Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/476

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
The Fœderalist.

People of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate Governments, to which the People are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier, against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple Government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the Governments are afraid to trust the People with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone, they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the People to possess the additional advantages of local Governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the National will, and direct the National force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these Governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition, that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it.

The argument under the present head may be put into a very concise form, which appears altogether conclusive. Either the mode in which the Fœderal Government is to be constructed will render it sufficiently dependent on the People, or it will not. On the first supposition, it will be restrained by that dependence from forming schemes obnoxious to their constituents.