currency to their words, our readers will perhaps pardon us for devoting a brief space to this oft-repeated and oft-exposed fallacy.
Whatever difference of view may possible exist among candid and well informed men as to the relation of the States to the Federal Government
, these are facts concerning which we presume there can be no controversy between them.
First, that counties are mere local subdivisions of the territory of a State created for purposes of convenience by the legislative power thereof, and liable to be altered or abolished altogether at the will and pleasure of the same authority.
Secondly, that the States of the American Union were originally colonies of Great Britain
, entirely separate from and independent of each other; that for the purposes of mutual support and assistance, they entered voluntarily into an union with each other, and that they subsequently saw fit to alter and modify the articles of union, and to ordain and establish a new Constitution, which each separate State adopted for itself, and which the adoption by twelve would have made in no way binding on the thirteenth.
Here we pause, for this is a mere statement of facts, upon which all are agreed who know anything of the matter, and this is abundantly sufficient to prove that there is not the faintest analogy between the relation of counties to States and that of States to the Union
We might well go further, and remind the author that the doctrine of which he disposes so easily was held not only by the selfish leaders and deluded masses of the South
, but by eminent Northern politicians, notably those of New England
in the days of a certain memorable convention at Hartford
, as well as by able, thoughtful and disinterested foreigners.
We will make but a single quotation from one of the most distinguished of these latter.
Will he hear De Tocqueville
on the point?
“The Union,” says that eminent writer, despite his manifest leaning towards the North
, and more especially towards New England
, “was formed by the voluntary agreement of the States; and in uniting together, they have not forfeited their nationality, nor have they been reduced to the condition of one and the same people.
If one of the States choose to withdraw from the compact, it would be difficult to disprove its right of doing so, and the Federal Government
would have no means of maintaining its claims directly, either by force or right.”
It would be a waste of time to dwell any longer upon so plain a point, or even to cite, as might easily be done, other eminent authorities, both Northern and European
We prefer to leave the