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[167] referred to to inaugurate the said Government in its full proportions and upon its own substantial basis of the popular will.

It only remains that elections should be held for the designation of the officers to administer it.

There is every reason to believe that at no distant day other States, identical in political principles and community of interests with those which you represent, will join this Confederacy, giving to its typical constellation increased splendor — to its government of free, equal and sovereign States, a wider sphere of usefulness, and to the friends of constitutional liberty a greater security for its harmonious and perpetual existence.

It was not, however, for the purpose of making this announcement that I have deemed it my duty to convoke you at an earlier day than that fixed by yourselves for your meeting.

The declaration of war made against this Confederacy, by Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, in his proclamation, issued on the 15th day of the present month, renders it necessary, in my judgment, that you should convene at the earliest practicable moment to devise the measures necessary for the defence of the country.

The occasion is, indeed, an extraordinary one. It justifies me in giving a brief review of the relations heretofore existing between us and the States which now unite in warfare against us, and a succinct statement of the events which have resulted to the end, that mankind may pass intelligent and impartial judgment on our motives and objects.

During the war waged against Great Britain by her colonies on this continent, a common danger impelled them to a close alliance, and to the formation of a Confederation by the terms of which the colonies, styling themselves States, entered severally into a firm league of friendship with each other for their common defence, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.

In order to guard against any misconstruction of their compact, the several States made an explicit declaration in a distinct article — that each State retain its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power of jurisdiction and right which is not by this said Confederation expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled under this contract of alliance.

The war of the Revolution was successfully waged, and resulted in the treaty of peace with Great Britain in 1783, by the terms of which the several States were each by name recognized to be independent.

The articles of confederation contained a clause whereby all alterations were prohibited, unless confirmed by the Legislatures of every State after being agreed to by the Congress; and in obedience to this provision, under the resolution of Congress of the 21st of February, 1787, the several States appointed delegates for the purpose of revising the articles of confederation, and reporting to Congress and the several Legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall, when agreed to in Congress, and confirmed by the States, render the Federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies, of the Government, and the preservation of the Union.

It was by the delegates chosen by the several States under the resolution just quoted, that the Constitution of the United States was formed 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 States so ratifying the same.”

I have italicized certain words in the resolutions just made for the purpose of attracting attention to the singular and marked caution with which the States endeavored in every possible form to exclude the idea that the separate and independent sovereignty of each State was merged into one common government or 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, however, admitting the clause already recited from the articles of confederation, which provided in explicit terms that each State reclaimed 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 principles, and they refused to be satisfied until amendments were added to the Constitution, placing beyond any pretence of doubt the reservation by the States of their sovereign rights and powers not expressly delegated to the United States by the Constitution.

Strange, indeed, must it appear to the impartial observer, that it is none the less true that all these carefully worded clauses proved unavailing to prevent the rise and growth in the Northern States of a political school which has persistently claimed that the Government set above and over the States, an organization created by the States, 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 Creator — the principals have been made subordinate to the agent appointed by themselves.

The people of the Southern States, whose almost exclusive occupation was agriculture, early perceived a tendency in the Northern States to render a common government subservient to their own purposes by imposing

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