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[525] recognition of their existence as a separate power, which under no circumstances would be done; and, for a like reason, that no such terms would be entertained by him for the States separately.

Now the Constitution of the United States says, in Article X:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Within the purview of this article of the Constitution the states are independent, distinct, and sovereign bodies—that is, in their reserved powers they are as sovereign, separate, and supreme as the government of the United States in its delegated powers. One of these reserved powers is the right of the people to alter or abolish any form of government, and to institute a new one such as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness; that power is neither ‘delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States.’ On the contrary, it is guaranteed to the states by the Constitution itself in these words:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Mark the words, ‘are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.’ No one will venture to say that a sovereign state, by the mere act of accession to the Constitution, delegated the power of secession. The assertion would be of no validity if it were made; the question is one of fact as to the powers delegated or not delegated to the United States by the Constitution. It is absurd to ask if the power of secession in a state is delegated to the United States by the Constitution, or prohibited by it to the states. No trace of the delegation or prohibition of this power is to be found in the Constitution. It is, therefore, as the Constitution says, ‘reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.’

The convention of the state of New York, which ratified the Constitution of the United States on July 26, 1788, in its resolution of ratification said:

We do declare and make known . . . that the powers of Government may be reassumed by the people, whensoever, it shall become necessary to their happiness; that every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by the said Constitution clearly delegated to the Congress of the United States, or to the departments of the Government thereof, remains to the people of the several States, or to their respective State governments, to whom they may have granted the same. . . . Under these impressions, and declaring that the rights aforesaid can not be abridged or violated . . . we, the said delegates, in the name and in behalf of the people of the State of New York, do, by these presents, assent to and ratify the said Constitution.

With this and other conditions stated in the resolution of ratification,

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