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The Federalist Papers
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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 01, 2017 02:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 35741 comments Mod
This is the thread for the discussion of FEDERALIST. NO 8.


This paper was written by Alexander Hamilton.

The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton by Alexander HamiltonAlexander Hamilton

message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

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This is the reading assignment for this week (starting today December 7th):


The Consequences of Hostilities Between the States
December 7 - December 13 (page 60)

(Alexander Hamilton)

Remember each week's assignment may take you 10 minutes tops. And each paper is about 2 pages in length; so it is easy to catch up at your leisure. Reading these papers really helps put our government in perspective (US).

Also, we are able to discuss the current assignment or any of the previous week's assignments so you can always catch up, ask questions and/or participate and comment at any time.

Federalist 8 will open today December 7th.

message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

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Some thoughts on #8:

Alexander Hamilton in Federalist # 8 is talking about hostilities between the states and disunion and/or its consequences:

He outlines first that there would ultimately be a war between the states – pretty accurate it seems since we had a civil war when that did occur.

Hamilton states:

“Conquests would be as easy to be made as difficult to be retained. War, therefore, would be desultory and predatory. Plunder and devastation ever march in the train of irregulars.”

I think Hamilton was way ahead of his time and probably even more brilliant than folks have given him credit.

He states so plainly the one area which has kept the United States united through so many years:

“Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct.”

He goes on to say:

Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.

One only has to think of the Patriots Act and the war on terrorism and the Iraqi War for folks to see how this argument has been used successfully by those in power. Remember those alert levels (color coded no less) used in part I think as control and scare tactics by some.

Hamilton goes on to talk about at a time of conflict or war…somehow the executive arm gains more power and control…steps towards a monarchy or worse.

It is of the nature of war to increase the executive at the expense of the legislative authority.

How many times does Congress get upset when a President tries to assume additional powers under the guise of war time necessity or even weapons of mass destruction (which nobody ever found).

Hamilton believed then that each state would have to arm itself to protect it from its neighboring states who may have designs on them or their territory of land or make attempts to increase their boundaries.

Hamilton seems to believe that standing armies increase the possibility of hostilities just by their existence…I guess he is saying that they need something to do to keep them occupied.

He then goes on to make the distinction between a national army and the standing armies that states might have:

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. The rulers of the former can have a good pretext, if they are even so inclined, to keep on foot armies so numerous as must of necessity be maintained in the latter.

Hamilton warns of military coups with so many standing armies among states which would not be the case with a national force which would be subject to the people and not be able to overtake the will of the people themselves versus countless and numerous separate entities per state. More independent states and more independent armies inflates the military and deflates the importance of the private citizen.

The continual necessity for their services enhances the importance of the soldier, and proportionably degrades the condition of the citizen. The military state becomes elevated above the civil.

I especially enjoyed the next paragraph where at the very same time he extols Britain and chastises them (virtually simultaneously – now that is hard to do).

He points out how Britain has the right balance with its military establishment:

An insular situation, and a powerful marine, guarding it in a great measure against the possibility of foreign invasion, supersede the necessity of a numerous army within the kingdom. A sufficient force to make head against a sudden descent, till the militia could have time to rally and embody, is all that has been deemed requisite. No motive of national policy has demanded, nor would public opinion have tolerated, a larger number of troops upon its domestic establishment.

However, in the same breath he calls them venal and corrupt (grin) and might be “enslaved by other causes”.

Hamilton successfully claims that Europe is far away, and if we are united she cannot hurt us if we stand together and are not played off of one another. Of course, the world has changed dramatically since then..somewhat smaller now in terms of advanced weaponry and improved transportation which has minimized distance.

message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 35741 comments Mod
Here are wikipedia synopses for 8:

message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 35741 comments Mod
Did anybody notice that the Founding Fathers love to talk about Greece and revert back to ancient times for examples - Federalist Paper #8 was no exception.

Grade saver said the following:

Again in this essay, notice the reoccurrence of the founding father's reliance on ancient Greece as an example.

Although Greece does not fit the paradigm that Hamilton is drawing, he feels it is important enough to note why Greece was an exception.

In The Federalist Papers, however, the founding fathers were deliberate as they were trying to use experience as their guide.

John Adams wrote in 1786, "The History of Greece should be to our countrymen what is called in many families on the Continent, a boudoir, an octagonal apartment in a house, with a full-length mirror on every side, and another in the ceiling. The use of it is, when any of the young ladies, or young gentleman if you will, are at any times a little out of humor, they may retire to a place where in whatever direction they turn their eyes, they see their own faces and figures multiplied without end. By thus beholding their own beautiful persons and seeing, at the same time, the deformity brought upon them by their anger, they may recover their tempers and their charms together."

Such was the Founding Father's reverence for the history of Greece, something not duplicated in our own culture."

message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 35741 comments Mod
Ten is extremely important...but we still have two weeks to go. And we do not open up discussions about any coming up until that specific week.

So mums the word. However, at any time, anybody can discuss either the current Federalist paper (8 this week) or any of the previous ones (1 - 7).

There is no rush; we have 85 weeks to discuss and rediscuss any of them; except for the ones coming up.

Folks, as of this week...we can discuss 1 - 8. 8 is the current week's read.

It is fairly easy to catch up at any time..each essay is about two pages long. So if you want to catch up with all of them so probably have about 16 pages to read and think about.

message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 35741 comments Mod
This is from the History News Network at George Mason...a little dated but still interesting: (about Federalist 8)

message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 35741 comments Mod
Bernie stated the following:

Not ignoring you Bentley. This is my busiest time of the year so I have to catch up on the papers but I have bought The American Sphinx book so I'm ready for next month.

message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 35741 comments Mod
Good for can catch up with The Federalist Papers soon I hope.

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