In this paper, Alexander Hamilton continues his argument for a union over a system of multiple, independent American sovereignties. Hamilton argues that if the American states are not united under a single national government they will have the same inducements to go to war with each other as all other neighboring nations in the world. In particular, he details how territorial disputes, commercial competition, and management of the public debt could all lead to conflicts between the states.
He concludes by arguing that all these sources of conflict would ultimately cause America to be weak, disunited, and at great risk of falling prey to the “artifices and machinations” of foreign powers.
In this paper, Hamilton continues his spirited defense of the superiority of the union dictated by the Constitution over his opponent’s calls for a system of multiple independent American states. He supports his arguments by creating a series of hypothetical situations in which competing interests between the states could lead to war.
While in his previous paper Hamilton used the divisions of Europe as an example of how easily neighboring nations can be drawn into war, he chooses in this paper to situate his arguments in the context of current events in American society. In so doing, he is making his arguments seem more relevant to his New York audience, who would surely remember the serious tensions surrounding competing territorial claims with its neighbors. He furthermore constructs hypothetical situations in which competing commercial interests between New York and other states could lead to conflict and imagines situations in which different views on the public debt could spark violence.
In essence, Hamilton is attempting in this paper to make more believable his claim that disunion will lead to conflict and instability in America.