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Georgia, in 1772, in honour of King George Third. Alabama, in 1817, from its principal river. Mississippi, in 1800, from its western boundary. Mississippi is said to denote Kie, whole river, that is, the river formed by the union of many. Louisiana, so called in honour of Louis XVI. of France. Tennessee, in 1736, from its principal river: the word Tennessee is said to signify a curved spoon. Kentucky, in 1782, from its principal river. Illinois, 1809, from its principal river. The word is said to signify the river of men. Indiana, in 1802, from the American Indians. Ohio, in 1802, from its southern boundary. Missouri, in 1821, from its principal river. Michigan, named, in 1805, from the lake on its borders. Arkansas, in 1819, from its principal river. Florida was so called by Juan Ponse Le Leon, in 1572, because it was discovered on Easter Sunday ; in Spanish, Pascus Florida.
The co-existence of these several independent sovereignties, resting in the full and uncontrolled enjoyment of their individual rights and privileges, altogether independent of the Federal Government, to which they have delegated but a partial and defined power, presents to the world an unusually strange and complex state of legislation; especially to the foreigner, who finds it difficult to reconcile with his preconceived notions of a firm, united, and settled government, the many disjointed fragments, the partial and unequal laws, the uncertain and piece-meal legislation, by which the country is governed ; and which carries with it in its compli
CONFLICTING INTERESTS. cated machinery, its dissonant and incongruous materials, in the conflicting interests of the various intersections into which it is divided, the germ of a probably early dissolution, that ever and anon threatens to shake the Republic to its centre, and expose the fallacy on which it is based. It was only in the years 1832, and 1833, that South Carolina, relying upon her state reservations, asserted her right (and in her instance, the rights of the other States) of seceding from the Union, whenever believing her individual interests compromised by any interference or general law, though made applicable to the entire States; and declared her determination to resist with open force, certain imposed restrictions of the general government, by which a protecting duty was extended to the manufacturing States of the north, to the assumed prejudice of the exports of the south. This question of mere internal regulation was near being determined by a direct appeal to arms, in which most of the southern States would have united against the Federal Government, and scattered the confederacy to the winds, had not the timely interference of Congress, directed by Mr. Clay, to whom his country is much indebted, arrested for a while, the impending crisis, by sanctioning a compromise between the refractory State and its nominal head, based upon the most liberal concessions to South Carolina, and, which thus, for a time, succeeded in saving the Republic from a convulsion that threatened its dissolution. _“ A crisis is approaching,” declared Governor
McDuffie in his inaugural address to the Legislature of his State, and directed to the south generally, 66 which the people must prepare to correct by force; by it alone will they be able to maintain those rights, which cannot much longer be secured by that miserable mockery of blurred, obliterated, and tattered parchment, the Constitution of the United States."
Nor was the public voice in the north raised against the dangerous principle asserted by these proceedings, where the pretensions of South Carolina were also vehemently insisted on by many, as of the common rights of every State within the Union. To the timely concessions of the Federal Government, however, is the Republic indebted for its preservation on this occasion; its temporary release from the very serious embarrassments with which it was menaced, and restoration to tranquillity and order; though not without germinating future difficulties for itself, in the constructive admission of State pretensions, even to the extent insisted on by South Carolina.*
* “In the interpretation of the anti-federalists, the subsisting connection between the several States of the Union is insisted on, as a mere compact-a treaty, under which, though still retaining an entire and undisputed sovereignty, they entrust certain restricted powers to the general government, still preserving the right of withdrawing them at pleasure. This principle is asserted by Rawle, who insists that it is perfectly competent for any State to secede from the Confederacy, on its electing to do 80. This position is, nevertheless, denied by other eminent Jurists, both by Webster and Story, who maintain, that the pre
PRESIDENT HARRISON. The tendency of the general government for years past has nevertheless been to concentrate, as much as possible within itself, the reserved power of the individual States ; to strengthen and consolidate such power, by the appliances, and means it possesses in the control and distribution of the patronage at its disposal. The revolution in public opinion, with the induction of the Whigs or Federal party into office, in 1841, as of its consequence, has had a tendency to check this anti-democratic learning, and to guarantee the independence and irresponsibilities of the several States within their respective jurisdictions. The late President Harrison, in accordance with whose principles the last administration had been formed, has perhaps, gone further than any of his predecessors in this respect, and in the first public exposition of his policy, has laid down a theory of government, at variance, in some respects, with all former or general practice, in which is not only recognised the entire and perfect irresponsibility, and exemption from all control of the several States within their respective limits, but in which he earnestly condemns all interference of the general government, “ as leaving to the States only the shadow of that independent action, for which they so zealously contended, and on the preservation of which they relied, as the last hope of liberty.”
sent connection of these States was established, not by the States, but by the whole people of the Union in their corporate capacity, assembled in conventions, and thus only could it ever be abrogated. Till then, the States are bound to bear the mandates of the Supreme Government, when issued in execution of its appointed powers; and any act inconsistent with these orders is in its very nature null and void. The only plea that could be urged would be one of such extreme necessity as to be extra and ultra the constitution, when all the bands of law are broken, and revolution succeeds.”— Story's Commentaries, vol. i. pp. 302, 308, 330-332.
But the principles that are thus inculcated are in direct controversy with the experience of all former usage. The tendency of all power is to extend its limitation, and augment its influence, frequently, by the most unjustifiable usurpations; such, the direction and aim of all authority—the very natural bias of both federal and state governments; whose successful encroachments, are so many unwarranted invasions of the rights and privileges of one upon the other. The conduct of the Federal Government has scarcely been a whit more extravagant than the usurpations of the different States ; and who have, in more instances than one, arrogantly assumed the rights appertaining to the supreme government of the country, especially in its connection and direct intercourse with foreign nations; and have so pertinaciously adhered to these recently asserted principles in their constitution, that foreign governments are sometimes at a loss in what form to direct their negotiations, or to know, with what particular intersection of these States, they continue to hold amicable, or friendly relations. The difficulties that must necessarily arise from this unsettled and undefined position, have been