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by it, and vested by it with the powers of trying and deciding doubtful questions; and secondly, because, if the Constitution be regarded as a compact, not one State only, but all the States, are parties to that compact, and one can have no right to fix upon it her own peculiar construction.
So much, Sir, for the argument, even if the premises of the gentleman were granted, or could be proved. But, Sir, the gentleman has failed to maintain his leading proposition. He has not shown, it cannot be shown, that the Constitution is a compact between State governments. The Constitution itself, in its very front, refutes that idea; it declares that it is ordained and established by the people of the United States. So far from saying that it is established by the governments of the several States, it does not even say that it is established by the people of the several States ; but it pronounces that it is estab. lished by the people of the United States, in the aggregate. The gentleman says, it must mean no more than the people of the several States. Doubtless, the people of the several States, taken collectively, constitute the people of the United States; but it is in this, their collective capacity, it is as all the people of the United States, that they establish the Con. stitution. So they declare; and words cannot be plainer than the words used.
When the gentleman says the Constitution is a compact between the States, he uses language exactly applicable to the old Confederation. He speaks as if he were in Congress before 1789. He describes fully that old state of things then existing. The Confederation was, in strictness, a compact; the States, as States, were parties to it. We had no other general governo ment. But that was found insufficient, and inadequate to the public exigencies. The people were not satisfied with it, and undertook to establish a better. They undertook to form a general government, which should stand on a new basis; not a confederacy, not a league, not a compact between States, but a Constitution; a popular government, founded in popular election, directly responsible to the people themselves, and divided into branches with prescribed limits of power, and prescribed duties. They ordained such a government, they gave it the name of a Constitution, and therein they established a distribution of powers between this, their general government, and their several State governments. When they shall become dissatisfied with this distribution, they can alter it. Their own power over their own instrument remains. But until they shall alter it, it must stand as their will, and is equally binding on the general gove ernment and on the States.
The gentleman, Sir, finds analogy where I see none. He likens it to the case of a treaty, in which, there being no common superior, each party must interpret for itself, under its own obligation of good faith. But this is not a treaty, but a constitution of government, with powers to execute itself, and fulfil its duties.
I admit, Sir, that this government is a government of checks and balances; that is, the House of Representatives is a check on the Senate, and the Senate is a check on the House, and the President a check on both. But I cannot comprehend him, or, if I do, I totally differ from him, when he applies the notion of checks and balances to the interference of different governments. He argues, that, if we transgress our constitutional limits, each State, as a State, has a right to check us. Does he admit the converse of the proposition, that we have a right to check the States ? The gentleman's doctrines would give us a strange jumble of authorities and powers, instead of governments of separate and defined powers. It is the part of wisdom, I think, to avoid this; and to keep the general government and the State government each in its proper sphere, avoiding as carefully as possible every kind of interference.
Finally, Sir, the honorable gentleman says, that the States will only interfere, by their power, to preserve the Constitution. They will not destroy it, they will not impair it; they will only save, they will only preserve, they will only strengthen it! Ah! Sir, this is but the old story. All regulated governments, all free governments, have been broken by similar disinterested and well disposed interference. It is the common pretence. But I take leave of the subject.
NOTE A. Page 282.
Wednesday, 21st February, 1787. CONGRESS assembled : Present, as before. The report of a grand committee, consisting of Mr. Dane, Mr. Varnum, Mr. S. M. Mitchell, Mr. Smith, Mr. Cadwallader, Mr. Irvine, Mr. N. Mitchell, Mr. Forrest, Mr. Grayson, Mr. Blount, Mr. Bull, and Mr. Few, to whom was referred a letter of 14th September, 1786, from J. Dickinson, written at the request of commissioners from the States of Virginia, Delaware, Pennsyl. vania, New Jersey, and New York, assembled at the city of Annapolis, together with a copy of the report of said commissioners to the legisla. tures of the States by whom they were appointed, being an order of the day, was called up, and which is contained in the following resolution, viz. :—
“Congress having had under consideration the letter of John Dickin. son, Esq., chairman of the commissioners who assembled at Annapolis during the last year, also the proceedings of the said commissioners, and entirely coinciding with them as to the inefficiency of the federal government, and the necessity of devising such further provisions as shall render the same adequate to the exigencies of the Union, do strongly recommend to the different legislatures to send forward delegates to meet the proposed Convention, on the second Monday in May next, at the city of Philadelphia.”
NOTE B. Page 298. Extract from Mr. Calhoun's Speech in the House of Representatives,
April, 1816, on Mr. Randolph's Motion to strike out the Minimum Valuation on Cotton Goods.
“ The debate, heretofore, on this subject, has been on the degree of protection which ought to be afforded to our cotton and woollen manu. factures; all professing to be friendly to those infant establishments, and to be willing to extend to them adequate encouragement. The present motion assumes a new aspect. It is introduced, professedly, on the ground that manufactures ought not to receive any encouragement; and will, in its operation, leave our cotton establishments exposed to the competition of the cotton goods of the East Indies, which, it is acknowledged on all sides, they are not capable of meeting with success, without the proviso proposed to be stricken out by the motion now under discussion. Till the debate assumed this new form, he (Mr. Calhoun) determined to be silent; participating, as he largely did, in that general anxie. ty which is felt, after so long and laborious a session, to return to the bosom of our families. But on a subject of such vital importance, touching, as it does, the security and permanent prosperity of our country, he hoped that the House would indulge him in a few observa. tions.
" To give perfection to this state of things, it will be necessary to add, as soon as possible, a system of internal improvements, and, at least, such an extension of our navy as will prevent the cutting off our coasting trade. The advantage of each is so striking as not to require illus. tration, especially after the experience of the late war.
“He firmly believed that the country is prepared, even to maturity, for the introduction of manufactures. We have abundance of resources, and things naturally tend, at this moment, in that direction. A prosperous commerce has poured an immense amount of commercial capital into this country. This capital has till lately found occupation in commerce; but that state of the world which transferred it to this country and gave it active employment, has passed away, never to return. Where shall we now find full employment for our prodigious amount of tonnage ? Where, markets for the numerous and abundant products of our country? This great body of active capital, which, for the moment, has found sufficient employment in supplying our markets, exhausted by the war and measures preceding it, must find a new direction; it will not be idle. What channel can it take but that of manufactures ? This, if things continue as they are, will be its direction. It will introduce an era in our affairs, in many respects highly advantageous, and which ought to be countenanced by the government.
“ Besides, we have already surmounted the greatest difficulty that has ever been found in undertakings of this kind. The cotton and woollen manufactures are not to be introduced, — they are already introduced to a great extent; freeing us entirely from the hazards, and, in a great measure, the sacrifices, experienced in giving the capital of the country a new direction. The restrictive measures, and the war, though not inVOL. III.
tended for that purpose, have, by the necessary operation of things, turned a large amount of capital to this new branch of industry. He had often heard it said, both in and out of Congress, that this effect alone would indemnify the country for all its losses. So high was this tone of feeling when the want of these establishments was practically felt, that he remembered, during the war, when some question was agitated respecting the introduction of foreign goods, that many then opposed it on the ground of injuring our manufactures. He then said, that war alone furnished sufficient stimulus, and perhaps too much, as it would make their growth unnaturally rapid ; but that, on the return of peace, it would then be time to show our affection for them. He at that time did not expect an apathy and aversion to the extent which is now seen.
“But it will no doubt be said, if they are so far established, and if the situation of the country is so favorable to their growth, where is the ne. cessity of affording them protection ? It is to put them beyond the reach of contingency.
“ It has been further asserted, that manufactures are the fruitful cause of pauperism; and England has been referred to as furnishing conclusive evidence of its truth. For his part, he could perceive no such tendency in them, but the exact contrary, as they furnished new stimulus and means of subsistence to the laboring classes of the community. We ought not to look at the cotton and woollen establishments of Great Britain for the prodigious numbers of poor with which her population was disgraced ; causes much more efficient exist. Her poor laws, and statutes regulating the prices of labor, with taxes, were the real causes. But if it must be so, if the mere fact that England manufactured more than any other country, explained the cause of her having more beg. gars, it is just as reasonable to refer to the same cause her courage, spirit, and all her masculine virtues, in which she excels all other nations, with a single exception ; he meant our own, in which we might, without vanity, challenge a preëminence.
" Another objection had been, which he must acknowledge was better founded, that capital employed in manufacturing produced a greater dependence on the part of the employed, than in commerce, navigation, or agriculture. It is certainly an evil, and to be regretted, but he did not think it a decisive objection to the system; especially when it had incidental political advantages, which, in his opinion, more than counterpoised it. It produced an interest strictly American, as much so as agriculture, in which it had the decided advantage of commerce or nav. igation. The country will from this derive much advantage.
“ Again : it is calculated to bind together more closely our widely spread republic. It will greatly increase our mutual dependence and