Federalist #11- GOOOO NAVY

Okay, two topics this week near and dear to me.  Yup, Federalist #11 specifically deals with the need for a strong Navy (woohoo, Go Navy Beat Army, had to say that) and continues the thread begun in Federalist #10 on the role of the new federal government in facilitating and improving commerce.

The Anti-Federalist #11 is another one of those EXTREMELY profound papers decrying the potential for abuse of power of the federal courts, including the Supreme Court.  NAH, we'd never have judges legislating from the bench and passing their own weird, made up ideas of rights and social justice...nah....

Federalist #11
So the real purpose of this prose is an 18th century version of trade wars, or the ol' mercantilism.  As usual, in our historical ignorance, we think that trade imbalance, free trade, and opening up new markets are 21st century issues.  They are, of course, but America has been involved in trade disputes, contests for open markets, and hostile trading adversaries since our founding.

"There are appearances to authorize a supposition that the adventurous spirit, which distinguishes the commercial character of America, has already excited uneasy sensations in several of the maritime powers of Europe. They seem to be apprehensive of our too great interference in that carrying trade, which is the support of their navigation and the foundation of their naval strength. Those of them which have colonies in America look forward to what this country is capable of becoming, with painful solicitude. They foresee the dangers that may threaten their American dominions from the neighborhood of States, which have all the dispositions, and would possess all the means, requisite to the creation of a powerful marine. Impressions of this kind will naturally indicate the policy of fostering divisions among us, and of depriving us, as far as possible, of an ACTIVE COMMERCE in our own bottoms. This would answer the threefold purpose of preventing our interference in their navigation, of monopolizing the profits of our trade, and of clipping the wings by which we might soar to a dangerous greatness. Did not prudence forbid the detail, it would not be difficult to trace, by facts, the workings of this policy to the cabinets of ministers."

So, what did our founders do...well nothing for a while, then during the late 1790s they decided to unleash the first of our future whup ass naval forces and manly men...or wooden ships and iron men, as it were. 

"To this great national object, a NAVY, union will contribute in various ways. Every institution will grow and flourish in proportion to the quantity and extent of the means concentred towards its formation and support."
As mentioned in my post on Federalist #10, not only were issues occurring with Britain, but when the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars broke out, the US found itself in the uncomfortable position of being on the Naval business end of our erstwhile allies in France during an undeclared naval war.  Then, of course, there was the ongoing fight with the Barbary pirates.  This is a topic of some interest to me, since our ignorant, lefty, mushy schools won't teach the TRUTH about America's on-again, off-again war with Islamic terrorists, pirates, thugs and murders. 

But I digress...needless to say, once America's navy was reborn in the 1790s, it has protected commerce, served America's interests and pretty much kicked the crap out of our enemies for 200 years....an idea I am firmly in favor of...

Anti-Federalist #11.

Hmm, there's so much good stuff here, I don't know where to start...the writer was clearly concerned with the nature of the federal courts, particularly the lifetime nature of judges with little recourse to recall nitwits, commies, and buffoons.

The real effect of this system of government, will therefore be brought home to the feelings of the people, through the medium of the judicial power. It is, moreover, of great importance, to examine with care the nature and extent of the judicial power, because those who are to be vested with it, are to be placed in a situation altogether unprecedented in a free country. They are to be rendered totally independent, both of the people and the legislature, both with respect to their offices and salaries. No errors they may commit can be corrected by any power above them, if any such power there be, nor can they be removed from office for making ever so many erroneous adjudications.
The only causes for which they can be displaced, is, conviction of treason, bribery, and high crimes and misdemeanors.
This is only the beginning!  The writer goes on to note that the fairly undefined nature of the judicial branch could very easily lead to abuses and usurpation of power relative to not only the other branches of the government, but, as the Founders always kept in their minds, the power of the STATES.

The judicial power will operate to effect, in the most certain, but yet silent and imperceptible manner, what is evidently the tendency of the constitution: — I mean, an entire subversion of the legislative, executive and judicial powers of the individual states. Every adjudication of the supreme court, on any question that may arise upon the nature and extent of the general government, will affect the limits of the state jurisdiction. In proportion as the former enlarge the exercise of their powers, will that of the latter be restricted.
That the judicial power of the United States, will lean strongly in favour of the general government, and will give such an explanation to the constitution, as will favour an extension of its jurisdiction, is very evident from a variety of considerations.

And, if that isn't enough goodness, the author, being one of those Founders who understood the greedy and sinful nature of man, does not assume that judges are immune from the lure of power and their own SUPERIOR intellect.

Not only will the constitution justify the courts in inclining to this mode of explaining it, but they will be interested in using this latitude of interpretation. Every body of men invested with office are tenacious of power; they feel interested, and hence it has become a kind of maxim, to hand down their offices, with all its rights and privileges, unimpared to their successors; the same principle will influence them to extend their power, and increase their rights; this of itself will operate strongly upon the courts to give such a meaning to the constitution in all cases where it can possibly be done, as will enlarge the sphere of their own authority. Every extension of the power of the general legislature, as well as of the judicial powers, will increase the powers of the courts; and the dignity and importance of the judges, will be in proportion to the extent and magnitude of the powers they exercise. I add, it is highly probable the emolument of the judges will be increased, with the increase of the business they will have to transact and its importance. From these considerations the judges will be interested to extend the powers of the courts, and to construe the constitution as much as possible, in such a way as to favour it; and that they will do it, appears probable.
This power in the judicial, will enable them to mould the government, into almost any shape they please. — The manner in which this may be effected we will hereafter examine.
 Yup, that last sentence is BOLDED and ENLARGED, cuz people need to wake the hell up...we have become a republic with an out of control federal court system, packed with liberal, activist judges who think the Constitution is their plaything, which has become the dominant branch of the government, with little or no recourse to fix things like the US 9th Circuit Court, the most loony, idiotic court in the land.  I am no fan of electing judges, but why the hell couldn't the Senate review and RENEW their appointments every 10 years or so?  That's what this Grouchy Historian would have built into the Constitution.  Judges are here to serve the people, not impose their own weird ideas on their fellow citizens through the power of the bench.