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of the articles of confederation, as contrasted with that of the present constitution. By those articles, the powers of the thirteen United States were exerted collaterally. They operated through an intermediary. They were addressed to the several States, and their execution depended upon the pleasure and the co-operation of the States individually. The States seldom fulfilled the expectations of the general government in regard to its requisitions, and often wholly disappointed them. Languor and debility, in the movement of the old confederation, were the inevitable consequence of that arrangement of power. By the existing constitution, the powers of the general government act directly on the persons and things within its scope, without the intervention or impediments incident to an intermediary. In executing the great trust which the constitution of the United States creates, we must, therefore, reject that interpretation of its provisions which would make the general government dependlant upon those of the States for the execution of any of its powers ; and may safely conclude that the only genuine construction would be that which should enable this government to execute the great purposes of its institution, without the co-operation, and, if indispensably necessary, even against the will of any particular State. This is the characteristic difference between the two systems of government, of which we should never lose sight. Interpreted in the one way, we shall relapse into the feebleness and debility of the old confederacy. In the other, we shall escape from its evils, and fulfil the great purposes which the enlightened framers of the existing constitution intended to effectuate. The importance of this essential difference in the two forms of government, will be shown in the future progress of the argument.

Before I proceed to comment on those parts of the constitution which appear to me to convey the power in question, I hope I shall be allowed to disclaim, for my part, several sources whence others have deduced the authority. The gentleman from Virginia seemed to think it remarkable that the friends of the power should disagree so much among themselves ; and to draw a conclusion against its existence from the fact of this discrepancy. But I can see nothing extraordinary in this diversity of views. What is more common than for different men to contemplate the same subject under various aspects ? Such is the nature of the human mind, that enlightened men, perfectly upright in their intentions, differ in their opinions on almost

every topic that can be mentioned.

It is rather a presumption in favor of the cause which I am humbly maintaining, that the same result is attained by so many various modes of reasoning. But, if contrariety of views might be pleaded with any effect against the advocates of the disputed power, it is equally available against our opponents. There is, for example, not a very exact coincidence in opinion between the President of the United States and the gentleman from Virginia. The President says, (page 25 of his book,)

“ The use of the existing road, by the stage, mail-carrier, or post-boy, in passing over it, as others do, is all that would be thought of; the jurisdiction and soil remaining to the State, with a right in the State, or those authorized by its legislature, to change the road at pleasure.”

Again, page 27, the President asks:

“If the United States possessed the power contended for under this grant, might they not, in adopting the roads of the individual States, for the carriage of the mail, as has been done, assume jurisdiction over them, and preclude a right to interfere with or alter them ?"

They both agree that the general government does not possess the power. The gentleman from Virginia admits, if I understood him correctly, that the designation of a State road as a post-road, so far withdraws it from the jurisdiction of the State, that it cannot be afterwards put down or closed by the State ; and in this he claims for the general government more power than the President concedes to it. The President, on the contrary, pronounces, that “the absurdity of such a pretension” (that is, preventing, by the designation of a postroad, the power of the State from altering or changing it) "must be apparent to all who examine it !” The gentleman thinks that the designation of a post-road withdraws it entirely, so far as it is used for that purpose, froin the power of the whole State ; whilst the President thinks it absurd to assert that a mere county court may not defeat the execution of a law of the United States ! The President thinks that, under the power of appropriating the money of the United States, Congress may apply it to any object of internal improvement, provided it does not assume any territorial jurisdiction ; and, in this respect, he claims for the general government more power than the gentleman from Virginia assigns to it. And I must own, that I so far coincide with the gentleman from Virginia. If the power can be traced to no more legitimate source than to that of appropriating the public treasure, I will yield the question.

The truth is, that there is no specific grant, in the constitution, of the power of appropriation; nor is any such requisite. It is a resulting power. The constitution vests in Congress the power of taxation, with but few limitations, to raise a public revenue. It then enumerates the powers of Congress. And it follows, of necessity, that Congress has the right to apply the money, so raised, to the execution of the powers so granted. The clause which concludes the enumeration of the granted powers, by authorizing the passage of all laws, “necessary and proper” to effectuate them, comprehends the power of appropriation. And the framers of the constitution recognise it by the restriction that no money shall be drawn from the treasury but in virtue of a previous appropriation by law. It is to me wonderful how the President could have brought his mind to the conclusion, that, under the power of appropriation, thus incidentally existing, a right could be set up, in its nature almost without limitation, to employ the public money. He combats with great success and much ability, any deduction of power from the clause relating to the general welfare. He shows that the effect of it would be to overturn, or render useless and nugatory, the careful enumeration of our powers; and that it would convert a cautiously limited government into one without limitation. The same process of reasoning by which his mind was brought to this just conclusion, one would have thought, should have warned him against his claiming, under the power of appropriation, such a vast latitude of authority. He reasons strongly against the power, as claimed by us, harmless, and beneficent, and limited as it must be admitted to be, and yet he sets up a power boundless in its extent, unrestrained to the object of internal im rovements, and comprehending the whole scope of human affairs ! For, if the power exists, as he asserts it, what human restraint is there upon it ? He does, indeed, say, that it cannot be exerted so as to interfere with the territorial jurisdiction of the States. But this is a restriction altogether gratuitous, flowing from the bounty of the President, and not found in the prescriptions of the constitution. If we have a right, indefinitely, to apply the money of the government to internal improvements, or to any other object, what is to prevent the application of it to the purchase of the sovereignty itself of a State, if a State were mean enough to sell its sovereignty-to the purchase of kingdoms, empires, the globe itself? With an almost unlimited power of taxation, and, after the revenue is raised, with a right to apply it under no other limitations than those which the President's

caution has suggested, I cannot see what other human power is needed. It has been said, by Cæsar or Bonaparte, no doubt thought by both, that with soldiers enough, they could get money enough; and, with money enough, they could command soldiers enough. According to the President's interpretation of the constitution, one of these great levers of public force and power is possessed by this government. The President seems to contemplate, as fraught with great danger, the power, humbly as it is claimed, to effect the internal improvement of the country, and, in his attempt to overthrow it, sets up one of infinitely greater magnitude. The quantum of power which we claim over the subject of internal improvement, is, it is true, of greater amount and force than that which results from the President's view of the constitution; but then it is limited to the object of internal improvements; whilst the power set up by the President has no such limitation; and, in effect, as I conceive, has no limitation whatever, but that of the ability of the people to bear taxation.

With the most profound respect for the President, and after the most deliberate consideration of his argument, I cannot agree with him. I cannot think that any political power accrues to this government, from the mere authority which it possesses to appropriate the public revenue. The power to make internal improvements draws after it, most certainly, the right to appropriate money to consummate the object. But I cannot conceive that this right of appropriation draws after it the power of internal improvements. The appropriation of money is consequence, not cause. It follows; it does not precede. According to the order of nature, we first determine upon the object to be accomplished, and then appropriate the money necessary to its consummation. According to the order of the constitution, the power is defined, and the application, that is, the appropriation of the money requisite to its effectuation, follows as a necessary and proper means. The practice of congressional legislalation is conformable to both. We first inquire what we may do, and provide by law for its being done, and we then appropriate, by another act of legislation, the money necessary to accomplish the specified object. The error of the argument lies in its beginning too

It
supposes

the

money to be in the treasury, and then seeks to disburse it. But how came it there? Congress cannot impose taxes without an object. Their imposition must be in reference to

soon.

the whole mass of our powers, to the general purposes of government, or with the view to the fulfilment of some of those powers, or to the attainment of some of those purposes. In either case, we consult the constitution, and ascertain the extent of the authority which is confided to us. We cannot, constitutionally, lay the taxes without regard to the extent of our powers; and then, having acquired the money of the public, appropriate it, because we have got it, to any object indefinitely.

Nor do I claim the power in question, from the consent or grant of any particular State or States, through which an object of internal improvement may pass. It might, indeed, be prudent to consult a State, through which an improvement might happen to be carried, from considerations of deference and respect to its sovereign power; and fiom a disposition to maintain those relations of perfect amity which are ever desirable, between the general and State governments. But the power to establish the improvement must be found in the constitution, or it does not exist. And what is granted by all, it cannot be necessary to obtain the consent of some to perform.

The gentleman from Virginia, in speaking of incidental powers, has used a species of argument which I entreat him candidly to reconsider. He has said, that the chain of cause and effect is without end ; that if we argue from a power expressly granted to all others, which might be convenient or necessary to its execution, there are no bounds to the power of this government; that, for example, under the power to provide and maintain a navy,” the right might be assumed to the timber necessary to its construction, and the soil on which it grew. The gentleman might have added, the acorns from which it sprang. What, upon the gentleman's own hypothesis, ought to have been his conclusion ? That Congress possessed no power to provide and maintain a navy. Such a conclusion would have been quite as logical, as that Congress has no power over internal improvements, from the possible lengths to which this power may be pushed. No one ever has, or can, controvert the existence of incidental powers. We may apply different rules for their extraction, but all must concur in the necessity of their actual existence. They result from the imperfections of our nature, and from the utter impossibility of foreseeing all the turns and vicissitudes in human affairs. They cannot be defined. Much is attained when the power, the end,

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