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historicaldocuments:fedpapers:federalist43

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historicaldocuments:fedpapers:federalist43 [2015/10/10 02:54]
James McHenry
historicaldocuments:fedpapers:federalist43 [2015/10/28 04:33] (current)
Oliver Wolcott [FEDERALIST No. 43]
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 7.  "To consider all debts contracted, and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution,​ as being no less valid against the United States, under this Constitution,​ than under the Confederation. "This can only be considered as a declaratory proposition;​ and may have been inserted, among other reasons, for the satisfaction of the foreign creditors of the United States, who cannot be strangers to the pretended doctrine, that a change in the political form of civil society has the magical effect of dissolving its moral obligations. Among the lesser criticisms which have been exercised on the Constitution,​ it has been remarked that the validity of engagements ought to have been asserted in favor of the United States, as well as against them; and in the spirit which usually characterizes little critics, the omission has been transformed and magnified into a plot against the national rights. The authors of this discovery may be told, what few others need to be informed of, that as engagements are in their nature reciprocal, an assertion of their validity on one side, necessarily involves a validity on the other side; and that as the article is merely declaratory,​ the establishment of the principle in one case is sufficient for every case. They may be further told, that every constitution must limit its precautions to dangers that are not altogether imaginary; and that no real danger can exist that the government would DARE, with, or even without, this constitutional declaration before it, to remit the debts justly due to the public, on the pretext here condemned. 7.  "To consider all debts contracted, and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution,​ as being no less valid against the United States, under this Constitution,​ than under the Confederation. "This can only be considered as a declaratory proposition;​ and may have been inserted, among other reasons, for the satisfaction of the foreign creditors of the United States, who cannot be strangers to the pretended doctrine, that a change in the political form of civil society has the magical effect of dissolving its moral obligations. Among the lesser criticisms which have been exercised on the Constitution,​ it has been remarked that the validity of engagements ought to have been asserted in favor of the United States, as well as against them; and in the spirit which usually characterizes little critics, the omission has been transformed and magnified into a plot against the national rights. The authors of this discovery may be told, what few others need to be informed of, that as engagements are in their nature reciprocal, an assertion of their validity on one side, necessarily involves a validity on the other side; and that as the article is merely declaratory,​ the establishment of the principle in one case is sufficient for every case. They may be further told, that every constitution must limit its precautions to dangers that are not altogether imaginary; and that no real danger can exist that the government would DARE, with, or even without, this constitutional declaration before it, to remit the debts justly due to the public, on the pretext here condemned.
  
-8.  "To provide for amendments to be ratified by three fourths of the States under two exceptions only. "That useful alterations will be suggested by experience, could not but be foreseen. It was requisite, therefore, that a mode for introducing them should be provided. The mode preferred by the convention seems to be stamped with every mark of propriety. It guards equally against that extreme facility, which would render the Constitution too mutable; and that extreme difficulty, which might perpetuate its discovered faults. <​BOOKMARK:​i>​**It,​ moreover, equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other.** The exception in favor of the equality of suffrage in the Senate, was probably meant as a palladium to the residuary sovereignty of the States, implied and secured by that principle of representation in one branch of the legislature;​ and was probably insisted on by the States particularly attached to that equality. The other exception must have been admitted on the same considerations which produced the privilege defended by it.+8.  "To provide for amendments to be ratified by three fourths of the States under two exceptions only. "That useful alterations will be suggested by experience, could not but be foreseen. It was requisite, therefore, that a mode for introducing them should be provided. ​<​BOOKMARK:​ii>​The mode preferred by the convention seems to be stamped with every mark of propriety. It guards equally against that extreme facility, which would render the Constitution too mutable; and that extreme difficulty, which might perpetuate its discovered faults. <​BOOKMARK:​i>​**It,​ moreover, equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other.** The exception in favor of the equality of suffrage in the Senate, was probably meant as a palladium to the residuary sovereignty of the States, implied and secured by that principle of representation in one branch of the legislature;​ and was probably insisted on by the States particularly attached to that equality. The other exception must have been admitted on the same considerations which produced the privilege defended by it.
  
 9.  "The ratification of the conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the States, ratifying the same. "This article speaks for itself. The express authority of the people alone could give due validity to the Constitution. To have required the unanimous ratification of the thirteen States, would have subjected the essential interests of the whole to the caprice or corruption of a single member. It would have marked a want of foresight in the convention, which our own experience would have rendered inexcusable. Two questions of a very delicate nature present themselves on this occasion: 9.  "The ratification of the conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the States, ratifying the same. "This article speaks for itself. The express authority of the people alone could give due validity to the Constitution. To have required the unanimous ratification of the thirteen States, would have subjected the essential interests of the whole to the caprice or corruption of a single member. It would have marked a want of foresight in the convention, which our own experience would have rendered inexcusable. Two questions of a very delicate nature present themselves on this occasion:
historicaldocuments/fedpapers/federalist43.txt · Last modified: 2015/10/28 04:33 by Oliver Wolcott