Federalist No. 8

In Federalist No. 8, while addressing the people of the State of New York, Hamilton continues his discussion of the insufficiency of the present Confederation to preserve the Union by addressing the consequences of hostilities between the states.

Hamilton starts off by noting that war between the States, in the first period of their separate existence, would be accompanied with much greater distresses
than it commonly is in those countries where regular military establishments have long obtained
. This is because the states would lack the disciplined armies that render sudden conquests impracticable and prevent the rapid desolation which used to mark the progress of war prior to their introduction. The fortification they provide tends to mutually obstruct invasion. As a result, in these circumstances, the history of war is no longer a history of nations subdued and empires overturned, but of towns taken and retaken; of battles that decide nothing; of retreats more beneficial than victories; of much effort and little acquisition. But, in America, the scene would be altogether reversed and the populous States would, with little difficulty, overrun their less populous neighbours and war, therefore, would be desultory and predatory.

And while standing armies are not provided against in the Constitution being proposed, they must inevitably result from a dissolution of the Confederacy. Frequent war and constant
apprehension, which require a state of constant preparation, will infallibly produce them
and the States or confederacies that made use of them [would gain] a superiority
over their neighbours

And we also have to consider that there is a wide difference, also, between military establishments in a country seldom exposed by its situation to internal
invasions, and in one which is often subject to them, and always apprehensive of them
. In the latter, the perpetual menacings of danger oblige the government to be always prepared to repel it; its armies must be numerous enough for instant defense. And when armies become numerous, a continual state of war becomes inevitable.

But, if we are wise enough to preserve the Union we may for ages enjoy an advantage similar to that of an insulated situation instead of being prey to the means of defending ourselves against
the ambition and jealousy of each other

In short, if a Union is not formed, the confederacy will soon fall apart as the smaller States get wiped out by the larger states in war. In other words, division only leads to tension, strife, and inevitably war but union leads to understanding and peace.

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