The Federalist Papers Reader and Historical Documents of Our American Heritage

By Frederick Quinn | Go to book overview

No. 2
Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence

John Jaystates that whenever and however government is instituted, "the people must cede to it some of their natural rights, in order to vest it with requisite powers." America's geography favors union, be believes ("Providence has in a particular manner blessed it with a variety of soils and productions and watered it with innumerable streams for the delight and accommodation of inhabitants"), although the Articles of Confederation failed to achieve this union. Jayapplauds the recently completed Philadelphia convention's work. The convention met "in the mild season of peace, with minds unoccupied by other subjects." The result is the Constitution, which delegates are now asked to ratify, for "the rejection of it would put the continuance of the Union in the utmost jeopardy." This sober theme is stated throughout The Federalist Papers: the alternative to the system of government being proposed is weakness before other nations, anarchy within, and a political climate favoring self-interest and regional focus to the detriment of the whole society's security.

When the people of America reflect that they are now called upon to decide a question, which in its consequences must prove one of the most important that ever engaged their attention, the propriety of their taking a very comprehensive, as well as a very serious, view of it will be evident.

Nothing is more certain than the indispensable necessity of government; and it is equally undeniable that whenever and however it is

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