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growth and comfort—and what is, perhaps, of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets, for its own produce tions, to the weight, influence, and the future maritinie strength of the Atlantick side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength, or from an apostate and unnatural connexion with any foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious.
“ While then every part of our country thus feeis an immediate and particular interest in union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts, greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger—a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations, and what is of inestimable value, they must derive from union an exeinption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighbouring countries not tied together by the same government; which their own rivalships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. In this sunse it is, that your Union ought to be considered as the main prop of your fiberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.
“ These considerations speak a persuasive langnage to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the Union as a primary object of patri. otisk desire. Is there a doubt whether a common go. vernment can embrace an large a sphere? Let experi
enco solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole, with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such power: ful and obvious motives to Union, affecting all parts of uur country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those, who, in any quarter, may endeavour to weaken its bands.
“In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as a matter of serious concern, that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties, by geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantick and Western; whence designing men may endeavour to excite a belief, that there is a real difference of local interests and views One of the expedients of party to acquire influence, within particular districts, is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heart buruings which spring from these misrepresentations ; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. The inhabitants of our western country have lately had a useful lesson on this head : they have seen in the negotiation by the Executive, and in the unanimous satisfaction by the Senate, of the treaty with Spain and in the universal satisfaction at that event through out the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded wore the suspicions propagated among them, of a policy in the general government and in the Atlantick states, unfriendly to their interests in regard to the Mississippi : they have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties, that with Great Britain and that with Spain, which secure to them every thing they could desire, in respect to our foreign relations, to
wards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the Union, by which they were procured? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren, and connect them with aliens ?
“ To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alijances, however strict, between the parts, can be an adequate substitute. They must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances, in all times, have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a Constitution of Government, better calculated than your former for an intimate Union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measuros, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is, the right of the people to make and to alter their constitution of govern ment. But the constitution which at any time exists, until changed by an explicit and authentick act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government, presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.
“ All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausi. ble character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action
of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificia
and extraordinary force, to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small, but artful and enterprising minority of the com munity; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to inake the publick admninistration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans, digested by common councils, and modified by mutual interests.
“ However combinations or associations of the above description, may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men, will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government ; destroying, afterwards, the very engines which had lifted them to unjust dominion.
“ Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is rəquisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist, with care, the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretext. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and babit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of government, as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard, by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country : that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hy. pothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion ;
and remember, especially, that for the efficient manage ment of your common interests, in a country so ex tensive as ours, a government of as much vigour, as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty, is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.
“I have already intimated to you, the danger of parties in the state, with particular references to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally.
“ This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from oui nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes, in all governments ; more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
6. The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism : but this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. Th: disorders and miseries which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later, the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more forti nate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of publick 1. berty.
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