The Federalist Papers Reader and Historical Documents of Our American Heritage

By Frederick Quinn | Go to book overview

No. 3
The Same Subject Continued

The national security of the new nation, which Jay calls its "safety," will be best assured by a united country, which will protect citizens against external threats and internal uprisings of "direct and unlawful violence." The national government will be "more temperate and cool" than the states in settling disputes because "the pride of states, as well as of men, naturally disposes them to justify all their actions, and opposes their acknowledging, correcting, or repairing their errors and offenses. The national government, in such cases, will not be affected by this pride, but will proceed with moderation and candor to consider and decide on the means most proper to extricate them from the difficulties which threaten them."

Also, a national government will attract talent, "it will have the widest field for choice, and never experience that want of proper persons" common to the smaller, more isolated state governments.

It is not a new observation that the people of any country (if, like the Americans, intelligent and well-informed) seldom adopt and steadily persevere for many years in an erroneous opinion respecting their interests. That consideration naturally tends to create great respect for the high opinion which the people of America have so long and uniformly entertained of the importance of their continuing firmly united under one federal government, vested with sufficient powers for all general and national purposes.

-47-

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