Page images


Mr. Foot's Resolution.

(MARCH 30, 1830.

sident of the United States, in every particular, into full the hearty approbation of every one who sincerely loves and effectual execution."

the peace and prosperity of the nation.” The Senate Meeting, Faneuil Hall, 16th July, 1807.

and House of Representatives replied, that “the prompt

acceptance of the overtures of Great Britain meets the “ Mr. ADAMS, Chairman of the committee.

approbation, and will ensure the support, of this ComResolved, That we consider the unprovoked attack monwealth." These sentiments seem to indicate that the made on the United States' armed ship Chesapeake, by opposition heretofore had been founded in principle, and the British ship of war Leopard, a wanton outrage upon not in political hostility to the Executive. The arrangethe lives of our fellow-citizens, a direct violation of our ment was disavowed by the Government of Great Britain, national honor, and an infringement of our national rights and the non-intercourse restored. Mr. Adams left the and sovereignty:

country on a foreign mission, under the appointment of Resolved, that we most sincerely approve the procla- Mr. Madison. He was absent during the war, and officiat. mation and the firm and clispassionate course of policy ed as one of the American ministers in negotiating the pursued by the President of the United States, and we treaty of peace. He returned in 1817, and was appointed, will cordially unite with our fellow-citizens in affording by Mr. Monroe, Secretary of State. effectual support to such measures as our Government It is farther charged that the Legislature of Massamay farther adopt in the present crisis of our affairs.”

chusetts, in 1813, resolved, that the admission into the This was an insult to our flag, and an outrage on our Union, of States created in countries not comprehended sovereignty; it was an affair between our country and a within the original limits of the United States, is not auforeign nation; they sacrificed all party considerations. thorized by the letter or spirit of the constitution; and When Mr. Adams came to Congress, this affair not atoned that it was the interest and duty of the State to oppose the for, he made good his promise; he determined to support admission of such State into the Union, as a measure tendthe administration in any course they might adopt to vin- ing to a dissolution of the Union. And it is said 1 adhere dicate the honor of the country. The President recom- to a party opposed to the admission of Louisiana into the mended the embargo, and Mr. Adams gave it his unqua- Union. Sir, is that in any sense true? What have I to lified support, because he believed it a wise and prudent do, or any existing party, or Mr. Adayıs, with the persons measure of precaution, and because he was unwilling to who opposed the acquisition of Louisiana, twenty-seven thwart the views of the administration for party purposes, years ago ?. They are all gone from the theatre of public and because he had solemnly pledged himself to give affairs. Mr. Adams was not united with them, and they effect to such measures as the Government should adopt have ceased to exist as a party. It is sere. teen years since upon its responsibility.

the passage of this resolution. Mr. Adams was not in the The measure, no doubt injurious to the Northern inte-country. The interests and passions and excitements of rests, became unpopular, and Mr. Adams, in obedience that day have passed away; new men and new parties to his principles, resigned the trust into the hands of his have arisen, with different principles and other views. constituents and retired, but continued, in private life, to New England was revolutionized and republicanized, as give his advice and opinions to the friends of the adminis- you may see by her delegation here, many of whom hare tration, when required, upon the difficult questions that been personally alluded to on the floor. Massachusetts arose in that crisis of our affairs.

did not declare it a palpable violation of the constitution, The embargo locked up the navigation, and destroyed and that she had a right to put forth her velo, and annul for the time the commerce, of the North. It produced the act. And, sir, what is there to connect me in any great private distress, ard ruined thousands. It is not, party with this resolution, that does not equally attach the therefore, extraordinary, that a measure so severely felt gentleman himself to the anti-tariff resolutions of South should have been opposed. They believed an embargo, Carolina, and make him responsible for them? without limitation of time, that destroyed commerce, to He, (Mr. Adams) has been charged with sacrificing the be a violation of the constitutional power of Congress to interests of the country, in establishing the western boundregulate commerce. They submitted the case to the ary, in the treaty with Spain. This charge has been reitcourts--it was decided against them, and they acquiesced. erated through the papers of the West, where it has been But the opposition to the embargo grew out of their sense greatly misrepresented or misunderstocd. That negotiaof their own interests, and not from mere political hostili- tion was conducted with great ability, and our title to the ty. The embargo was repealed, and the non-intercourse River Grande fully sustained. But it was the object of the substituted, in March, 1809, which led immediately to the Spanish Government, in ceding Florida, to save the proarrangement with Erskine, upon which all parties express- vince of Texas. Her minister proposed the Mississippi ed the higlicst satisfaction. Mr. Randolph moved, in the as the boundary, and adhered to that proposition; he seemHouse of Representatives, “ that the promptitucle and ed determined not to yield any thirig beyond that line. frankness with which the President of the United States The great importance of securing Florida induced our has met the overtures of the Government of Great Britain minister to propose the Colorado, which was rejected towards a restoration of harmony and free commercial promptly. At this point, the negotiation came to a pause, intercourse between the two nations, meet the approba- and its entire failure was anticipated. The subject was tion of this House."

reconsidered by the cabinet, and a compromise was proThe federal members now expressed their hearty ap- posed, and at length accepted, which fised the boundary probation of the President, and thanked him cordially, for at the Sabine River. This was done to secure the Flori. the country. They said: "The promptitude and frank- das, and after every me:ins had been tried in vain to obness with which the President has met the overtures of tain a greater extension of our limits. It was done by the Great Britain, while they receive the applause and gra- whole of the cabinet of Mr. Monroe, upon full consideratitude of the nation, call not less imperiously for an unetion of all the great interests it involved, and was finally quivocal expression of them by the House.”'

approved by the Senate. The Governor of Massachussetts said to the Legislature- Sir, I have aimed to set the character of Mr. Adams “We have great reason to indulge the hope of real- fairly before the Senate, and to vindicate him from the izing those views (arising from a revival of commerce) imputations cast upon the North. He has filled the highfrom the prompt and a micable disposition with which it est stations at home and abroad, at the most critical junc. is understood the present Federal administration have tures, with the greatest ability; possessing a mind so firm met the conciliatory overtures of Great Britain--a dis- and so balanced as to preserve its independence and its position which is entitled to, and will certainly receive, principles free from all political influence; he has adro

March 30, 1830.]

Mr. Foot's Resolution.


cated the best interests of his country, and avoided the er- fer the slightest change, whoever may be called to preside rors of parties. He supported the two great leading mea- over it. sures of Mr. Jefferson's admin-stration. He represented The present party in power is a mere personal party; this couniry abroad during Mr. Madison's term, and par- it is composed of men of all parties, who never agreed in ticipated in the treaty of peace. He was cight years in any measures of administration before. Nay, it is composthe Department of State, and negotiated the Florida trea- ed of men of opposite principles, and of the most heteroty; he has been four years at the head of this Govern- geneous elements--men who may combine, but can never ment: a man of great learning and experience--of un- adhere. It was formed for good reasons, no doubt; but it common grasp of mind--of incefatigable labor. And now, was, at best, a mere personal preference of one man to ansir, it is said, “ the Senator of Louisiana adheres with a other. Now to change sides requires no change of politigenerous devotion (I call it generous, for it survives the cal principles, and may greatly advance a man's fortune; downfal of its object) to that party that passed this reso- besides, it is a stale, unprofitable thing, to be struggling lution."

against power and numbers, in a hopeless minority, and It may wellexcite the surprise of the gentleman, that, with working in that barren field where there is neither Executhe examples before him, and with the temptations before tive favor, nor popular applause, nor public honor. me, I have not also deserted the party, after the downfal If the condition of adhering to the Executive is to sacri. of its object. I have the weakness, no doubt, of other man, fice principles to sustain his measures, then it is a danger. and all the motives of interest and ambition that govern ous connexion, and will produce the most fatal effect. It them. My support of that party was founded in princi- is to make one overruling power in the Government--a ple, and was disinterested. They who supported this power capable of drawing after it every other power, even cause from motives of interest or ambition, may desert it the power of the people. And if the President, armed without any violation of their principles: for it will be their with the extraordinary power now claimed, over all the principle to deseit any cause, as soon as it ceases to be offices, emoluments, and honors, of the Government, does their interest.

not draw after it the Representatives of the people, and If it is meant that I have not deserted the object of the the aid of the press, it is because they are above the influ. party, in consequence of his defcat, it is correct. I did ence. And if adherence to a party produces no effect, not ride into favor on his popularity, and then desert him: and lays us under no obligations or restraints, and we preI did not watch the cbb 'of' his fortune to throw myself serve our independence, and vote as we please, I can peradroitly into the current, and swim with the tide. Sir, I ceive no great use in changing sides, or changing names, want the moralcourage to desert a cause, or betray a party. so far as the country is concerned: those who have objects I could not encounter the averted eye, the cold disdain, beyond that may no doubt obtain them in that mode. or the indignant scori), of my friends: I could not bear my The gentleman has said we were once together, and inown self reproach, or the odium of the public, from which timates a wish that we may meet again. Sir, it is not at no man can escape--he can never be forgotten for his deser- all improbable. Those who travel in opposite directions tion, nor forgiven for his treachery. I am less surprised, on the political circle, are sure to meet." The changes of when I see all the offices, emoluments, and honors, of the public opinion and the combination of parties are so raGovernment distributed among the victors, at the facility pid, that no one can foretell where or with whom he may with which pledges were violated and the cause betrayed, be found. When I look around, and see who are togeththan the gentleman can be at my adherence. It was no er, and how we have been separated, and remember where want of sagacity in me. I can calculate chances and ba. you have all been, I cannot be surprised at any thing that lance probabilities as well as those who know better how may occur. When I see the republicans, and federalto avail themselves of their talents: and if I could not, Iists, radicals, and liberals; when I remember how you had as much intelligence as the Dutch Governor of New stood in 1821–2, and how in 1824, and see how easily you York, who could always tell which way the wind blew by came together, I do not despair of again meeting many of the weathercock.

my old friends. When I remember the open hostility and When the Presidential election terminated, leaving one secret plots, the charges and criminations, the violence party free, cvery one saw it threw the balance of power in- and abuse, and now witness the reconciliation, the harmoto their hands; and those who understand the springs of hu- ny and union, I am ready to acknowledge the wonderful manaction know the invariable law by which minorities com- and magical effect of the spirit of party, which can soothe bine. When it was known that one party had ninety-eight the irritation and heal the wounds it makes. It is a pavotes, and that thirty-three would turn the scale, it required nacea perfectly infallible, no matter how furious the strug. no mathematician to calculate the chances; and when I gle, or how violent the conflict. heard a voice, saying, “ the combinations are nearly com 1 intended to have spoken upon several subjects of plete!” I was at no loss in making my calculations.' It re- great public interest in relation to the lands, but I find I quired no magician to work out the results: it was as plain have not time. It was my purpose to have taken this ocas that two sides of a triangle are longer than the third side. casion to show the power of Congress over the public

When things stood thus, in January, 1826, we were not lands. That the lands were “ ceded to the States to be surprised that those who knew the signs of the times disposed of for the co:nmon benefit,” before the adoption should desert us. We knew there was a tide in the affairs of the constitution, and are held only under this obligation of men, which must be taken at the food. We knew they to dispose of them, and not subject to any restrictions and would desert us, exactly as the chances increased, and we limitations of the constitution. What the common heneare not disappointed at the great accession in a certain fit is, must depend on the determination of Congress. quarter, since the event is no longer doubtful. When the Under this construction, Congress have made contracts rats began to leave the ship, I was warned of the danger, with the new States, and have given land for schools, col. and if I did not avail myself of it, to seek safety in time, leges, (when they could not give money under the constiit was my own fault.

tution) for roads and canals, and other objects for the But, sir, that co!itest is over. My principles have under. public benefit. I shall take another occasion to present gone no change. I shall vote for all public measures, and my views on that subject, to show to what various and take the same interest in them, and act with the same zeal, useful purposes they may be applied. I have always clone. I have kept my mind free from the I proposed, also, to have said something about the spirit of party, and above the influence of political feeling changes proper to be made in the land system, after the I trust my principles, and my political opinions, and my payment of the public debt. I will merely say, that the views of the great interests of the country, will never suf-l present price ought to be retained for the sales, so as to


Mr. Fool's Resolution.

(APRIL 2, 1830.

prevent the purchase of large quantities of land in States, The people are told that the laws are unequal and op. by individuals, on speculation. That the actual settler pressive; that they are palpable, dangerous, and deliberate ought to have it for half price ; that as soon as practicable violations of the constitution. There is a general tenthe lands ought to be classed, and the price graduated to dency to bring the Government into contempt, and render the quality; that each of the new States, especially Lou- it odious. We bear of the abuses of the power of Con. isiana, Mississippi, Missouri, ought to receive the same gress and of the administration. We hear of cxtravagant quantity of land as the other now States for internal im- expenditure; of bargain, and intrigue, and corruption; of provement, &c.

the rigorous conduct of the Government in relation to the I will take leave to say, before I conclude, that no law or lands; of the unequal distribution of money; of will and regulation will hasten the sales of the lands, unless they profligate schemes of improvement; and we see attempts are sold on speculation. There are a certain number of to excite sectional hostilities. The press greans under persons, who annually arrive at manhood, who require whatever can prey upon the minds, and provoke the about a million of acres of land, and beyond that there is resentment, of the people. no demand. They must be supplied or they must settle Sir, this is not all, nor, fear, the worst. There is a on the public lands, and the easier the terms on which deliberate attempt to undermine the power and destroy they are supplied, the better for the people and for the the confidence of the country in the Supreme Court: that country.

greai tribunal, upon which this Union rests, is an object Sir, it has been said that this resolution is the last act in of combined attack. This court, created by the conthat system of hostility to the West, whiciı has made so stitution for the decision of all cascs arising under it, as a great a figure in this debate. The honorable gentleman common arbiter between the Government and the members from Connecticut, who performs his duty with greatindlus- that compose it, “ this more than Amphictyonic council," try and zeal, perceived what had almost escaped me, that it is said, is the creature of the Government, and not the we had more than two hundred millions of acres of land umpire of the States; that it tends, by the course of its surveyed and ready for market; that we only sell about a decisions, to extend its jurisdiction, and to a consolidation, million a year; and that we should not, at that rate, sell, in not of the Union, but of the Government; that there is no one hundred and fifty years, the land already surveyed, security for the States against its encroachinents. and therefore very naturally proposed to inquire into the It is said that, “after the Book of Julges, coincs thic expediency of stopping the surveys, &c. Sir, it is true Book of Kings;" and high authority is quoted to show we have more land surveyed than necessary ; there have that they are the sappers and miners of the constitubeen, heretofore, though not latterly, great impositions tion.”. Examples of tyranny, drawn from the worst times and frauds practised upon the Government, and there are of judicial history, are presented, and the victims, carried large quantities of poor land, of pine woods and prairies, from the dungeon to the scaffold, are exhibited, to excite that will never sell. This department has been, within a prejudice and disgust. It is said they are always the tools few years, better managed. I think I may venture to say, of power; that they have never been independent; that for the honorable mover, that the idea of retarding the they are a “subtile corps,” • working under ground to growth or preventing the sales of the land in the West, undermine the foundation of our confederated fabric;" never entered his mind.

" that they have been, with constancy and silence, like Mr JOHNSTON here gave way to a motion to adjourn. thic approaches of death, sliding onwards to consolidation,

giving a diseased enlargement to the powers of the General [Considerable business was transacted on the 31st of they will lay all things at their feet.”

Government, and throwing chains over State rights;" “ that March and the first clay of April; there was also some Sir, this is not all. The gentleman from New Hamp. debate-principally on the last named day, on a bill to ex- shire has boldly charged the court with prestrating the tinguish the Indian title in the State of Indiana.]

rights of the States, and has enumerated the cases. And how have they prostrated the rights of the States? By as

suming a jurisdiction? By improper construction ByerFRIDAY, APRIL 2, 1830.

roneous opinions? Neither are pretended: but, because The Senate resumed the consideration of the resolution (this court, in protecting the rights of the people of other of Mr. FOOT, and

States; in guarding the Union against the exercise of the inMr. JOHNSTON addressed the Senate, in continua- bibited powers by the States; in maintaining the constitution of his remarks, commenced on the 30th víarch, until (tion and the laws of the Union, and preventing the violation four o'clock.

of the obligation of contracts-the very object of its institMr. J. said he saw rising in this country a new party, tion--decide against the claims and rights of the States, it is under a new organization, and under high auspices, that, said the States are prostrated; that the court is “ * putting whatever may be its aim or its object, tended inevitably to chains on the States, "and “laying all things at their feet." weaken the bonds of the Union-a party founding them. Sir, if these judgments were crroneous, they would be selves upon State rights in contradistinction to the rights imperched; if the authority was assumed, it would be of the General Government. Under this banner was seen challenged. It is a powes expressly confided to them; a systematic and combined attack upon this Government, and how could this Government move a day without a that would destroy the confidevce and undermine the affec- supreme tribunal to decide all controversies of this kird? tions of the people.

And yet it remains to be seen whether this court, created All the objections urged to this constitution before its by the constitution, without power or patronage, des adoption (said Mr. J.] are revived, to create prejudice pending upon its virtue and talents to sustain itself in and excite alarm. We are told there are no checks; public opinion, and which is essential and indispensable " that it is an uncontrolled majority, and an uncontrolled to the existence of this Union, can stand against these majority is a despotism.” It is said to be a foreign Govern- numerous, combined, and powerful assaults; or, whether ment, and that the States are foreign to each other. It is public confidence will be destroyed, the authority of the said to claim unlimited powers; to aim at encroachment up court impaired, the constitution become a dead letter, and on the proper powers of the States; that it tends to a great the Union dissolved by its own weakness. consolidation, that will annihilate the States and destroy the The people have an habitual and cordial lore and vene. liberty of the people; and, that the only means of pro- ration for the State institutions, under which their pretection, for the people and the States, against this over-perty, their liberty, and their happiness, are secured; weening despotism, is the power to negative her laws. lihere is no feeling of jealousy or hostility to theun; there

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

is no meditated attack upon their rights or privileges. By the constitution, checks and balances were provided; We are all the's guardians. But this General Govern, majorities required; a veto conferred on the President ment, which is designed to protect the States; to guard and a Supreme Court, to decide all questions under the them from danger from abroad; to secure them domestic constitution. All which were ridiculous precautions, if tranquillity at home; to give them peace and commerce; each State could exercise the veto, decide all questions for is not so ardently cherished. There is less attacıment; herself, and annul the expressed will of the majority. more jealousy of its power and encroachments: more And what then becomes of the great political maxim, centrifugal tendencies.' The tie that binds the Union is that absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the mamore feeble; many causes are operating to weaken t; and, jority--the vital principle in republics--from which there openly assailed from every quarter, it remains to be seen is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and the im. whether the people will defend it, or whether it has en-mediate parent of despotism!" ergy to preserve itself.

If this veto is the legitimate right of a State, she ought it becomes the duty of every enlightened statesman not to be controlled, resisted, or coerced. She may thereand patriot to “support the State Governments in all fore peaceably withdraw from the Union, and must their rights, as the most competent administrations for virtually dissolve the Union, because the law's must our doinestic concerns, and to preserve the General Go- cease to operate, (the tariff for example) unless they vernment in the whole of its constitutional vigor, is the operate throughout; and besides, could the Union consheet anchor of our peace at home, and safety atroad,” tinue, separated by an intervening State? This Union and to give to the court as much confidence as vill sus can then only exist as long as twenty-four States concur tain it firm and unmoved, and unawed, in the legal admin-in opinion. If this principle is true, it ought to have been istration of our affairs.

inserted in the constitution. But it was not. And if the The right of a State in this Union to annul an act of principle is acknowledged, then this constitution was not Congress (said Mr. J.) presents a grave question to our only imperfect in its organizatior., but is a political monster, consideration. It is a question of the first impression, born incapable of living, and containing a principle of and deepest import; which ought not to be discussed un- self destruction. der the excitement of party spirit, the influence of passion,

The Union must dissolve peaceably, whenever the caof the peculiar circumstances in which any of us may find price, the passion, or the ambition, of a few aspiring men ourselves. It should be approached under a deep sense of of a State may will it, or it must be maintained by force. the momentous consequences to the people, to the Union, it is either (lisunion, or civil war; or, in the language of the and to the country it involves.

times, disunion and blood. I shall speak on this question, not as a lawyer and a states.

It is time to calculate, not the value, but the duration of man--that has been donc already, in an able and masterly the Government. manner-I shall speak of it as a man and a citizen, whose But we are told no such consequences will ensue. That hopes and happiness are embarked with those of his con- it is a safe remedy-a necessary check--a salutary restraint stituents in this great experiment, the world's last hope.” upon this uncontrolled majority-a new balance in the con

It is now said that the individual States have a veto on the stitution, that will regulate all its motions. As soon as this laws, and, -thereby, a power to suspend their operation, new State power is acknowledged, there will be no more by which this Government is made to depend upon the unconstitutional laws, no further encroachment on the will of each and every State. The right of States to annul rights of the States. “ The injured and oppressed States the laws and suspend the operations of the Government is will assume her highest political attitude.' She exercises no derived from the constitution, but is a high and transcen- her negative preventive power, she declares the law void-dental power, above the constitution and above all law; it is the necessary consequence,” says the gentleman from an abstraction from the idea of sovereign power, and a rc- Tennessee, (Mr. Grusny}" is, it must cease to operate in finement on the theory of Government. The people of the the State, and Congress must acquiesce, by abandoning the States have not delegated this veto to the Legislatures; it is power, or obtain an express grant from the great source a judicial, and not a legislative power; if it pertains to the from which all power is drawn. The General Governsurereign power of the State, it must be a reserved power ment would have no right to use force.” " This will at to the people, to bc exercised by them in their sovereign all times prove adequate to save this glorious system of ours capacity. But, whether a State, or the people of a State, from disorder and anarchy.” The parties claiming to exhave the right to a negative on the laws, is a question to be ercise the power must call a convention of the States, and determined, by whom By the State? That is to be the judge unless three-fourths of the States will consent to amend in its own cause. Or, tó be submitted to the majority of the constitution, and confer the power, it must cease to the people of all the States! or, to the Supreme Court? exercise it. Thus a law passed in the usual forin, with It is a controversy in which the United States are a party." majorities in both flouses, approved by the President, may

Admitting the power of the State, and the right to decide be annulled, by the veto of any State, and every power for herself, then each and every State in the Union has a taken from Congress, unless three-fourths of the States constitutional veto on the laws of the United States; then are now willing to grant it. Let us see how this will operthe General Government must, or perhaps each of the ate. Suppose the twenty-fifth section of the Judiciary Act States inust, have a similar power to susperid the laws of annulled, the jurisdiction of the court over all cases any other State, when it exercises any sorereign power provided for by it must cease. Again, the tariff has been that is inhibited to the States, or that comes in collision declared a palpable violation of the constitution; it inust, with the General Government; and this also, the Go. therefore, cease to operate; then the Supreme Court must vernment and each State must decide for itself. What not take any cognizance of any casc arising under it, and 2 scene of confusion!

Congress musi not employ force; it is therefore imnecesAgain: each State, then, and thie smallest State, with the sary to resist the laws, and there will be no rebellion or smallest majority in the State, may suspend the laws with- trcason.

But then there will be no revenue. Congress in her jurisdiction. Then the action of the Government has a right to lay duties for revenue. How much of this Lust depend on the concurrent will of each and all the tariff is for revenue for so much it is constitutional, as States. Then the laws made by a majority of the peo- well as duties on articles not made in the country, and thereple, and of the States, may be controlled and counter- fore not for the protection of domestic industry. What acted by a small, nay, the smallest minorty: The Go. must be done in such a dilemma? vernment, if it could be so called, would be absurd in Every power which has been at any time denied to theory, and impracticable in principle.

Congress would have ceased. The Bank, after it had


Mr. Foot's Resolution.

(APRIL 2, 1830.

gone into operation, would have been compelled to shut arise under the new Government. This presented a quesits doors, and close the concern. All crimes not enume- tion of exceeding great difficulty; two plans were proposrated in the constitution would be stricken froin the sta- ed, one to give power to the General Government to retute book; the embargo would have been declared inope- vise the laws of the States, and the other, the right to use rative; the 25th section of the Judiciary Act would have force. Mr. Pinckney proposed, “to render these prohibeen rendered void; the Cumberland road, and subscrip-bitions effectual, the Legislature of the United States shall tions to canals, grants of land, and all Internal Improve- have power to revise the laws of the several states that ment, would have been suspended on the veto of a single may be supposed to infringe the powers exclusively deleState. The Judiciary law could not have been repealed, gated by this constitution to Congress, and to negative and Louisiana and Florida could not have been acquired. and ainul such as do."

Such is the vis inertia, that it is extremely difficult to Mr Randolph proposed—“ The Legislature to negaget more than a bare majority for any measure. Some tive all laws passed by the several States, contravening, do not like its principle or its policy: some are indisposed in the opinion of the National Legislature, the articles of to change: some do not like the time or the mode of pro- unior, or any treaty, and to call forth the force of the posing it. There are always reasons enough for opposing Union against any member of the Union failing to fulfil its any proposition. Most great questions in deliberate bo- duty under the articles thereof." dies are carried by small majorities. The embargo—the Upon more mature consideration, however, it was dewar--the bank-the tariff, are striking instances. The termined to extend the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court constitution of the United States was adopted in Virginia, to all cases that could arise under the constitution, or the 89 to 79. Her late constitution was passed by a majority of laws, or treaties. It was essential to make the judiciary only 15. It cannot, therefore, be reasonably expected power co-extensive with the legislative power. that three-fourths of the States will ever concur in grant The constitution, therefore, provided that the judicial ing any power to Congress that may be previously declar-power should extend ed unconstitutional. The powers of the Government will 1. To all cases in law and equity arising under the con. be constantly frittered away, until it has no power to do stitution. good--no means to protect--no energy to act--no princi 2. To all cases under the laws of the United States. ple of union.

3. To all cases under treaties made by them. But is the theory true, that, when the majority has pro 4. To all cases affecting ambassadors, ministers, and nounced, and the presumptuous are all in favor of the law, consuls. and it is suspended at the instance of a single State, that 5. To all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. Congress are to be presumed in error, and must obtain 6. Controversies wherein the United States are a party. the sanction of three-fourths of the States? Is it not ra 7. Controversies between two or more States. ther more compatible with the theory and principles of 8. Controversies between a State and citizens of anothe Government, that the complaining party, the resisting ther State. State, should call the convention and make the appeal, 9. Controversies between citizens of different States. and assure herself that she is right? A majority can re 10. Controversies between citizens of the State claiming peal the law, and save further trouble.

lands under grants of different States. This negative is supposed to be necessary to the secu 11. Controversies between a State or citizen, and foreign rity of the States, and the protection of the minority; but States, citizens, or subjects. its real operation will be to destroy the force and energy Here is power granted to try all imaginable cases that of the administration. “What may, at first sight, appear can be described; all cases in law and equity, admiralty, a remedy, is, in reality, a poison: to give the minority a or maritime jurisdiction; all that arise under the laws negative upon the majority, which is always the case when and constitution, and treaties, and then it extends to all more than a majority is requisite to a decision, is, in its controversies in which the United States may be a party, tendency, to subject the sense of the greater number to and especially those that arise under the constitution and that of the lesser. Congress, (under the confederation) in execution of the laws. Cases, in general, must opefrom the non-attendance of a few States, have been fre- rate upon individuals and corporations, and not upon soquently in the situation of the Polish Diet, when a single vereign States. Thus, for example, under the tariff

, if veto has been sufficient to put a stop to all their move- goods are introduced and not entered, they will be seized ments. The sixtietha part of the Union has several times under the revenue laws--then it is a question in law aris. been able to oppose an entire bar to its operations. This ing under the laws of the United States: if they resist the is one of those refinements which, in practice, has, in ef- seizure, it is opposition to the laws; the courts will profect, the reverse of what is expected from it in theory." - cced to judgment, and the President is authorized to call [Federalist.]

on the Executives of the States for the militia to execute the The wise men who framed this constitution knew, from laws. If they refuse the militia, on the call of the Presi the defects and infirmities of the confederation, what was dent, then it is the Massachusetts case; if they oppose the necessary to remedy the errors and correct the evils of laws by force, how will they escape the crime of treason, that system. They knew that it had been, in its operation and how will that differ from the Western insurrection upon States only, totally inaclequate to the object of its insti- And all these are controversies to which the United States tution; that this Government must look beyond the States, are a party; if they enter the goods, and suit is instituted and operate directly through the agency of the people, on the bond, the court will hear any defence, but they and upon the people. They knew the necessity of a high must decide, although the constitution, the power of the court, to decide all questions arising under it; the want United States, or the sovereign power of a State, may be of a judiciary power crowned the defects of the confeder- incidentally drawn in: when judgment is obtained and esation. “ Laws are a dead letter, without courts to execution issued, notwithstanding a sovereign State may be pound and define their true meaning and operation.” interested, by her agents, it must be executed as in the “This is more necessary, when the frame of the Government Pennsylvania case, to which I shall presently advert. is so compounded that thic laws of the whole are in danger of It is a suit arising under the laws, and a controversy in being contravened by the laws of the parts."-[Federalist.] which the United States are a party, and therefore within

They knew it was necessary to have a power to decide the judicial power of the courts, expressly delegated by on all cases that contravened the authority of the Union, the constitution. The courts will proceed in the execuand to prevent the exercise of the inhibited powers by the tion of the law's, and in the regular administration of jus States, anel all other questions which it was foreseen might tice. Every law, so far as it acts on individuals, must be

« PreviousContinue »