Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/294

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The Fœderalist.
[From the New York Packet, Tuesday, December 18, 1787.]


To the People of the State of New York:

THE necessity of a Constitution, at least equally energetic with the one proposed, to the preservation of the Union, is the point, at the examination of which we are now arrived.

This inquiry will naturally divide itself into three branches,—the objects to be provided for by the Fœderal Government; the quantity of power necessary to the accomplishment of those objects; the persons upon whom that power ought to operate. Its distribution and organization will more properly claim our attention under the succeeding head.

The principal purposes to be answered by Union are these,—the common defence of the members; the preservation of the public peace, as well against internal convulsions as external attacks; the regulation of commerce with other nations, and between the States; the superintendence of our intercourse, political and commercial, with foreign countries.

The authorities essential to the care of the common defence are these,—to raise armies; to build and equip fleets; to prescribe rules for the government of both; to direct their operations; to provide for their support. These powers ought to exist without limitation; because it is impossible to foresee or define the extent and variety of National exigencies, or the corresponding extent and variety of the means which may be necessary to satisfy them. The circumstances that endanger the safety of nations are infinite; and for this reason no constitutional shackles can wisely be imposed on the power to