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at least equally energetic with the one proposed, to the attainment of this object... The conformity of the proposed constitution to the true principles of republican government... Its analogy to your own state constitution...and lastly, The additional security, which its adoption will afford to the preservation of that species of government, to liberty, and to property.
In the progress of this discussion, I shall endeavour to give a satisfactory answer to all the objections which shall have made their appearance,
may seem to have any claim 'to attention.
It may perhaps be thought superfluous to offer arguments to prove the utility of the UNION; a point, no doubt, deeply engraved on the hearts of the great body of the people in every state, and one which, it may be imagined, has no adversaries. But the fact is, that we already hear it whispered in the private circles of those who oppose the new constitution, that the Thirteen States are of too great extent for any general system, and that we must of necessity resort to separate confederacies of distinct portions of the whole * This doctrine will, in all probability, be gradually propagated, till it has votaries enough to countenance its open avowal. For nothing can be more evident, to those who are able to take an enlarged view of the subject, than the alternative of an adoption of the constitution, or a dismemberment of the Union. It may therefore be essential to examine particularly the advantages of that Union, the certain evils, and the probable dangers, to which every state will be exposed from its dissolution. This shall accordingly be done.
* The same idea, trącing the arguments to their consequences, is held out in several of the late publications against the new constitution.
CONCERNING DANGERS FROM FOREIGN FORCE AND
When the People of America reflect, that the question now submitted to their determination, is one of the most important that has engaged, or can well engage, their attention, the propriety of their taking a very comprehensive, as well as a very serious, view of it, must be evident.
Nothing is more certain than the indispensable necessity of government; and it is equally undeniable, that whenever and however it is instituted, the people must cede to it some of their natural rights, in order to vest it with requisite powers. It is well worthy of consideration therefore, whether it would conduce more to the interest of the people of America, that they should, to all general purposes, be one nation, under one federal government, than that they should divide themselves into separate confederacies, and give to the head of each, the same kind of powers which they are advised to place in one national government.
It has until lately been a received and uncontradicted opinion, that the prosperity of the people of America depended on their continuing firmly united; and the wishes, prayers, and efforts, of our best and wisest citizens, have been constantly directed to that object. But politicians now appear, who insist that this opinion is erroneous, and that instead of looking for safety and happiness in union, we ought to seek it in a division of the states into distinct con
a federacies or sovereignties. However extraordinary this new doctrine may appear, it nevertheless has its advocates; and certain characters who were formerly much opposed to
it, are at present of the number. Whatever may be the arguments or inducements, which have wrought this change in the sentiments and declarations of these gentlemen, it certainly would not be wise in the people at large to adopt these new political tenets, without being fully convinced that they are founded in truth and sound policy.
It has often given me pleasure to observe, that independent America was not composed of detached and distant territories, but that one connected, fertile, wide-spreading country, was the portion of our western sons of liberty. Providence has in a particular manner blessed it with a variety of soils and productions, and watered it with innumerable streams, for the delight and accommodation of its inhabitants. A succession of navigable waters forms a kind of chain round its borders, as if to bind it together; while the most noble rivers in the world, running at convenient distances, present them with highways for the easy communication of friendly aids, and the mutual transportation and exchange of their various commodities.
With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice, that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people; a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established their general liberty and independence.
This country and this people seem to have been made for each other; and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties.
Similar sentiments have hitherto prevailed among all orders and denominations of men among us. To all gene
ral purposes, we have uniformly been one people. Each individual citizen every where enjoying the same national rights, privileges, and protection. As a nation, we have made peace and war: as a nation, we have vanquished our common enemies: as a nation, we have formed alliances, and made treaties, and entered into various compacts and conventions with foreign states.
A strong sense of the value and blessings of Union induced the people, at a very early period, to institute a federal government to preserve and perpetuate it. They formed it almost as soon as they had a political existence ; nay, at a time, when their habitations were in flames, when many of them were bleeding in the field ; and when the progress of hostility and desolation left little room for those calm and mature inquiries and reflections, which must ever precede the formation of a wise and well balanced government for a free people. It is not to be wondered at that a government instituted in times so inauspicious, should on experiment be found greatly deficient, and inadequate to the purpose it was intended to answer.
This intelligent people perceived and regretted these defects. Still continuing no less attached to union, than enamoured of liberty, they observed the danger, which immediately threatened the former and more remotely the latter; and being persuaded that ample security for both, could only be found in a national government more wisely framed, they, as with one voice, convened the late Convention at Philadelphia, to take that important subject under consideration.
This Convention, composed of men who possessed the confidence of the people, and many of whom had become highly distinguished by their patriotism, virtue, and wisdom, in times which tried the souls of men, undertook the arduous task. In the mild season of peace, with minds unoccupied by other subjects, they passed many months in cool uninterrupted and daily consultations: And finally, without having been awed by power, or influenced by any passion, except love for their country, they presented and recommended to the people the plan produced by their joint and very unanimous counsels.
Admit, for so is the fact that this plan is only recommended, not imposed, yet, let it be remembered, that it is neither recommended to blind approbation, nor to blind reprobation; but to that sedate and candid consideration, which the magni. tude and importance of the subject demand, and which it certainly ought to receive. But, as has been already remark. ed, it is more to be wished than expected that it may be so considered and examined. Experience on a former occasion teaches us not to be too sanguine in such hopes. It is not yet forgotten, that well grounded apprehensions of imminent danger induced the people of America to form the memorable Congress of 1774. That body recommended certain measures to their constituents, and the event proved their wisdom; yet it is fresh in our memories how soon the press began to teem with pamphlets and weekly papers against those very measures. Not only many of the officers of government who obeyed the dictates of personal interest, but others from a mistaken estimate of consequences, from the undue influence of ancient attachments, or whose ambition aimed at objects which did not correspond with the public good, were indefatigable in their endeavours to persuade the people to reject the advice of that patriotic Congress. Many indeed were deceived and deluded, but the great majority reasoned and decided judiciously; and happy they are in reflecting that they did so.
They considered that the Congress was composed of many wise and experienced men. That being convened from different parts of the country, they brought with them and communicated to each other a variety of useful information. That in the course of the time they passed together in inquiring into and discussing the true interests of their country, they must have acquired very accurate knowledge VOL. I.