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will tend to repress and discourage it. That situation consists in the best possible state of defence, and necessarily depends on the government, the arms and the resources of the country.
As the safety of the whole is the interest of the whole, and cannot be provided for without government, either one or more or many, let us inquire whether one good government is not, relative to the object in question, more competent than any other given number whatever.
Que government can collect and avail itself of the talents and experience of the ablest men, in whatever part of the union they may be found. It can move on uniform principles of policy. It can harmonize, assimilate, and protect the several parts and members, and extend the benefit of its foresight and precautions to each. In the formation of treaties it will regard the interest of the whole, and the particular interests of the parts as connected with that of the whole. It can apply the resources and power of the whole to the defence of any particular part, and that more easily and expeditiously than state governments, or separate confederacies can possibly do, for want of concert and unity of system. It can place the militia under one plan of discipline, and by putting their officers in a proper line of subordination to the chief magistrate, will in a manner consolidate them into one corps, and thereby render them more efficient than if divided into thirteen or into three or four distinct independent bodies.
What would the militia of Britain be, if the English militia obeyed the government of England, if the Scotch militia obeyed the government of Scotland, and if the Welch militia obeyed the government of Wales? Suppose an invasion: would those three governments (if they agreed at all) be able with all their respective forces to operate against the enemy so effectually as the single government of Great Britain would?
We have heard much of the fleets of Britain; and if we are wise, the time may come, when the fleets of America may engage attention. But if one national government had not so regulated the navigation of Britain as to make it a nursery for seamen if one national government had not called forth all the national means and materials for forming fleets, their prowess and their thunder would never have been celebrated. Let England have its navigation and fleet let Scotland have its navigation and fleet let Wales have its navigation and fleet let Ireland have its navigation and fleet let those four of the constituent parts of the British empire be under four independent governments, and it is easy to perceive, how soon they would each dwindle into comparative insignificance.
Apply these facts to our own case. Leave America divided into thirteen, or if you please into three or four independent governments, what armies could they raise and pay, what fleets could
they ever hope to have? If one was attacked, would the others fly to its succor, and spend their blood and money in its defence? Would there be no danger of their being flattered into neutrality by specious promises, or seduced by a too great fondness for peace to decline hazarding their tranquillity and present safety for the sake of neighbors, of whom perhaps they have been jealous, and whose importance they are content to see diminished? Although such conduct would not be wise, it would nevertheless be natural. The history of the states of Greece, and of other countries, abound with such instances; and it is not improbable, that what has so often happened, would, under similar circumstances, happen again.
But admit that they might be willing to help the invaded state or confederacy. How, and when, and in what proportion shall aids of men and money be afforded? Who shall command the allied armies, and from which of the associates shall he receive his orders? Who shall settle the terms of peace, and in case of disputes what umpire shall decide between them, and compel acquiescence? Various difficulties and inconveniences would be inseparable from such a situation; whereas one government, watching over the general and common interests, and combining and directing the powers and resources of the whole, would be free from all these embarrassments, and conduce far more to the safety of the people.
But whatever may be our situation, whether firmly united under one national government, or split into a number of confederacies, certain it is, that foreign nations will know and view it exactly as it is, and they will act towards us accordingly. If they see that our national government is efficient and well administered our trade prudently regulated our militia properly organized and disciplined our resources and finances discreetly managed our credit re-established - our people free, contented, and united, they will be much more disposed to cultivate our friendship, than to provoke our resentment. If on the other hand, they find us either destitute of an effectual government, (each state doing right or wrong, as to its rulers may seem convenient,) or split into three or four independent and probably discordant republics or confederacies, one inclining to Britain, another to France, and a third to Spain, and perhaps played off against each other by the three, what a poor, pitiful figure will America make in their eyes! How liable would she become not only to their contempt, but to their outrage; and how soon would dear-bought experience proclaim that when a people or family so divide, it never fails to be against themselves! PUBLIUS.
BY JOHN JAY.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
QUEEN Ann, 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 founda"tion 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 appre"hensions of different interests, 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 division 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 enflamed, 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 far 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 reasons 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 situation in which some nations doubtless wish to see us, in which we shall be formidable only to each other.
From these considerations it appears, that those persons are greatly mistaken, who suppose that alliances offensive and defensive might be formed between these confederacies, which 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 defence against foreign enemies.
When did the independent states, into which Britain and Spain were formerly divided, combine in such alliances, or unite their forces against a foreign enemy? The proposed confederacies will be distinct nations. Each of them would have to regulate its commerce with foreigners 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 connexion 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 easier 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 character 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.