Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/252

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108
The Fœderalist.

some as it would be nugatory; and the possession of them, for that reason, would contribute nothing to the dignity, to the importance, or to the splendor of the National Government.

But let it be admitted, for argument' sake, that mere wantonness and lust of domination would be sufficient to beget that disposition; still it may be safely affirmed, that the sense of the constituent body of the National representatives, or, in other words, the People of the several States, would control the indulgence of so extravagant an appetite. It will always be far more easy for the State Governments to encroach upon the National authorities, than for the National Government to encroach upon the State authorities. The proof of this proposition turns upon the greater degree of influence which the State Governments, if they administer their affairs with uprightness and prudence, will generally possess over the People; a circumstance which at the same time teaches us, that there is an inherent and intrinsic weakness in all Fœderal Constitutions; and that too much pains cannot be taken in their organization, to give them all the force which is compatible with the principles of liberty.

The superiority of influence in favor of the particular Governments would result partly from the diffusive construction of the National Government, but chiefly from the nature of the objects to which the attention of the State administrations would be directed.

It is a known fact in human nature, that its affections are commonly weak in proportion to the distance or diffusiveness of the object. Upon the same principle that a man is more attached to his family than to his neighborhood, to his neighborhood than to the community at large, the People of each State would be apt to feel a stronger bias towards their local Governments than towards the Government of the Union; unless the