Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/187

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43
The Fœderalist.

would, with little difficulty, overrun their less populous neighbors. Conquests would be as easy to be made, as difficult to be retained. War, therefore, would be desultory and predatory. Plunder and devastation ever march in the train of irregulars. The calamities of individuals would make the principal figure in the events which would characterize our military exploits.

This picture is not too highly wrought; though I confess, it would not long remain a just one. Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty, to resort, for repose and security, to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.

The institutions chiefly alluded to are standing armies, and the correspondent appendages of military establishments. Standing armies, it is said, are not provided against in the new Constitution; and it is therefore inferred that they may exist under it.[1] Their existence, however, from the very terms of the proposition, is, at most, problematical and uncertain. But standing armies, it may be replied, must inevitably result from a dissolution of the Confederacy. Frequent war and constant apprehension, which require a state of as constant preparation, will infallibly produce them. The weaker States or confederacies would first have

  1. This objection will be fully examined in its proper place; and it will be shown that the only natural precaution which could have been taken on this subject, has been taken; and a much better one than is to be found in any Constitution that has been heretofore framed in America, most of which contain no guard at all on this subject. — Publius.