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§ 458 In the next place, the slighest attention to the history of the National Constitution must satisfy every reflecting mind, how many difficulties attended its formation and adoption, from real or imaginary differences of State interests, sectional feelings, and local institutions. It is an attempt to create a National sovereignty, and yet to preserve the State sovereignties; although it is impossible to assign definite boundaries in all cases to the powers of each. The influence of the disturbing causes, which, more than once in the Convention, were on the point of breaking up the Union, have since immeasurably increased in concentration and vigor. The very inequalities of a government, confessedly founded in a compromise, were then felt with a strong sensibility; and every new source of discontent, whether accidental or permanent, has since added increased activity to the painful sense of these inequalities. The North cannot but perceive, that it has yielded to the South a superiority of Representatives already amounting to twenty-five, beyond its due proportion; and the South imagines, that, with all this preponderance in representation, the other parts of the Union enjoy a more perfect protection of their interests, than its own. The West feels its growing power and weight in the Union; and the Atlantic States begin to learn, that the sceptre must soon, and perhaps forever, depart from them. If, under these circumstances, the Union should once be broken up, it is impossible, that a new Constitution should ever be formed, embracing the whole Territory. We shall be divided into several nations or confederacies, rivals in power, pursuits, and interests; too proud to brook injury, and too near to make retaliation distant or ineffectual. Our very animosities will, like those of all other kindred nations, become more deadly, because our lineage, our laws, and our language are the same. Let the history of the Grecian and Italian republics warn us of our dangers. The National Constitution is our last, and our only security. United we stand; d vided we fall.
§ 459. If this Work shall but inspire the rising gor ration with a more ardent love of their country, an
quenchab e thirst for liberty, and a profound reverence for the Constitution and the Union, then it will have accomplished all, that its author ought to desire. Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capable, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, of property, of religion, and of independence. The structure has been erected by architects of consummate skill and fidelity; its foundations are solid; its com partments are beautiful, as well as useful; its arrangements are full of wisdom and order; and its defences are impregnable from without. It has been reared for immortality, if the work of man may justly aspire to such a title. It may, nevertheless, perish in an hour, by the folly, or corruption, or negligence of its only keepers, THE PEOPLE. Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, be cause they flatter the people, in order to betray them
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, OCTOBER 14, 1774.
WHEREAS, since the close of the last war, the British Parliament, claiming a power of right, to bind the people of America by Statutes in all cases whatsoever, hath in some Acts expressly imposed taxes on them, and in oth ers, under various pretences, but in fact for the purpose of raising a revenue, hath imposed rates and duties payable in these Colonies, established a Board of Commissioners, with unconstitutional powers, and extended the jurisdiction of Courts of Admiralty, not only for collecting the saic. duties, but for the trial of causes merely arising within the body of a county:
And whereas, in consequence of other Statutes, judges, who before held only estates at will in their offices, have been made dependent on the Crown alone, for their salaries, and standing armies kept in times of peace; and whereas, it has lately been resolved in Parliament, that by force of a Statute, made in the thirty-fifth year of the reign of King Henry the VIII., Colonists may be transported to England, and tried there, upon accusations for treasons and misprisions, or concealments, of treasons committed in the Colonies, and by a late Statute, such trials have been directed in cases therein mentioned:
And whereas, in the last session of Parliament, three Statutes were made; one entitled, 'An Act to discontinue, in such manner, and for such time, as are therein mentioned, the landing and discharging, lading, or shipping of goods, wares, and merchandize, at the town, and within the harbor, of Boston, in the Province of Massa
chusetts Bay in North America;' another entitled, 'An Act for the better regulating the government of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England,' and another entitled, 'An Act for the impartial administration of justtice, in the cases of persons questioned for any act done by them in the execution of the law, or for the suppression of riots and tumults, in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England: And another Statute was then made, "for making more effectual provision for the government of the Province of Quebec," &c. All which Statutes are impolitic, unjust, and cruel, as well as unconstitutional, and most dangerous and destructive of American rights:
And whereas, Assemblies have been frequently dissolved, contrary to the rights of the People, when they attempted to deliberate on grievances; and their dutiful, humble, loyal, and reasonable, petitions to the Crown for redress, have been repeatedly treated with contempt, by his Majesty's ministers of state :
The good People of the several Colonies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Newcastle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, justly alarmed at these arbitrary proceedings of Parliament and Administration, have severally elected, constituted, and appointed Deputies to meet and sit in General Congress, in the city of Philadelphia, in order to obtain such establishment, as that their religion, laws and liberties, may not be subverted; whereupon the Deputies so appointed being now assembled, in a full and free representation of these Colonies, taking into their most serious consideration, the best means of attaining the ends aforesaid, do, in the first place, as Englishmen their ancestors in like cases have usually done, for asserting and vindicating their rights and liberties, DECLARE,
That the inhabitants of the English Colonies in North America, by the immutable laws of Nature, the principles of the English Constitution, and the several Charters o Compacts, have the following RIGHTS.
Resolved, N. C. D.* 1. That they are entitled to life, liberty, and property; and they have never ceded to any Sovereign power whatever, a right to dispose of either, without their consent.
Resolved, N. C. D. 2. That our ancestors, who first settled these Colonies, were, at the time of their emigration from the mother Country, entitled to all the rights, liberties, and immunities, of free and natural-born subjects, within the realm of England.
Resolved, N. C. D. 3. That, by such emigration, they by no means forfeited, surrendered, or lost, any of those rights, but that they were, and their descendants now are, entitled to the exercise and enjoyment of all such of them, as their local and other circumstances enable them to exercise and enjoy.
Resolved, 4. That the foundation of English liberty, and of all free government, is, a right in the People to participate in their legislative council; and as the English Colonists are not represented, and, from their local and other circumstances, cannot properly be represented, in the British Parliament, they are entitled to a free and exclusive power of legislation in their several provincial legislatures, where their right of representation can alone be preserved, in all cases of taxation and internal polity, subject only to the negative of their Sovereign, in such manner as has been heretofore used and accustomed ; but, from the necessity of the case, and a regard to the mutual interests of both Countries, we cheerfully consent to the operation of such Acts of the British Parliament, as are, bona fide, restrained to the regulation of our external commerce, for the purpose of securing the commercial advantages of the whole empire to the mother Country, and the commercial benefits of its respective members; excluding every idea of taxation, internal or external, for raising a revenue on the subjects in America, without their
Resolved, N. C. D. 5. That the respective Colonies are entitled to the common law of England, and more es.
* Nemine contradicente, no person opposing, or disagreeing.