Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/328

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184
The Fœderalist.

ions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct Government in each, can take no regular measures for defence. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair. The usurpers, clothed with the forms of legal authority, can too often crush the opposition in embryo. The smaller the extent of territory, the more difficult will it be for the People to form a regular, or systematic plan of opposition; and the more easy will it be to defeat their early efforts. Intelligence can be more speedily obtained of their preparations and movements; and the military force in the possession of the usurpers, can be more rapidly directed against the part where the opposition has begun. In this situation, there must be a peculiar coincidence of circumstances to insure success to the popular resistance.

The obstacles to usurpation and the facilities of resistance increase with the increased extent of the State; provided the citizens understand their rights, and are disposed to defend them. The natural strength of the People in a large community, in proportion to the artificial strength of the Government, is greater than in a small; and of course more competent to a struggle with the attempts of the Government to establish a tyranny. But in a Confederacy, the People, without exaggeration, may be said to be entirely the masters of their own fate. Power being almost always the rival of power, the general Government will at all times stand ready to check the usurpations of the State Governments; and these will have the same disposition towards the general Government. The People, by throwing themselves into either scale, will infallibly make it preponderate. If their rights are invaded by either, they can make use of the other, as the instrument of redress. How wise will it be in them, by cherishing the Union, to preserve to themselves an advantage which can never be too highly prized!