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which I have referred. A plan was adopted better suited to our situation, but perfectly novel in its character.
20. The powers of. the government were divided, not, as heretofore, in reference to classes, but geographically. One general government was formed for the whole, to which was delegated all the powers supposed to be necessary to regulate the interests common to all the states, leaving others subject to the separate control of the states, being, from their local and peculiar character, such that they could not be subject to the will of a majority of the whole union, without the certain hazard of injustice and oppression.
21. It was thus that the interests of the whole were subjected, as they ought to be, to the will of the whole, while the peculiar and local interests were left under the control of the states separately, to whose custody only they could be safely confided. This distribution of power, settled solemnly by a constitutional compact, to which all the states are parties, constitutes the peculiar character and excellence of our political system. It is truly and emphatically American, without example or parallel.
22. To1 realize its perfection, we must view the general government and those of the states as a whole, each in its proper sphere independent; each/ perfectly adapted to its respective objects; the states acting separately, representing and protecting the local and peculiar interests; acting jointly through one general government, with the weight respectively assigned to each by the constitution, representing and protecting the interest of the whole, and thus perfecting, by an admirable but simple arrangement, the great principle of representation and responsibility, without which no government can be free or just. To preserve this sacred distribution as originally settled, by coercing each to move in its prescribed orb, is the great and difficult problem, on the solution of which the duration of our constitution, of our union, and, in all probability, our liberty, depends. How is this to be effected?
23. The question is new when applied to our peculiar political organization, where the separate and conflicting interests of society are represented by distinct but connected governments; but »it is, in reality, an old question under a new form, long since perfectly solved. Whenever separate and dissimilar interests have been separately represented in any government, whenever the sovereign power has been divided in its exercise, the experience and wisdom of ages have devised but one mode by which such political organization can be preserved, — the mode adopted in England, and by all governments, ancient and modern, blessed with constitutions deserving to be called free, — to give to each co-estate the right to judge of its powers, with a negative or veto on the acts of the others, in order to protect against encroachments the interests it particularly represents: a principle which all of our constitutions recognize, in the distribution of power among their respective departments, as essential to maintain the independence of each, but which, to all who will duly reflect on the subject, must appear far more essential, for the same object, in that great and fundamental distribution of powers between the general and state governments.
24. So essential is the principle, that to withhold the right from either, where the sovereign power is divided, is, in fact, to annul the division itself, and to consolidate in the one left in the exclusive possession of the right all powers of government; for it is not possible to distinguish, practically, between a government having all power, and one having the right to take what powers it pleases.
Extract from a Speech in the United States Senate. — Hayne.
1. I Shall make no professions of zeal for the interests and honor of South Carolina; of that, my constituents shall judge. If there be one state in the union, Mr. President (and I say it not in a boastful spirit), that may challenge comparisons with any other, for a uniform, zealous, ardent, and uncalculating devotion to the union, that state is South Carolina. Sir, from the very commencement of the Revolution, up to this hour, there is no sacrifice, however great, she has not cheerfully made,—no service she has ever hesitated to perform. She has adhered to you in your prosperity; but in your adversity she has clung to you with more than filial affection.
2. No matter what was the condition of her domestic affairs, — though deprived of her resources, divided by parties, or surrounded with difficulties, the call of the country has been to her as the voice of God. Domestic discord ceased at the sound, —every man became at once reconciled to his brethren, and the sons of Carolina were all seen crowding together to the temple, bringing their gifts to the altar of their common country.
3. What was the conduct of the South during the Revolution? Sir, I honor New England for her conduct in that glorious struggle. But great as is the praise which belongs to her, I think at least equal honor is due to the South. They espoused the quarrel of their brethren, with a generous zeal, which did not suffer them to stop to calculate their interest in the dispute. Favorites of the mother country, possessed of neither ships nor seamen to create a commercial rivalry, they might have found in their situation a guarantee that their trade would be forever fostered and protected by Great Britain. But, trampling on all considerations either of interest or safety, they rushed into the conflict, and fighting for principle, periled all in the sacred cause of freedom.
4. Never was there exhibited, in the history of the world, higher examples of noble daring, dreadful suffering and heroic endurance, than by the whigs of Carolina, during the Revolution. The whole state, from the mountains to the sea, was overrun by an overwhelming force of enemy. The fruits of industry perished on the spot.where they were produced, or were consumed by the foe, The "plains of Carolina" drank up the most precious blood of her citizens. Black and smoking ruins marked the places which had been the habitations of her children! Driven from their homes, into the gloomy and almost impenetrable swamps, even there the spirit of liberty survived, and South Carolina (sustained by the example of her Sumptejs and her Marions) proved, by her conduct, that though her soil might be overrun, the spirit of her people was invincible.
Extract from a Speech in the United States Senate. — Daniel Webster.
1. The eulogium pronounced on the character of the State of South Carolina, by the honorable gentleman, for her revolutionary and other merits, meets my hearty concurrence. I shall not acknowledge that the honorable member goes before me in regard for whatever of distinguished talent, or distinguished character, South Carolina has produced.
2. I claim part of the honor, — I partake in the pride of her great names. I claim them for countrymen, one and all. The Laurenses, the Rutledges, the Pinckneys, the Sumpters, the Marions, ,— Americans, all, — whose fame is no more to be hemmed in by state lines, than their talents and patriotism were capable of being circumscribed within the same narrow limits.
3. In their day and generation they served and honored the country, and the whole country; and their renown is of the treasures of the whole country. Him whose honored name the gentleman himself bears, — does he esteem me less capable of gratitude for his patriotism or sympathy for his sufferings, than if his eyes had first opened upon the light of Massachusetts, instead of South Carolina?
4. Sir, does he suppose it in his power to exhibit a Carolina name so bright as to produce envy in my bosom? No, sir; increased gratitude and delight, rather. I thank God, that, if I am gifted with little of the spirit which is able to raise mortals to the skies, I have yet none, as I trust, of that other spirit, which would drag angels down!
5. When I shall be found, sir, in my place here in the senate, or elsewhere, to sneer at public merit because it happens to spring up beyond the little limits of my own state or neighborhood; when I refuse for any such cause, or for any cause, the homage due to American talent, to elevated patriotism, to sincere devotion to liberty and the country; or, if I see an uncommon endowment of Heaven, — if I see extraordinary capacity and virtue iu any son of the South, — and if, moved by local prejudice, or gangrened by state jealousy, I get up here to abate the tithe of a hair from his just character and just fame, may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!
6. Sir, let me recur to pleasing recollections; let me indulge in refreshing remembrance of the past; let me remind you that in early times no states cherished greater harmony, both of principle and feeling, than Massachusetts and South Carolina. Would to God that harmony might again return! Shoulder to shoulder they went through the revolution; hand in hand they stood round the administration of Washington, and felt his own great arm lean on them for support. Unkind feeling,— if it exist, — alienation and distrust, are the growth, unnatural to such soils, of false principles since sown. They are weeds, the seeds of which that same great arm never scattered.
7. Mr. President, I shall enter on no encomium upon Massachusetts, — she needs none. There she is, — behold her, and judge for yourselves. There is her history, — the world knows it by heart. The past, at least, is secure. There is Boston, and Concord, and Lexington, and Bunker Hill, and there they will remain forever. The bones of her sons, falling in the great struggle for independence, now lie mingled with the soil of every state, from New England to Georgia, and there they will lie forever.
8. And, sir, where American liberty raised its first voice, and where its youth was nurtured and sustained, there it still lives, in the strength of its manhood, and full of its original spirit. If discord and disunion shall wound it,—if party strife and blind ambition shall hawk at and tear it, — if folly and madness, — if uneasiness under salutary and necessary restraint, — shall succeed to separate it from that union, by which alone its existence is made sure,—it will stand, in the end, by the side of that cradle in which its infancy was rocked; it will stretch forth its arm, with whatever of vigor it may still retain, over the friends who gather around it; and it will fall at last, if fall it must, amidst the proudest monuments of its own glory, and on the very spot of its origin!
Extract from a Speech in the United States Senate. — . Daniel Webster.
1. I Must now beg to ask, sir, whence is this supposed right of the states derived ? — where do they find the power to interfere with the laws of the Union? Sir, the opinion which the honorable gentleman maintains is a notion founded in a total misapprehension, in my judgment, of the origin of this government, and of the foundation on which it stands. I hold it to be a popular government, erected by the people; those who administer it responsible to the people, and itself capable of being amended and modified, just as the people may choose it should be.
2. It is as popular, just as truly emanating from the people, as the state governments. It is created for one purpose, the state governments for another. It has its own powers; they have theirs. There is no more authority with them to arrest the operation of a law of Congress, than with Congress to arrest the operation of their laws. We aTe here to admin