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States; the justices of peace, officers of militia, ministerial officers of justice, with all the county, corporation, and town officers, for three millions and more of people, intermixed, and having particular acquaintance with every class and circle of people, must exceed beyond all proportion, both in number and influence, those of every description who will be employed in the administration of the federal system. Compare the members of the three great departments of the thirteen States, excluding from the judiciary department the justices of the peace, with the members of the corresponding departments of the single government of the Union ; compare the militia officers of three millions of people with the military and marine officers of any establishment which is within the compass of probability, or, I may add, of possibility; and, in this view alone, we may pronounce the advantage of the States to be decisive If the federal government is to have collectors of revenue, the State gov. ernments will have theirs also. And as those of the former will be principally on the sea-coast, and not very numerous, whilst those of the latter will be spread over the face of the country, and will be very numerous, the advantage in this view also lies on the same side. It is true that the confederacy is to possess, and may exercise, the power of collecting internal as well as external taxes throughout the States: but it is probable that this power will not be resorted to, except for supplemental purposes of revenue; that an option will then be given to the States to supply their quotas by previous collections of their own; and that the eventual collection, under the immediate authority of the Union, will generally be made by the officers, and according to the rules, appointed by the several States. Indeed, it is extremely probable that in other instances, particularly in the organization of the judicial power, the officers of the States will be clothed with the correspondent authority of the union. Should it happen, however, that separate collectors of internal revenue should be appointed under the federal government, the influence of the whole number would not bear a comparison with that of the multitude of State officers in the opposite scale. Within every district, to which a federal collector would be allotted, there would not be less than thirty or forty, or even more officers, of different descriptions, and many of them persons of character and weight, whose influence would lie on the side of the State.
The powers delegated by the proposed constitution to the federal gov. ernment are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will
, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives,
liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improve. ment, and prosperity of the State.
The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments in times of peace and security. As the former periods will probably bear a small proportion to the latter, the State governments will here enjoy another advantage over the federal government. The more adequate indeed the federal powers may be rendered to the national defence, the less frequent will be those scenes of danger which might favor their ascendancy over the governments of the particular States.
If the new constitution be examined with accuracy and candor, it will be found that the change which it proposes consists much less in the addition of new powers to the union, than in the invigoration of its orig. inal powers. The regulation of commerce, it is true, is a new power; but that seems to be an addition which few oppose, and from which no apprehensions are entertained. The powers relating to war and peace, armies and fleets, treaties and finance, with the other more considerable powers, are all vested in the existing congress by the articles of confederation. The proposed change does not enlarge these powers; it only substitutes a more effectual mode of administering them. The change relating to taxation may be regarded as the most important; and yet the present congress have as complete authority to require of the States indefinite supplies of money for the common defence and general welfare, as the future congress will have to require them of individual citizens; and the latter will be no more bound than the States themselves have been, to pay the quotas respectively taxed on them. Had the States complied punctually with the articles of confederation, or could their compliance have been enforced by as peaceable means as may be used with success toward single persons, our past experience is very far from countenancing an opinion, that the State governments would have lost their constitutional powers, and have gradually undergone an entire consolidation. To maintain that such an event would have ensued, would be to say at once that the existence of the State governments is incompatible with any system whatever that accomplishes the essential purposes of the union.
CONCERNING AFRICAN COLONIZATION.
[From a Letter to R. R. Gurley.-Letters and other Writings of James Madison. Pub
lished by Order of Congress. 1865.)
EAR SIR: I received in due time your letter of the 21st ultimo,
and with due sensibility to the subject of it. Such, however, has
been the effect of a painful rheumatism on my general condition, as well as in disqualifying my fingers for the use of the pen, that I could not do justice “to the principles and measures of the Colonization Society, in all the great and various relations they sustain to our own country and to Arfica.” If my views of them could have the value which your par: tiality supposes, I may observe, in brief, that the Society had always my good wishes, though with hopes of its success less sanguine than were entertained by others found to have been the better judges; and that I feel the greatest pleasure at the progress already made by the Society, and the encouragement to encounter the remaining difficulties afforded by the earlier and greater ones already overcome. Many circumstances at the present moment seem to concur in brightening the prospects of the Society, and cherishing the hope that the time will come when the dreadful calamity which has so long afflicted our country, and filled so many with despair, will be gradually removed, and by means consistent with justice, peace, and the general satisfaction; thus giving to our country the full enjoyment of the blessings of liberty, and to the world the full benefit of its great example. I have never considered the main difficulty of the great work as lying in the deficiency of emancipations, but in an inadequacy of asylums for such a growing mass of population, and in the great expense of removing it to its new home. The spirit of private manumission, as the laws may permit and the exiles may consent, is increasing, and will increase, and there are sufficient indications that the public authorities in slave-holding States are looking forward to interpositions, in different forms, that must have a powerful effect.
MONTPELLIER, 28 December, 1831,
ON THE THEORY OF SECESSION.
(Letter to Daniel Webster.-- From the Same.] EAR SIR: I return my thanks for the copy of your late very powerD
ful speech in the Senate of the United States. It crushes “nullification," and must hasten the abandonment of “secession." But this dodges the blow, by confounding the claim to secede at will with the right of seceding from intolerable oppression. The former answers itself, being a violation, without cause, of a faith solemnly pledged. The latter is another name only for revolution, about which there is no theoretic controversy. Its double aspect, nevertheless, with the countenance received from certain quarters, is giving it a popular currency here which may influence the approaching elections, both for Congress and for the State Legislature. It has gained some advantage, also, by mixing itself with
the question whether the Constitution of the United States was formed by the people or by the States, now under a theoretic discussion by animated partisans.
It is fortunate when disputed theories can be decided by undisputed facts. And here the undisputed fact is, that the Constitution was made by the people, but as imbodied into the several States who were parties to it, and, therefore, made by the States in their highest authoritative capacity. They might, by the same authority and by the same process, have converted the Confederacy into a mere league or treaty; or continued it with enlarged or abridged powers; or have embodied the people of their respective States into one people, nation, or sovereignty; or, as they did by a mixed form, make them one people, nation, or sovereignty for certain purposes, and not so for others.
The Constitution of the United States being established by a competent authority, by that of the sovereign people of the several States who were the parties to it, it remains only to inquire what the Constitution is; and here it speaks for itself. It organizes a government into the usual legislative, executive, and judiciary departments; invests it with specified powers, leaving others to the parties to the Constitution; it makes the Government, like other governments, to operate directly on the people; places at its command the needful physical means of executing its powers; and, finally, proclaims its supremacy, and that of the laws made in pursuance of it, over the constitutions and laws of the States; the powers of the Government being exercised, as in other elective and responsible governments, under the control of its constituents, the people and legislatures of the States, and subject to the revolutionary rights of the people in extreme cases.
It might have been added, that while the Constitution, therefore, is admitted to be in force, its operation in every respect must be precisely the same, whether its authority be derived from that of the people in the one or the other of the modes in question, the authority being equally competent in both; and that without an annulment of the Constitution itself
, its supremacy must be submitted to. The only distinctive effect between the two modes of forming a constitution by the authority of the people, is, that if formed by them as embodied into separate communities, as in the case of the Constitution of the United States, a dissolution of the constitutional compact would replace them in the condition of separate communities, that being the condition in which they entered into the compact; whereas, if formed by the people as one community, acting as such by a numerical majority, a dissolution of the compact would reduce them to a state of nature, as so many individual persons. But while the constitutional compact remains undissolved, it must be executed according to the forms and provisions
specified in the compact. It must not be forgotten that compact, express or implied, is the vital principle of free governments as contradistinguished from governments not free; and that a revolt against this principle leaves no choice but between anarchy and despotism.
MONTPELLIER, 15 March, 1833.
ADVICE TO MY COUNTRY.
[From the Sume.)
S this advice, if it ever see the light, will not do so till I am no
more, it may be considered as issuing from the tomb, where truth alone can be respected, and the happiness of man alone consulted. It will be entitled, therefore, to whatever weight can be derived from good intentions, and from the experience of one who has served his Country in various stations through a period of forty years; who espoused in his youth, and adhered through his life, to the cause of its liberty; and who has borne a part in most of the great transactions which will con. stitute epochs of its destiny.
The advice nearest to my heart and deepest in my convictions is, THAT THE UNION OF THE STATES BE CHERISHED AND PERPETUATED. LET THE OPEN ENEMY TO IT BE REGARDED AS A PANDORA WITH HER BOX OPENED, AND THE DISGUISED ONE AS THE SERPENT CREEPING WITH HIS DEADLY WILES INTO PARADISE.
St. George Tucker.
Born in the Island of Bermuda, 1752. Died in Nelson Co., Ve., 1827.