Friday, January 11, 2013

THE #PUBLIUS TWEETS #5

THE #PUBLIUS TWEETS #5

The Federalist Papers In Modern English

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JOHN JAY

To the People of the State of New York:

We are not lacking in historical precedents that can assist us in our decision making. Let us take the example of the time that England and Scotland formed their Union. Queen Anne of Great Britain made certain observations on the formation of their national Union that are salient to our own: At one point, she said:
"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."
As we mentioned previously, domestic weakness invites foreign danger. Union and good government shall do more than any other possibility to secure us from those dangers and from that weakness. We could go on and on concerning this subject.

We are, as a people, probably more acquainted with Great Britain's history than any other, and this history is full of useful lessons for our present situation. Let's learn from their mistakes so that we may not repeat them. It would appear obvious that a single island should give rise to a single nation. Nevertheless, that island of Great Britain gave rise to three mutually hostile polities and most of her history was spent in internal conflict between the three (as well as in conflict with neighboring France and Spain).

Furthermore, the most successful of the confederacies (or states) would be viewed with envy and fear by the others, lest they attempt to form an overarching empire over the others. Thus each of the others would fall on the leader, and like the leading player in a game of 'Hearts,' would be driven back into the pack by warfare by the others. They would pursue aggressive policies against that leader–whether militarily or economally–and thus they themselves would be deterred from pursuing peaceful policies that would benefit them all.

Looking at the nation objectively, it is clear that the northern states are currently the richest and most prosperous, and likely to be the strongest militarily. Regardless of the number of polities that are formed if the new Federal government is not put in place, the North should remain the dominant region for many generations.

If this were to occur the other regions would no doubt unite in their mutual hostilities against the North, much as the rest of Europe has united against its more powerful northern regions. It is also not unlikely that the northern region might take to raiding its neighbors to gain at their expense.

Neighboring confederacies would soon be transformed into hostile bordering powers. They would neither love nor trust each other; disorder and hostility would be their lot. There would be no mutual trust. We would become dangerous and formidable only to one another: a situation our foreign competition would surely love to witness.

Therefore it is clear that anyone who thinks that these confederacies might unite in their common defense are likely gravely mistaken. Furthermore, if they do unite, they would not unite with the same strength and vigor that a single national government would form. Furthermore, that inherent weakness would invite foreign hostility, invasion, and intervention.

When did England, Scotland and Wales unite to expel an invader? When did Aragon, Castille, or the Moorish lands unite to drive out an enemy? Only when they became united single states under a single government. Thus, we must know now, and let us not fool ourselves. Confederacies would become distinct nations, nothing less.

 Each of them would have commercial intercourse with other nations controlled via separate treaties, each with its own character, own set of treaties, own international interests. This would make them as distinct as any group of nations are with one another. International trade creates different economies, inviting separate relationship with foreign nations. It is an inevitable consequence of multiple states.

Thus, it would be likely that nations at war with (say) a united South would be friendly to a united Northern confederacy, or vice versa. It would be extremely difficult to form an alliance that undermines these mutual positions. Such an alliance would be subjected to treachery and would not necessarily ever be fulfilled in good faith.

Thus it would be much more likely that the neighboring confederacies in America would behave like neighboring nations in Europe and would, due to rivalries and different geographies, be found taking opposite sides to foreign enganglements and conflicts.

Let's then carefully judge whether confederacies would truly protect us from foreign intervention: it seems unlikely that they would.

JOHN JAY

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