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two-thirds of each House, has not fallen into desuetude, and its use becomes a sort of appeal to public opinion: thus, the very limit to its authority is an excuse for its exercise.

Under the old Confederation there was no President; and no part of the present Constitution more clearly marks the intentions of its framers to unite the American People as one Nation, than this appointment.1

There is no doubt that many of these arrangements were the result of compromise between

"They (the Convention) have not made the appointment of the President to depend on any pre-existing bodies of men who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes; but they have referred it in the first instance to an immediate act of the people of America, to be exerted in the choice of persons for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment. ** Another and no less important desideratum was, that the Executive should be independent for his continuance in office on all but the people themselves. He might otherwise be tempted to sacrifice his duty to his complaisance for those whose favour was ne

cessary to the duration of his official consequence. This advantage will also be secured by making his re-election to depend on a special body of representatives, deputed by the society for the single purpose of making the important choice. All these advantages will be happily combined in the plan devised by the Convention, which is, that the people of each State shall choose a number of persons as electors equal to the number of senators and representatives of such State in the National Government, who shall assemble within the State and vote for some fit person as President."-Federalist, No. 68.

the smaller and larger States, and yet they might have been the suggestion of the highest political wisdom. Complicated as they appear, they have been most efficient in their results. Take, for example, the mode of senatorial election. It forms the true conservative element in the Constitution. We quite agree with Mr. Spence in his approval of Mr. Seward's declaration, "That the Republic has been successful only by reason of the stability, strength, and greatness of the individual States." 1 We could say much the same for our own monarchy, inasmuch as our freedom, as a Nation, undoubtedly rests upon the broad basis of our municipal institutions. The constitution of the Senate satisfied the smaller States of the North, and the larger but less populous States of the South; and all have felt that in one branch of the Legislature, at least, they were upon an equality. necessity of vesting the legislative power in two Houses was rendered painfully evident by the experience of the Confederation. A resort to the same sources for both would

The American Union, 230.



have been to give up one of the greatest advantages of a second Chamber. On the other hand, to have denied all control in its formation to the sovereign People, would have been to nullify the great principle of the Declaration of Independence, that “ governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed." The State Legislatures had already been elected by the People. To confide to their hands, therefore, the election to the Senate, and in equal proportions, was at once to satisfy the State and the People, and yet in no degree to depart from the principle. of a National government.

It has been asserted, that the organization of the Senate is a standing acknowledgment of the complete sovereignty and independence of the several States.1 Were this the case, so far from its possessing a conservative and beneficial influence, it would become the fertile source of anarchy and confusion. Such sovereignty and independence were the great evils of the Confederation; and all contemporary history shows that their limitation was one of

1 The American Union, 228.

the principal objects of the Constitution. That assertion, however, is not true. Each State had confessedly the full power to accept or refuse the Constitution. The concession of equal representation in one of the Houses was offered to induce unanimous adoption, and succeeded with only two temporary exceptions, viz., North Carolina and Rhode Island. But the States having accepted it, sovereignty, in the complete sense of the term, was at the same time surrendered.1 Their separate and independent existence thenceforth continued for internal and municipal purposes. For these, and these only, "the State," to use Mr. Spence's own words, "is as supreme as the Federal law. No question exists of relative rank, of any superiority; each is supreme in its own department; both are equally powerless beyond it." The States are no more separate for all National purposes than are English counties, and far less so than Ireland from England before the Union; and they are


1 See Letter of the Federal Convention to Congress, accompanying the Constitution, ante, 54.

2 The American Union, 213.

no more independent than our own municipalities, the sole difference being, that in their case autonomy is secured by the supremacy of a Constitution liable to amendment, and in ours by the supremacy of a law liable to change.

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