War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0257 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

State, render the Federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government and the preservation of the Union. " It was by the delegates chosen by the several State under the resolution just quoted that the Constitution of the Unites States was framed in 1787 and submitted to the several States for ratification, as shown by the seventh article, which is in these words: "The ratification of the conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the State so ratifying the same. " I have italicized certain words in the quotation just made for the purpose of attracting attention to the signal and marked caution with which the State endeavored in every possible form to exclude the idea that the separate and independent sovereignty of each State was merged into one common government and nation, and the earnest desire they evinced to impress on the Constitution its true character-that of a compact between independent States. The Constitution of 1787, having, however, omitted the clause already recited from the Articles of Confederation, which provided in explicit terms that each State retained its sovereignty and independence, some alarm was felt in the States, when invited to ratify the Constitution, lest this omission should be construed into an abandonment of their cherished principle, and they refused to be satisfied until amendments were added to the Constitution placing beyond and pretense of doubt the reservation by the States of all their sovereign rights and powers not expressly delegated to the United States by the Constitution.

Strange, indeed, must in appear to the impartial observed, but it is none the less true that all these carefully worded clauses proved unavailing to prevent the rise and growth in the Northern State of a political school which has persistently claimed that the government thus formed was not a compact between States, but was in effect a national government, set up above and over the States. An organization created by the State to secure the blessings of liberty and independence against foreign aggression, has been gradually perverted into a machine for their control in their domestic affairs. The creature has been exalted above its creators; the principals have been made subordinate to the agent appointed by themselves. The people on the Southern States, whose almost exclusive occupation was agriculture, early perceived a tendency in the Northern States to render the common subservient to their own purpose by imposing burdens on commerce as a protection to their manufacturing and shipping interest. Long and angry controversies grew out of these attempts, often successful, to benefit one section of the country at the expense of the other. And the danger of disruption arising from this cause was enhanced by the fact that the Northern population was increasing, by immigration and other causes, in a greater ratio than the population of thees, as the Northern States gained preponderance, in the National Congress, self interest taught people to yield ready assent to any plausible advocacy of their right as a majority to govern the minority without control. They learned to listen with impatience to the suggestion of any constitutional impediment to the exercise of their will, and so utterly have the principles of the Constitution been corrupted in the Northern mind that, in the inaugural address delivered by president Lincoln in March last, he asserts as an axiom, which he plainly deems to be undeniable, that the theory of the Constitution requires that in all cases the majority shall govern; and in another memorable instance

17 R R-SERIES IV VOL I