Federalist Papers Summary 11
The Federalist Essays Summary No 11: Alexander Hamilton November 24, 1787
The importance of a Union to trade and commercial prosperity is the subject of this paper. Hamilton states that early commercial success distinguishes America in foreign trade which brings dangers to the several maritime powers of Europe of losing their trade advantages among the States. They will attempt to prevent us from interfering with their navigation, of monopolizing the profits of our trade and from our souring to greatness. But if the Union stays united we may counteract such a policy by creating prohibitory regulations extending throughout the States obliging the foreign countries to bid against each other for access to our markets.
A second method to influence the conduct of European nations toward us would be to establish a federal navy. A creditable navy would require an efficient government under a united Union. Such a navy would protect our foreign trade in the West-Indies for example and in time be able to shift European competitions in this part of the world to our advantage. A navy of the United States would require the resources of the entire nation with wood, tar, pitch, turpentine and some iron from the South, iron from the mid states, and seamen drawn from the Northern States (this latter requirement with no explanation).
A listing of the advantages to trade and commerce of the States when united is given. One concern would be the rights of fisheries and navigation that the Union has rights to on the Mississippi and the Western Lakes that might end with the dissolution of the confederacy. The advantages come from the unrestrained trade between the States, the capability to have a second State produce if a first fails, being able to offer a wider variety in export, and the like.
An interesting paragraph ends this paper where Hamilton insults the Europeans and invokes American patriotism. Parts of it are repeated here to inform us of what the relationship was like between the old and new worlds in 1787. Unhappily, he says, “Europe by her arms and by her negotiations, by force and by fraud, has, in different degrees extended her dominion over the world”. She plumes herself as the Mistress of the World and considers the rest of mankind as created for her benefit. Admired men have gravely asserted that all animals, and with them the human species, degenerate in America. It belongs to us to vindicate the honor of the human race. “Let Americans disdain to be instruments of European greatness! Let the thirteen States bound together in a strict and indissoluble union, concur in erecting one great American system, superior to the controul of all trans-atlantic force of influence and be able to dictate the terms of the connection between the old and the new world!”
Federalist Papers Summary 11 Written by Donald Mellon