General Introduction Hamilton - The Patriot Post

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General Introduction Hamilton

To the People of the State of New York:

It is obvious that the Articles of Confederation have failed to establish a viable government. Now you, as citizens, are challenged to establish a new system. At stake is nothing less than the Union's existence, its citizens' safety and its stature in the world. Many say that Americans, by their conduct and example, must decide whether societies are able to establish good governments. If this is true, the decision must be made now. --??????????????????????????????????????????--


To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States who affixed to our Names send greeting.

Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

Preamble to the Articles of Confederation We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.

Preamble to the United States Constitution

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This "project" will call for altruism and patriotism, and (I hope, but do not expect) discipline to serve, without distraction, our true interests. But the plan you will consider affects too many local interests and institutions not to be diverted into extraneous issues and passions.

The obstacles against the new Constitution are the resistance of certain men in every State to change that could diminish their power, income and social status, and others who hope to elevate themselves by abolishing the Union and dividing the country into several confederacies.

I know it is insincere and unwise to automatically discredit political opposition as "self-interested." And so, as always in great national discussions, these sentiments

will be allowed, acknowledging that they will release angry, malignant passions as opposing factions try to "sell" their opinions and recruit converts. Enlightened government energy and efficiency will be stigmatized as "jealous" offspring of despotic forces. Vigilance against dangers to the people's rights will be represented as stale bait for popularity at the expense of the public good. But jealousy, usually a component of love, and government vigor, essential to the security of liberty, can never, in considering important public actions, be separated. Moreover, dangerous ambition more often lurks behind zeal for our rights than for firm, efficient government. But history teaches that the former is a more certain road to despotism than to good administration. Of those tyrants who have overturned the liberties of republics, most have begun their careers courting "the people."

These thoughts are intended to alert you to dishonest objections ? while frankly admitting that I am "friendly" to the new Constitution: I believe ratification is the best way to achieve liberty and assure dignity and happiness.

I plan a series of papers, to discuss: ? the Union's importance to your political prosperity; ? the Confederation's inability to preserve it; ? the importance to these goals of a government as energetic as the one proposed; ? the proposal's conformity to republican principle; ? its similarity to your own State constitution; and ? the security to your liberty and to your property that ratification will bring. In the course of this discussion I will try to answer all the known objections to ratification. You may consider it unnecessary to defend the Union. But we already hear whispers that one system cannot govern the thirteen States; that we must have separate confederacies. But those able to see the whole picture

can see the dangers in Union dismemberment.



Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence Jay

To the People of the State of New York:

The Federalist Papers ... In Other Words ? Paraphrased by Marshall Overstedt ? Page 1

? 1999 Marshall R. Overstedt

AMERICANS must now decide one of history's most important questions. We must also consider it thoroughly and seriously.

Government is indispensable to civil society; to assure its success, we must all give up some of our rights. Therefore, we must consider whether it would be in our best interests to be one nation, with one federal government, or divide into individual, sovereign States or separate confederacies, each with "national" powers.


Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.

Article II of the Articles of Confederation [The Congress shall have the power] to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the ...powers [delegated to it by the Constitution], and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Article I, Section 8(18) of the United States Constitution No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit, make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.

Article I, Section 10(1) of the United States Constitution No State shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws; and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any State on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress.

Article I, Section 10(2) of the United States Constitution No State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty on tonnage, keep troops and ships of war in time of peace, enter any agreement or compact with another State or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded or in such imminent danger a swell not admit of delay.

Article I, Section 10(3) of the United States Constitution

------------------------------------------------ Until recently, we all agreed that our prosperity depended on our continuing united, and our best, wisest citizens were focused on that goal. Now some politicians insist that we would be more secure and prosperous in separate "confederacies" or "sovereignties." We should not adopt these radical political ideas unless convinced that they are correct. America, rather than detached, distant territories, is one connected, fertile, wide-spreading country. We are blessed with many soils and crops, watered with many streams, surrounded by navigable waters, with noble rivers forming highways for communication and transportation for our various commodities. This one connected country belongs to one united people, descended from one heritage, speaking one language, professing one religion, attached to one set of government principles. We are very similar in our manners and customs. Together, fighting through a long and bloody war, we have established liberty and independence.

This country and this people seem to have been made for each other; they should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, alien sovereignties.

As citizens, we enjoy the same national rights, privileges, and protection. As a nation we have made peace and war, defeated enemies, formed alliances and made agreements with foreign states.

This sense of Union inspired us ? the minute we had a political existence, while the Revolution still raged ? to form a federal government to preserve and perpetuate it. At that time, there was little room for calm, mature inquiry and thought required to form a wise, well-balanced government for a free people. We should not be surprised to find, through experience, that a government instituted in those times is inadequate to its intended purpose.

An intelligent people, we recognized and regretted these defects. Still attached to Union and liberty, we saw the immediate danger to the former and the more remote risk to the latter. Persuaded that only a wisely framed national government could protect both. we convened the late convention at Philadelphia, to consider that subject.

This convention included men who had the people's confidence, many distinguished by their patriotism, virtue and wisdom in trying times. In a time of peace, unoccupied by other subjects, they consulted for many months and finally ? unawed by power and uninfluenced by any passion except love of country ? they presented and recommended their joint, unanimously-approved plan to the people.

Remember: this plan is only recommended, not imposed; it is recommended for sedate, candid consideration the subject demands.

But this is more wished than expected. Experience teaches us not to be too optimistic. Imminent danger induced the people of America to form the memorable Congress of 1774, which recommended certain wise measures ? which were soon attacked by the press. Then many government officers, acting in their own interests, and mistaken and over-ambitious others, worked to persuade the people to reject that Congress' advice. But the majority acknowledged the wisdom, experience and patriotism in Congress; that their Representatives would not recommend imprudent or unwise measures. Relying on Congress' judgment and integrity, they took its advice ? ignoring the grand efforts to steer them from it. If we had reason to rely on that inexperienced, littleknown Congress, we have greater reason to respect the convention's judgment and advice because its most distinguished members ? now seasoned and recognized for their abilities ? were members of both. Every Congress, like the convention, has agreed with the people that America's prosperity depends on its Union. To preserve and perpetuate it was the reason to form the convention, and it is also the purpose of the proposed plan. Why, then, are some men depreciating its importance? Why do some suggest that several confederacies would be better than one? I believe the people have always been correct on this subject, and that their universal, uniform attachment to the Union rests on substantial reason that I will try to explain in later papers.

The Federalist Papers ... In Other Words ? Paraphrased by Marshall Overstedt ?Page 2

? 1999 Marshall R. Overstedt


The Federalist Papers ... In Other Words ? Paraphrased by Marshall Overstedt ?Page 3

? 1999 Marshall R. Overstedt


Foreign Dangers ? #2 Jay

To the People of the State of New York:

Intelligent people generally adopt ideas and practices

that serve their interests. We have long acknowledged

the need for unity under one federal government, with

enough power to fill all national purposes.

That government's first requirement is an ability to

protect the people. Public safety relates to many

situations and problems, which gives great latitude to

those trying to define it precisely and thoroughly.

For the moment, let's confine the discussion to our

safety from foreign arms and influence. Is, in fact, an

efficient national government our best protection against

hostilities from abroad?


No State shall engage in any war without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled, unless such State be actually invaded by enemies, or shall have received certain advice of a resolution being formed by some nation of Indians to invade such State, and the danger is so imminent as not to admit of a delay till the United States in Congress assembled can be consulted; nor shall any State grant commissions to any ships or vessels of war, nor letters of marque or reprisal, except it be after a declaration of war by the United States in Congress assembled, and then only against the Kingdom or State and the subjects thereof, against which war has been so declared, and under such regulations as shall be established by the United States in Congress assembled ...

Article VI of the Articles of Confederation All charges of war, and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury, ...

Article VIII of the Articles of Confederation The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to ... provide for the common defense ... [of] the United States;

Article I Section 8(1) of the United States Constitution To declare war ...

Article I Section 8(11) of the United States Constitution To raise and support armies ...

Article I Section 8(12) of the United States Constitution To provide and maintain a navy;

Article I Section 8(13) of the United States Constitution To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

Article I Section 8(14) of the United States Constitution To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions;

Article I Section 8(15) of the United States Constitution To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively the appointment of officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

Article I Section 8(16) of the United States Constitution


The number of wars in the world is in proportion to the number and weight of real and perceived causes that provoke them. If true, will more or fewer war causes confront a United America than a disunited America?

Generally, wars are caused by treaty violations and direct attacks. America already has treaties with at least six foreign nations, all except Prussia are maritime, and therefore able to harm us. We also have extensive commerce with Portugal, Spain, and Britain ? and the latter two have major colonies in our "neighborhood."

To preserve the peace, America must observe international laws relating to all these powers, and one national government can do this more effectively than thirteen separate States or three or four confederacies.

Once established, a good national government can ? more easily than a town or State ? draw on the time and talents of the best men in the country to serve and manage it. This will benefit other nations, as well as our own.

Moreover, under the national government, treaties and international laws will always be established and observed in the same way, based on unified, national policies. Otherwise, our partners would be forced to deal with as many as 13 different points of view.

The convention was also wise enough to commit these questions to courts appointed by and responsible to only one national government.

As a result, deliberate and accidental insults will have far less impact on a single, national government than on several lesser ones.

One good national government can also protect best against direct, violent attacks. Not one Indian war has been caused by aggression by the present federal government, feeble as it is; but several bloody Indian attacks have been provoked by improper conduct of individual States.

Quarrels between States and adjacent Spanish and British territories would be limited to those border areas. A border State alone might become irritated enough to fight with a foreign power. In that case, nothing can prevent hostilities more effectively than intervention by a unified national government, whose wisdom and prudence would not be weakened by the combatants' passions.

Indeed, the national government will not only eliminate just causes of war; it will have the power to settle disputes amicably. It will also act with less passion than pride-filled local and State authorities and will not need to justify all actions or acknowledge, correct or repair errors and offenses. And it can use moderation and candor to consider and decide on proper means to extricate the beleaguered State from foreign challenges.

Besides, a strong, united nation will more likely accept acknowledgments, explanations, and compensations than one of the thirteen States.

The Federalist Papers ... In Other Words ? Paraphrased by Marshall Overstedt ?Page 4

? 1999 Marshall R. Overstedt


The Federalist Papers ... In Other Words ? Paraphrased by Marshall Overstedt ?Page 5

? 1999 Marshall R. Overstedt


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