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pectation of peace and cordiality between the members of the present confederacy, in a state of separation? Have we not already seen enough of the fallacy and extravagance of those idle theories which have amused us with promises of an exemption from the imperfections, the weaknesses, and the evils incident to society in every shape? Is it not time to awake from the deceitful dream of a golden age, and to adopt as a practical maxim for the direction of our political conduct, that we, as well as the other inhabitants of the globe, are yet remote from the happy empire of perfect wisdom and perfect virtue ?
So far is the general sense of mankind from corresponding with the tenets of those, who endeavour to lull asleep our apprehensions of discord and hostility between the States, in the event of disunion, that it has, from long observation of the progress of society, become a sort of axiom in politics, that vicinity or nearness of situation, constitutes nations natural enemies. An intelligent writer expresses himself on this subject to this effect: "Neighbouring nations (says he,) are naturally enemies of each other, unless their common weakness forces them to league in a confederate republic, and their constitution prevents the differences that neighbourhood occasions, extinguishing that secret jealousy, which disposes all states to aggrandize themselves at the expense of their neighbours.' This passage, at the same time, points out the evil and suggests the remedy.
It is sometimes asked, with an air of seeming triumph, what inducements the states could have, if disunited, to make war upon each other? It would be a full answer to this question to say,-precisely
the same inducements which have, at different times, deluged in blood all the nations in the world. But unfortunately for us, the question admits of a more particular answer. There are causes of difference within our immediate contemplation, of the tendency of which even under the restraints of a federal constitution, we have had sufficient experience to enable us to form a judgment of what might be expected, if those restraints were removed.
Territorial disputes have, at all times, been found one of the most fertile sources of hostility among nations. Perhaps the greatest proportion of the wars that have desolated the earth have sprung from this origin. This cause would exist among us in full force, We have a vast tract of unsettled territory within the boundaries of the United States. There still are discordant and unsettled claims between several of them, and the dissolution of the union would lay a foundation for similar claims between them all.
In the wide field of western territory, therefore, we perceive an ample theatre for hostile pretensions, without any umpire or common judge to interpose between the contending parties. To reason from the past to the future, we shall have good ground to apprehend, that the sword would sometimes be appealed to as the arbiter of their differences. The circumstances of the dispute between Connecticut and Pennsylvania, respecting the lands at Wyoming, admonish us not to be sanguine in expecting an easy accommodation of such differences. The articles of confederation obliged the parties to submit the matter to the decision of a federal court. The submission was made, and the court decided in favour of Pennsylvania. But Connecticut gave strong indications of dissatisfaction with that determination; nor did she appear to be entirely resigned to it, till by negociation and management, something like an equivalent was found for the loss she supposed herself to have sustained. Nothing here said, is intended to convey the slightest censure on the conduct of that state. She,
no doubt, sincerely believed herself to have been injured by the decision; and states, like individuals acquiesce with great reluctance, in determinations to their disadvantage.
The competitions of commerce would be another fruitful source of contention. The states less favorably circumstanced, would be desirous of escaping from the disadvantages of local situation, and of sharing in the advantages of their more fortunate neighbours. Each state, or separate confederacy, would pursue a system of commercial policy, peculiar to itself. This would occasion distinctions, preferences and exclusions, which would beget discontent. The habits of intercourse, on the basis of equal privileges, to which we have been accustomed from the earliest settlement of the country, would give a keener edge to those causes of discontent, than they would naturally have, independent of this circumstance. We should be ready to denominate injuries, those things which were in reality the justifiable acts of independent sovereignties consulting a distinct interest. The spirit of enterprise, which characterizes the commercial part of America, has left no occasion of displaying itself unimproved. It is not at all probable, that this unbridled spirit would pay much respect to those regulations of trade, by which particular states might endeavour to secure exclusive benefits to their own citizens. The infractions of these regulations on one side; the efforts to prevent and repel them on the other, would naturally lead to outrages, and these to reprisals and wars.
The public debt of the Union would be a further cause of collision between the separate states or confederacies. The apportionment, in the first instance, and the progressive extinguishment, afterwards, would be alike productive of ill humour and animosity. How would it be possible to agree upon a rule of apportionment, satisfactory to all? There is scarcely any that can be proposed, which is entirely free from real objections. These, as usual, would be exaggerated by the adverse interest of the parties.
If even the rule adopted should in practice justify the equality of its principle, still delinquencies in payment on the part of some of the states, would result from a diversity of other causes-the real deficiency of resources; the mismanagement of their finances; accidental disorders in the administration of the government; and in addition to the rest, the reluctance with which men commonly part with money, for purposes that have outlived the exigencies which produced them, and interfere with the supply of immediate want. Delinquencies, from whatever causes, would be productive of complaints, recriminations, and quarrels. There is, perhaps, nothing more likely to disturb the tranquility of nations, than their being bound to mutual contributions for any common object, which does not yield an equal and coincident benefit. For it is an observation as true as it is trite, that there is nothing that men differ so readily about, as the payment of money.
America, if not connected at all, or only by the feeble tie of a simple league offensive and defensive, would, by the operation of such opposite and jarring alliances, be gradually entangled in all the pernicious labyrinths of European politics and wars; and by the destructive contentions of the parts into which she was divided, would be likely to become a prey to the artifices and machinations of powers equally the enemies of them all. Divide et impera must be the motto of every nation that either hates or fears us.
CHARACTER OF MOSES.
Among those occasions which have lifted man above his ordinary sphere, none have displayed with more splendor, either talents, or virtues, than the revolutions of religion and empire. The conquest of na
tions, and the subversion of governments, formed, as well as exhibited, Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Alexander, Hannibal, Cæsar, Timur-bec, Kouli Khan, Frederic 2d. Hyder Ali, and various others of a similar character. To all these the pride of victory, the extension of conquest, and the increase of dominion, rose in full view; and, with a fascination wholly irresistible, prompted them to contrive, to dare, and to attempt, beyond the limits of ordinary belief. When we contemplate these men, however, our admiration is always mingled with disgust; and the few things in their characters, which claim-esteem, are lost in the multitude of those, which force abhorrence. The lustre shed around them is gloomy and dismal : a glare of Avernus; a "darkness visible;” at which the eye gazes with a mixture of astonishment and horror. We sicken, while we read their exploits; and blush, that such scourges of the world should have claimed a common nature with ourselves.
But there have been happier occasions for calling into action, and into light, the superior faculties of man. Empire and religion have, at times, changed for the better. Men have arisen, whom the world has not only admired, but revered, and loved; to whom applause was not the mere outcry of astonishment, but the silent and steady testimony of the understanding, the cheerful and instinctive tribute of the heart. When oppression was to be resisted, government to be reformed, or the moral state of mankind to be renewed, the Ruler of the universe has always supplied the means, and the agents. Where to the human eye the whole face of things has worn an uniform level; where every family was lost in insignificance, and every citizen was a peasant, and a slave; energy, asleep under the pressure of weary circumstances, and talents, veiled by humble and hopeless obscurity, have been roused into action and pushed forward to distinction and glory.
Among the men, who, at such periods, have risen to eminence, the Prophet Moses is unquestionably