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actors on a most conspicuous theatre, which seems to be peculiarly designed by Providence for the display of human greatness and felicity.
Here they are not only surrounded with every thing which can contribute to the completion of private and domestic enjoyment, but Heaven has crowned all its other blessings, by giving a fairer opportunity for political happiness, than any other nation has ever been favored with.
The foundation of our empire was not laid in the gloomy age of ignorance and superstition; but at an epoch, when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period. The researches of the human mind after social happiness, have been carried to a great extent; the treasures of knowledge, acquired by the labors of philosophers, sages, and legislators, through a long succession of years, are laid open for our use, and their collected wisdom may be happily applied, in the establishment of our forms of government. The free cultivation of letters, the unbounded extension of commerce, the progressive refinement of manners, the growing liberality of sentiment, and, above all, the pure and benign light of Revelation, have had a meliorating influence on mankind, and increased the blessings of society. At this auspicious period, the United States came into existence as a nation; and, if their citizens should not be completely free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own.
IV. THE CONSTITUTION.
He did the two greatest things which, in politics, man can have the privilege of attempting. He maintained, by peace, that independence of his country, which he had acquired by war. He founded a free government, in the name of the principles of order, and by re-establishing their sway. M. GUIZOT.
CHOICE OF THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT.
We exhibit the novel and astonishing spectacle of a whole people, deliberating calmly on what Form of Government will be most conducive to their happiness; and deciding, with an unexpected degree of unanimity, in favor of a system which they conceive calculated to answer the purpose.
THE FOUR PILLARS OF INDEPENDENCE.
There are four things, which, I humbly conceive, are essential to the well-being, I may even venture to say, to the existence of the United States, as an independent power.
First. An indissoluble Union of the States under One Federal Head.
Second. A sacred regard to Public Justice.
Third. The adoption of a proper Peace Establish
Fourth. The prevalence of that pacific and friendly disposition among the people of the United States, which will induce them to forget their local prejudices and politics; to make those mutual concessions which are requisite to the general prosperity; and, in some instances, to sacrifice their individual advantages to the interest of the community.
These are the pillars, on which the glorious fabric of our independency and national character must be supported.
Liberty is the basis. And whoever would dare to sap the foundation, or overturn the structure, under whatever specious pretext he may attempt it, will merit the bitterest execration, and the severest punishment which can be inflicted by his injured country.
IMPORTANCE OF THE FEDERAL UNION.
Unless the States will suffer Congress to exercise those prerogatives they are undoubtedly invested with by the Constitution, every thing must very rapidly tend to anarchy and confusion.
It is indispensable to the happiness of the individ
ual States, that there should be lodged somewhere a Supreme Power, to regulate and govern the general concerns of the confederated republic, without which the Union cannot be of long duration.
There must be a faithful and pointed compliance, on the part of every State, with the late proposals and demands of Congress, or the most fatal consequences will ensue.
Whatever measures have a tendency to dissolve the Union, or contribute to violate or lessen the sovereign authority, ought to be considered as hostile to the liberty and independency of America, and the authors of them treated accordingly.
Unless we can be enabled, by the concurrence of the States, to participate the fruits of the Revolution, and enjoy the essential benefits of civil society, under a form of government so free and uncorrupted, so happily guarded against the danger of oppression, as has been devised and adopted by the Articles of Confederation, it will be a subject of regret, that so much blood and treasure have been lavished to no purpose, that so many sufferings have been encountered without a compensation, and that so many sacrifices have been made in vain.
It is only in our united character, as an empire, that our independence is acknowledged, that our power
can be regarded, or our credit supported, among foreign nations. The treaties of the European powers with the United States of America, will have no validity, on the dissolution of the Union. We shall be left nearly in a state of nature; or we may find, by our own unhappy experience, that there is a natural and necessary progression from the extreme of anarchy to the extreme of tyranny, and that arbitrary power is most easily established upon the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.
The UNITY of government which constitutes you one people, is now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquillity at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee, that, from different causes, and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortunes, against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively, (though often covertly and insidiously,) directed, it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your NATIONAL UNION, to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and to speak of it, as a Palladium of your political safety