,–the desire of supplanting and the fear of being supplanted, either in particular branches of traffic or in the general advantages of trade and navigation.

From this summary of what has taken place in other countries, whose situations have borne the nearest resemblance to our own, what reason can we have to confide in those reveries which would seduce us into an expectation of peace and cordiality between the members of the present confederacy, in a state of separation? Have we not already seen enough of the fallacy and extravagance of those idle theories which have amused us with promises of an exemption from the imperfections, weaknesses and evils incident to society in every shape? Is it not time to awake from the deceitful dream of a golden age, and to adopt as a practical maxim for the direction of our political conduct that we, as well as the other inhabitants of the globe, are yet remote from the happy empire of perfect wisdom and perfect virtue?

Let the point of extreme depression to which our national dignity and credit have sunk, let the inconveniences felt everywhere from a lax and ill administration of government, let the revolt of a part of the State of North Carolina, the late menacing disturbances in Pennsylvania, and the actual insurrections and rebellions in Massachusetts, declare–!

So far is the general sense of mankind from corresponding with the tenets of those who endeavor to lull asleep our apprehensions of discord and hostility between the States, in the event of disunion, that it has from long observation of the progress of society become a sort of axiom in politics, that vicinity or nearness of situation, constitutes nations natural enemies. An intelligent writer expresses himself on this subject to this effect: “NEIGHBORING NATIONS (says he) are naturally enemies of each other unless their common weakness forces them to league in a CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC, and their constitution prevents the differences that neighborhood occasions, extinguishing that secret jealousy which disposes all states to aggrandize themselves at the expense of their neighbors.” [11] This passage, at the same time, points out the EVIL and suggests the REMEDY.

PUBLIUS.

1. Aspasia, vide “Plutarch’s Life of Pericles.”

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid. Phidias was supposed to have stolen some public gold, with the connivance of Pericles, for the embellishment of the statue of Minerva.

5. P Worn by the popes.

6. Madame de Maintenon.

7. Duchess of Marlborough.

8. Madame de Pompadour.

9. The League of Cambray, comprehending the Emperor, the King of France, the King of Aragon, and most of the Italian princes and states.

10. The Duke of Marlborough.

11. Vide “Principes des Negociations” par 1’Abbe de Mably.

It’s interesting to note that Hamilton slips in the tale of Holland, a once powerful player on the world stage, and how overwhelming debt, and high taxes, resigned them to a minor role. This absolutely applies to today in America, and was a none to subtle warning for the United States not to spend beyond it’s means, or tax it’s people into oblivion.

We say this a lot, but it truly is funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Please take time to stop by Constituting America’s website and read more essays and join in on the discussions.

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Constituting America: The Federalist Papers: Federalist 5

In Federalist 5, John Jay continues to discuss the need for a United States vs 13 individual states, or several groups of states.

This time Jay brings us practical lessons from the nation American had just won it’s freedom from, Great Britain. Here he speaks of the time when a union was being formed between England and Scotland, and how many issues and conflicts were solved through this union.

Jay rightfully warns that a divided America would experience these troubles, and then some. One must remember that trouble was already brewing at the time, with the several states often arguing amongst themselves over trade, and other issues. With the British to the north, and the French and Spanish to the south and west, it would be very easy for foreign interlopers to interfere and insight trouble between the divided, but sovereign, states.

Just as self important men nowadays think only of their own power, and not of the nation they pretend to serve, so too did these types exist during our new nation’s earliest days. Many were advocating a different solution than the one finally agreed to, hoping to build on their own power base. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Federalist No. 5

The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence

For the Independent Journal.

Author: John Jay

To the People of the State of New York:

QUEEN ANNE, in her letter of the 1st July, 1706, to the Scotch Parliament, makes some observations on the importance of the UNION then forming between England and Scotland, which merit our attention. I shall present the public with one or two extracts from it: “An entire and perfect union will be the solid foundation of lasting peace: It will secure your religion, liberty, and property; remove the animosities amongst yourselves, and the jealousies and differences betwixt our two kingdoms. It must increase your strength, riches, and trade; and by this union the whole island, being joined in affection and free from all apprehensions of different interest, will be ENABLED TO RESIST ALL ITS ENEMIES.” “We most earnestly recommend to you calmness and unanimity in this great and weighty affair, that the union may be brought to a happy conclusion, being the only EFFECTUAL way to secure our present and future happiness, and disappoint the designs of our and your enemies, who will doubtless, on this occasion, USE THEIR UTMOST ENDEAVORS TO PREVENT OR DELAY THIS UNION.”

It was remarked in the preceding paper, that weakness and divisions at home would invite dangers from abroad; and that nothing would tend more to secure us from them than union, strength, and good government within ourselves. This subject is copious and cannot easily be exhausted.

The history of Great Britain is the one with which we are in general the best acquainted, and it gives us many useful lessons. We may profit by their experience without paying the price which it cost them. Although it seems obvious to common sense that the people of such an island should be but one nation, yet we find that they were for ages divided into three, and that those three were almost constantly embroiled in quarrels and wars with one another. Notwithstanding their true interest with respect to the continental nations was really the same, yet by the arts and policy and practices of those nations, their mutual jealousies were perpetually kept inflamed, and for a long series of years they were far more inconvenient and troublesome than they were useful and assisting to each other.

Should the people of America divide themselves into three or four nations, would not the same thing happen? Would not similar jealousies arise, and be in like manner cherished? Instead of their being “joined in affection” and free from all apprehension of different “interests,” envy and jealousy would soon extinguish confidence and affection, and the partial interests of each confederacy, instead of the general interests of all America, would be the only objects of their policy and pursuits. Hence, like most other BORDERING nations, they would always be either involved in disputes and war, or live in the constant apprehension of them.

The most sanguine advocates for three or four confederacies cannot reasonably suppose that they would long remain exactly on an equal footing in point of strength, even if it was possible to form them so at first; but, admitting that to be practicable, yet what human contrivance can secure the continuance of such equality? Independent of those local circumstances which tend to beget and increase power in one part and to impede its progress in another, we must advert to the effects of that superior policy and good management which would probably distinguish the government of one above the rest, and by which their relative equality in strength and consideration would be destroyed. For it cannot be presumed that the same degree of sound policy, prudence, and foresight would uniformly be observed by each of these confederacies for a long succession of years.

Whenever, and from whatever causes, it might happen, and happen it would, that any one of these nations or confederacies should rise on the scale of political importance much above the degree of her neighbors, that moment would those neighbors behold her with envy and with fear. Both those passions would lead them to countenance, if not to promote, whatever might promise to diminish her importance; and would also restrain them from measures calculated to advance or even to secure her prosperity. Much time would not be necessary to enable her to discern these unfriendly dispositions. She would soon begin, not only to lose confidence in her neighbors, but also to feel a disposition equally unfavorable to them. Distrust naturally creates distrust, and by nothing is good-will and kind conduct more speedily changed than by invidious jealousies and uncandid imputations, whether expressed or implied.

The North is generally the region of strength, and many local circumstances render it probable that the most Northern of the proposed confederacies would, at a period not very distant, be unquestionably more formidable than any of the others. No sooner would this become evident than the NORTHERN HIVE would excite the same ideas and sensations in the more southern parts of America which it formerly did in the southern parts of Europe. Nor does it appear to be a rash conjecture that its young swarms might often be tempted to gather honey in the more blooming fields and milder air of their luxurious and more delicate neighbors.

They who well consider the history of similar divisions and confederacies will find abundant reason to apprehend that those in contemplation would in no other sense be neighbors than as they would be borderers; that they would neither love nor trust one another, but on the contrary would be a prey to discord, jealousy, and mutual injuries; in short, that they would place us exactly in the situations in which some nations doubtless wish to see us, viz., FORMIDABLE ONLY TO EACH OTHER.

From these considerations it appears that those gentlemen are greatly mistaken who suppose that alliances offensive and defensive might be formed between these confederacies, and would produce that combination and union of wills of arms and of resources, which would be necessary to put and keep them in a formidable state of defense against foreign enemies.

When did the independent states, into which Britain and Spain were formerly divided, combine in such alliance, or unite their forces against a foreign enemy? The proposed confederacies will be DISTINCT NATIONS. Each of them would have its commerce with foreigners to regulate by distinct treaties; and as their productions and commodities are different and proper for different markets, so would those treaties be essentially different. Different commercial concerns must create different interests, and of course different degrees of political attachment to and connection with different foreign nations. Hence it might and probably would happen that the foreign nation with whom the SOUTHERN confederacy might be at war would be the one with whom the NORTHERN confederacy would be the most desirous of preserving peace and friendship. An alliance so contrary to their immediate interest would not therefore be easy to form, nor, if formed, would it be observed and fulfilled with perfect good faith.

Nay, it is far more probable that in America, as in Europe, neighboring nations, acting under the impulse of opposite interests and unfriendly passions, would frequently be found taking different sides. Considering our distance from Europe, it would be more natural for these confederacies to apprehend danger from one another than from distant nations, and therefore that each of them should be more desirous to guard against the others by the aid of foreign alliances, than to guard against foreign dangers by alliances between themselves. And here let us not forget how much more easy it is to receive foreign fleets into our ports, and foreign armies into our country, than it is to persuade or compel them to depart. How many conquests did the Romans and others make in the characters of allies, and what innovations did they under the same character introduce into the governments of those whom they pretended to protect.

Let candid men judge, then, whether the division of America into any given number of independent sovereignties would tend to secure us against the hostilities and improper interference of foreign nations.

PUBLIUS.

Then, as now, a strong UNITED States, was the best defense from foreign entanglements of all sorts. Our founders were practical men, and understood what caused wars, and while they knew some were unavoidable, they hoped to make those situations rare indeed. They also understood the best route was to remain united in one common cause.

There are all sorts of lessons to be learned from John Jay’s wisdom, but this is one of the finest, and one that applies today, just as well as it did in his day.

While we are indeed at war with radical Islam, with fighting forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan, we are also at war with radical Marxism that exists within, and actually controls our federal government, and has elements scattered throughout the 50 states.

The goal of the radical Marxists, from Barack Obama on down to the lowliest Marxist-democrat bureaucrat drone, is to divide America, to pit American against American. Barack Obama, using the vile ideology he learned studying Karl Marx and Saul Alinsky seeks to divide us all by stoking race wars, class wars, and gender wars.

If Obama and his evil regime can get the various races at one another’s throat, while creating massive class envy, by painting the “rich” as evil, and those not so well off as noble, while turning men against women, and gays against straights, he and his regime know the people will be too distracted fighting their own little battles to realize they have lost the war!

It is Obama’s stated intention to destroy America. To tear down the very fabric of modern civil society and remake it in his own psychotic image. Unfortunately, the greatest nation the world has ever known, the gold standard for Freedom and Liberty around the globe, the only nation that has ever celebrated Individual Freedom and Self Reliance, is about to be no more.

Obama is simply the culmination of a century’s worth of Marxist infiltration into every area of our lives, our media, our schools. Unfortunately, Obama and the radical Marxists are winning this war. They have successfully divided us.

At least half the country has been conditioned to hate anyone who makes more money than they do, rather than to try and move up the ladder of success themselves.

The Obama regime, and it’s media partners, play the race card at every opportunity. Not only that, but if someone, say a Black, or Hispanic, happens to not fall in line with the teachings of Marx and Alinsky, and doesn’t bow to the almighty Obama, they are branded a “race traitor” by the very people who purport to be for them.

Of course the gender wars have been carried out for decades with disastrous results, not only to relationships between men and women, but for the family unit as a whole, the destruction of which being a stated goal of  Marxist ideology.Marxism teaches the State in the family.

Just as John Jay warned the American people in his day of the danger of a divided America, we need to stop and realize what the divisions, encouraged by the radical left, have done to us.

There’s a reason why the bible warns of envy. I don’t care who you are, you will always find someone smarter, stronger, better looking, and making more money. It’s time for ALL Americans to realize the beauty of America, The guarantees afforded to all by our Constitution, is the promise we all have an equal chance. We do not have the promise of equal results however. The results you achieve out of life are based on the effort that you, and you alone, put in.

But Gary…that isn’t FAIR! Life isn’t fair, get over it. Buy a helmet! Some people have it easier than others, so what? The American story is filled with tales of people who came from nothing, sometimes less than nothing, who would reach the very pinnacle of society. They have faced unspeakable hardships, and yet, excelled to the highest levels possible. We have to remind people that you are only limited by the effort you wish to expend.

If we don’t do that, the Obama regime will succeed in remaking society to a point when no matter how much effort you put out, you will never succeed, as success will be outlawed and in it’s place will be nothing but mediocrity for all.

We must stop the racial nonsense. We must not allow those whose living is predicating on the continuous racial strife to remain.. They must be expelled from society, thrown out of the country, if that’s what it takes. We simply can’t afford to indulge the race baiters any longer. We have two problems, the good old fashioned raced baiting by the usual suspects, and multi-culturalism.

Much of the first issue can be traced back to the previous ailment, stoked by class warfare and the myth that the world somehow owes some people something. It’s that simple. The other is more synthetic, than organic. Somewhere during the course of time, we stopped being Americans. All of a sudden, people who couldn’t find Africa on a map, and whose families have been Americans for generations, became “African-Americans.” Even worse, this label was soon applied to any black person, no matter where their ancestors may have come from. We have “Mexican-Americans” “Native-Americans” and so on.

Frankly, and this will get some letters, the “Native-American” label particularly strikes me as wrong. I realize this is used to describe “Indians” the folks who were here before the Europeans showed up. I’m part Cherokee myself, but the thing is, ANYONE born in America is a “Native-American

Here’s the thing, whether by birth, or through naturalization, we are all simply Americans. The hyphen is quite distasteful, as it is used. This multi-culturalism is yet another way to further divide us and make us weaker.

This is not to say we shouldn’t celebrate the diversity of our people. Quite the contrary, the rich traditions that not only the natives, Indians, have, but traditions from people from all over the world have brought with them, are what has helped make America great. The thing is, while we mustn’t allow anyone to lose their tradition and personal identity, we must remember why America is called “the world’s great melting pot.” People come here from all over the world, with the desire to become Americans! We must encourage these people to assimilate, to learn our national customs and traditions, and to participate as an American. No hyphen required.

We must also develop the notion that we are all one race, the human race, and move on. As long as we allow the radical left to divide us, they can and will conquer us all. We all will be equal for sure then. Equally enslaved and equally miserable.

As for gender, well, men and women have tried to figure one another out since the beginning of time. Somehow I doubt they ever will. I do think we can all agree that men and women should treat each other with respect, and in the workforce be paid an equal day’s wage for an equal day’s work. Past that, there are fundamental differences between men and women, and yes, that can lead to great frustration at times, but it’s part of the mystery of life that makes it worth living.

As a deeply divided nation, Obama and his minions are beating us. We are easy prey for whatever they wish to impose on us. In order to survive, we must find a way to come together and unite on the things that make us all the same, and work on the things that make us different. If not, we as a nation, and a people, will perish from the earth.

As always, please visit Constituting America for further discussion, and more thoughts on the Constitution and the Federalist Papers.

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Constituting America: The Federalist Papers: Federalist 1

We’ve now read the Declaration of Independence as well as the Constitution in full. While it’s not heavy reading, it is certainly important reading, and I hope everyone has taken the time to not only read, but reflect on the words written by our founders.

The Declaration still stands as one of the greatest, most significant political documents of all time. It’s inspired mankind the world over to seek the Freedom and Liberty Nature’s God always intended him to have. Our Constitution remains the cornerstone of all Liberty and Freedom. It is the ideal blueprint for Civil Society, and when followed, allows for individual Freedom and great governmental restraint. It is the ultimate expression of Conservatism.

As you know, any big idea, big change in one’s way of life, no matter how beneficial, takes a bit of salesmanship. The Federalist is just that. What we have is a collection of essays that were published in support of the Constitution’s ratification. They are also considered a guide to interpreting the original intent of our founders.

From the Library Of Congress:

The Federalist, commonly referred to as the Federalist Papers, is a series of 85 essays written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison between October 1787 and May 1788. The essays were published anonymously, under the pen name “Publius,” in various New York state newspapers of the time.

The Federalist Papers were written and published to urge New Yorkers to ratify the proposed United States Constitution, which was drafted in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. In lobbying for adoption of the Constitution over the existing Articles of Confederation, the essays explain particular provisions of the Constitution in detail. For this reason, and because Hamilton and Madison were each members of the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist Papers are often used today to help interpret the intentions of those drafting the Constitution.

The Federalist Papers were published primarily in two New York state newspapers: The New York Packet and The Independent Journal. They were reprinted in other newspapers in New York state and in several cities in other states. A bound edition, with revisions and corrections by Hamilton, was published in 1788 by printers J. and A. McLean. An edition published by printer Jacob Gideon in 1818, with revisions and corrections by Madison, was the first to identify each essay by its author’s name. Because of its publishing history, the assignment of authorship, numbering, and exact wording may vary with different editions of The Federalist.

The reason we are all taking time to rediscover our founding documents is the situation we find ourselves in today, as we face a tyrannical, out of control government, headed by a corrupt and decidedly un-American executive.

I find it interesting that Hamilton warns us in Federalist 1 of politicians who would place power and importance over service to their country. He most decidedly foresaw the situation we have now. While it would be easy to just blame this on the Marxist-democrats, sadly, both parties are guilty of loving personal power more than their country. I’m intrigued, frankly, that knowing the nature of man, and power, and how power can corrupt man, that our founders didn’t place some sort of term limits on elected officials from the start.

This is why we must evaluate each and every vote for each and every position. We owe it to ourselves and the nation to spend the effort needed to actually know who it is that is asking for our vote, so that we never find ourselves in this dangerous situation again.

Federalist 1 serves as an introduction to the series of essays to come. It’s what we would call today “common sense,” but at the time the concepts of a restrained government, led by citizen legislators, was a new thing indeed. As one can imagine, there were also folks who had other ideas of how things should be.

In Federalist 1 Hamilton gives us his general view on how the nation should be shaped, and the caliber of those needed to shape her. I recommend readers take their time and reflect as they go. Though the words were written several centuries ago, they are still pertinent today.



 Federalist No. 1

General Introduction

For the Independent Journal.

Author: Alexander Hamilton

To the People of the State of New York:

AFTER an unequivocal experience of the inefficiency of the subsisting federal government, you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world. It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force. If there be any truth in the remark, the crisis at which we are arrived may with propriety be regarded as the era in which that decision is to be made; and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind.

This idea will add the inducements of philanthropy to those of patriotism, to heighten the solicitude which all considerate and good men must feel for the event. Happy will it be if our choice should be directed by a judicious estimate of our true interests, unperplexed and unbiased by considerations not connected with the public good. But this is a thing more ardently to be wished than seriously to be expected. The plan offered to our deliberations affects too many particular interests, innovates upon too many local institutions, not to involve in its discussion a variety of objects foreign to its merits, and of views, passions and prejudices little favorable to the discovery of truth.

Among the most formidable of the obstacles which the new Constitution will have to encounter may readily be distinguished the obvious interest of a certain class of men in every State to resist all changes which may hazard a diminution of the power, emolument, and consequence of the offices they hold under the State establishments; and the perverted ambition of another class of men, who will either hope to aggrandize themselves by the confusions of their country, or will flatter themselves with fairer prospects of elevation from the subdivision of the empire into several partial confederacies than from its union under one government.

It is not, however, my design to dwell upon observations of this nature. I am well aware that it would be disingenuous to resolve indiscriminately the opposition of any set of men (merely because their situations might subject them to suspicion) into interested or ambitious views. Candor will oblige us to admit that even such men may be actuated by upright intentions; and it cannot be doubted that much of the opposition which has made its appearance, or may hereafter make its appearance, will spring from sources, blameless at least, if not respectable–the honest errors of minds led astray by preconceived jealousies and fears. So numerous indeed and so powerful are the causes which serve to give a false bias to the judgment, that we, upon many occasions, see wise and good men on the wrong as well as on the right side of questions of the first magnitude to society. This circumstance, if duly attended to, would furnish a lesson of moderation to those who are ever so much persuaded of their being in the right in any controversy. And a further reason for caution, in this respect, might be drawn from the reflection that we are not always sure that those who advocate the truth are influenced by purer principles than their antagonists. Ambition, avarice, personal animosity, party opposition, and many other motives not more laudable than these, are apt to operate as well upon those who support as those who oppose the right side of a question. Were there not even these inducements to moderation, nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant spirit which has, at all times, characterized political parties. For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.

And yet, however just these sentiments will be allowed to be, we have already sufficient indications that it will happen in this as in all former cases of great national discussion. A torrent of angry and malignant passions will be let loose. To judge from the conduct of the opposite parties, we shall be led to conclude that they will mutually hope to evince the justness of their opinions, and to increase the number of their converts by the loudness of their declamations and the bitterness of their invectives. An enlightened zeal for the energy and efficiency of government will be stigmatized as the offspring of a temper fond of despotic power and hostile to the principles of liberty. An over-scrupulous jealousy of danger to the rights of the people, which is more commonly the fault of the head than of the heart, will be represented as mere pretense and artifice, the stale bait for popularity at the expense of the public good. It will be forgotten, on the one hand, that jealousy is the usual concomitant of love, and that the noble enthusiasm of liberty is apt to be infected with a spirit of narrow and illiberal distrust. On the other hand, it will be equally forgotten that the vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty; that, in the contemplation of a sound and well-informed judgment, their interest can never be separated; and that a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government. History will teach us that the former has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism than the latter, and that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.

In the course of the preceding observations, I have had an eye, my fellow-citizens, to putting you upon your guard against all attempts, from whatever quarter, to influence your decision in a matter of the utmost moment to your welfare, by any impressions other than those which may result from the evidence of truth. You will, no doubt, at the same time, have collected from the general scope of them, that they proceed from a source not unfriendly to the new Constitution. Yes, my countrymen, I own to you that, after having given it an attentive consideration, I am clearly of opinion it is your interest to adopt it. I am convinced that this is the safest course for your liberty, your dignity, and your happiness. I affect not reserves which I do not feel. I will not amuse you with an appearance of deliberation when I have decided. I frankly acknowledge to you my convictions, and I will freely lay before you the reasons on which they are founded. The consciousness of good intentions disdains ambiguity. I shall not, however, multiply professions on this head. My motives must remain in the depository of my own breast. My arguments will be open to all, and may be judged of by all. They shall at least be offered in a spirit which will not disgrace the cause of truth.

I propose, in a series of papers, to discuss the following interesting particulars:

THE UTILITY OF THE UNION TO YOUR POLITICAL PROSPERITY THE INSUFFICIENCY OF THE PRESENT CONFEDERATION TO PRESERVE THAT UNION THE NECESSITY OF A GOVERNMENT AT LEAST EQUALLY ENERGETIC WITH THE ONE PROPOSED, TO THE ATTAINMENT OF THIS OBJECT THE CONFORMITY OF THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTION TO THE TRUE PRINCIPLES OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT ITS ANALOGY TO YOUR OWN STATE CONSTITUTION and lastly, THE ADDITIONAL SECURITY WHICH ITS ADOPTION WILL AFFORD TO THE PRESERVATION OF THAT SPECIES OF GOVERNMENT, TO LIBERTY, AND TO PROPERTY.

In the progress of this discussion I shall endeavor to give a satisfactory answer to all the objections which shall have made their appearance, that may seem to have any claim to your attention.

It may perhaps be thought superfluous to offer arguments to prove the utility of the UNION, a point, no doubt, deeply engraved on the hearts of the great body of the people in every State, and one, which it may be imagined, has no adversaries. But the fact is, that we already hear it whispered in the private circles of those who oppose the new Constitution, that the thirteen States are of too great extent for any general system, and that we must of necessity resort to separate confederacies of distinct portions of the whole. [1] This doctrine will, in all probability, be gradually propagated, till it has votaries enough to countenance an open avowal of it. For nothing can be more evident, to those who are able to take an enlarged view of the subject, than the alternative of an adoption of the new Constitution or a dismemberment of the Union. It will therefore be of use to begin by examining the advantages of that Union, the certain evils, and the probable dangers, to which every State will be exposed from its dissolution. This shall accordingly constitute the subject of my next address.

PUBLIUS.

1. The same idea, tracing the arguments to their consequences, is held out in several of the late publications against the new Constitution.

For more information, and discussion, please check out Constituting America here.

You can also visit The Library of Congress for more information on The Federalist here.

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