« ПретходнаНастави »
the State stoutly refused to send a man or a dollar out of its own limits for the cause and defense of the
But let us hear Mr. Randolph further in relation to his objection to the constitution. He says :
“ It would afford some consolation, if, when rebellion shall threaten any State, an ultimate asylum could be found under the wing of Congress. But it is at least equivocal whether they can intrude forces into a State rent asunder by civil discord, even with the purest solicitude for our federal welfare, and on the most urgent intreaties of the State itself.”
I give you these extracts in order to show how those great men, who helped to make the constitution, un. derstood it themselves.
All the members of the Convention were as well aware as Mr. Randolph that the constitution they had framed was open to these objections.
But they could discover no way to avoid them, with. out destroying the fundamental principles on which the Union had been formed ; and the Convention was sure that, if they attempted such a thing, the people of the States would never accept the constitution, and then the confederacy would wholly fall and the Union come to an end, just as the first New England confederacy had.
On the 25th of June, Mr. Pinckney moved “ that the national legislature shall have power to negative all laws passed by the State legislatures which they may judge improper."
This motion was instantly roted down, by seven States voting against it, and only three for it.
In fact, every proposition which came before the Convention, which had a leaning towards Mr. Hamilton's ideas of a national government that essentially impaired the individuality of the States, shared a similar fate.
Mr. Patterson, of New Jersey, said .
“ Let us consider with what powers we are sent here. The basis of our present authority is founded on a revision of the articles of the present confederation, and to alter or amend them in parts where they may appear defective. Can we on this ground form a national government? I fancy not. Our commissions give no complexion to the business ; and we cannot suppose that when we exceed the bounds of our duty the people will approve our proceedings. We are met here as the deputies of thirteen independent sovereign States, for federal purposes. Can we consolidate their sovereignty, and form one nation, and annihilate the sovereignties of our States, who have sent us here for other purposes
? But it is said this national government is to act on individuals, and not on States; and cannot a federal government be so framed as to operate in the same way? It surely may. I, therefore, declare that I never will consent to such a system. Myself or my State will never submit to tyranny or despotism.”
Luther Martin asked :
“What is the government now forming-over States or over persons ? As to the latter, their rights cannot be the object of a general government. These are already secured by their guardians, the State governments. The general government is therefore intended only to protect and guard the rights of the States, as States. The basis of all ancient and modern confederacies is the freedom and the independency of the States composing it.”
Even Mr. Wilson, of Pennsylvania, one of the strongest advocates of a strong national government, said : “ No liberty can be obtained without the State governments. On this question depends the essential rights of the general government and of the people.”
Judge Ellsworth said :
"I may be asked by my honorable friend from Mas. sachusetts, (Mr. King,) whether, by entering into a national government, I will not equally participate in national security? I confess I should ; but I want
domestic happiness, as well as general security. A general government will never grant me this, as it cannot know my wants or relieve my distress. My State is only as one out of thirteen. Can they, the general government, gratify my wishes ? My happiness depends as much on my State government, as a newborn infant depends upon its mother for nourish. ment."
In the debate in the Connecticut convention on the use of force against a rebelling State, Judge Ellsworth said:
“ We see how necessary for a Union is a coercive principle. No man pretends the contrary; we all see and feel this necessity. The only question is, shall it be a coercion of law or a coercion of arms? There is no other possible alternative. Where will those who oppose a coercion of law come out? Where will they end ? A necessary consequence of their principles is a war of the States, one against the other. I am for a coercion by law-that coercion which acts only upon delinquent individuals. This Constitution does not attempt to coerce sovereign bodies,-States in their poli. tical capacities; no coercion is applicable to such bodies, but that of an armed force; if we should attempt to execute the laws of the Union by sending an an armed force against a delinquent State, it would in. volve the good and the bad, the innocent and guilty, in the same calamity.”
It is a remarkable fact that during the whole session of the Constitutional Convention, the proposition to use force against delinquent States was never broached but twice-once by Mr. Randolph, and afterwards by Mr. Patterson, in his draft of a Constitution, in the fol. lowing words :—" And if any State, or body of men in any State, shall oppose or prevent the carrying into execution such acts, the federal executive shall be author. ized to call forth the powers of the confederated States, or as much thereof as shall be necessary to enforce and compel an obedience to such acts.”
The committe to whom this matter was referred, re. jected the proposition, and it was never brought before the Convention again.
On this subject Mr. Madison said :
" The more he reflected on the use of force, the more le doubted the practicability, justice, and the efficacy of it, when applied to people collectively and not individ. ually. A Union of States containing such an ingredient, seemed to provide for its own destruction. The use of force against a State would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment, and would probably be considered by the party attacked, as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound. He hoped that such a system might be framed as might render this resource unnecessary, and moved that the clause be postponed. This motion was agreed to nem con.
Mr. Hamilton's idea of force against a State, as a State, was similar:
• But how can this force be exerted on the States collectively? It is impossible. It amounts to a war between the parties. Foreign powers also will not be idle spectators. They will interpose, the confusion will increase, and a dissolution of the Union will ensue.”
Afterwards, when explaining this subject to the NewYork Convention, Mr. Hamilton said :
“The States can never lose their powers till the whole people of America are robbed of their liberties. These must go together; they must support each other, or meet a common fate.”
In answer to Mr. Smith's objection that the States might not be safe from the encroachments of the General Government, Mr. Hamilton said :
“We cannot confide in a National Government, though we have an effectual constitutional check against every encroachment. This is the amount of their argument, and it is false and fallacious beyond conception. I imagine I have stated abundant reasons to prove the entire safety of the State Governinent.
I wish the committee to remember that the Constitution under examination is framed upon truly republican principles; and that, as it is expressly designed to provide for the common protection and the gəneral welfare of the United States, it must be utterly repugnant to this Constitution to subvert the State Governments, or uppress ths people."
Mr. Hamilton added, at another time :
“ To coerce the States is one of the maddest projects that was ever devised. A failure of compliance will never be confined to a single State. This being the casc, can we suppose it wise to hazard a civil war ? It would be a nation at war with itself. Can any reasonable man be well disposed towards a government which makes war and carnage the only means of supporting itself ?-a government that can exist only by the sword ? Every such war must involve the inno. cent with the guilty. This single consideration should be sufficient to dispose every peaceable citizen against such a government.”.
And it is a fact worth reminding you of, that in 1832, at a convention of the “ National Republican party," at Worcester, Massachusetts, while discussing the proposition of putting down South Carolina by force, Daniel Webster said :
“ Sir, for one I protest in advance against such remedies as I have heard hinted. The administration itself keeps a profound silence, but its friends have spoken for it. We are told, sir, that the President will immediately employ the military force, and at once blockade Charleston ! A military remedy-a remedy by direct military operation, has thus been suggested, and nothing else has been suggested, as the intended means of preserving the Union. Sir, there is no little reason to think that this suggestion is true. We can. not be altogether unmindful of the past, and therefore we cannot be altogether unappreheusive for the future. For one, I raise my voice beforehand against the unauthorized employment of military power-against superseding the authority of the laws by an armed force, under pretence of putting down nullification. The President has no authority to blockade Charleston. The President has no authority to employ military force, till he shall be duly required so to do by law, and by the civil authorities. His duty is to cause the laws to be executed. His duty is to support the civil authority. His duty is, if the laws be resisted, to employ the military force of the country, if necessary, for