Federalist No. 22

Author: Alexander Hamilton

Written to: The People of New York

Date: December 14, 1787

Source: The Library of Congress Website (http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fed_22.html)


In the Federalist 22, Alexander Hamilton addresses the concern of regulating commerce. The lack of power in the central government prohibited the United States from forming any sort of meaningful treaty or alliance with foreign countries.

Original Text

Several States have endeavored, by separate prohibitions, restrictions, and exclusions, to influence the conduct of that kingdom in this particular, but the want of concert, arising from the want of a general authority and from clashing and dissimilar views in the State, has hitherto frustrated every experimentExperiment Attempts of the national government, under the Articles of Confederation, to develop any significant or beneficial treaties or alliances. of the kind, and will continue to do so as long as the same obstacles to a uniformity of measures continue to exist.

The interfering and unneighborly regulations of some States, contrary to the true spirit of the Union, have, in different instances, given just cause of umbrageUmbrage noun offense or annoyance and complaint to others, and it is to be feared that examples of this nature, if not restrained by a national control, would be multiplied and extended till they became not less serious sources of animosity and discord than injuriousInjurious adjective causing or likely to cause damage or harm impediments to the intercourse between the different parts of the Confederacy


Hamilton stresses that unless there is some sort of central government that acts as a unifying power, the dissimilar views of the states with regards to treaties and alliances will greatly hinder any potential foreign and internal growth of the federal system.

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