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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1843,


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and for the Southeri

District of New York.


13 Clenbers Street, N. Y.


30 other light. The people, the highest authority known to our system, from whom all our institutions spring, and on whom they depend, formed it. Had the people of the several states thought proper to incorporate themselves into one community, under one government, they might have done it. They had the power, and there was nothing then, nor is there anything now, should they be so disposed, to prevent it. They wisely stopped, however, at a certain point, extending the incorporation to that point, making the national government, thus far, a consolidated government, and preserving the state governments, without that limit, perfectly sovereign and independent of the national government. Had the people of the several states incorporated themselves into one community, they must have remained such; their constitution becoming then, like the constitution of the several states, incapable of change, until altered by the will of the majority. In the institution of a state government by the citizens of a state, a compact is formed, to which all and every citizen are equal parties. They are also the sole parties, and may amend it at pleasure. In the institution of the government of the United States, by the citizens of every state, a compact was formed between the whole American people, which has the same force, and partakes of all the qualities, to the extent of its powers, as a compact between the citizens of a state, in the formation of their own constitution. It can not be altered, except by those who formed it, or in the mode prescribed by the parties to the compact itself.

This constitution was adopted for the purpose of remedying all the defects of the confederation, and in this it has succeeded, beyond any calculation that could have been formed of any human institution. By binding the states together, the constitution performs the great office of the confederation ; but it is in that sense only, that it has any of the properties of that compact, and in that it is more effectual, to the purpose, as it holds them together by a much stronger bond; and in all other respects, in which the confederation failed, the constitution has been blessed with complete success. The confederation was a compact between separate and independent states; the execution of whose articles, in the powers which operated internally, depended on the state governments. But the great office of the constitution by incorporating the people of the several states, to the extent of its powers, into one community, and enabling it to act directly on the people, was to annul the powers of the state governments to that extent, except in cases where they were concurrent, and to preclude their agency in giving effect to those of the general government. The government of the United States relies on its own means for the execution of its powers, as the state governments do for the execution of theirs ; both governments having a common origin, or sovereign, the people ; the state governments the people of each state, the national government the people of every state, and being amenable to the power which created it. It is by executing its functions as a government, thus originating and thus acting, that the constitution of the United States holds the states together, and performs the office of a league. It is owing to the nature of its powers, and the high source whence they are derived, the people, that it performs that office better than the confederation, or any league which ever existed, being a compact which the state governments did not form, to which they are not parties, and which executes its own powers independently of them.

Thus were two separate and independent governments established over our Union, one for local purposes, over each state, by the people of the

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state ; the other, for national purposes, over all the states, by the people of the United States. The whole power of the people, on the representative principle, is divided between them. The state governments are independent of each other; and, to the extent of their powers, are complete sovereignties. The national government begins where the state governments terminate, except in some instances where there is a concurrent jurisdiction between them. This government is also, according to the extent of his powers, a complete sovereignty. I speak here, as repeatedly mentioned before, altogether of representative sovereignties, for the real sovereignty is in the people alone.

The history of the world affords no such example of two separate and independent governments established over the same people; nor can it exist, except in governments founded on the sovereignty of the people. In monarchies, and other governments not representative, there can be no such division of power. The government is inherent in the possessor; it is his, and can not be taken from him without a revolution. In such governments, alliances and leagues alone are practicable. But with us, individuals count for nothing in the offices which they hold ; that is, they have no right to them. They hold them as representatives, by appointment from the people, in whom the sovereignty is exclusively vested. It is impossible to speak too highly of this system, taken in its twofold character, and in all its great principles of two governments, completely distinct from, and independent of, each other; each constitutional, founded by, and acting directly on, the people ; each competent to all its purposes, administering all the blessings for which it was instituted, without even the most remote danger of exercising any of its powers in a way to oppress the people. A system capable of expansion over a vast territory, not only without weakening either government, but enjoying the peculiar advantage of adding thereby, new strength and vigor to the faculties of both ; possessing, also, this additional advantage, that, while the several states enjoy all the rights reserved to them, of separate and independent governments, and each is secured by the nature of the federal government, which acts directly on the people against the failure of the others, to bear their equal share of the public burdens, and thereby enjoys, in a more perfect degree, all the advantages of a league, it holds them together by a bond, altogether different and much stronger than the late confederation, or any league that was ever known before ; a bond beyond their control, and which can not even be amended except in the mode prescribed by it. So great an effort in favor of human happiness was never made before ; but it became those who made it. Established in the new hemisphere ; descended from the same ancestors ; speaking the same language; having the same religion and universal toleration ; born equal, and educated in the same principles of free government; made independent by a common struggle, and menaced by the same dangers ; ties existed between them which never applied before to separate communities. They had every motive to bind them together, which could operate on the interests and affections of a generous, enlightened, and virtuous people; and it affords inexpressible consolation to find that these motives had their merited influence.

In thus tracing our institutions to their origin, and pursuing them in their progress and modifications, down to the adoption of this constitution, two important facts have been disclosed, on which it may not be improper, in this stage, to make a few observations. The first is, that, in w


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