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anty of public virtue—a thing of un- ! tenure. The evil, if such it were, would speakable importance everywhere. Not fall directly on the local government, while the religion of frenzy nor of sect, but the Union might continue to hold up its religion in its general substance--the head in undiminished honor, character, religion of the gospel. The fathers and influence; and the comparative result wished to tie the hearts of the people would be, a loss to one of the members of to their institutions, and they imbued the political body, and a corresponding gain these with the religion which the peo to the head. ple then loved. Religious babels were Or, suppose a State to put itself under not wanted. Religious feudal systems, a sort of process of depletion, by reducing with alien lords paramount, did not suit a its terms of office from three years to one polity which claimed the citizen's whole in the case of its chief magistrate, and from allegiance for his own government. This four to two in that of its senators. Does government was not made strong enough any man question that the effect must be, to do without the people's affections, upon the whole, to let down the tone of much less to abide the distracting compe- the particular government, and take sometition of foreign claims upon them. For what from its relative weight of character ? eign allegiance, therefore, of whatever Does any man fail to see, that this must type, was expected to be abjured, and the needs redound to a proportional exaltation rules of our own national piety and pa- of the central government ? triotism undividedly embraced.
Or, finally, suppose a State government In one respect undoubtedly the close to have its mantle of patronage stripped and sympathetic relations of the Union off, and all appointments made over to the government with that of the particular disposal of the popular electors. What States brought the former into a kind of follows ? Does not the shame of that independence that might subject it to pos- government's nakedness appear ? Tell me sible mischief, though a mischief in which not that the people are represented by the States must also participate. I allude their officers, and that the majesty of to the provision of the federal Constitu- the people never varies. The people are tion, by which the State electorships for out of sight and unthought of. The immembers of assembly were adopted as mediate organs of power fill the eye for organs of choice for representatives in the time. Degrade these, and you deCongress. In which respect the charac- grade the State in their persons, the peoter of one branch of the national legisla- ple's majesty notwithstanding. We must ture was left in some measure at the take things practically, by the world's future mercy of the States; so that a measure. Rank and influence result from change made at Albany or Harrisburg in actual circumstances, not from philothe vesting of the electoral franchise must sophical musings of what ought to be. A affect the whole country. A matter of government without patronage may be a grave consequence certainly. Let were noble ship; but it is a ship under bare well if our thirty faculties of constitutional poles, that makes not half the impression dissectors would bethink themselves that on us in that plight of destitution as when the nerves they handle with such surgeon- all her glorious canvass swells in the breeze. like freedom extend to Washington.
One thing, however, may be stated with On the other hand, there are points in confidence ; the fathers left the State in which it was left possible for a State to high relative condition ; free, indeed, to alter its economy, and take all the fruits to fall by their own acts, but not exposed to itself. By which means the equilibrium any known power of injurious depression of the system might be sadly interfered at the hands of the federal government. with, and its working impaired.
How could that government hurt them if Suppose, for instance, that a State it would ? and what temptation was it should so change its Constitution as to de- under, to desire to hurt them ? The grade one of the jurisdictional branches of greater they were, the more honorable its its government, and sympathetically the precedency over them in national affairs. others too, by depriving the judges of that The general fear of considerate men was, jewel of modern policy, the independent that the States would prove too great for
the stability of the Union. Washington | chuse. No other means could be conentertained this fear, and so did Hamilton, ceived of as within the granted powers of and many others. Indeed, supposing the the government. States true to themselves, I do not see Could it be done by conquest? Citizen how it was possible for the central gov- soldiers would hardly have been preferred ernment to work its way to a dispropor- to enlisted troops with such views. Nor tionate and dangerous pre-eminence, save
were such views consistent with the reby one or both of two expedients; that is ligion, the morals, the laws, of the country to say, by the adoption of a war policy, in its first and purest age. The notion or a policy of territorial acquisition ; of an habitually grasping policy was as neither of which, in my humble judgment, foreign to our institutions then, as that of was compatible with the fundamental highway robbery was to the economy of laws. Let us think of it a moment. private life under them. Indeed, the very
As to war, the most aggrandizing and savages of our forests were safe from the fearful of all the expedients of ambition injustice of such a policy. Instead of inwhen successful, and which, if it could be vading the Indian settlements for purposes entered upon at pleasure by the federal of prey, the fathers carried nothing but the government, might truly make that gov- arts of civilization and the blessings of ernment everything, and the States no- Christianity among them. Instead of takthing, the original policy of our institu- ing away the lands of the poor red man, tions was clear and unequivocal against it. the fathers protected his title to them, and We were, for example, to have no con did all they could to make his occupancy siderable standing army. The early rec-safe, useful, agreeable, permanent. The ords are full of this axiom. We were to government had a right of eminent domain depend in ordinary, for our military opera- over many of the Indian territories, but tions, on the citizen mililia ; another primi- this right was held in scrupulous deference tive axiom, or rather, another form of the to the right of the actual possessors to
And then the specified conditions enjoy them as long as they pleased, and on which alone, according to the federal who were never, on any account, to be charter itself, the militia might be called disturbed or disquieted—a pleasing eviinto service, shut out altogether the no dence of the unambitious, self-denying tion of an aggressive foreign war. Citi- character of our early policy, as to what zens cannot be sent abroad against their so many modern politicians think it imwill, though it were to fight the country's possible to get enough of now. The days battles. More than all, a war of aggres- of aggression and of conquest had not yet sion is one which, as a Christian people dawned. (constitutionally such in profession) we As to legislation, it is a milder expemay not, cannot urge.
dient, but inapplicable to the purpose. But how as to the national domain ? Legislation is the exercise of an essentially Was that to be enlarged indefinitely? If internal power, and of course the fathers it was, adieu to all safe proportion be could not expect it to go abroad. Most tween the head and members of the Re- true, there was an acknowledged form of public. I affirm, however, that by the that power for admilting new Stales into unadulterated rule of the fathers the thing the Union. This, however, operated no was impossible. They certainly would enlargement of territorial jurisdiction in not have been apprehensive of the grow- Congress ; no change of the axiom that ing consequence of the State governments, legislation cannot, in the nature of things as likely to disturb the general balance of make its voice heard beyond the actual the system, if they had supposed the gov- borders of the country. The jurisdiction ernment of the Union capable of widening of Congress was still rigidly confined to its foundations at pleasure, and thus avail its domestic province. The common law, ing itself of resources of wealth, influence and as well as common reason, settled this domination, to which no bounds could be set. point; so that the power of admitting Let us see.
If foreign territories were new States extended not an inch beyond to be acquired at all, it could only be by the national domain ns it then was. Existconquest, by legislation, or by treaty-pur- ing materials might be worked up; new
States might be formed upon soil already government with a long radius for its scepours; and Congress might then receive tre, differs in like manner from one of them into the larger organization of the comparatively small jurisdictional limits. federal system. But here legislation must Besides, in proportion as you multiply stop. There was no warrant, no compe- particular States, you reduce the weight tency for carrying its enterprises further. of each in the federal councils. MassaForeign lands, that is, lands to which the chusetts, for instance, was formerly as one jurisdiction of Congress did not as yet ex
to thirteen in the Senate of the Union; a tend, could not possibly be reached by proportion liable to be reduced by fair any action of that body. Fundamental means (that is, by new States, formed upprinciples forbade it. No human jurisdic-on old territories) to the ratio, we will tion is unlimited; no human jurisdiction suppose, of one to twenty-one or two. can take effect by its own vigor where it is But imagine the government at Washingnot.
ton to throw its arms abroad and take in But lastly, the treaty-making power- ten or twenty States from the outer world, might not that help us to a slice of for- beyond the original bearing of the national eign soil, upon occasion of very strong ap- compact, a terra incognila to the constitupetite?
tional fathers; what would Massachusetts I apprehend this too is impossible upon be then in the senatorial huddle of the relegal principles. Such a power is indeed public? The little State of Delaware was given, and in broad terms; nor will I pre- something once, with her single representtend to say what might be done with it ative and two senators in Congress; but by a government differently constituted what will Delaware be when all the terrifrom ours, and with different views of ne- tories acquired from France, Spain, Mexcessary policy in the matter of colonial in- ico, shall have been worked up into stitutions; but formed and principled as States ? we are, there is an embarrassment upon Depend upon it, such changes touch our hands which must I think be fatal, so the Constitution in a nerve which, quiet as far as law and theory are concerned, to it may be now, will vibrate by and by. It any rightful extension of the national do- cannot be otherwise. In mercantile affairs main by treaty purchase. For I assume the introduction of a new partner into a firm that such extension, if it were possible, can dissolves the firm that was, and creates only be to the direct intent of a corres another in law. That is often done by ponding enlargement of the federal system, common consent-not otherwise. But to take effect sooner or later, according to here is a case where a third parly claims circumstances, by the introduction of new to bring in new members, and without conStales into that system. We have no co- sulting the old firm. Can it be done ? I lonial dependencies, and no law or policy answer, no. And for this plain reason, for any. Perhaps the argument would that it requires, not simply a treaty-maknot be much less cogent if we had. But ing, but a constitution-making power to efthe fact that we have not, is a truism by fect it; and to such a power the president universal consent.
and senate have no pretension. I say then, to make a territorial acqui The truth is, the treaty-making power sition with such views, is necessarily to being vested in the President and Senate louch the Constitution of the country in the by general words of delegation, takes its
of system to each other-a very tender, nay, It can therefore do no more, assuredly, a vital point. Is the thing doubtful ? ex than nations have been accustomed to do amine it. The relation of comparative ex with it, time immemorial. This is putting tent itself, as between a State and the the case in the most liberal light that can Union, is something. But other relations, be; for the peculiarity of our forms and more important far, grow out of that. polity is now put out of view. What then Comparative resources, comparative juris- does national usage and custom teach us diction, comparative dignity, influence, that this power is equal to ? At the very power. Great landholders are very differ- utmost, to a purchase of colonial dependent personages from little ones; and a encies. Such dependencies have been VOL. IV.
often secured by treaty. But as to pur Neither let it be imagined that I overrate chasing states, whether fully grown or in the probable consequences of an indefinite embryo, by way of organic enlargement of extension of federal territory, as regards an empire, there is, I undertake to say, no the equipoise of our system. The States custom, no usage, no solitary example for it since the world began. So that the to the thirteen States; and the erection of new common law can afford no countenance to States upon them is a matter of necessity. such a practice.
Nor do we think it can be said, in strictness, Since, therefore, the President and Sen- is, perhaps, the best colonial system ever erected.
that we have no colonial system; our territorial ate are without any expressly granted Nor does the comparison of a “firm” seem authority for altering the constitutional re to hold good in regard to the admission of new lations of the State Governments with that States. The importance of individual States of the Union, and since the want of such may be lessened, but is the importance of the
Union lessened, or the system weakened as a express authority is not and cannot be whole ? It seems to us that it is not. The spirit made up to them by construction of law, of a system is not necessarily changed by the it follows, that no right of acquiring for- enlargement of the body which'it governs. eign territories by treaty, in order to turn
The fathers contemplated the addition of
Canada, then why not of other territory! ing them at length into constituent por
The common law takes its rise from the aptions of the federal system, exists under plication of reason and necessity to the immethe compact by which that system was diate circumstances ; it does not control or limit formed. It is a system depending, be- the growth of States, but only produces a just yond all parallel, on nice adjustments, as
order in affairs as they proceed. The English
constitution and the common law do not jar, yet well between the States and the Union as
the empire of England has been enlarged in elsewhere; and the fathers never thought every way; of introducing into it a principle of sure If the doctrine be admitted, that bad treaties progressive derangement, which, however are not binding on the people because they are
bad, we should have no government left. The its operation might be borne with for a
President and Senate are plenipotentiaries under time, must tend infallibly to confusion and the Constitution, and will sometimes make ultimate ruin.
bad treaties; but we, the people, can only Let it not be fancied, that because the make the best of it; we have elected our President and Senate represent the people
, making power is in fact in the Senate; the
officers, and must suffer by them. The treaty. therefore the people are to be regarded as
Senate represents States, the partners in the assenting to all the treaties that are made. firm;" if the partners chose to admit new memThe people are represented no further than bers, formed out of colonies of citizens, we cannot the power exercised is legitimate. They as- help it. A company is dissolved by the admis
sion of new partners, for legal purposes; in order sent of course by implication to treaties law
that the law may maintain its ascendency, startfully made, that is within the just range of ing from the new record to control the new the treaty-making power. But my position circumstances, and not because the principle of is, that to purchase new States from abroad, a partnership is changed by the addition of a such either in fact or contemplation, is be
new member. In the case of the admission of yond the scope of the power, and so without laws go on as before.
a State, the record is effectually made, and the legal authority. It is an act of constituent,
Such, we are obliged to say, are our objections not administrative sovereignty; of usurpa to the learned author's argument. tion, consequently, on the rights of the peo- advocate, the regular admission of new States
We have always advocated, and shall always ple, and not of duty in their service.*
aud have no fears for any deterioration of the * NOTE BY THE EDITOR.-As the series of arti general system, though it seems to us that our cles, of which the above is a member, requires author has established the conclusion that the to be published without change, to stand or fall individual States are weakened by the enlargeby its own merits; and as the usual editorial ment of the body of the Union. Our Southern policy of admitting nothing inconsistent with an citizens, who have been so eager for the admisadopted course, cannot in this case be adhered sion of new States, will perbaps profit by the to, we can here only enter a personal objec- hint. The importance of South Carolina dwindles tion to the opinion of the learned and able a little with every new addition to the confederwriter, that the Constitution is impaired by the acy, while the power of the entire system, and admission of new States, erected upon ceded or the sway of national majorities, is proportionably purchased territory. Florida, Oregon, Texas, augmented. One would think that violent Louisiana, California, New Mexico, are as much State-rights men would have opposed the aca part of us, as if they had originally belonged quisition of territory.
are a great feature of that system, a mo- country, much need not be said. Our elementous feature. And their importance ments were very simple. Peculiarities in it depends upon their relative magni- indeed there were, that claimed attention tude and weight of influence as compared and accommodation, and received it. I with the head government. It is this that will mention two or three. makes them such a capital check upon One of importance was, the diversity of that government, according to the record condition among men in the matter of proed opinions of the early patriots. And perty; as to which, there was a triple would it be nothing to these vast subdivi- alternative at the option of the lawgivers. sions of the commonwealth to find them. They could give official eligibility, and the selves reduced suddenly, or by unmarked right of choice among candidates for pubdegrees, to the dimensions of mere counties lic stations, to the wealthy alone, a small in the general scale ?—lost sight of, one part of the community ; to the whole popuby one, like individuals in a mob? lar mass, the majority of whom had no
True, indeed, the nation as a whole is thing to bind them to the country, or to our own, and we are apt to be fond par- attest their personal fitness for meddling takers of its glory whencesoever derived; in its affairs; or to a middle class or applauding when its armies conquer, and classes of society, greatly more numerous making every expansion of its sway a than the former, greatly less so than the matter of personal triumph.
latter, and who would be likely to act All which, however, is but a commen with a reasonable sympathy at once for tary on the views I have urged ; a living rich and poor, tempering matters imparannotation upon the text of our danger. tially between them. The option was easily It shows to a marvel how war and terri- determined, and determined as it ought to torial acquisition build up the pile of poli- be. A low property qualification was antical supremacy; exalting the head, not only nexed to the right of suffrage, and a someto the disparagement, but often, generally what higher one to that of being admitted perhaps, with the blind concurrence of the to the trusts at its disposal. members.
The prevailing religion of the country Let us not deceive ourselves. The fa- may be given as another instance. There thers had no part in this infatuation of the were various sects of Protestant Christians. popular mind. They saw that it was ne- Their differences were for the most part cessary for the members to maintain their formal. It would not do to set up one relative standing, and there is nothing above the rest, and yet as Christians they truer or more vital in our case. Extension must not be overlooked, for their religious of territory is increase of power in the head sentiments ar interests were very dear to gorernment. How can it fail to be so ? them. The patriarchs went therefore for Money is said to be power. Double the the substance of things, and let forms national domain, and, other things being alone. To atheism, too rare to have any equal, you double the pecuniary means of claims, and too detestable for gratuitous the federal administration. Business is favor, they gave no countenance whatpower. By enlarging the jurisdiction of ever; and they looked with stern dislike office, you multiply subjects and occasions upon ecclesiastical connections, under of official action. Patronage is power; whatever guise of Christian seeming, that and what a swarm of appointments must drew off the allegiance and the love of the inevitably gather upon every new hive of people from their own land and institutions. the national apiary. Fame, worship, is General Christianity, untrammeled with power, and we are witnesses against our such connections, was deemed essential to selves, that men are prone to honor | high and pure citizenship; and this became worldly greatness and prosperity, with the religion of the government and of the very little care of discrimination as to laws. points of justice, points of prudence, points There was in the country a settled popuof law itself, connected with the magnifi- lar aversion to privileged orders. We had cence of a nation's exploits.
felt the weight of such burdens, and it Of the original adaplation of the govern- was impossible we should submit our ment to the actual state of things in the backs to them again. Instead of that,