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shall be present (provided the State be not represented by less than two), do join in reporting such an act to the. United States, in Congress assembled, as, when approved and agreed to by them, and duly ratified and confirmed by the several States, will effectually provide for the exigencies of the Union.
“Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State, in the City of Charleston, this 10th day of April, in the year of our Lord 1787, and of the Sovereignty and Independence of the United States of America, the eleventh.”
Signed by the Governor, and countersigned by the Secretary.
, TWELFTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE. The State of New Hampshire responded, in the language of the following Act of her Legislature :
“An Act for appointing Deputies from this State to the Convention proposed to be holden in the City of Philadelphia in May, 1787, for the purpose of revising the Federal Constitution.
“Whereas, in the formation of the Federal Compact, which frames the bond of union of the American States, it was not possible, in the infant state of our Republic, to devise a system which, in the course of time and experience, would not manifest imperfections that it would be necessary to reform :
“And whereas, the limited powers, which, by the Articles of Confederation, are vested in the Congress of the United States, have been found far inadequate to the enlarged purposes which they were intended to produce; and whereas, Congress hath, by repeated and most urgent representations, endeavored to awaken this, and other States of the Union, to a sense of the truly critical and alarming situation in which they may inevitably be
involved, unless timely measures be taken to enlarge the powers of Congress, that they may thereby be enabled to avert the dangers which threaten our existence as a free and independent people; and whereas, this State hath been ever desirous to act upon the liberal system of the general good of the United States, without circumscribing its views to the narrow and selfish objects of partial convenience; and has been at all times ready to make every concession, to the safety and happiness of the whole, which justice and sound policy could vindicate :
“Be it therefore enacted, by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened, that John Langdon, John Pickering, Nicholas Gilman, and Benjamin West, Esqs., be, and hereby are, appointed Commissioners; they, or any two of them, are hereby authorized and empowered, as Deputies from this State, to meet at Philadelphia said Convention, or any other place to which the Convention may be adjourned, for the purposes aforesaid, there to confer with such Deputies as are, or may be, appointed by the other States for similar purposes, and with them to discuss and to procure and decide upon the most effectual means to remedy the defects of our Federal Union, and to procure and secure the enlarged purposes which it was intended to effect, and to report such an Act to the United States in Congress, as, when agreed to by them, and duly confirmed by the several States, will effectually provide for the same.”
From all these responses of the States, to the call for a Convention of the States, it clearly appears that the sole object of all was to change and modify the Articles of Confederation, so as better to provide for the wants and exigencies of "the Union," which must have meant the Union then existing, and which we have seen was a Union of Sovereign States. The object was not to change the
Federative character of that Union. This is an important point to be kept constantly in view, and never lost sight of. The Convention was called with this sole view, and the call was responded to by every State with this sole view.
Under the call and appointment of Delegates, as we have seen, the Convention did meet in Philadelphia, on the second Monday in May (14th of that month), 1787. Washington, a Deputy or Delegate from the State of Virginia, was chosen the President of the Convention. The Convention remained in session until the 17th of September thereafter—four months and three days. It was assembled as a Convention of the States. The Deleyates represented distinct, separate, and acknowledged Sovereign powers. The vote upon all questions was taken by States, without respect to the number of Delegates from the several States respectively. Here is the Journal of their proceedings from the day of their meeting to their adjournment.* The result of their deliberations and actions was such changes in the Federal Constitution as were set forth in the paper which they presented to the States. This paper is what has ever since been known as the present Constitution of the United States. Now the great question that we have to consider is the nature and character of the alterations in the old fundamental law, or Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, which the new Constitution made. Is the Federative feature of the Union” changed in it? This is the great question. If the Union, as it existed before, was a Compact between Sovereign States, as has been most conclusively shown, is there any thing upon the face of the proceedings of the Convention, or upon the face of the new Constitution, which shows, either
* Elliot's Debates, vol. i, pp. 139-318.
expressly or by implication, that any change of the character of the Union in this respect was either intended, contemplated, or, in fact, effected? Was there any change as to where ultimate Sovereignty and Paramount authority under our Institutions then rested or resided? Before the meeting of this Convention these were unquestionably acknowledged to dwell with the people of the States severally. Was any change in this particular effected by the new Constitution ?
PROF. NORTON. Do you wish an answer to your ques. tion now?
MR. STEPHENS. Yes. It is best to have all points settled as we go.
Prof. NoRTon. Then, for myself, I will say, that, as I understand it, there was a thorough and radical change effected in the new Constitution in the very particular you refer to, and such change as utterly overthrows the whole theory which I clearly perceive it is your object to endeavor to establish, by the conclusions you are successively reaching. But what say you to adjourning for the present and resuming the subject hereafter?
MR. STEPHENS. Certainly. A little relaxation will be quite agreeable to me. This, recollect, is Liberty Ilall. The rules of the establishment are that all its inmates do just as they please. It is now about the usual time for me to take my accustomed evening walk. You, gen tlemen, can all remain here and entertain yourselves with books, or in any other way you prefer, or join me in a stroll, just as your several inclinations lead.
JUDGE BYNUM. We have had enough of books for the present. I am for the walk.
PROF. NORTON. So am I.
MAJOR HEISTER. Well, I certainly have no disposition either to secede or to be seceded from. It is against my principles. So we will all join you in the walk.
THE NATURE OF THE UNION NOT CHANGED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION
ULTIMATE SOVEREIGNTY UNDER IT RESIDES WHERE IT DID UNDER THE CONFEDERATION--JUDGE STORY ON THE FIRST RESOLUTION OF THE FEDERAL CONVENTION-THE CONSTITUTICN, AS THE CONFEDERATION, IS A GOVERNMENT OF STATES AND FOR STATES_THIS APPEARS FROM THE PREAMBLE ITSELF-THE UNION OF THE STATES WAS CONSOLIDATED BY THE CONSTITUTION, AND NOT ABROGATED AS IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BY A GENERAL MERGER OF THE STATE SOVEREIGNTIES-IT FORMS A CONFEDERATED REPUBLIC--SUCH A REPUBLIC IS FORMED BY THE UNION OF SEVERAL SMALLER REPUBLICS EACH RESPECTIVELY PUTTING LIMITED RESTRAINTS UPON THEMSELVES BY VOLUNTARY ENGAGEMENTS WITHOUT ANY IMPAIRMENT OF THEIR SEVERAL SOVEREIGNTIES, ACCORDING TO MONTESQUIEU AND VATTEL.
MR. STEPHENS. Well, Professor, I believe we are all ready for your views upon the subjects discussed in our last talk upon the nature of the Government of the United States. I hope you are in good condition after a night's rest. You had something to say in answer to my last question, when we adjourned yesterday evening.
PROF. NORTON. Yes. You asked if there was any change of Sovereignty effected by the Constitution, or, in other words, as I understood your question, whether the States, severally, did not retain their ultimate absolute Sovereignty under the Constitution, as fully and completely, as they did under the Articles of Confederation ?
MR. STEPHENS. Certainly, that was the purport of my question.
PROF. NORTON. To this I replied, that I thought there was a change, and a radical change, in this respect, in