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Noah Webster

After producing a speller for young students, Noah Webster was faced with the challenge in 1782 of obtaining copyright protection in America. Since at that time, the national government had no policy on copyrights, he had to deal with 13 separate states. The experience led him to believe in the need for a strong, central government.

Webster published "A Collection of Essays and Fugitiv Writings" in 1790. One of these, written in 1786, expanded on his views on the need for a strong central government:

In the first place, the weakness of our federal government is the devil. It prevents the adoption of any measures that are requisite for us as a nation; it keeps us from paying our honest debts; it also throws out of our power all the profits of commerce, and this drains us of cash. Is not this the devil? Yes, my countrymen, an empty purse is the devil.