Some quotations regarding the size of a republic...and mind you, this was all brought up in reference to the original 13 colonies...
Whoever seriously considers the immense extent of territory comprehended within the limits of the United States, together with the variety of its climates, productions, and commerce, the difference of extent, and number of inhabitants in all; the dissimilitude of interest, morals, and policies, in almost every one, will receive it as an intuitive truth, that a consolidated republican form of government therein, can never form a perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to you and your posterity, for to these objects it must be directed: this unkindred legislature therefore, composed of interests opposite and dissimilar in their nature, will in its exercise, emphatically be, like a house divided against itself.
Anti-federalist papers, Cato #3
It is natural to a republic to have only a small territory, otherwise it cannot long subsist. In a large republic there are men of large fortunes, and consequently of less moderation; there are trusts too great to be placed in any single subject; he has interest of his own; he soon begins to think that he may be happy, great and glorious, by oppressing his fellow citizens; and that he may raise himself to grandeur on the ruins of his country. In a large republic, the public good is sacrificed to a thousand views; it is subordinate to exceptions, and depends on accidents. In a small one, the interest of the public is easier perceived, better understood, and more within the reach of every citizen; abuses are of less extent, and of course are less protected.
Montesquieu —as quoted by Brutus and Cato, Anti-federalist papers.
It’s funny that conservative all laud the Federalist Papers, and almost never mention the Anti-Federalists. The Founders understood that what they were undertaking was an experiment, not a fixed and known perfect solution. The truth is, much of the warnings of the anti-federalists turned out to be correct. We’d be wise to pay as much attention to them as we do to the Federalists, who on many scores were well-intentioned, but completely wrong, as time has shown. (See the debates regarding “general welfare”, “necessary and proper”, the power of the judiciary, etc)
I am familiar with the AF Papers; I must say that although they have their points, I disagree with their total argument. I find the FP’s more convincing.
Remember, the government of today is not the one designed by our founders. The forces of populism have overtaken the ethics that should serve as our guide. People are now voting themselves riches out of the treasury. That was not in the FP’s, nor in the Constitution.