There are many reasons that Americans remain true to the idea that unity is important, but safety and security has always been the most important reason. Let us analyze the assumption of whether unity provides the best safety against external and internal threats.

The number of wars is proportional to the number of causes of wars. One united nation would be therefore be involved in fewer wars than many states or confederacies. Trade agreements and treaties need to be honored and followed consistently to avoid war. The inconsistent actions of many different states are more likely to instigate war, than the consistent actions of one. Individual states may act on their own selfish interests for gain or in reaction to loss. This will hurt the relationship of the whole with foreign nations. A united nation is more powerful to settle dispute and negotiate terms. It will be taken more seriously in world affairs than a confederation.

The safety of a nation also relies on not inviting hostility or insult from other nations. There are rivalries with France and Britain over trade routes, fisheries and navigation. The economic progress of the United States will not make these rivals happy for us, but eager to see us weakened.

There is territorial conflict with Spain and England over the navigation of the Mississippi and the St. Lawrence Rivers. These tensions could lead to war. A united national government provides the best possible state of defense and will not invite war. A united national government does this by combining the talents of the best men, acting on a uniform policy towards foreign nations, protecting several parts at once, and having an interest in the advantages of the whole when devising treaties.

A divided nation does not have the same capacity for a united army and navy to act on its defense. Lacking a unified military, will each section always come to the aid of the others? How would a uniform policy be decided? Foreign nations will view the disorganization and military weakness of a divided nation and act accordingly on its own interest. Foreign nations will view a strong and unified nation as one to cultivate a friendship with.

In the absence of unity amongst the states, the states would become competitive with each other resulting in a number of distinct nations, each competing for different commercial concerns, operating under different political attachments and cultivating different foreign relations. The competitive states would most likely form alliances with foreign countries in order to defend itself against its neighbors. Foreign wars would be fought in this continent, and there would be a great disruption to security and safety.

Popular pages: The Federalist Papers (1787-1789)