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only power which can declare war, make peace, and enter into treaties, coin money, or regulate commerce, or in short do any act characteristic of national sovereignty. 2d. It governs itself, for, by Art. 1st. Sect. 8th, Art. 2d, Sect. 2d, Art 3d, Sect. 2d, and Sect. 3d, of the Constitution, the government of the United States is vested with all the powers of self-government. 3d. It is independent of all other powers; for, by the Declaration of Independence, and the subsequent successful termination of the War of the Revolution, and the adoption of the Constitution by the states then composing the Confederation, the United States became independent of all foreign nations; and we have already shown, by Proposition 10th, that the states could not control the general government within constitutional limits, therefore the United States are sovereign in their national capacity.''
§ 521. PROPOSITION 13TH. The governments of the states are sovereign in a municipal, and are not sovereign in a national capacity.
By the 10th article of the amendments to the Constitution of the United States, “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.” Now the power to make municipal laws,—by which are meant all laws which concern only the state, directly and immediately is not vested in Congress, neither is it prohibited to the states, it is consequently among the reserved rights of the states and the people : and by the various state constitutions, we find that the people have vested it, 80 far as is not inconsistent with personal rights, in the state legislatures. It is therefore their proper prerogative to exercise it. Thus, all the laws relative to state taxation, chartered companies, eleemosynary institutions, and police regulations, are within the powers of state 1 President Jackson's Proclamation, 10th December, 1832.
legislatures, they are, therefore, sovereign in their municipal capacity. They are not sovereign in a national capacity, because in that respect they are not the highest power.” The government of the United States, as we have seen by Proposition 12th, is sovereign in a national sense, and it is only sovereign in that sense; for, by Art. 1, Sec. 10, the states are forbidden to exercise any power characteristic of national sovereignty; thus, they cannot make peace, or declare war, tax imports and exports, make treaties, and coin money; they are, therefore, not sovereign in that sense.
$ 522. PROPOSITION 14TH. The government of the United States is superior to, and sovereign over the gooernments of the states, in those cases in which they are constitutionally brought into collision.
This may be proved by examples drawn from each of the great departments of the governments. 1. Of the Legislative. Thus, Congress have the power to tax articles of consumption, so have the states; now, should Congress and the states both tax the same article, the state cannot, by excessive taxation, exhaust the article so as to prevent the collection of the United States tax; again, the states may grant, as New-York did, a peculiar privilege to navigate the waters of their states ; but should another person get a coasting license under the navigation laws of the United States, the monopoly must yield to the laws of Congress; again, we have already seen, that Congress can constitutionally make a law securing priority of payments, and such a law, whatever the state laws may be, must have precedence.
$ 523. 2. Of the Judiciary. By Art. 3d, Sect. 1st, of the Constitution, the judicial power is expressly extended to all cases in which the United States are a party, and to all controversies between two or more states. In all judicial matters, therefore, between the United States and the states,—the United States gov
ernment are supreme, and all matters in relation to such controversies, must be decided according to the Constitution and laws of the United States. The legislatures of the states cannot annul the judgments, or determine the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States.
§ 524. 3. Of the Executive. By Art. 2d, Sect. 2d, of the Constitution, the President is commander-in-chief of the militia of the several states when called into service; and as a consequence of this power, whenever the troops of the United States, and the militia are on service together, the officer commanding the troops of the United States, commands the whole.
Hence, we see, that in all cases where there can be a constitutional collision between the authorities of the United States and those of the states, the former are superior to, and sovereign over the latter.
§ 525. PROPOSITION 15TH. The people of the United States are one nation. This
may be shown by considerations drawn from various sources; 1st. We see by the adoption, and subsequent history of the Constitution, that the United States have, for nearly half a century, been living under one government; and, by Proposition 12th, that this government possesses entire national sovereignty; with respect, therefore, to its exterior relations, the United States are one nation ; they are represented, and known officially, as such, all over the world. Again, they are such internally as well as externally; for, by Proposition 8th, we have demonstrateu that the Constitution of the United States proceeds from the people in their sovereign capacity. It did not proceed from the states, as separate communities, and throughout all the proceedings on its adoption, this idea strongly predominated. States are recognized throughout the Constitution, but only as instruments in the hands of the same people who are alike the authors, both of the Union and of the states. The people, on the occasion of the adoption of the Constitution, acted in their original, sovereign, national capacity. Having thus originated, we see that the Constitution is binding, not upon the states only, but upon the whole people. It acts upon them individually, and therefore as one nation. This we have seen in Proposition 9th. Further, no small proof of this proposition, like that of others, may be derived from a view of the object and intentions of those who instituted the government. The single object of the present government was to perpetuate the union, and consolidate the national interests. This is expressly stated in all the proceedings prior to the formation of the Constitution, in the debates of the Federal Convention, and in the admirable letter of General Washington, transmitting the Constitution to the governors of the several states. “In all our deliberations on this subject, we kept steadily in our view that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our union, in which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national existence.” The sentiments of Washington were doubtless those of all, at that time, except a very few, who were jealous lest the national should entirely destroy the state governments. Time has shown that such jealousies were wholly illusory, and the only danger is, that the states may encroach too far on the prerogatives of the general government.
15 Cranch, 115.
§ 526. Another consideration in favor of the entire unity of the nation, and its future continuance, may be found in the unity of its language and manners. It is believed that no nation on earth is so entirely homoge
If we look to Great Britain, we find that people composed of four different nations, the Welch, English, Irish, and Scotch. Between the original languages of these people there is scarcely a resemblance.
14 Elliott's Debates, 56, 137, 2 Idem, 248.
If we limit the examination to England, we find the dialects of London and Yorkshire more diverse than those of the extreme parts of our union. If we look to France, it is the same. Germany also is composed of people speaking different tongues. The vast empire of China is the same. But how is it in the United States ? From Maine to Missouri, through all the United States, their language is the same; there is no change of tongue: the only discoverable difference is in the use of particular words, which occasionally betray the birth of the speaker. It is true there are occasional settlements of Germans, but they are too few in comparison with the mass, to mark any particular district with a distinct language.
With respect to written language, it is everywhere the same. Even the Grecian, pure as it is found in Homer, contains more dialects than can be found in the whole compass
of American authors. § 527. The same remark which we have made with respect to language, may be affixed with nearly equal force to manners. There are few customs or habits in one portion of the union, not to be found in another; none which could give one district a distinct national character from another.
The United States are, therefore, emphatically one nation. Politically, socially, morally, they are stamped with one character, and must share the same destiny.
§ 528. PROPOSITION 16TH. The government of the United States is a government of majorities.
In the conventions of the people which ratified the Constitution, a majority in any one convention made the decision; for no other rule could be applied when they were subordinate to no authority but their own. But in the Constitution of the United States, and in those of the several states, this principle is everywhere manifest. 1st. Of the Legislature; members of the House of Representatives are chosen by majorities of the people,