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ment to which they were tributary; nor did he, within the city walls, allow the plebeian the same amount of interest in the welfare of the state which he gave to the patrician. Hence the splendid temple of Roman greatness was but a fabric whose walls were uncemented, and ready to crumble by their own weight.

The third principle of government was now discovered, that a division of labor is necessary to attain the highest degree of perfection. This principle belongs to the feudal ages. The feudal monarchies were formed on the three principles here laid down, intermixed with a false one, to witthat a division of labor created a division of rank, and that rank once obtained, was hereditary. In other words, they denied the law-so selfevident at first, that no one asserted it as a law—that all men are born equal. But these three principles, once recognized in their fullest extent—all equally and alike—cannot fail of producing a government perfect in theory, and that government is the Republic of the United States.

We use the words, “perfect in theory,” for perfect in practice the government of the United States certainly is not, nor is any government which has ever existed; for of them all, we have the most perfect. The three fundamental axioms, which all experience proves are correct, are united in her; and if she cannot claim the honor of having discovered anything new, she has combined and arranged them all, in a manner which makes her grand combination a grand discovery. And, moreover, she has given utterance to, and maintained against the world, in her corporate capacity, truths which others have rejected—which others have declared falsehood, but which are none the less true. She has declared that all men are free and equal; she has proved that nations may become powerful without annihilating other nations ; she has repudiated the doctrine that force is power, and upholds the doctrine that knowledge is power; she has demonstrated that honesty is the best policy, and that justice between nation and nation is as necessary as justice between man and man—that the most lasting advantage is gained, where the advantage is equal on both sides; and she has proved, in her internal policy, that war is not a necessary evil, and that the principle of peace is of universal application. Yet, notwithstanding all this, the Republic is not perfect in practice : for perfection knows no compromises, which, however, are rendered necessary in our Constitution, by circumstances over which we have no control. It is the object of the present article to show why and wherefore the compromises of the Constitutionespecially upon the subject of negro slavery—ought to be respected and held inviolable, until expunged by the common consent, and to prove that the dissolution of this Union, because of an asserted moral wrong, for which we are not accountable, would be the height of absurdity, as it would neither goad nor drive those who are accountable to a sense of their accountability; but it would sacrifice the first principle of all government, and the incalculable advantages which daily accrue from it, to a mere abstraction.

A distinguished lawyer, writing to the Maryland Constitutional Reform Convention, uses these words :-“No one can place less value than I do upon what has been called philosophical legislation—a legislation based upon a pretended insight into the nature of man; and, consequently, fitted for all nations, by a little modification suited to the difference in circumstances. No laws are suited to a people, but those which have

grown up from their necessities—from their customs, from their opinions.” And

the fathers of the Republic, in the great Declaration of Independence, hinted at the same truth, in the following language :-“ Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments, long established, should not be changed for light and trifling causes; and, accordingly, all experience has shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are endurable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” The opinions, the teachings, the practice of all ages of the world, show that this view of affairs is the correct one, and that we are as much indebted to the circumstances in which the colonies were placed—for our excellencies as well as our evils—as we are to the reason of these master minds who made those circumstances subservient to the best possible ends. In all ages, except our own, it has been a blind experiment, rather than the deduction of philosophic minds, which has produced each successive principle of government, as a blind experiment with the galvanic battery showed Sir Humphrey Davy the component parts of water. In this view, a consideration of the circumstances under which the Republic was formed, will furnish data whence to produce arguments why it should be preserved, notwithstanding the evils with which it is found necessary to compromise.

To carry out this idea, it is not necessary to trace every step in the path through which the nation has passed, from the discovery of Virginia by Sir Walter Raleigh, or the arrival of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock, down to the time of the adoption of the Constitution. It is not necessary to go into an elaborate statement of the causes which led to an estrangement between the daughter states and the mother country. Those causes existed, and are stated with sufficient exactness in the Declaration of Independence. Grievances called forth remonstrances and protestations; but as protestations received no attention, and remonstrances no answer, the Genius of Liberty proclaimed that servile submission was a crime.

The people gave their response, when she declared that they were free and independent. Amid the din of the battle, in the roar of the cannon, in the rattle of the musketry, in the rallying cry and the charging shout, at Lexington, at Bunker's Hill, at Saratoga, at Stony Point, at Yorktown, they sealed the word that was spoken, with a firmness and a weight which impressed Christendom with admiration, by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, who, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of their intentions, did, “in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states."

This once accomplished, a government was to be formed that should secure to its subjects every blessing to which they were entitled, and for which they had fought. The Declaration of Independence held the following language :-“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed; and that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter and abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." The circumstances in which the United Colonies were placed,

determined the form of that government. It was true, that if each individual cared for nothing more than his “inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” the best way to secure to each individual these rights, free from governmental interference, was to abolish all gov. ernment. But the advancement in civilization which had been made under government, from the primitive condition of the red man, who knew none, taught the lesson that consolidation is power. This lesson had been taught more practically in the experience of the war. What it would have been impossible for one colony singly to have achieved, was done by the union of the thirteen. The second principle we have laid down was brought home by the strongest of all arguments—the argument of private interest. The interest of every citizen was at stake, when the imposition of an odious system of taxation was attempted, and the same was enlisted on the side of the new confederation, which impelled resistance to the old laws. The third principle of the division of labor, was pressed upon the mind by the evident inconsistency in the course of the colonies, if they should fight against one government for withdrawing their legislative powers, and voluntarily relinquish them to another. Hence the colonies retained their laws, their legislatures, and their separate existence, and thus was taught the principle of the division of labor, which puts aside, in so large a country as this, the necessity for, and the errors which might arise out of the so-called “philosophical legislation,” and gave the people those laws which were best suited to their necessities, their customs and their opinions. For in truth the philosophy of legislation is not the making of principles by which to rule, but, like the philosophy of the mathematics, it is the deduction of causes from effects, a deduction of principles from their actions.

Had the United States been placed in other circumstances, her Constitution would not have been the same it now is. Had the war of the Revolution never broken out, the Federal Union never would have been formed. The different states would have been too jealous of their own importance, to have made concessions for the benefit of those surrounding. Where the concession of too much produces despotism, they would have conceded as little as possible. What should the staid and sober Puritan concede to the jovial son of New-York? What right had the rigid and precise Quaker to demand concessions from the chivalrous Carolinian or Virginian, or vice versa ? would have been asked. Or had the colonies been planted under one patent, and governed by one central organization, our motto would have been, as the motto of the French Republic is, “one and indivisible," instead of" E Pluribus Unum.” This would have made“ philosophical legislation ” necessary, and would have thrown the responsibility of slavery upon all alike, and would have made it right for us of the North to join issue with the South, on the question of its abolition—a right which, under the present state laws, does not, and cannot exist. And the circumstances being as they were, made the Union first a consolidation of men into states, responsible for their own actions alone, and then a consolidation of states into one nation, as component parts of which, we are responsible only for what is done by its supreme government.

This, then, is the true character of the federal compact. It is a government which comes between the two extremes of anarchy and despotism; which concedes just enough, and concedes it to the right authorities. It is a confederation which, by one supreme government making uniform and universal laws, secures international intercourse between thirty-one differ

ent nations, without the complexity of an endless amount of treaties and conventions; and one nation has no more right to make aggressions upon another nation, because of that confederation, than it would have because of a postal treaty, a treaty of offence and defence, or a treaty of commerce. General legislation only belongs to Congress; exclusive legislation belongs to each state respectively, and with that we have no right to interfere. That such is the case is evident from the powers directly and explicitly conferred upon the legislative body by the Constitution, which we will briefly state—the clauses relating to the Executive and Judiciary not being relative to our purpose. It is enacted by article 1, section 8, that Congress shall have power to levy and collect taxes, pay the debts, and provide for the common defence and welfare of the United States; to borrow money ; to regulate commerce with foreign nations; between the several states, and with the Indian tribes; to establish an uniform rule of naturalization; to coin money for the whole United States; to establish uniform weights and measures; to establish post offices and post-roads; to promote science, and grant copy-rights and patents for limited periods; to constitute tribunals; to declare war, and make rules of war; to raise and support armies; to raise and support a navy; to provide for calling forth the militia, (under the officers of the several states;) to execute the laws of the Union; to suppress insurrections, and to repel invasions.

In all this, we see a power which is wielded for the benefit of the whole Union, and which can be employed for the whole Union, without interfering with the distinctive rights, or local wants of any part of it. Thus are secured the two fundamental principles of power by consolidation, and regularity by the division of labor. That the other principle is equally well understood, is shown by our rapid increase in strength within the last seventy years. Truly, the little one is become a thousand, and the small one a strong nation. From thirteen states, we have become thirtyone, and yet our extension does not weaken us as it did ancient Rome. And why? Because we hold our new territories as sovereign states, possessing rights co-equal and co-extensive with ourselves, and not as the territories subdued by a military aristocracy. Hence, every citizen, except those fanatics who do not understand the true principles of government, is interested in preserving the Union inviolate. And in order that it may be kept so, the strong cement of a mutual confidence in the justice and integrity of each partner in the firm, is applied in the good faith and sin. cerity with which all assent to the provisions of the Constitution—that full faith and credit shall be given by one state to the acts and doings of another; that no preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another; that vessels bound to or from one state, shall not be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in another; and, though last, not least, to the provisions of the following section : "No person held to service or labor in one state by the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law, or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor shall be due.”

Such clauses as these, and the spirit in which they were framed, and in which they should be kept, are what make up the compromises of the Constitution. They are compromises of opinion and of interest, but not of principle. They are compromises of opinion for the sake of principle, which are generated and rendered necessary by circumstances over which

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the Republic has no control. In the opinion of all statesmen, the construction that may be placed upon this important document is of far more importance than the letter of the law. To an observer, ignorant of the peculiar institutions of any part of our great country, the clause quoted above may seem nothing more nor less than a requisition upon one state, to deliver up criminals who have escaped from servitude in another. But when it is known that in thirteen of the confederates, negro slavery is sanctioned by law, and that the remaining eighteen disallow the same, the case is widely different. Both the letter of the law, and the spirit which actuated the framers of it, become invested with the highest importance. Of all evils, those in which mankind are pecuniarily interested are the most difficult to get rid of. Taking the fact as it stood, that slavery existed when the Constitution was formed, the members from the North and the South met in convention, with a spirit of mutual compromise, respecting the prejudices of each other, and intent only on forming a general treaty, and constituting legal authorities to carry out its provisions, which should secure to all the parties to it the benefits of free trade and unrestricted intercourse, and the mutual co-operation of each other, in the event of differences with other nations. Hence, out of respect to the prejudices of the North, the odious word is not found in the whole document; while, with a due regard for the feelings of the South on the subject, the tenor of the article is fully shown by the construction which the premises put upon the section under consideration. The recent struggles arising out of the questions agitated by the application of California to be admitted into the Union, have caused certain gentlemen at the South, with a warmth which is pardonable, but not justifiable, in consideration of the amount which they have at stake, to insist upon disunion as a measure of self-protection; and certain gentlemen at the North, with a zeal which is not tempered with knowledge, to insist upon disunion as a sacrifice to a moral right. An acquaintance with the fact that the ratio of prosperity in the South is not equivalent to the increase in the North, prompts the well-meaning gentlemen first spoken of to jump at their conclusion; while that inconsiderate zeal for proselytes and abstractions, which has, in all ages, been the bane of the world, has actuated the well-meaning gentlemen last spoken of, in bringing them to the same conclusion ; so that we observe the two extremes meeting and standing together. We do not say that many persons at the North openly advocate disunion, but the recent movements in some states look very like rebellion to the laws, which is equivalent to the same. But, thank Heaven, the great mass of the people think that the Union must be preserved, and the compromises of the Constitution must be maintained, or we shall lose the experiment in government, for which we have ventured " our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." Let us offer one or two considerations why slavery should not be made the rock upon which to shatter the ark of the Republic.

In order to settle the question at once and forever, we must do one of these three things :—We must emancipate every negro now held in servitude; or we must dissolve the Union; or, thirdly, we must bury all differences, and abide by the Constitution of our fathers. In regard to the first proposition, we hold it to be a well established principle of legislation, that evils of long standing can only be eradicated by gradual and far-reaching means; or, in other words, that legislation should be directed towards securing posterity from them, rather than in a vain endeavor to make an act of Congress produce a revulsion of feeling in the minds of

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