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and love of justice, will be least likely to sacrifice it to tem. porary or partial.considerations. Under such a regulation, it may well happen, that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good, than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened 'for the purpose. On the other hand, the effect may be inverted. Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests of the people. The question resulting is, whether small or extensive republics are most favourable to the election of proper guardians of the public weal; and it is clearly decided in favour of the latter by two obvious considerations.
In the first place, it is to be remarked, that however small the republic may be, the representatives must be raised to a certain number, in order to guard against the cabals of a few; and that however large it may be, they must be limited to a certain number, in order to guard against the confusion of a multitude. Hence, the number of representatives in the two cases not being in proportion to that of the constituents, and being proportionally greatest in the small republic, it follows, that if the proportion of fit characters be not less in the large than in the small republic, the former will present a greater option, and consequently a greater probability of a fit choice.
In the next place, as each representative will be chosen by a greater number of citizens in the large than in the small republic, it will be more difficult for unworthy candidates to practice with success the vicious arts, by which elections are too often carried; and the suffrages of the people being more free, will be more likely to centre in men who possess the most attractive merit, and the most diffusive and established characters.
It must be confessed, that in this, as in most other cases, there is a mean, on both sides of which inconveniences will be found to lie. By enlarging too much the number of electors, you render the representative too little acquainted with all their local circumstances and lesser interests; as by reducing it too
much, you render him unduly attached to these, and too little fit to comprehend and pursue great and national objects. Thọ federal constitution forms a happy combination in this respoct the great and aggregate interests being referred to the national, the local and particular to the state legislatures.
The other point of difference is, the greater number of citizens, and extent of territory, which may be brought within the compass of republican, than of democratic government; and it is this circumstance principally which renders-factious combinations less to be dreaded in the former, than in the latter. Tho smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it; the fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party; and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression. Extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens ; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other.
Besides other impediments, it may be remarked, that where there is a consciousness of unjust or dishonourable purposes, communication is always checked by distrust, in proportion to the number whose concurrence is nocessary.
Hence, it clearly appears, that the same advantage, which a republic has over a democracy, in controlling the effects of fac tion, is enjoyed by a large over a small republic-is enjoyed by the union over the states composing it. Does this advantage consist in the substitution of representatives, whose enlightened views and virtuous sentiments render them superiour to local prejudices, and to schemes of injustice? It will not be denied, that the representation of the union will be most likely to possess these requisite endowments. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a greater variety of partics, against the
event of any one party being able to outnumber and oppress the fest? In an equal degree does the increased variety of parties, comprised within the union, increase this security. Does it, in fine, consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an-unjust and interested majority? Here, again, the extent of the union gives it the most palpable advantage.
The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular states, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other states; a religious sect may degenerate into a political faction in a part of the confederacy; but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it, must secure the national councils against any danger from that source: a rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the union, than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire state.
In the extent and proper structure of the union, therefore, we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride wa feel in being republicans, ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit, and supporting the character of federalists.
NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 24, 1787.
THE UTILITY OF THE UNION IN RESPECT TO COMMERCE AND
The importance of the union, in a commercial light, is one of those points, about which there is least room to entertain a difference of opinion, and which has in fact commanded the most general assent of men, who have any acquaintance with the subject. This applies as well to our intercourse with foreign countries, as with each other.
There are appearances to authorize a supposition, that the adventurous spirit, which distinguishes the commercial character of America, has already excited uneasy sensations in several of the maritime powers of Europe. They seem to be apprehensive of our too great interference in that carrying trade, which is the support of their navigation, and the foundation of their naval strength. Those of them, wbich have colonies in America, look forward, with painful solicitude, to what this country is capable of becoming. They foresee the dangers, that may threaten their American dominions from the neighbourhood of states, which have all the dispositions, and would possess all the means, requisite to the creation of a powerful marino. Impressions of this kind will naturally indicate the policy of fostering divisions among us, and of depriving us, as far as possible, of an
ACTIVE COMMERCE in our own bottoms. This would answer then the threefold purpose of preventing our interference in their navigation, of monopolizing the profits of our trade, and of clipping the wings, on which we might soar to a dangerous greatness. Did not prudence forbid the detail, it would not be difficult to trace, by facts, the workings of this policy to the cabinets of ministers. If we continue united, we may, in a variety of ways, counteract a policy so unfriendly to our prosperity. By prohibitory regulations, extending at the same time throughout the states, wo may oblige foreign countries to bid against each other, for the privileges of our markets. This assertion will not appear chimerical to those who are able to appreciate the importance, to any manufacturing nation, of the markets of three millions of people--increasing in rapid progression; for the most part, exclusively addicted to agriculture, and likely from local circumstances to remain in this disposition; and the immense difference there would be to the trade and navigation of such a nation, between a direct communication in its own ships, and an indirect conveyance of its products and returns, to and from America, in the ships of another country. Suppose, for instance, we had a government in America, capable of excluding Great Britain (with whom we have at present no treaty of commerce) from all our ports; what would be the probable operation of this step upon her politics? Would it not enable us to negociato, with the fairest prospect of success, for commercial privileges of the most valuable and extensive kind, in the dominions of that kingdom ? When these questions have been asked, upon other occasions, they have received a plausible, but not a solid or satisfactory answer. It has been said, that prohibitions on our part would produce no change in the system of Britain ; because she could prosecute her trade with us, through the medium of the Dutch, who would be her immediate customers and pay-masters for those articles which were wanted for the supply of our markets. But would not her navigation be materially injured, by the loss of the importunt advantage of being her own carrier in that trade? Would not