Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863—1930)

by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863—1930)

Oil on canvas. One of the 78 scenes from American history by Ferris titled The Pageant of a Nation. Virginia Historical Society, Ric

by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863—1930)

Oil on canvas. One of the 78 scenes from American history by Ferris titled The Pageant of a Nation. Smithsonian Institution, Washing

by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863—1930)

Oil on canvas; 25 x 35 in. One of the 78 scenes from American history by Ferris titled The Pageant of a Nation. Virginia Historical S

by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863—1930)

Oil on canvas; 30 x 24 in. One of the 78 scenes from American history by Ferris titled The Pageant of a Nation. Virginia Historical S

By 1789 many of the Federalists, particularly Hamilton, had no confidence whatsoever left in the virtue or the natural sociability of the American people as adhesive forces: to rely on such wild schemes and visionary principles, as radicals like Jefferson and Paine did, to tie the United States together, the Federalists said, was to rely on nothing. Hence Hamilton and the other Federalist leaders had to find things other than republican virtue and natural sociability to make the American people a single nation.

Tying people together, creating social cohesiveness, making a single nation out of disparate sections and communities without relying on idealistic republican adhesives — this was the preoccupation of the Federalists, and it explains much of what they did — from Washington’s proposals for building canals to Hamilton’s financial program.

Gordon S. Wood
The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States (2011)