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thousand pounds, or a little more. But, sir, if smuggling be introduced in consequence of high duties, or otherwise, and the Potomac should be lost, what hope is there of getting money from these?

Shall we be asked if the impost would be bettered by the union ? I answer that it will, sir. Credit being restored and confidence diffused in the country, merchants and men of wealth will be induced to come among us; emigration will increase, and commerce will flourish: the impost will therefore be more sure and productive. Under these circumstances, can you find men to defend you? If not men, where can you have a navy? It is an old observation, that he, who commands at sea, will command the land, and it is justified by modern experience in war. The sea can only be commanded by commercial nations. The United States have every means, by nature, to enable them to distribute supplies mutually among one another, to supply other nations with many articles, and

for other nations. Our commerce would not be kindly received by foreigners, if transacted solely by ourselves; as it is the spirit of commercial nations to engross as much as possible, the carrying trade : this makes it necessary to defend our commerce: but how shall we encompass this end? England has arisen to the greatest height, in modern times, by her navigation act and other excellent regulations. The same means would produce the same effects. We have inland navigation. Our last exports did not exceed one million of pounds. Our export trade is entirely in the hands of foreigners. We have no manufactures—depend for supplies on other nations, and so far are we from having any carrying trade, that, as I have already said, our exports are in the hands of foreigners. Besides the profit that might be made by our natural materials, much greater gains would accrue from their being first wrought before they were exported. England has reaped immense profits by this, nay, even by purchasing and working up those

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materials which their country did not afford : her success in commerce is generally ascribed to her navigation act. Virginia would not, incumbered as she is, agree to have such an act. Thus, for the want of a navy, are we deprived of the multifarious advantages of our natural situation; nor is it possible, that if the union is dissolved, we ever should have a navy sufficient either for our defence or the extension of our trade. I beg gentlemen to consider these two things -our inability to raise and man a navy, and the dreadful consequences of the dissolution of the union.

I will close this catalogue of the evils of the dissolution of the union, by recalling to your mind what passed in the year 1781. Such was the situation of our affairs then, that the powers of a dictator were given to the commander in chief to save us from destruction. This shows the situation of the country to have been such, as made it ready to embrace an actual dictator. At some future period, will not our distresses impel us to do what the Dutch have done-throw all power into the hands of a stadtholder ? How infinitely more wise and eligible, than this desperate alternative, is an union with our American brethren? I feel myself so abhorrent to any thing that will dissolve our union, that I cannot prevail with myself to assent to it directly or indirectly. If the union is to be dissolved, what step is to be taken? Shall we form a partial confederacy; or, is it expected that we shall successfully apply to foreign alliance for military aid? This last measure, sir, has ruined almost every nation that has used it; so dreadful an example ought to be most cautiously avoided; for seldom has a nation recurred to the expedient of foreign succor, without being ultimately crushed by that succor. We may lose our liberty and independence by this injudicious scheme of policy. Admitting it to be a scheme replete with safety, what nation shall we solicit-France? She will disdain a connexion with a people in our predicament. I would trust every thing to the magnanimity of that nation, but she

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would despise a people who had, like us, so imprudently separated from their brethren; and, sir, were she to accede to our proposal, with what facility could she become mistress of our country. To what nation then, shall we apply—to Great Britain ? Nobody has as yet trusted that idea. An application to any other, must be either fruitless or dangerous; to those who advocate local confederacies, and at the same time preach up for republican liberty, I answer, that their conduct is inconsistent; the defence of such partial confederacies will require such a degree of force and expense, as will destroy every feature of republicanism. Give me leave to say, that I see nought but destruction in a local confederacy. With what state can we confederate but North Carolina-North Carolina, situated worse than ourselves ? Consult your own reason: I beseech gentlemen most seriously to reflect on the consequences of such a confederacy: I beseech them to consider, whether Virginia and North Carolina, both oppressed with debts and slaves, can defend themselves externally, or make their people happy internally. North Carolina having no strength but militia, and Virginia in the same situation, will make, fear, but a despicable figure in history. Thus, sir, I hope that I have satisfied you, that we are unsafe without an union, and that in union alone safety consists.

I come now, sir, to the great inquiry, whether the confederation be such a government as we ought to continue under; whether it be such a government, as can secure the felicity of any free people. Did I believe the confederation was a good thread, which might be broken without destroying its utility entirely, I might be induced to concur in putting it together; but I am so thoroughly convinced of its incapacity to be mended or spliced, that I would sooner recur to any other expedient.

When I spoke last, I endeavored to express my sentiments concerning that system, and to apologize


(if an apology was necessary,) for the conduct of its framers—that it was hastily devised, to enable us to repel a powerful enemy--that the subject was novel, and that its inefficacy was not discovered, till requisitions came to be made by Congress. In the then situation of America, a speedy remedy was necessary to ward off the danger, and this sufficiently answered that purpose : but so universally is its imbecility now known, that it is almost useless for me to exhibit it at this time. Has not Virginia, as well as every other state, acknowledged its debility, by sending delegates to the general convention ? The confederation is, of all things, the most unsafe, not only to trust to, in its present form, but even to amend. The object of a federal government, is to remedy and strengthen the weakness of its individual branches; whether that weakness arises from situation, or any other external

With respect to the first, is it not a miracle that the confederation carried us through the last war? It was our unanimity, sir, that carried us through it. That system was not ultimately concluded till the year 1781-although the greatest exertions were made before that time. Then came requisitions of men and money: its defects then were immediately discovered: the quotas of men were readily sent—not so those of money. One state feigned inability, another would not comply till the rest did; and various excuses were offered, so that no money was sent into the treasurynot a requisition was fully complied with. Loans were the next measure fallen upon: upwards of eighty millions of dollars were wanting, beside the emissions of dollars, forty for one. These things show the impossibility of relying on requisitions. [Here Mr. Randolph enumerated the different delinquencies of different states, and the consequent distresses of Congress.] If the American spirit is to be depended upon, I call him to awake, to see how his Americans have been disgraced: but I have no hopes that things will be


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better liereafter. I fully expect things will be as they have been, and that the same derangements will produce similar miscarriages. Will the American spirit produce money or credit, unless we alter our system? Are we not in a contemptible situation-are we not the jest of other nations ?

But it is insinuated, by the honorable gentleman, that we want to be a grand, splendid and magnificent people: we wish not to become so: the magnificence of a royal court is not our object. We want government, sir-a government that will have stability, and give us security: for our present government is destitute of the one, and incapable of producing the other. It cannot perhaps, with propriety, be denominated a government-being void of that energy requisite to enforce its sanctions. I wish my country not to be contemptible in the eyes of foreign nations. A well regulated community is always respected. It is the internal situation, the defects of government, that attract foreign contempt—that contempt, sir, is too often followed by subjugation. Advert to the contemptuous manner, in which a shrewd politician speaks of our government. [Here Mr. Randolph quoted a passage from Lord Sheffield, the purport of which was, that Great Britain might engross our trade on her own terms: that the imbecility and inefficacy of our general government were such, that it was impossible we could counteract her policy, however rigid or illiberal towards us, her commercial regulations might be.] Reflect but a moment on our situation. Does it not invite real hostility? The conduct of the British ministry to us, is the natural effect of our unnerved government. Consider the commercial regulations between us and Maryland. Is it not known to gentlemen, that this state and that have been making reprisals on each other, to obviate a repetition of which, in some degree, these regulations have been made ? Can we not see from this circumstance, the jealousy, rivalship and hatred, that would subsist between them, in case

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