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precautions for the public security, which are not to be found in any of the state constitutions. Is another object of a bill of rights to define certain immunities and modes of proceeding, which are relative to personal and private concerns ? This we have seen has also been attended to, in a variety of cases, in the same plan. Ad. verting therefore to the substantial meaning of a bill of rights, it is absurd to allege that it is not to be found in the work of the convention. It may be said that it does not go far enough, though it will not be easy to make this appear ; but it can with no propriety be contended that there is no such thing. It certainly must be imma. terial what mode is observed as to the order of declaring the rights of the citizens, if they are provided for in any part of the instrument which establishes the government. Whence it must be apparent, that much of what has been said on this subject rests merely on verbal and nominal distinctions, entirely foreign to the substance of the thing
Another objection, which, from the frequency of its repetition, may be presumed to be relied on, is of this nature : it is improper (say the objectors) to confer such large powers, as are proposed, upon the national government; because the seat of that government must of necessity be too remote from many of the states to ad. mit of a proper knowledge on the part of the constituent, of the conduct of the representative body. This argument, if it proves any thing, proves that there ought to be no general government whatever. For the powers which, it seems to be agreed on all hands, ought to be vested in the union, cannot be safely intrusted to a body which is not under every requisite control. But there are satisfactory reasons to show, that the objection is, in reality, not well founded. There is in most of the arguments which relate to distance, a palpable illusion of the imagination. What are the sources of information, by which the people in any distant county must regulate their judgment of the conduct of their representatives in the state legislature? Of personal observation they can have no benefit. This is confined to the citizens on the
spot. They must therefore depend on the information of intelligent men, in whom they confide: and how must these men obtain their information ? Evidently from the complexion of public measures, from the public prints, from correspondences with their representatives, and with other persons who reside at the place of their deliberations.
It is equally evident that the like sources of informa. tion would be open to the people, in relation to the conduct of their representatives in the general government; and the impediments to a prompt communication which distance may be supposed to create, will be overbalanced by the effects of the vigilance of the state governments. The executive and legislative bodies of each state will be so many sentinels over the persons employed in every department of the national administration ; and as it will be in their power to adopt and pursue a regular and effectual system of intelligence, they can never be at a loss to know the behaviour of those who represent their constituents in the national councils, and can readily communicate the same knowledge to the people. Their disposition to apprize the community of whatever may prejudice its interests from another quarter, may be relied upon, if it were only from the rivalship of power. And we may conclude with the fullest assurance, that the people, through that channel, will be better informed of the conduct of their national representatives, than they can be by any means they now possess, of that of their state representatives.
It ought also to be remembered, that the citizens who inhabit the country at and near the seat of government will, in all questions that affect the general liberty and prosperity, have the same interest with those wlio are at a distance ; and that they will stand ready to sound the alarm when necessary, and to point out the actors ip any pernicious project. The public papers will be expeditious messengers of intelligence to the most remote inhabitants of the union.
Among the many curious objections which have ap: peared against the proposed constitution, the most extra.
ordinary and the least colourable is derived from the want of some provision respecting the debts due to the United States. This has been represented as a tacit relinquishment of those debts, and as a wicked contri. vance to screen public defaulters. The newspapers bave, teemed with the most inflammatory railings on this head; yet there is nothing clearer than that the suggestion is entirely void of foundation, the offspring of extreme ignorance or extreme dishonesty. In addition to the remarks I have made upon the subject in another place, I shall only observe, that as it is a plain dictate of common sense, so it is also an established doctrine of politi. cal law, that "states neither lose any of their rights, “ nor are discharged from any of their obligations, by “ a change in the form of their civil government.”*
The last objection of any consequence at present recollected, turns upon the article of expense. If it were eyen true, that the adoption of the proposed government would occasion a considerable increase of expense, it would be an objection that ought to have no weight against the plan. The great bulk of the citizens of America, are with reason convinced that union is the basis of their political happiness. Men of sense of all parties now, with few exceptions, agree that it cannot be preserved under the present system, nor without radical alterations ; that new and extensive powers ought to be granted to the national head, and that these require a different organization of the federal government; a single body being an unsafe depository of such ample authorities. In conceding all this, the question of expense is given up ; for it is impossible, with any degree of safety, to narrow the foundation upon which the sys. tem is to stand. The two branches of the legislature are, in the first instance, to consist of only sixty-five persons; the same number of which congress, under the existing confederation, may be composed. It is true that this number is intended to be increased; but this is
• Vide Rutherford's Institutes, vol. 2, book 11, chap. x, sect. xiv, and X.... Vide also Grotius, book 11, chap. ix, sect. viii, and ix.
to keep pace with the progress of the population and resources of the country. It is evident, that a less nuaber would, even in the first instance, have been upsafe ; and that a continuance of the present number would, in a more advanced stage of population, be a very inade. quate representation of the people.
Whence is the dreaded augmentation of expense to spring? One source indicateil, is the multiplication of offices under the new government. Let us examine this a little.
It is evident that the principal departments of the ad. ministration under the present government, are the same which will be required under the new. There are now a secretary at war, a secretary for foreign affairs, a secre. tary for domestic affairs, a board of treasury consisting of three persons, a treasurer, assistants, clerks, &c. These offices are indispensable under any system, and will suffice under the new, as well as the old. As to ambassadors and other ministers and agents in foreign countries, the proposed constitution can make no other difference, than to render their characters, where they Țeside, more respectable, and their services more useful. As to persons to be employed in the collection of the revenues, it is unquestionably true that these will form a very considerable addition to the number of federal officers ; but it will not follow, that this will occasion an increase of public expense. It will be in most cases nothing more than an exchange of state for national offi. cers. In the collection of all duties, for instance, the persons employed will be wholly of the latter description. The states individually, will stand in no need of any for this purpose. What difference can it make in point of expense, to pay officers of the customs appointed by the state, or by the United States.
Where then are we to seek for those additional articles of expense, which are to swell the account to the enormous size that has been represented ? The chief item which occurs to me, respects the support of the judges of the United States. I do not add the president, because there is now a president of congress, whose expense
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may not be far, if any thing, short of those which will be incurred on account of the president of the United States. The support of the judges will clearly be an extra expense, but to what extent will depend on the particular plan which may be adopted in regard to this matter. But upon no reasonable plan can it amount to a sum'which will be an object of material consequence.
Let us now see what there is to counterbalance any extra expense that may attend the establishment of the proposed government. The first thing which presents itself is, that a great part of the business, that now keeps congress sitting through the year, will be transacted by the president. Even the management of foreign negotia. tions will naturally devolve upon him, according to general principles concerted with the senate, and subject to their final concurrence. Hence it is evident, that a portion of the year will suffice for the session of both the senate and the house of representatives : we may sap. pose about a fourth for the latter, and a third, or perhaps half, for the former. The extra business of treaties and appointments may give this extra occupation to the senate. From this circumstance we may infer, that until the house of representatives shall be increased greatly beyond its present number, there will be a considerable saving of expense from the difference between the con. stant session of the present, and the temporary session of the future congress.
But there is another circumstance, of great importance. in the view of economy, The business of the United States has hitherto occupied the state legislatures, as well as congress. The latter has made requisitions wbich the former have had to provide for. It has thence happened, that the sessions of the state legislatures have been protracted greatly beyond what was necessary for the execution of the mere local business. More than half their time has been frequently employed in matters which related to the United States. Now the members who compose the legislatures of the several states amount to two thousand and upwards; which number has hitherto performed what, under the new system, will
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