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historicaldocuments:letters:everett1830 [2015/10/22 15:34]
Oliver Wolcott created
historicaldocuments:letters:everett1830 [2019/08/16 23:44] (current)
Oliver Wolcott
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 ====== Madison'​s letter to Edward Everett in 1830 ====== ====== Madison'​s letter to Edward Everett in 1830 ======
 +/* historicaldocuments/​letters/​everett1830.txt · Last modified: 2015/10/22 15:34 by Oliver Wolcott */
 +{{tag>​nullification everett madison}}
 +<WRAP center round info 60%>
 +Source: http://​www.constitution.org/​jm/​18300828_everett.htm
 +</​WRAP>​
 +
  
 To Edward Everett To Edward Everett
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 1. It was formed, not by the Governments of the component States, as the Federal Govt. for which it was substituted was formed; nor was it formed by a majority of the people of the U. S. as a single community in the manner of a consolidated Government. 1. It was formed, not by the Governments of the component States, as the Federal Govt. for which it was substituted was formed; nor was it formed by a majority of the people of the U. S. as a single community in the manner of a consolidated Government.
  
-It was formed by the States — that is by the people in each of the States, acting in their highest sovereign capacity; and formed, consequently by the same authority which formed the State Constitutions.+<wrap hi>It was formed by the States — that is by the people in each of the States, acting in their highest sovereign capacity; and formed, consequently by the same authority which formed the State Constitutions.</​wrap>​
  
-Being thus derived from the same source as the Constitutions of the States, it has within each State, the same authority as the Constitution of the State; and is as much a Constitution,​ in the strict sense of the term, within its prescribed sphere, as the Constitutions of the States are within their respective spheres; but with this obvious & essential difference, that being a compact among the States in their highest sovereign capacity, and constituting the people thereof one people for certain purposes, it cannot be altered or annulled at the will of the States individually,​ as the Constitution of a State may be at its individual will.+Being thus derived from the same source as the Constitutions of the States, it has within each State, the same authority as the Constitution of the State; and is as much a Constitution,​ in the strict sense of the term, within its prescribed sphere, as the Constitutions of the States are within their respective spheres; but with this obvious & essential difference, that being a compact among the States in their highest sovereign capacity, and constituting the people thereof one people for certain purposes, ​<wrap hi>it cannot be altered or annulled at the will of the States individually,​ as the Constitution of a State may be at its individual will.</​wrap>​
  
 2. And that it divides the supreme powers of Govt. between the Govt. of the United States, & the Govts. of the individual States, is stamped on the face of the instrument; the powers of war and of taxation, of commerce & of treaties, and other enumerated powers vested in the Govt. of the U. S. being of as high & sovereign a character as any of the powers reserved to the State Govts. 2. And that it divides the supreme powers of Govt. between the Govt. of the United States, & the Govts. of the individual States, is stamped on the face of the instrument; the powers of war and of taxation, of commerce & of treaties, and other enumerated powers vested in the Govt. of the U. S. being of as high & sovereign a character as any of the powers reserved to the State Govts.
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 Nor is the Govt. of the U. S. created by the Constitution,​ less a Govt. in the strict sense of the term, within the sphere of its powers, than the Govts. created by the constitutions of the States are within their several spheres. It is like them organized into Legislative,​ Executive, & Judiciary Departments. It operates like them, directly on persons & things. And, like them, it has at command a physical force for executing the powers committed to it. The concurrent operation in certain cases is one of the features marking the peculiarity of the system. Nor is the Govt. of the U. S. created by the Constitution,​ less a Govt. in the strict sense of the term, within the sphere of its powers, than the Govts. created by the constitutions of the States are within their several spheres. It is like them organized into Legislative,​ Executive, & Judiciary Departments. It operates like them, directly on persons & things. And, like them, it has at command a physical force for executing the powers committed to it. The concurrent operation in certain cases is one of the features marking the peculiarity of the system.
  
-Between these different constitutional Govts. — the one operating in all the States, the others operating separately in each, with the aggregate powers of Govt. divided between them, it could not escape attention that controversies would arise concerning the boundaries of jurisdiction;​ and that some provision ought to be made for such occurrences. A political system that does not provide for a peaceable & authoritative termination of occurring controversies,​ would not be more than the shadow of a Govt.; the object & end of a real Govt. being the substitution of law & order for uncertainty confusion, and violence.+<wrap hi>Between these different constitutional Govts.</​wrap> ​— the one operating in all the States, the others operating separately in each, with the aggregate powers of Govt. divided between them, it could not escape attention that controversies would arise concerning the boundaries of jurisdiction;​ and that some provision ought to be made for such occurrences. A political system that does not provide for a peaceable & authoritative termination of occurring controversies,​ would not be more than the shadow of a Govt.; the object & end of a real Govt. being the substitution of law & order for uncertainty confusion, and violence.
  
-That to have left a final decision in such cases to each of the States, then 13 & already 24, could not fail to make the Constn. & laws of the U. S. different in different States was obvious; and not less obvious, that this diversity of independent decisions, must altogether distract the Govt. of the Union & speedily put an end to the Union itself. A uniform authority of the laws, is in itself a vital principle. Some of the most important laws could not be partially executed. They must be executed in all the States or they could be duly executed in none. An impost or an excise, for example, if not in force in some States, would be defeated in others. It is well known that this was among the lessons of experience wch. had a primary influence in bringing about the existing Constitution. A loss of its general authy. would moreover revive the exasperating questions between the States holding ports for foreign commerce and the adjoining States without them, to which are now added all the inland States necessarily carrying on their foreign commerce through other States.+<wrap hi>That to have left a final decision in such cases to each of the States,</​wrap> ​then 13 & already 24, could not fail to make the Constn. & laws of the U. S. different in different States was obvious; and not less obvious, that <wrap hi>this diversity of independent decisions, must altogether distract the Govt. of the Union & speedily put an end to the Union itself. A uniform authority of the laws, is in itself a vital principle. Some of the most important laws could not be partially executed. They must be executed in all the States or they could be duly executed in none.</​wrap> ​An impost or an excise, for example, if not in force in some States, would be defeated in others. It is well known that this was among the lessons of experience wch. had a primary influence in bringing about the existing Constitution. A loss of its general authy. would moreover revive the exasperating questions between the States holding ports for foreign commerce and the adjoining States without them, to which are now added all the inland States necessarily carrying on their foreign commerce through other States.
  
 To have made the decisions under the authority of the individual States, co-ordinate in all cases with decisions under the authority of the U. S. would unavoidably produce collisions incompatible with the peace of society, & with that regular & efficient administration which is the essence of free Govts. Scenes could not be avoided in which a ministerial officer of the U. S. and the correspondent officer of an individual State, would have rencounters in executing conflicting decrees, the result of which would depend on the comparative force of the local posse attending them, and that a casualty depending on the political opinions and party feelings in different States. To have made the decisions under the authority of the individual States, co-ordinate in all cases with decisions under the authority of the U. S. would unavoidably produce collisions incompatible with the peace of society, & with that regular & efficient administration which is the essence of free Govts. Scenes could not be avoided in which a ministerial officer of the U. S. and the correspondent officer of an individual State, would have rencounters in executing conflicting decrees, the result of which would depend on the comparative force of the local posse attending them, and that a casualty depending on the political opinions and party feelings in different States.
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 The Constitution,​ not relying on any of the preceding modifications for its safe & successful operation, has expressly declared on the one hand; 1. "That the Constitution,​ and the laws made in pursuance thereof, and all Treaties made under the authority of the U. S. shall be the supreme law of the land; 2. That the judges of every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constn or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding;​ 3. That the judicial power of the U. S. shall extend to all cases in law & equity arising under the Constitution,​ the laws of the U. S. and Treaties made under their authority &​c."​ The Constitution,​ not relying on any of the preceding modifications for its safe & successful operation, has expressly declared on the one hand; 1. "That the Constitution,​ and the laws made in pursuance thereof, and all Treaties made under the authority of the U. S. shall be the supreme law of the land; 2. That the judges of every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constn or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding;​ 3. That the judicial power of the U. S. shall extend to all cases in law & equity arising under the Constitution,​ the laws of the U. S. and Treaties made under their authority &​c."​
  
-On the other hand, as a security of the rights & powers of the States in their individual capacities, agst. an undue preponderance of the powers granted to the Government over them in their united capacity, the Constitution has relied on, 1. The responsibility of the Senators and Representatives in the Legislature of the U. S. to the Legislatures & people of the States. 2. The responsibility of the President to the people of the U. States; & 3. The liability of the Ex. and Judiciary functionaries of the U. S. to impeachment by the Representatives of the people of the States, in one branch of the Legislature of the U. S. and trial by the Representatives of the States, in the other branch; the State functionaries,​ Legislative,​ Executive, & judiciary, being at the same time in their appointment & responsibility,​ altogether independent of the agency or authority of the U. States.+<wrap hi>On the other hand, as a security of the rights & powers of the States in their individual capacities, agst. an undue preponderance of the powers granted to the Government over them in their united capacity, the Constitution has relied on,</​wrap> ​1. The responsibility of the Senators and Representatives in the Legislature of the U. S. to the Legislatures & people of the States. 2. The responsibility of the President to the people of the U. States; & 3. The liability of the Ex. and Judiciary functionaries of the U. S. to impeachment by the Representatives of the people of the States, in one branch of the Legislature of the U. S. and trial by the Representatives of the States, in the other branch; ​<wrap hi>the State functionaries,​ Legislative,​ Executive, & judiciary, being at the same time in their appointment & responsibility,​ altogether independent of the agency or authority of the U. States.</​wrap>​
  
 How far this structure of the Govt. of the U. S. be adequate & safe for its objects, time alone can absolutely determine. Experience seems to have shown that whatever may grow out of future stages of our national career, there is as yet a sufficient controul in the popular will over the Executive & Legislative Departments of the Govt. When the Alien & Sedition laws were passed in contravention to the opinions and feelings of the community, the first elections that ensued put an end to them. And whatever may have been the character of other acts in the judgment of many of us, it is but true that they have generally accorded with the views of a majority of the States and of the people. At the present day it seems well understood that the laws which have created most dissatisfaction have had a like sanction without doors; and that whether continued varied or repealed, a like proof will be given of the sympathy & responsibility of the Representative Body to the Constituent Body. Indeed, the great complaint now is, not against the want of this sympathy and responsibility,​ but against the results of them in the legislative policy of the nation. How far this structure of the Govt. of the U. S. be adequate & safe for its objects, time alone can absolutely determine. Experience seems to have shown that whatever may grow out of future stages of our national career, there is as yet a sufficient controul in the popular will over the Executive & Legislative Departments of the Govt. When the Alien & Sedition laws were passed in contravention to the opinions and feelings of the community, the first elections that ensued put an end to them. And whatever may have been the character of other acts in the judgment of many of us, it is but true that they have generally accorded with the views of a majority of the States and of the people. At the present day it seems well understood that the laws which have created most dissatisfaction have had a like sanction without doors; and that whether continued varied or repealed, a like proof will be given of the sympathy & responsibility of the Representative Body to the Constituent Body. Indeed, the great complaint now is, not against the want of this sympathy and responsibility,​ but against the results of them in the legislative policy of the nation.
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 If any farther lights on the subject cd. be needed, a very strong one is reflected in the answers to the Resolutions by the States which protested agst. them. The main objection to these, beyond a few general complaints agst. the inflammatory tendency of the resolutions was directed agst. the assumed authy. of a State Legisle. to declare a law of the U. S. unconstitutional,​ which they pronounced an unwarrantable interference with the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Ct. of the U. S. Had the resolns. been regarded as avowing & maintaining a right in an indivl. State, to arrest by force the execution of a law of the U. S. it must be presumed that it wd. have been a conspicuous object of their denunciation. If any farther lights on the subject cd. be needed, a very strong one is reflected in the answers to the Resolutions by the States which protested agst. them. The main objection to these, beyond a few general complaints agst. the inflammatory tendency of the resolutions was directed agst. the assumed authy. of a State Legisle. to declare a law of the U. S. unconstitutional,​ which they pronounced an unwarrantable interference with the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Ct. of the U. S. Had the resolns. been regarded as avowing & maintaining a right in an indivl. State, to arrest by force the execution of a law of the U. S. it must be presumed that it wd. have been a conspicuous object of their denunciation.
  
-[[http://​www.constitution.org/​jm/​18300828_everett.htm|Source]]+{{page>:wiki_footer}}
historicaldocuments/letters/everett1830.1445528097.txt.gz · Last modified: 2015/10/22 15:34 by Oliver Wolcott