Federalist No. 5

Federalist No. 5 again argues the value of union over confederacies of fully sovereign states. I see no reason to revisit the issue, but I did notice one very accurate prediction:

Whenever, and from whatever causes, it might happen, and happen it would, that any one of these nations or confederacies should rise on the scale of political importance much above the degree of her neighbors, that moment would those neighbors behold her with envy and with fear. Both those passions would lead them to countenance, if not to promote, whatever might promise to diminish her importance; and would also restrain them from measures calculated to advance or even to secure her prosperity. Much time would not be necessary to enable her to discern these unfriendly dispositions. She would soon begin, not only to lose confidence in her neighbors, but also to feel a disposition equally unfavorable to them.

As soon as I read this I saw its fulfillment in the conflict over slavery. One of the things that brought the Southern States to succeed was that President Lincoln was elected entirely on the strength of the Northern voters without ever appearing on the Southern ballots. The North had grown so much more important politically that the South felt compelled to separate themselves.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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5 Responses to Federalist No. 5

  1. Reach Upward says:

    This is true, but it occurred with the willing complicity of the South. By insisting on continuing its “peculiar domestic institution” (as Southern politicians liked to call slavery), the economy of the South remained based significantly on (unwilling) human labor, while the economy of the North shifted to industrialization.

    For example, by 1860 the South had only a tiny fraction of the miles of rail that the North boasted. The South continued to rely heavily on human and anmial based transit, although, better technology existed. While this system allowed some to live in comparative opulence, it stifled the economy of the entire region.

    Thus, the South stubbornly refused to come into the 19th Century in order to protect the privileged lives of a relative few. It was not the fault of the North that it became more economically powerful than the South. Likewise, it is not the fault of lower taxing states today that higher taxing states choose to drive commerce away with big government policies; although, it is true that this often turns out to be a basis for envy.

  2. David says:

    You are absolutely right. The North did not cause they South to become politically less important prior to the Civil War. The same thing is likely to be true again if any one faction within our nation ever gains overwhelming political influence in government.

  3. Mackenzie says:

    I’m less worried about a national faction gaining too much control than I am about the nation state becoming usurped by the corporate state.

    The Individual Bill of Rights is the natural person’s counterbalance to rule by artificial persons(i.e corporate personhoods- another issue of questionable constitutionality). National and global corporations are increasingly developing artificial intelligence as interface between the natural person and the artificial person. The artificial intelligence is, of course, programmed by the artificial person in the interest of the corporate state.

    The Consumer Protection Laws are an extension of the Bill of Rights and are supposed to be liberally interpreted in favor of the consumer. However the Comptroller of Currency and The Federal Reserve Board regulate the consumer protection laws. The OCC is not a government-financed entity it is financed by the very banks that it is supposed to regulate.

    Try submitting a complaint to the OCC and you will be answered by the pen name “Consumer Assistance Group”. Publius would be rolling over in their graves. We know who the natural persons were that wrote under the name of Publius, but we know not whether “The Consumer Assistance Group” is a natural person or just a relative of Hal.

    The OCC is definitively not supporting consumer protection laws but is representing corporate law above and beyond the laws of the nation state, laws it is entrusted to administer. I know this because of my own correspondence with the OCC.

    I am less certain what is going on with the Federal Reserve Board. Formerly the Federal Reserve Board regulated National Banks and the OCC regulated foreign owned banks.

    I recently submitted a complaint to the Federal Reserve Board about Capital One.
    I quoted the 1913 definition by the FTC for an unfair business practice. The Federal Reserve Board wrote back that the issue was settled because Capital One refunded about $79.00. Then the Fedral Reserve Board wrote that they had “no authority”. If not the Federal Reserve Board, then who? The Fed didn’t think it important to say.

  4. David says:


    I hope you don’t mind that I removed what appeared to be a duplicate comment – I can restore it if that bothers you.

    I think you are absolutely right that we are under more danger of losing control to corporate influence than to any faction within our nation.

  5. Mackenzie says:

    Please do remove the duplicate. I think the secon one is edited for typos.

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