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force bill has been well called by Murat Halstead “a belated fiction.”
What is the language of the United States ?
The English language. Since the great additions of our own lexicographers, Webster and Worcester, it may be called the Anglo-American tongue. The earliest legislatures, conventions, and debates of the Congresses were conducted in English; the Articles of Confederation were in that language; the debates and the text of the Constitution of the United States are in English. In fine, all laws of the several Colonies, United Colonies, and of the United States have been promulgated in the all-conquering English or Anglo-American. Esto perpetua !
Has Congress power to acquire and police “national parks”?
There is neither express nor implied power in the Constitution authorizing the acquisition of historical battle grounds, or other territory, for parks. The United States can only acquire sites for necessary buildings and grounds for actual and constant use, not for ornament. It is suicidal policy in the several States to give the general government unnecessary lodgment within their borders. The States should not part with a foot of their territory for sentiment. Military parks, under the supervision of the Secretary of War, are nurseries of consolidation and nationalism, and aid in destroying civil government.
What is the full title of the President ?
The President of the United States of America. He should so sign public documents. (See Article II., sec. I.)
How can States be divided ?
The Constitution (Art. IV., sec. 3) declares: “ New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State, nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the consent of the legislatures of the States concerned, as well as of the Congress.” This saved the smaller States from the encroachment of, or absorption by, the large and populous States.
During the war between the States, West Virginia was, by a revengeful and partisan act of Congress, “ formed or erected within the jurisdiction" of Virginia, and without the consent of its legislature. It is claimed to have been justified as a war measure. But the Constitution makes no reservation. It vetoes at once and at all times the idea of the partition of a State unless by consent of its legislature. The erection of West Virginia was a bad precedent. There is no guarantee that other partitions may not follow in the future. Every violation of the Constitution leads to a similar result, in the same or other directions.
The magnificent cession by Virginia to the United States, and accepted in Congress assembled, March, 1784, of its portion of the great Northwest Territory, should have prevented its partition. This territory, save a narrow northern strip, composes the now powerful States of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Virginia was followed by cessions of Northwest Territory belonging to Massachusetts in 1785, and Connecticut in 1786 and 1800.
Virginia made a deed to its northwestern domain on strict conditions that it should be converted into States, and “that the States so formed be distinct republican States, and admitted as members of the Federal Union, having the same right of sovereignty, freedom, and independence as the other States;” also, that the land should be held as a common fund for the use and benefit “of such of the United States as have or shall become members of the Confederation or Federal Alliance.” Congress solemnly approved the provisions of the deed of cession by legislative action.
It was a crime to partition the grand old “ mother of States and of statesmen," whose Sic Semper Tyrannis is “the proudest motto," said the eloquent S. S. Prentiss, “ that ever blazed upon a warrior's shield or a country's arms.”
What is treason ?
The Constitution defines it thus: “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” This is also a clear definition of the Union called the United States. (See Art. II., Sec. I. “the United States, or any of them.” Them, not it, is the explicit plural. Treason, therefore, is a crime against united sovereigns, not a sovereign.
Can States commit treason ?
No. Equal States cannot rebel against equal States. Co-equal States cannot rebel against coequal States. Sovereign States cannot rebel against sovereign States. Individuals acting independently of their State can commit treason against the States-Union or the United States.
In a strict constitutional sense, in 1861-65 there were no United States save those that were united to fight each other. They were nearly equal in number. Each party was in revolt against the Constitution. One repudiated it entirely and formed a new one; the other disobeyed it while pretending to be guided by it, and asserted that there was a “higher law.” In 1865, after the battle of the Titans, the disunited States became again the United States of America.
Reconstruction was a mad partisan effort to prevent harmonious reunion. It failed. To-day the Union is consent. States cannot be arrested, imprisoned, tried, and reduced to territories, and readmitted into the Union they constructed. Once a State always a State.
Burke told George III. that he could not arrest three millions of people for treason. Reconstruction was a futile attempt to arrest four times that number of people, who were sovereign corporators of sovereign corporations called States. States are perpetual chartered corporations. Individual corporators die, States survive.
What of the location of a seat of government ?
The States must cede the territory to the Congress, and thereafter that body shall “ exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such district, not exceeding ten miles square.” (See Art. I., sec. 8.) Maryland and Virginia