The Federalist Papers Summary No 13: Hamilton
November 28, 1787
This relatively short paper can be summarized using Hamilton’s words from the first paragraph, “If the States are united under one government, there will be but one national civil list to support; if they are divided into several confederacies, there will be as many different national civil lists to be provided for”. He is talking about Government employees and functions that would have to be repeated in full in every one of the States or confederacies if there was no Union. If there was a Union then only a single “civil list” would need support and the saving could be used elsewhere benefiting the economy.
The rest of the paper deals with how the States would be divided into Confederacies, both his views and the views of critics of the draft Constitution. Critics favor three Confederacies, one consisting of the four northern States, another of the four middle States and a third of the five southern States. These would be of sufficient size to warrant large civil lists comparable to that of a single united government.
It is more likely based on “geographical and commercial considerations, in conjunction with the habits and prejudices of the different States, we shall be led to conclude, that in the case of disunion they will most naturally league themselves under two governments”. He then describes why the states will align themselves into two governments based on which States are frontier States, commercial in nature, maritime interested or not, and what he calls national sympathy. National sympathy is not defined and slavery is never mentioned but here he divides on paper essentially how the States divide themselves in reality 74 years later.
Summary Written by Donald Mellon
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Read The Federalist Papers No. 13