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1 ‘There is a great rule of human conduct which he who honestly observes cannot err widely from the path of his sought duty. It is to be very scrupulous concerning the principles you select as the test of your rights and obligations; to be very faithful in noticing the result of their application; to be very fearless in tracing and exposing their immediate effects and distant consequences. Under the sanction of this rule of conduct I am compelled to declare it as my deliberate opinion that if this bill passes, the bonds of this Union are virtually dissolved; that the States which compose it are free from their moral obligations, and that as it will be the right of all, so it will be the duty of some to prepare definitely for a separation—amicably if they can, violently if they must. * * * Have the three branches of this government a right at will to weaken and outweigh the influence respectively secured to each State in this compact by introducing at pleasure new partners, situate beyond the old limits of the United States? * * * The proportion of the political weight of each sovereign State constituting this Union depends upon the number of States which have a voice under the compact.’—Speech of Josiah Quincy, January 11, 1811, on the Bill for the Admission of Louisiana.
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