The Modern Federalist Papers (2010)

Federalist Home   << Previous   Next >>


Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence
For the Independent Thinker.
Robert Briscoe

To the People of the Unites States of America:

WHEN the people of America reflect that they are now called upon to decide a question, which, in its consequences, must prove one of the most important that ever engaged their attention, the propriety of their taking a very comprehensive, as well as a very serious, view of it, will be evident.

Nothing is more certain than the indispensable necessity of government, and it is equally undeniable, that whenever and however it is instituted, the people must cede to it some of their natural rights in order to vest it with requisite powers. It is well worthy of consideration therefore, whether we would consider the interest of the people of America that they should, to all general purposes, be one nation, under one federal government, or that they should join themselves into a world government, and give to the head the same kind of powers which they are advised to place in one national government.

It has until lately been a received and uncontradicted opinion that the prosperity of the people of America depended on their continuing firmly united as the United States, and the wishes, prayers, and efforts of our best and wisest citizens have been constantly directed to that object. But politicians now appear, who insist that this opinion is erroneous, and that instead of looking for safety and happiness in the United States, we ought to seek it in a World Government and submit to organizations like the United Nations. However extraordinary this new doctrine may appear, it nevertheless has its advocates; and certain characters who were much opposed to it formerly, are at present of the number. Whatever may be the arguments or inducements which have wrought this change in the sentiments and declarations of these gentlemen, it certainly would not be wise in the people at large to adopt these new political tenets without being fully convinced that they are founded in truth and sound policy.

With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that God has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people (a melting pot)--a people descended from the same ancestors, learning and speaking the same language, professing religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout long and bloody wars, have nobly established general liberty and independence for the world at large.

It has often given me pleasure to observe that independent America, composed of the several States, is the one most honorable country of our western sons of liberty. God has in a particular manner blessed it with a good industrious people and a strong sense of freedom which delight its inhabitants. A purpose, as if to bind it together; while upholding the most noble ideals in the world, presenting the world with an example of charity, robust economics, private aid, and the mutual freedom of individual agency.

This country and this people seem to have been made for the glorious purpose of being the correct example of government, and it appears as if it was the design of God, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be joined with a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties.

A strong sense of the value and blessings of liberty induced the people, at a very early period, to institute this federal government to preserve and perpetuate it. They formed it almost as soon as they had a political existence. It is not to be wondered at, that a government instituted in times so inauspicious as the king’s tyranny and Revolutionary War, should on experiment be found greatly deficient and inadequate to the purpose it was intended to answer… a government by the people and one not of aristocracy.

To all general purposes we have uniformly been one people, each individual citizen everywhere enjoying the same national rights, privileges, and protection. As a nation we have made peace and war; as a nation we have vanquished tyrants and despots; and as a nation we have preserved the liberty and freedom of our allies; even giving back to our enemies their lands and their freedom.

The Philadelphia Convention was composed of men who possessed the confidence of the people, and many of whom had become highly distinguished by their patriotism, virtue and wisdom, in times which tried the minds and hearts of men, they undertook the arduous task. In the mild season of peace, with minds unoccupied by other subjects, they passed many months in cool, uninterrupted, and daily consultation; and finally, without having been awed by power, or influenced by any passions except love for their country, they presented and recommended to the people the plan produced by their joint and very unanimous councils.

This intelligent people perceived and regretted the defects of other societal and national forms of governments. Still attached to the ideas of individual liberty, they observed the danger which immediately threatened the former governments; and being persuaded that ample security for both could only be found in a national government more wisely framed, they as with one voice, convened the convention at Philadelphia, to take that important subject under consideration.

That, being convened from different parts of the country, they brought with them and communicated to each other a variety of experience and knowledge. They were individually interested in the public liberty and prosperity, and therefore that it was not less their inclination than their duty to recommend only such measures as, after the most mature deliberation, they really thought prudent and advisable.

It seems to be forgotten that well-grounded apprehensions of imminent personal danger induced the people of America to form that Constitution. That body recommended certain measures to their constituents, and the event of this world has proved their wisdom.

These and similar considerations then induced the people to rely greatly on the judgment and integrity of the Congress; and they took their advice, notwithstanding the various arts and endeavors used to deter them from it. But if the people at large had reason to confide in the men of that Congress, few of whom had been fully tried or generally known, still greater reason have they now to respect the judgment and advice of that convention, for it is well known that some of the most distinguished members of that Congress, who have been since tried and justly approved for patriotism and abilities, and who have grown old in acquiring political information, were also members of that convention, and carried into it their accumulated knowledge and experience.

It is worthy of remark that not only the first, but every succeeding Congress have invariably joined with the people in thinking that the prosperity of the World depended on the United States. To preserve and perpetuate it was the great purpose of the people in forming that convention. With what propriety, therefore, or for what good purposes, are attempts at this particular period made by some men to depreciate the importance of the United States and its Constitution?

Heritage’s Matthew Spalding makes this exact case in his book, We Still Hold These Truths, writing:

To this day, so many years after the American Revolution, these principles—proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and promulgated by the United States Constitution—still define us as a nation and inspire us as a people. They are responsible for a prosperous and just nation unlike any in the world. They are the highest achievements of our tradition, serving not only as a powerful beacon to those throughout the world who strive for freedom and seek to vindicate self-government but also a warning to tyrants and despots everywhere. It is because of these principles, not despite them, that America has achieved its greatness.

In my opinion, only the officers of government, who obey the dictates of personal interest, and others, from a mistaken estimate of consequences, or the undue influence of former attachments, or whose ambition which does not correspond with the public good, are unrelenting in their efforts to persuade the people to reject the United States and Constitutional form of government. These, indeed, are deceived and deluded, but the great majority of Americans love the freedom so guaranteed by our Constitution and their rights to pursue happiness, prosperity and property.

Admit, for so is the fact, that this plan of socialism and world government is not being RECOMMENDED, but imposed.

I am persuaded in my own mind that the American people have always thought right on this subject, and that their support for the cause of the United States and its Constitution rests on great and weighty reasons of individual liberty and prosperity, which I shall endeavor to develop and explain in some ensuing papers. They, who promote the idea of joining a World Order, seem clearly to foresee that the acceptance of it would put the continuance of the Constitution in the utmost jeopardy. That certainly would be the case, and I sincerely wish that it may be as clearly foreseen by every good citizen, that whenever the dissolution of the Constitution arrives, the World will have reason to exclaim: "FAREWELL! A LONG FAREWELL TO FREEDOM AND PROSPERITY."



Federalist Home   << Previous   Next >>