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Página 142 - Not only, therefore, can there be no loss of separate and independent autonomy to the States, through their union under the Constitution, but it may be not unreasonably said that the preservation of the States, and the maintenance of their governments, are as much within the design and care of the Constitution as the preservation of the Union and the maintenance of the National government. The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States.
Página 145 - It has been said, that they were sovereign, were completely independent, and were connected with each other only by a league. This is true. But when these allied sovereigns converted their league into a government, when they converted their congress of ambassadors, deputed to deliberate on their common concerns, and to recommend measures of general utility, into a legislature, empowered to enact laws on the most interesting subjects, the whole character in which the states appear underwent a change,...
Página 137 - As preliminary to the very able discussions of the constitution which we have heard from the bar, and as having some influence on its construction, reference has been made to the political situation of these states anterior to its formation. It has been said that they were sovereign, were completely independent, and were connected with each other only by a league. This is true.
Página 143 - In our complex system, presenting the rare and difficult scheme of one general government, whose action extends over the whole, but which possesses only certain enumerated powers and of numerous state governments, which retain and exercise all powers not delegated to the union, contests respecting power must arise.
Página 140 - And the powers of the general Government, and of the State, although both exist and are exercised within the same territorial limits, are yet separate and distinct sovereignties, acting separately and independently of each other, within their respective spheres.
Página 136 - His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz. New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to be free, sovereign and independent States; that he treats with them as such, and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to the Government, propriety and territorial rights of the same, and every part thereof.
Página 136 - It is agreed that the Congress shall earnestly recommend it to the legislatures of the respective States to provide for the restitution of all estates, rights and properties which have been confiscated, belonging to real British subjects, and also of the estates, rights and properties of persons resident in districts in the possession of His Majesty's arms, and who have not borne arms against the said United States.
Página 141 - And we have already had occasion to remark at this term, that 'the people of each State compose a State, having its own government, and endowed with all the functions essential to separate and independent existence," and that 'without the States in union, there could be no such political body as the United States.
Página 136 - ... free and independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved ; and that, as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.
Página 137 - I consider this as a declaration, not that the united colonies jointly, in a collective capacity, were independent states, &.C., but that each of them was a sovereign and independent state; that is, that each of them had a right to govern itself by its own authority, and its own laws, without any control from any other power upon earth.