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fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established their general liberty and independence.

This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties.

Similar sentiments have hitherto prevailed among all orders and denominations of men among us. To all general purposes we have uniformly been one people ; each individual citizen everywhere enjoying the same national rights, privileges, and protection. As a nation we have made peace and war: as a nation we have vanquished our common enemies : as a nation we have formed alliances and made treaties, and entered into various compacts and conventions with foreign states.

A strong sense of the value and blessings of Union induced the people, at a very early period, to institute a federal government to preserve and perpetuate it. They formed it almost as soon as they had a political existence; nay, at a time, when their habitations were in flames, when many of them were bleeding in the field, and when the progress of hostility and desolation left little room for those calm and mature inquiries and reflections, which must ever precede the formation of a wise and well-balanced government for a free people. It is not to be wondered at, that a government, instituted in times so inauspicious, should on experiment be found greatly deficient, and inadequate to the purpose it was intended to answer.

This intelligent people perceived and regretted these defects. Still continuing no less attached to union, than enamoured of liberty, they observed the danger which immediately threatened the former, and more remotely the latter; and being persuaded that ample security for both could only be found in a national government more wisely framed, they, as with one voice, convened the late convention at Philadelphia, to take that important subject under consideration.

This convention, composed of men who possessed the confidence of the people, and many of whom had become highly distinguished by their patriotism, virtue and wisdom, in times which tried the souls of men, undertook the arduous task. In the mild season of peace, with minds unoccupied by other subjects, they passed many months in cool, uninterrupted, and daily consultations; and finally, without having been awed by power, or influenced by any passion, except love for their country, they present

ed and recommended to the people the plan produced by their joint and very unanimous councils.

Admit, for so is the fact, that this plan is only recommended, not imposed, yet let it be remembered, that it is neither recommended to blind approbation, nor to blind reprobation ; but to that sedate and candid consideration, which the magnitude and importance of the subject demand, and which it certainly ought to receive. But, as has been already remarked, it is more to be wished than expected, that it may be so considered and examined. Experience on a former occasion teaches us not to be too sanguine in such hopes. It is not yet forgotten, that well-grounded apprehensions of imminent danger induced the people of America to form the memorable congress of 1774. That body recommended certain measures to their constituents, and the event proved their wisdom: yet it is fresh in our memories, how soon the press began to teem with pamphlets and weekly papers against those very measures. Not only many of the officers of government, who obeyed the dictates of personal interest, but others, from a mistaken estimate of consequences, from the undue influence of ancient attachments, or whose ambition aimed at objects which did not correspond with the public good, were indefatigable in their endeavours to persuade the people to reject the advice of that patriotic congress. Many indeed were deceived and deluded, but the great majority reasoned and decided judiciously; and happy they are in reflecting that they did so.

They considered that the congress was composed of many wise and experienced men. That being convened from different parts of the country, they brought with them and communicated to each other a variety of useful information. That in the course of the time they passed together in inquiring into and discussing the true interests of their country, they must have acquired very accurate knowledge on that head. That they were individually interested in the public liberty and prosperity, and therefore that it was not less their inclination, than their duty, to recommend such measures only, as after the most nature deliberation they really thought prudent and advisable.

These and similar considerations then induced the people to rely greatly on the judgment and integrity of the congress; and they took their advice, notwithstanding the various arts and endeavours used to deter and dissuade them from it. But if the people at large had reason to confide in the men of that congress, few of whom had then been fully tried or generally known, still greater reason have they now to respect the judgment and advice

of the convention; for it is well known that some of the most distinguished members of that congress, who have been since tried and justly approved for patriotism and abilities, and who have grown old in acquiring political information, were also members of this convention, and carried into it their accumulated knowledge and experience.

It is worthy of remark, that not only the first, but every succeeding congress, as well as the late convention, have invariably joined with the people in thinking that the prosperity of America depended on its Union. To preserve and perpetuate it, was the great object of the people in forming that convention, and it is also the great object of the plan which the convention has advised them to adopt. With what propriety, therefore, or for what good purposes, are attempts at this particular period made, by some men, to depreciate the importance of the union ? or why is it suggested that three or four confederacies would be better than one ? I am persuaded in my own mind, that the people have always thought right on this subject, and that their universal and uniform attachment to the cause of the union, rests on great and weighty reasons. They who promote the idea of substituting a number of distinct confederacies in the room of the plan of the convention, seem clearly to foresee that the rejection of it would put the continuance of the union in the utmost jeopardy: that certainly would be the case; and I sincerely wish that it may be as clearly foreseen by every good citizen, that whenever the dissolution of the union arrives, America will bave reason to exclaim in the words of the Poet, “ FAREWELL; A LONG FAREWELL, TO ALL MY GREATNESS."

PUBLIUS.

99

NO. III.

BY JOHN JAY.

The same Subject Continued. 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 any 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.

The more attentively I consider and investigate the reasons which appear to have given birth to this opinion, the more I become convinced that they are cogent and conclusive.

Among the many objects to which a wise and free people find it necessary to direct their attention, that of providing for their safety seems to be the first. The safety of the people doubtless has relation to a great variety of circumstances and considerations, and consequently affords great latitude to those who wish to define it precisely and comprehensively.

At present I mean only to consider it as it respects security for the preservation of peace and tranquillity, as well against dangers from foreign arms and influence, as against dangers arising from domestic causes. As the former of these comes first in order, it is proper it should be the first discussed. Let us therefore proceed to examine whether the people are not right in their opinion, that a cordial union under an efficient national government, affords thèm the best security that can be devised against hostilities from abroad.

The number of wars which have happened or may happen in the world, will always be found to be in proportion to the number and weight of causes, whether real or pretended, which provoke or invite them. If this remark be just it becomes useful to inquire, whether so many just causes of war are likely to be given by united America, as by disunited America ; for if it should turn out that united America will probably give the fewest, then it will follow, that, in this respect, the union tends most to preserve the people in a state of peace with other nations.

The just causes of war for the most part arise either from violations of treaties, or from direct violence. America has already formed treaties with no less than six foreign nations, and all of them, except Prussia, are maritime, and therefore able to annoy and injure us: She has also extensive commerce with Portugal, Spain, and Britain, and, with respect to the two latter, has the additional circumstance of neighbourhood to attend to.

It is of high importance to the peace of America, that she observe the law of nations towards all these powers; and to me it appears evident that this will be more perfectly and punctually done by one national government, than it could be either by thirteen separate states, or by three or four distinct confederacies. For this opinion various reasons may be assigned.

When once an efficient national government is established, the best men in the country will not only consent to serve, but will also generally be appointed to manage it; for although town, or coun

of the convention; for it is well known that some of the most distinguished members of that congress, who have been since tried and justly approved for patriotism and abilities, and who have grown old in acquiring political information, were also members of this convention, and carried into it their accumulated knowledge and experience.

It is worthy of remark, that not only the first, but every succeeding congress, as well as the late convention, have invariably joined with the people in thinking that the prosperity of America depended on its Union. To preserve and perpetuate it, was the great object of the people in forming that convention, and it is also the great object of the plan which the convention has advised them to adopt. With what propriety, therefore, or for what good purposes, are attempts at this particular period made, by some men, to depreciate the importance of the union ? or why is it suggested that three or four confederacies would be better than one ? I am persuaded in my own mind, that the people have always thought right on this subject, and that their universal and uniform attachment to the cause of the union, rests on great and weighty

They who promote the idea of substituting a number of distinct confederacies in the room of the plan of the convention, seem clearly to foresee that the rejection of it would put the continuance of the union in the utmost jeopardy: that certainly would be the case; and I sincerely wish that it may be as clearly foreseen by every good citizen, that whenever the dissolution of the union arrives, America will bave reason to exclaim in the words of the Poet, “ FAREWELL; A LONG FAREWELL, TO ALL NY GREATNESS."

PUBLIUS.

reasons.

NO. III.

BY JOHN JAY.

The same Subject Continued. 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 any 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.

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