« ZurückWeiter »
and moved that the clause be postponed. This motion was agreed to, mem. con.”—Madison Papers, p. 761. ALEXANDER HAMILTON used the following language on the same subject. After referring to the case of Shay’s rebellion, in which military force could be properly employed, and for which “Massachusetts was making provision,” by State authority, he adds: “But how can this force be exerted on the States collectively 7 (against State authority.) It is impossible. It amounts to a declaration of 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.”—Idem, p. 881. Thus it appears that no State can constitutionally be coerced by the other States by force of arms. In the Convention, so determined were the advocates of State rights not to give up certain of these to the General Government, that the Convention came to a dead stand, and was in danger of failing entirely to accomplish the object for which they assembled. CHARLEs PINCRNEY declared, that for nearly six weeks the small States pertinaciously struggled to obtain equal power in both branches. The term “United States” was in constant use when the Constitution was framed, with a fixed and definite meaning in the minds of men, namely, the same as in the Articles of Confederation. That document is described as “Articles of Confederation, and perpetual union between the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, &c. Article I. The style of this Confederacy shall be, The United States of America.” Now it is evident that the term “United States,” in the . Constitution, means the same that it does in the Articles of Confederation, and is equivalent to New Hampshire, Massachusetts, &c., united, or the States united. They formed a union by a compact between themselves. Article VII. “The ratification of the conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the same.” Here the word is between, not over. The Constitution is a compact between the States. “We the people of the United States,” evidently must mean the same as we the people of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, &c., taken severally, and not collectively; that is, the people of New Hampshire and the people of Massachusetts, &c. The people who voted for the Constitution by States must have understood the phrase as meaning the same in the Constitution that it does in the Articles of Confederation, namely, the people of the several States, and not the people of America, taken collectively as one people. It was a majority of the people of each State acting by itself that adopted the Constitution, and not a majority of the people of all the States taken collectively. Indeed, the people of all the States have never acted together as one whole. Even in the election of President, the people vote by separate States, not for a President, but for State electors. A majority of the people of the whole country do not appoint electors, but a majority of each separate State. If the electors fail to elect a President, then the States as States in Congress assembled appoint the President; Rhode Island having one vote and New York no more. And if the House of Representatives fail of making a choice, Senate, appointed by the several States, shall a Vice-President, who shall act as President of the
and his measures, and a portion of them looked to the of State rights for relief. To JoHN TAYLOR of Virginia, M. Jerrorsos a letter, June, 1798. In it he says: “It is true that we art pletely under the saddle of Massachusetts and Connecticut, and they ride us very hard, cruelly insulting our feelings, as well as exhausting our strength and subsistence. Their natural friends, the three other Eastern States, join them from a sort of family pride, and they have the art to divide certain other parts of the Lnion, so as to make use of them to govern the whole.” “If we rid ourselves of the present rulers of Massachusetts and Connecticut, we break the Union; will the work stop there? Suppose the New England States alone cut off, will our nature be changed? Are there not men to the South with all the passions of men? Immediately we shall see a Pennsylvania and Virginia party arise in the residuary Confederacy, and the public mind will be distracted with the same party spirit.”
In another place he says: “Mr. NEw showed me your letter on the subject of the protest, which gives me an opportunity of observing what you said as to the effect with you of public proceedings, and that it is not unwise now to estimate the separate map of Virginia and North Carolina, with a view to their separate existence.” “Seeing we must have somebody to quarrel with, I had rather keep our New England associates for that purpose, than to see our bickerings transferred to others. They are circumstanced within such narrow limits, and their population so full, that their numbers will soon be in the minority; and they are marked, like the Jews, with such perversity of character, as to constitute, from that circumstance, the natural division of our parties.” “During the Administration of Mr. ADAMs, Virginia was almost in open revolt against the national authority, merely because a Yankee, and not a Virginian, was President.”—Life of G. Morris, vol. iii., p. 106. Jon N ADAMs, when President, wrote as follows: “I have found this Congress like the last. When we first came together, I found a strong jealousy of us of New England, and of Massachusetts in particular.”—Life and Times of John Adams, vol. i., p. 176. “You inquire why so young a man as Mr. JEFFERSON was placed at the head of the committee for preparing the Declaration of Independence; I answer, it was the Frankfort advice to place Virginia at the head of every thing.”—Life and Times of John Adams, vol. ii., p. 513.
1. The sectional feeling, which existed during General WASHINGTON's Administration, became intensified, especially in the South, during the Administration of Mr. ADAMs; he being a Northern man, and sustained chiefly by Northern men, and by several of the Northern States. In the view of the party opposed to him, his policy savored too much of monarchy, and tended to exalt and extend the powers of the General Government towards a conformity to the English government, to the disparagement of the reserved rights of the States. The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions were professedly brought forward in order to restrain that policy, and to preserve to the States their Constitutional relations to the Federal Government. But sectional or party feeling had much to do in this matter. It is somewhat remarkable, that Virginia was, in the Constitutional Convention, opposed to reserving large powers to the several States, on some important points, and yet was the first to place herself on her reserved powers, and, as some would say, to magnify those powers. Thus Virginia voted in favor of giving the Federal Legislature power to negative State laws contravening the articles of union, and voted against giving equal rights to the States in the Senate. PATRick HENRY, in the Virginia Convention, tauntingly said: “Why are such extensive powers given to the Senate 2 Because the little States gained their point.” The “little States” did, indeed, gain their point as against the large States, but they also gained their point for each of the large States as against the popular vote of the whole Union. In practice, Virginia has enjoyed this advantage. 2. Some of the Northern States, while they had a prevailing influence during the presidency of General WASHINGTON and of Mr. ADAMs, were accused of endeavoring to enlarge the powers of the General Government; and yet those same States, when that influence was impaired during the Administration of Mr. JEFFERSON and of Mr. MADison, placed themselves on the reserved rights of the States, in their opposition to the General Government. This subject will be resumed in statements concerning Mr. MADISON's Administration. 3. The States were the only parties to the “Constitutional Compact.” This phrase, equivalent to the word Constitution, and descriptive of it, is used in the Report of the Hartford Convention, and by eminent statesmen. 4. The Constitution contains only delegated powers. “The State Governments may be regarded as constituent and essential parties of the Federal Government, while the latter is in no wise essential to the operation of the former.”—MADISON, No. 45 of The Federalist. The “constituent,” by the force or meaning of the term, is superior to the delegate.
MR. JEFFERSON's ADMINISTRATION.
MR. JEFFERSON was friendly to France, rather than to England; was in favor of a strict construction of the Constitution, by which the rights of the several States, and of the people of those States, would be protected against any usurpations of the General Government. He received 73 electoral votes for the presidency, nearly all the Southern States voting for him. Mr. BURR received the same number of votes. Mr. ADAMS received 65 votes; his strength lying chiefly in the Northern States. Mr. JEFFERSON and Mr. BURR received an equal number of votes; it remained for the House of Representatives, voting by States, to determine the choice. A portion of the federal party, which had cast its electoral vote for JoHN ADAMs and CHARLEs C. PINCKNEY, had resolved that States represented by that party should throw their votes for AARON BURR, himself a democrat, instead of JEFFERSON, whom the democrats wished to elect President. On the 17th February, 1801, after balloting in the House 36 times, THOMAS JEFFERSON was elected President, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island voting to the last for AARON BURR. Commercial Advertiser, New York, Feb. 23, 1801.-“Our communications from the City of Washington are as late as Thursday, half-past 3 o'clock, A. M. At that time the ballot