Published in 1802
" It is a characteristic property of all great disorders in the political system, that they do as much injury to the states apparently benefited by the destruction of the balance, as to the immediate losers, by the disproportion introduced.
It is the true and permanent interest of every nation, without exception, to preserve a due proportion between its own strength and that of its neighbours; and to maintain a just distribution of power among all the members of the federative system. The advantages of a dangerous ascendancy are always deceitful; for the public welfare of a nation cannot be secure without the satisfaction of its neighbours, and the confidence of the world.
An enlightened policy requires a due attention to these important requisites of peace, on the part of the greatest, as well as the smallest states. Were France to distinguish her true interests, were the voice of reason to prevail above the dictates of ambition and avarice, her statesmen would easily be convinced that what now is called, by a shameful abuse of words, the federative system of Europe, is nothing but a compound of inordinate power on the one hand, and impotence on the other; in which no real independence, no stability or security, and no permanent peace can exist; and which is consequently incompatible with the general welfare."—
Of the nature of alliances with France, Mr. Gentz speaks in the following explicit manner, p. 273.—“The author of the Etat de la France, has dignified the alliances of the French republic with Spain, Holland, and Genoa, by calling them the first foundation of a future federal edifice. He quotes them as honourable and irresistible proofs of the generosity and disinterestedness of the republic, as assurances of the uprightness of her principles, and as the productions of an almost wonderful political wisdom, &c. Such were the alliances (though the terms were certainly move favourable), of Sicily, Greece, Asia Minor, Egypt, &c. with the Romans!
If the future alliances of France are to be formed on these models; if the present condition of Switzerland and Holland, Italy and Spain, awaits all those to be hereafter leagued with the French government, it may well be asked, whether the friendship and protection of that power are less fatal than her declared enmity.
If these relations, formed and maintained by force of arms, are to be the basis of a new federal system, and a future law of nations, Europe must ardently wish that the superstructure, to be "raised upon such a foundation", may never be completed, &c. Thus have her alliances been hitherto formed; and thus will it be with all succeeding ones.
Such must, and will continue to be the system of politics, when the ascendancy of one nation has destroyed the security of all; when, deprived of every federative safeguard, the weak are reduced to utter helplessness, and the law of nations is supplanted by the law of force."