Federalist No. 4 continues largely the same argument as Federalist No. 3. Number 3 was about how a unified government could best prevent other nations from justly coming to war against us. Number 4 focuses on the fact that a unified national government is more likely to discourage other nations from manufacturing excuses to come to war against us – something akin to “peace through strength.”
The best part of number 4 comes in the final paragraph:
But whatever may be our situation, whether firmly united under one national government, or split into a number of confederacies, certain it is, that foreign nations will know and view it exactly as it is; and they will act toward us accordingly. If they see that our national government is efficient and well administered, our trade prudently regulated, our militia properly organized and disciplined, our resources and finances discreetly managed, our credit re-established, our people free, contented, and united, they will be much more disposed to cultivate our friendship than provoke our resentment. If, on the other hand, they find us either destitute of an effectual government . . . or split into three or four . . . discordant republics or confederacies, . . . what a poor, pitiful figure will America make in their eyes! How liable would she become not only to their contempt but to their outrage.
Our last few years have proven this true, for although we are still a nation under a single government we are nationally split into discordant confederacies politically and other nations are seeing less and less to respect among us.