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Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the States

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Huaxin Lai ( Peter )

The Federalist Papers No.7

Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the States

The Chapter 7 mainly discusses the dangers caused by the conflicts among different states. At the beginning, the author tells that the reasons why conflicts occur among various are similar to the causes of fights against each other among various countries of the world.

The first reason is that different states fight for territories, which causes the conflicts. As the ownerships of many lands are not well specified, many states certainly want to compete for them. The author wishes that there shall be a federal government to conduct unified management of affairs in this respect, so that unnecessary disputes could be eliminated. The federal government should also be fair in the distribution of lands.

The second reason is that commercial competitions cause disputes. Each state has its own unique business policy, therefore, the phenomena of differences, preferences, and anti-foreignism may occur among different states. In this way, some states will be in a deteriorating situation, and it is natural for them to feel dissatisfaction and injustice. The author cites the three states Connecticut, New York and New Jersey for example. New York imposes import duties. However, Connecticut and New Jersey do not want to pay the tax. As New York is not willing to give up its own interests, conflict comes into being. The author still suggests the federal government should be set up so that unified management can be achieved

The third reason is that various states share the responsibility of the public debts of federation. It is virtually impossible to reach an common agreement on the share of the responsibility, and each state is willing to gain benefits as much as possible rather than to cover more debts. In addition, citizens in different states are generally indifferent to the national debt.

Let's say all the difficulties have been overcame and the national debts have been shared, then there are still considerable reasons to assume that some states bear more debts than others, and those states which bear more debts naturally try to reduce the burden; of course, the other states have no intention to modify provisions, as if the provisions are modified, it means that they are to bear more burden themselves. Then, conflicts still arise. The simple but real truth is that there is no other thing than paying money which can easily cause conflicts. The author concludes that if the United States is not fully jointed, then states will still keep on fighting against each other, and the country will become increasingly weak.

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