Federalist No. 4

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John Jay

Federalist No. 4 is an essay by John Jay, the fourth of the Federalist Papers. It was published on November 7, 1787 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all the Federalist Papers were published. It is the third of four essays by Jay discussing the protection of the United States from dangerous foreign influence, especially military force. It is titled, "The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence."

Summary of the argument[edit]

Jay argues that a singular government speaking for all states would serve as a greater deterrent to military interference by foreign nations than a system of government where each state is given complete control over its affairs.

John Jay believes that one Union would react better than many states with their own governments. For example, with one body speaking for the nation there would be no arguments over troop placements or treaties. Furthermore a singular army and navy appears a much less inviting target to invaders than the individual army of a one state by itself. Suppose if this one state were to be attacked, who's to say whether the other states would respond? With a single government that problem would be avoided.

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