Imágenes de páginas

it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance, in permanent evil, any partial or transient benefit which the use can at any time yield.


Notwithstanding the cup of blessing is reached to us; notwithstanding happiness is ours, if we have a disposition to seize the occasion and make it our own; yet, it appears to me, there is an option still left to the United States of America; that it is in their choice, and depends upon their conduct; whether they will be respectable and prosperous, or contemptible and miserable, as a nation. This is the time of their political probation. This is the moment, when the eyes of the whole world are turned upon them. This is the moment, to establish or ruin their National Character for ever. This is the formidable moment, to give such a tone to our Federal Government, as will enable it to answer the ends of its institution. Or this may be the ill-fated moment for relaxing the powers of the Union, annihilating the cement of the Confederation, and exposing us to become the sport of European politics, which may play one State against another, to prevent their growing importance, and to serve their own interested purposes.

According to the system of policy the States shall adopt, this moment, they will stand or fall; and by their confirmation or lapse it is yet to be decided, whether the Revolution must ultimately be considered as a blessing or a curse; a blessing or a curse, not to the present age alone, for with our fate will the destiny of unborn millions be involved.



There must be Reciprocity, or no Union. Which of the two is preferable, will not become a question in the mind of any true patriot.



The fear of giving sufficient powers to Congress, is futile. Each Assembly, under its present constitution, will be annihilated, and we must once more return to the government of Great Britain, and be made to kiss the rod preparing for our correction. A nominal head, which, at present, is but another name for Congress, will no longer do.

That honorable body, after hearing the interests and views of the several States fairly discussed and explained by their respective representatives, must dictate, and not merely recommend, and leave it to the

States afterwards to do as they please, which is, in many cases, to do nothing at all.

Unless the principles of the Federal Government are properly supported, and the powers of the Union increased, the honor, dignity, and justice of the nation will be lost for ever.

To me it is a solecism in politics, indeed it is one of the most extraordinary things in nature, that we should confederate as a Nation, and yet be afraid to give the Rulers of that nation, (who are the creatures of our own making, appointed for a limited and short duration, and who are amenable for every action, and may be recalled at any moment, and are subject to all the evils which they may be instrumental in producing,) sufficient powers to order and direct the affairs of the same. By such policy as this, the wheels of government are clogged, and our brightest prospects, and that high expectation which was entertained of us by the wondering world, are turned into astonishment; and, from our high ground on which we stood, we are descending into the vale of confusion and darkness.

With joy I once beheld my country, feeling the liveliest sense of her rights, and maintaining them with a spirit apportioned to their worth. With joy I have seen all the wise men of Europe looking on her with admiration, and all the good with hope, that her fair example would regenerate the old world, and re

store the blessings of equal government to long oppressed humanity. But, alas! in place of maintaining this glorious attitude, America is herself rushing into disorder and dissolution.

We have powers sufficient for self-defence and glory, but those powers are not exerted. For fear Congress should abuse it, the people will not trust their power to Congress. Foreigners insult and injure us with impunity; for Congress has no power to chastise them. Ambitious men stir up insurrections; Congress possesses no power to coerce them. Public creditors call for their money; Congress has no power to collect it. In short, we cannot long subsist as a nation, without lodging somewhere a power, that may command the full energies of the nation, for defence against all its enemies, and for the supply of all its wants.

The people will soon be tired of such a government. They will sigh for a change; and many of them already begin to talk of Monarchy, without horror.

We have probably had too good an opinion of human nature, in forming our Confederation.

Experience has taught us, that men will not adopt and carry into execution measures the best calculated for their own good, without the intervention of a coercive power.


Common danger brought the States into confederacy; and on their Union our safety and importance depend.


A spirit of accommodation was the basis of the present Constitution.



It should be the highest ambition of every American, to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind, that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity, but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn. To establish this desirable end, and to establish the government of laws, the Union of these States is absolutely necessary. Therefore, in every proceeding, this great, this important object should ever be kept in view; and, so long as our measures tend to this, and are marked with the wisdom of a well-informed and enlightened people, we may reasonably hope, under the smiles of Heaven, to convince the world, that the happiness of nations can be accomplished by pacific revolutions in

« AnteriorContinuar »