Summary and Analysis Section I: General Introduction: Federalist No. 4 (Jay)



There were other possible causes of war, Jay went on: "With France and with Britain we are rivals in the fisheries; . . . With them and most other European nations, we are rivals in navigation and the carrying trade; . . . In the trade to China and India, we interfere with more than one nation, in as much as it enables us to partake in advantages which they had in a manner monopolized."

Americans should "consider Union and a good national Government as necessary to put and keep them in such a situation as instead of inviting war, will tend to repress and discourage it."

If foreign nations "see that our national Government is efficient and well administered . . . they will be much more disposed to cultivate our friendship, than provoke our resentment."


Jay continued on war and observed that Americans were rivals with European powers in the fisheries, in navigation and the carrying trade, in commerce with China, the Spice Islands, and India where European nations had held a virtual monopoly. Jay asked: what if the European powers, singly or in combination, struck at the United States and its expanding economic interests? What would be the best defense? The answer: a strong federal government able to mobilize all its resources immediately for effective use — all of which is so obvious that it would seem scarcely worth elaborating.

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