« ForrigeFortsett »
came one of the United States she entered into an indissoluble relation.
There was no place for reconsideration or revocation except through revolution or through consent of the States. Considered, therefore, as transactions under the Constitution, the ordinance of secession adopted by the convention, and ratified by a majority of the citizens of Texas, was absolutely null, and utterly without operation in law. The obligations of the State as a member of the Union, and of every citizen of the State as a citizen of the United States, remained perfect and unimpaired. The State did not cease to be a State, nor her citizens to be citizens of the Union.”—See also the cases of White vs. Hart (13 Wall. 646) and Keith vs. Clark (97 U. S. 451).
What were the comments of James Bryce in his “ American Commonwealth"?
“As respects the argument that the Union established by the Constitution of 1788 must be perpetual, because it is declared to have been designed to make a previous perpetual Union more perfect, it may be remarked, as matter of history, that this previous Union (that resting on the Articles of Confederation] had not proved perpetual, but was, in fact, put an end to by the acceptance, in 1788, of the new Constitution by the nine States who first ratified that instrument. After that ratification the Confederation was dead, and the States of North Carolina and Rhode Island, which for some months refused to come into the new Union, were clearly out of the old one, and stood alone in the world. May it not, then, be said that those who destroyed a Union purporting to be perpetual were thereafter estopped from holding it to have been perpetual, and from founding on the word 'perpetual’ an argument against those who tried to upset the new Union in 1861, as the old one had been upset in 1788 ? The answer to this way of putting the point seems to be to admit that the proceedings of 1788 were in fact revolutionary. In ratifying their new Constitution in that year, the nine States broke through and flung away their previous compact, which purported to have been made forever. But they did so for the sake of forming a better and more enduring compact, and their extra-legal action was amply justified by the necessities of the case.". “ American Commonwealth,” vol. i., page 316.
Mr. James Bryce, Member of Parliament from Aberdeen, Scotland, in his two volumes, shows himself to be a born nationalist. In his just criticism of the Chase opinion, he failed to see that the Chief-Justice was as bitter against Jeffersonianism as old Cato was against Carthage. No Chief-Justice has been so partisan and nationalistic.
What is meant by “We, the people" ?
Originally it was intended that the preamble to the present Constitution should read: “We, the people of the States of New Hampshire [naming each of the thirteen States]
do ordain and establish this Constitution.” That was regarded as tautological by Gouverneur Morris and others, as the names of each State are recited in Article I. immediately following. So the phrase, “We, the people of the United States,” or, inverted, the States United, for specific purposes, was adopted. The absence of Rhode Island was another reason for omitting the names of the States. She might never ratify. The overture to a great production of the master's is, however, of inconsiderable moment compared with the body of the artistic work which follows. The preamble may be dismissed with the observation, that a State is a corporation, a constitution its charter, and the people the corporators. “We, the people of the United States," means “We, the people of the several States.”
What did David Brearly say ?
David Brearly, one of the number who signed the Constitution, said in the convention: “If thirteen sovereign and independent States are to be formed into a nation, the States as States must be abolished, and the whole must be thrown into a hotchpot; and when an equal division is made, there may be fairly an equality of representation. New Jersey will never confederate on the plan before the Committee. I would rather submit to a despöt than such a fate."
What did James Madison say?
In the “Federalist " Madison declares that the parties to the United States Constitution are the people, “not as individuals composing one entire nation, but as composing the distinct and independent States." In the Virginia debates on ratification, Mr. Madison said: “Who are parties? The people; but not the people comprising one great body, but the people as comprising thirteen sovereignties.”
Who was James Madison ?
The fourth President of the United States was born in King George County, Virginia, March 5 [old style), 1751, and died at Montpelier, Orange County, June 28, 1836, at eighty-five years. The writer remembers the profound respect which was paid by the whole country to the memory of the statesman.
Mr. Madison was sent to Princeton, where he was educated under the care of Dr. Witherspoon, the President, who told Jefferson that his pupil had never to his knowledge said or done an indiscreet thing in his whole collegiate residence.
The young Virginian was a hard student, and injured his health by allowing himself but three hours of twenty-four to sleep. He literally lived among his books. He was a member of the first Constitutional Convention of Virginia, and also that of 1829. He served in the Congress of 1780, and in the legislature of his own State. In the convention which framed the Constitution of the United States he was invaluable, constant in attendance, engaging often in debate, devising, suggesting, and creating. Like Hamilton, he was in mind far in advance of his years. He was the author of twenty-nine papers in the “ Federalist," which assisted in the ratification of the Constitution, and of parts of the Bill of Rights.
Both Madison and Hamilton, by timely suggestions, assisted Washington in preparing the “Farewell Address.” The last written advice of Madison was that “the Union of the States be cherished and perpetuated."