Federalist papers 10
Our past experience has exhibited the operation of this spirit in its full light.But who would lend to a government that prefaced its overtures for borrowing by an act which demonstrated that no reliance could be placed on the steadiness of its measures for paying.And in the last place, where this might not be the case, they would be of long standing, would have taken deep root, and would not easily be extirpated.
The efficacy of various principles is now well understood, which were either not known at all, or imperfectly known to the ancients.The extra business of treaties and appointments may give this extra occupation to the Senate.
The latter may sometimes stand in opposition to the former, and at other times the people may be entirely neutral.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.Several additional reasons of considerable force, to fortify that probability, will occur when we come to survey, with a more critical eye, the interior structure of the edifice which we are invited to erect.The power to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations, belongs with equal propriety to the general government, and is a still greater improvement on the articles of Confederation.The true distinction between these and the American governments, lies IN THE TOTAL EXCLUSION OF THE PEOPLE, IN THEIR COLLECTIVE CAPACITY, from any share in the LATTER, and not in the TOTAL EXCLUSION OF THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE from the administration of the FORMER.
If we consider the situation of the men on whom the free suffrages of their fellow-citizens may confer the representative trust, we shall find it involving every security which can be devised or desired for their fidelity to their constituents.The city of Philadelphia is supposed to contain between fifty and sixty thousand souls.Some difficulties, however, and some additional expense would attend the execution of it.
This inquiry will naturally divide itself into three branches the objects to be provided for by the federal government, the quantity of power necessary to the accomplishment of those objects, the persons upon whom that power ought to operate.This situation would even take away the motive to such combinations, by inducing an impracticability of success.The real scarcity of objects in this country, which may be considered as productive sources of revenue, is a reason peculiar to itself, for not abridging the discretion of the national councils in this respect.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.They ought not to have wandered into inflammatory declamations and unmeaning cavils about the extent of the powers.The latter, by the mode of their appointment, as well as by the nature and permanency of it, are too far removed from the people to share much in their prepossessions.According to the constitution of every State in the Union, some or other of the officers of government are appointed indirectly only by the people.And as to those mortal feuds which, in certain conjunctures, spread a conflagration through a whole nation, or through a very large proportion of it, proceeding either from weighty causes of discontent given by the government or from the contagion of some violent popular paroxysm, they do not fall within any ordinary rules of calculation.
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.Or are they, on the contrary, scattered over the face of the country as avarice or chance may have happened to cast their own lot or that of their predecessors.A body so fluctuating and at the same time so numerous, can never be deemed proper for the exercise of that power.And I flatter myself the observations in my last paper must have gone no inconsiderable way towards proving that it was not easy, if practicable, to find a more fit receptacle for the power of determining impeachments, than that which has been chosen.The fourth point rests on this plain proposition, that the peace of the WHOLE ought not to be left at the disposal of a PART.
Schemes to subvert the liberties of a great community REQUIRE TIME to mature them for execution.This unhappy people seem to be now suffering from popular convulsions, from dissensions among the states, and from the actual invasion of foreign arms, the crisis of their distiny.But does it follow because there is a power to lay them that they will actually be laid.But it is equally true that the trial by jury has been unknown in every case in which they have been united.In Sparta, the Ephori, the annual representatives of the people, were found an overmatch for the senate for life, continually gained on its authority and finally drew all power into their own hands.The framers of the existing Confederation, fully aware of the danger to the Union from the separate possession of military forces by the States, have, in express terms, prohibited them from having either ships or troops, unless with the consent of Congress.These must possess all the authorities which are connected with this object, and with every other that may be allotted to their particular cognizance and direction.
If he happened to be a man of quick sensibility, or ardent temper, he could now no longer refrain from regarding these clamors as the dishonest artifices of a sinister and unprincipled opposition to a plan which ought at least to receive a fair and candid examination from all sincere lovers of their country.The United States, as now composed, have no powers to exact obedience, or punish disobedience to their resolutions, either by pecuniary mulcts, by a suspension or divestiture of privileges, or by any other constitutional mode.If this be the point on which the objection turns, it deserves to be examined.The latter appears to have been thought by the convention preferable to the former, and, I presume, will be most agreeable to the States.Is it to be presumed, that at any future septennial epoch the same State will be free from parties.These being small States, saw with an unfriendly eye the perspective of our growing greatness.I will address one additional reflection only to those who contend that the power ought to have been restrained to external taxation by which they mean, taxes on articles imported from other countries.
The more Southern States, from various circumstances, may not think themselves much interested in the encouragement of navigation.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.
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.He would naturally say to himself, it is impossible that all this vehement and pathetic declamation can be without some colorable pretext.
From such a parade of constitutional powers, in the representatives and head of this confederacy, the natural supposition would be, that it must form an exception to the general character which belongs to its kindred systems.If the federal government is to have collectors of revenue, the State governments will have theirs also.It is easy to see that this problem alone, as often as it should occur, would open a wide field for the exercise of factious views, of partiality, and of oppression, in the majority that happened to prevail in the national council.Who can predict what effect a despotism, established in Massachusetts, would have upon the liberties of New Hampshire or Rhode Island, of Connecticut or New York.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.What remedy can there be for this situation, but in a change of the system which has produced it in a change of the fallacious and delusive system of quotas and requisitions.
But a man would have been regarded as frantic who should have attempted at Rome to disprove their existence.Do they require that, in the establishment of the Constitution, the States should be regarded as distinct and independent sovereigns.But the convention have guarded against all danger of this sort, with the most provident and judicious attention.Either this must be the case, or the local courts must be excluded from a concurrent jurisdiction in matters of national concern, else the judiciary authority of the Union may be eluded at the pleasure of every plaintiff or prosecutor.