The Crisis of Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-One in the Government of the United States

The Crisis of Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-One in the Government of the United States

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Excerpt: ... with those passed by another? What shows conclusively that the States cannot be said to have reserved an undivided sovereignty, is, that they expressly ceded the right to punish treason, not treason against their separate power, but treason against the United States. Treason is an offence against sovereignty, and sovereignty must reside with the power to punish it. But the reserved rights of the States are not less sacred because they have, for their common interest, made the general government the depository of these powers. The unity of our political character (as has been shown for another purpose) commenced with its very existence. Under the royal government we had no separate character: our opposition to its oppressions began as united colonies. We were the United States under the confederation, and the name was perpetuated, and the Union rendered more perfect by the federal constitution. In none of these stages did we consider ourselves in any other light than as forming one nation. Treaties and alliances were made in the name of all. Troops were raised for the joint defence. How, then, with all these proofs, that under all changes of our position we had, for designated purposes and with defined powers, created national governments; how is it, that the most perfect of those several modes of union should now be considered as a mere league, that may be dissolved at pleasure? It is from an abuse of terms. "Compact" is used as synonymous with "league," although the true term is not employed, because it would at Pg 56 once show the fallacy of the reasoning. It would not do to say, that our constitution was only a league; but it is labored to prove it a compact, (which in one sense it is, ) and then to argue, that, as a league is a compact, every compact between nations must of course be a league, and that from such an engagement every sovereign power has a right to recede. But it has been shown, that in this sense the...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 38 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 2mm | 86g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236732170
  • 9781236732170