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“ [82] our Union,” 1 which he never ceased to regard as of the highest importance and the greatest beneficence. History teaches scarcely anything more clearly than that it was the purpose of the framers of the Constitution to render the inhabitants of all the States substantially and perpetually one people, living under a common Government, and known to the rest of mankind by a common national designation.2 The advantages secured to the people of all the States by the “more perfect Union” attained through the Constitution, were so striking and manifest that, after they had been for a few years experienced and enjoyed, they silenced all direct and straightforward opposition. Those who had originally opposed and denounced the Constitution became — at least in profession — its most ardent admirers and vigilant guardians. They volunteered their services as its champions and protectors against those who had framed it and with difficulty achieved its ratification. These were plainly and persistently accused of seeking its subversion through the continual enlargement of Federal power by latitudinous and unwarranted construction.3 They vehemently disclaimed any desire to return to tile chronic feebleness and anarchy of the supplanted Confederation, and consecrated their energies to battling against the measureless ills of an unbalanced and centralized despotism. They generally rejected the appellation of Anti-Federalists, and chose to be distinctively known as Republicans. Thomas Jefferson, who had been absent as embassador to France throughout the five or six preceding years, and who had therefore taken no conspicuous or decided part either for or against the Constitution in its incipiency, became the leader, and was for many years thereafter the oracle, of their party.

The Federalists, strong in the possession of power, and in the popularity and( influence of their great chief, Washington, were early misled into some capital blunders. Among, these was the passage of the acts of Congress, famous as the Alien and Sedition laws. The aliens, whom the political tempests then convulsing Europe had drifted in large numbers to our shores, were in good part turbulent, restless adventurers, of desperate fortunes, who sought to embroil

1 In the address of the Federal Convention to the people, signed by Washington as its President, September 17, 1787.

2 “Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your National capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.” --Washington's Farewell Address.

3 In the Federal Convention of 1787 (Debate of Monday, June 18th):

Mr. Hamilton, of New York, said: “The General power, whatever be its form, if it preserves itself, must swallow up the State Governments. Otherwise, it would be swallowed up by them. It is against all the principles of good government to vest the requisite powers in such a body as Congress. Two sovereignties cannot exist within the same limits.”

Mr. Wilson. of Pennsylvania (June 20th), “was tenacious of the idea of preserving the State Governments.” But in the next day's debate: “Taking the matter in the more general view, lie saw no danger to the States from the General Government. On the contrary, he conceived that, in spite of every precaution, the General (Government would be in perpetual danger of encroachments from the State Governments.” And

Mr. Madison, of Virginia, “was of the opinion, in the first place, that there was less danger of encroachment from the General Government than from the State Governments; and, in the second place, that the mischiefs from the encroachments would be less fatal, if made by the former, than if made by the latter.” --Madison's Papers, vol. II., pp. 884, 903, 921.

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