science, to governmental method, it is embraced and formulated in that derided phrase, “State sovereignty” --the independence, not of the Republic
, but the independence of States
“ These United Colonies are and of right ought to be,” not a free and independent nation, but “free and independent States,” was the challenge of our fathers to a British King
, in their Declaration of Independence
, and the form in which they clothed their brave summons for room and recognition amid the sovereign states of the earth.
“Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence,” is the sentence which opens the first constitution of the United States
; and the second constitution, not expressing the same thought in equivalent language, trembled long on the verge of rejection on that account, and was finally supplemented by twelve amendments, every one of which is an assertion, in one form or another, of the idea of State independence.
When the first rebellion was over, and the belligerents authenticated peace by solemn treaty, the first article of that memorable covenant proclaimed, in unmistakable terms, the same principle, and published in official form the character of the communities which Great Britain
had vainly attempted to conquer.
His Britanic Majesty acknowledges the United States
, naming them State by State, to be “free, sovereign and independent States.”
Nor is there an official act or utterance of the cotemporaries of the foundation of the Government
, which gives the color of authority to the consolidation theories now so prevalent.
True, the tide now sets otherwise, and the representatives of great Commonwealths shamefully vie with each other in abasement of their mother States at the foot of this new idol, called “The nation” --a name unheard of in the better days.
But let us not be disheartened.
This imperial tendency is at once a heresy and an anachronism in American politics.
At present its oppressions fall indeed on those who are familiar with oppression and powerless to prevent it, and whose remonstrances win but little heed; but it is, at the same time, debauching public sentiment, dwarfing the sense and love of independence, and developing public evil in ways and places which will, sooner or later, constrain that heed.
Under its influence, a familiar tradition of executive tenure, sanctioned by the highest authority and universal observance, is scoffed at as a superstition.
Congress is asked to engraft a monarchical form of communication between the legislative and