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political vocabulary. They can never be naturalized if the Constitution is patriotically observed. But that little pamphlet, which embodies the wisdom of our fathers, is seldom consulted, rarely studied by men in authority. Now for a direct answer to the foregoing question:
A nation is a sovereign body, having and knowing no limitations, with only one code of laws and a homogeneous population. These United States have forty-five State governments, thirteen of which possessed original sovereignty, and a general government as an agency. This general government, the name of which is the Government of the United States, being created by the States, is but an extension of their own powers severally, which doctrine was held by Jefferson, and can be and has been modified by amendments, ratified by the creators of the same. Three-fourths of the States can amend at any time the Constitution of the United' States, which proves that the general government has no original sovereignty.
The government of the United States is not, as Mr. Lincoln said at Gettysburg, a "government of the people, by the people, and for the people." That presupposes but one government. The true doctrine is: The general government is a government of the States, by the States, and for the people of the States.
Careless or ignorant writers and speakers forget, or do not know, that the words "The United States" are defined in the Constitution as plural. "No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States; and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them" is the language of the ninth section of the first article. "Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or adhering to their enemies," is the language of the third section of the third article. "Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority," are the words of section 2, Article III. "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion," is the phraseology of section 4, Article IV. In Article XI. the language is: "The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit of law or equity commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another State," etc.
The late war changed no salient feature of our great confederation of equal and co-equal States. It only abolished slavery and conferred suffrage on negroes in general terms. The thirteenth amendment declares: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude," etc., "shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
The Constitution of the United States, in the first article, limits the Congress of the United States to " all legislative powers herein granted." And, in the first ten amendments, or Bill of Rights, it is declared that, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Our Presidents, until late years, did not call the general government " a nation ; " and to call such a creation " the nation," and capitalize the word "nation," as is now common, is the grossest centralism.
Washington called the District of Columbia "Federal property;" Jefferson spoke of our "Federal or general government;" Madison, of " the various forms of our extended Confederacy ; " John Quincy Adams, of the " constitutional powers of the Federal government;" Jackson, of the patronage of the " Federal government," and of the "general government;" Van Buren, of the " concerns of the whole Confederacy ; " William H. Harrison, of the "powers that have been granted to the Federal government;" Tyler, of the "office of President of this Confederacy ;" Polk, of the " safeguard of our Federative compact;" Pierce, of the "sole reliance of the Confederacy ; " Buchanan, of the " construction of the Federal Constitution;" and Arthur, speaking to a foreign embassy, used the plural "them" and "their " when alluding to the United States.
Noah Webster, in the first preface to his great Dictionary, ignores a centralized government. He says: "With our present constitutions of government, escheat can never have its feudal sense in the United States."
"In many cases, the nature of our governments and of our civil institutions requires an appropriate language in the definition of words, even when the words express the same thing in England."
"A great number of words in our language require to be defined in a phraseology accommodated to the condition and institutions of the people of these States," etc.
"The United States commenced their existence under circumstances wholly novel and unexampled in the history of nations. They commenced with civilization, with learning, with science, with constitutions of free government, and with that best gift of God to man, the Christian religion. Their population is now equal to that of England."
It will be observed that Dr. Webster regards our Union of sovereign States as a confederation. His suggestive preface is not to be found in some editions of his Dictionary to-day! He left it; the enemies of free governments have omitted it.
What are abuses of the Constitution?
It is common now to speak and write of the United States as "this government" and " the nation," and supplement the abuse of the Constitution by the use of such misnomers as " national Executive " and " Chief Magistrate of the nation," for simple President of the United States; and to prefix "your Excellency" or "his Excellency," when at the First Congress under the new Constitution, held in the city of New York, a joint resolution was passed, which has never been repealed, utterly ignoring the above titles, and enacting that the choice of the electors of the States shall be simply addressed as the " President of the United States." It is common in some quarters to speak of the President as the " ruler of the nation " or the " ruler of a free people," as if any people can be said to be free who tolerates a ruler or master. It is common to speak of Congress as the "national Congress" and "national legislature," when the name of that body is simply the Congress of the United States; and no other name is to be found in the Constitution.
In the convention of 1787 "national legisla