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therefore, necessary, in order to discuss the subject with clearness, that the word State should be rejected, and the word government, or the word society, used in ,its place. Bat as the word State means, under the articles, government, and as Mr. Calhoun uses it in that sense, we will adopt it, and hold it to mean government. With this understanding of its meaning, then, it is plain, that if we look, as Mr. Calhoun properly thinks we should do, to the source and creator of the government, it is plain that our present Constitution is a Constitution of the united peoples, or sovereign communities. And its title ought to have been the Constitution of the united peoples, whilst that of the articles was an union of the governments. In other words, when we adopt his test of the nature of the government, the source and creator of it, the present union differs from the union of the confederation, as much as the sources of these two governments differ from each other. The articles created a union of governments, the present Constitution an union of peoples. Now we deny that two or more peoples can be united for specific purposes, without being, as to those purposes, one people. Just as several individuals, by entering into a compact to accomplish certain lawful purposes, are, in legal sense, one person, or a firm. To prevent the union of these several peoples into one, it is indispensably necessary to interpose their governments ; and if we interpose their governments in reference to the present union, with a view to prevent this union of the peoples, then we contradict and deny the test of the nature of the government, the source and creators of it—in short, we contradict the premises which Mr. Calhoun has himself established as true. But it is as certain that the peoples of the several States formed our present Constitution, as it is that the governments of the several States formed the articles of confederation.
It is plain, therefore, it was with a view of uniting several peoples—of making several peoples into one people— that our present government was formed. This could only be effected by a convention of each people acting as independent and sovereign communities, free to become consolidated with the other several peoples, or to refuse. They chose to become one people. To do so, it was necessary to surrender either all their separate rights of sovereignty, or some of them. In the former case, the consolidation would have been complete for all purposes—in the latter, for some. Did the several peoples surrender any of their sovereign rights, and thus become partially consolidated? We shall show that they did surrender some of their rights of sovereignty, and it must follow, then, that they were partially consolidated, and, of course, could not be united wholly in a federal government.
During the session of the Convention, George Washington, whose opinions, we very humbly conceive, are as valuable and as much valued as those of any other person, wrote thus :*
"Persuaded I am that the primary cause of all our disorders was in the different State governments, and in the tenacity of that power which pervades the whole of their systems. Whilst independent sovereignty is so ardently contended for—whilst the local views of each State and separate interests by which they are too much governed, will not yield to a more enlarged scale of politics, incompatibility in the laws of different States, and disrespect to those of the General Government, must render the situation of this great country weak, inefficient and disgraceful."
Shortly afterwards, he addressed a letter to Benjamin Harrison^ sending "a copy of the Constitution, which the Federal Convention has submitted to the people of these States." Mr. Harrison replied, "if the Constitution is carried into effect, the States south of the Potomac will be little more than appendages to those to the northward of i7."J Col. Mason, of Virginia, declared " that he would sooner chop off his right hand than put it to the Constitution as it now stands."^ This he said on the floor of the Convention, in the face of George Washington, and he never did sign the Constitution. The Constitution, however, was adopted; and the President, George Washington, in his letter to Congress, accompanying the draft of the Constitution, says:
* Writings of Washington. Sparks. 9 vol. p. 258. f Ibid, r. 265. t Ibid. p. 266. § Mad. Pap. p. 1475.
"It is obviously impracticable in the federal government of these States, to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all. Individuals entering into society, must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest."*
And in another paragraph, quoted by Mr. Calhoun, he says:
"In all our deliberations on this subject, we kept steadily in our view that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American— the consolidation of our Union."
Here we have, in the first citation, an express declaration that the peoples of the several States did not surrender all their rights of independent sovereignty, and, of course, surrendered some of them; and, in the second, that this was done with a view to the consolidation of the Union. And we have seen the conduct of Mr. Mason, and the opinion of Mr. Harrison, as to the effect of this Constitution upon the States south of the Potomac.
But. the evidence is not exhausted. We will pass by, for the present, the opinions of Mr. Madison, so much criticised by Mr. Calhoun, and refer to the opinions and conduct of Patrick Henry. Who will undertake to denounce him as a traitor to his State? Who dare assert that the earliest advocate of American Independence was no friend to liberty? Who will taunt him as a consolidationist? None but a fool or a slave! When the Constitution was presented to the Convention of the people of Virginia, for ratification, he opposed it, and declared that it did make a consolidation of the United States—that it did destroy the independence and sovereignty of the States. "Have they said, we, the States ?f Have they made a proposal of a compact between States? If they had, this would be a confederation; it is, otherwise, most clearly a consolidated government." Again—"To all the common purposes of legislation, it is a great consolidation of government."! These are not the sentiments of one who approved of the Constitution, but of one who, in the Virginia Convention, closed his speech in opposition to the ratification of the Constitution, with these words:
• Constitution. Hickey, p. 18B.
t Wirt's Life of Henry, pp 286-7. t Ibid. p. 30T.
"My head, my hand and my heart, shall be free to retrieve the loss of liberty, and remove the defects of that system in a constitutional way—/ wish not to go to violence, but will wait, with hopes that the spirit which predominated in the revolution is not yet gone. I shall, therefore, patiently wait, in expectation of seeing that government changed, so as to be compatible with the safety, liberty and happiness of the people."
Now, Mr. Calhoun has declared himself to be directly of the opposite opinion, and has maintained that this is a government altogether federal. We have expressed an opinion different from that of Mr. Henry, as well as of Mr. Calhoun—an opinion in accordance with that of George Washington, that the States have not surrendered " all rights of independent sovereignty." This is our language. It is not true that this Union is a "system of States" alone—a mere confederacy. It is neither a system of States alone, nor an absolute consolidation of all the people.
"Again. But suppose the other States, not content with a dissolution of the Union, and refusing to repeal the law, should say that this is not a system of States—that it was such under the articles of confederation, but that source of weakness was removed by the adoption of the Constitution—that this Union is partly federative and partly national—all of which they would be well warranted in saying," <fec.
Again—"For certain and for limited purposes, the Constitution has amalgamated the several peoples of the States into one people."* But this is the language of Mr. Calhoun—" How strange, after all these admissions, is the conclusion that the government is partly federal and partly national."^ And the same idea is repeated in various other places, and the opinion that this government is partly federal and partly national, declared to be an absurdity. With a full knowledge of this censure, we have taken to ourselves the liberty expressly to deny its justice.
To maintain our position, we appeal from Mr. Calhoun in 1852 to Mr. Calhoun in 1832 :J
"It must never be forgotten, that it is to the creating and to the controlling power, that we are to look for the true character of the federal government, for the present controversy is, not as to the sources from which the ordinary powers of the government are drawn; these are partly federal and partly national. Nor is it relevant to consider upon whom these powers operate. In this last view, the government, for limited purposes, is entirely national."
* Tract, pp. 30-35. t Disquisition, pp. 151 ; 140-2-6 ; 162.
I 1 Statutes at Large, p. 335.
In 1832, Mr. Calhoun admitted that, considering the sources of the government, the powers are partly federal and partly national; and that, for limited purposes, the government is entirely national. Mr. Walker has simply copied this passage, almost verbatim, into his tract. Is Mr. Walker, in consequence, a political heretic who has deserted the principles of this State? Perhaps Mr. Rhett will be pleased to answer the question. We beg that be will do so.
It must not, however, be omitted, that, in the same paragraph which we have before cited, are these words:
"The true question is, who are the parties to the compact? Who created and who can alter and destroy it? Is it the States or the people? This question has been already answered. The States, as States, ratified the compact. The people of the United States, collectively, had no agency in its formation."
Mr. Calhoun, in his disquisition, uses the word States to mean governments; and, if such is its sense in the above citation, it is unquestionably untrue that the governments or Legislatures formed the compact. On the other hand, it it true that the several peoples ratified the compact, surrendered some of their rights of sovereignty, and created a "government for limited purposes entirely national."
The truth is, that the ambiguous meaning of the word States, has led to much confusion of reasoning, and is the foundation of the whole theory of Mr. Calhoun. None will deny the fact, that the present Constitution was the act of the several peoples of each State, acting as sovereign communities, and that the Legislatures had no power to surrender any of its sovereign rights, nor to cede the extraordinary powers contained in the Constitution. From this incapacity of the Legislatures sprang the necessity of a ratification by Conventions. The people in Conventions, by adopting the Constitution, authorized the several Legislatures, for instance,