Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

[* 9] * Left at liberty now to assume complete powers of

sovereignty as independent governments, these two States saw fit soon to resume their place in the American family, under a permission contained in the Constitution ; and new States have

l since been added from time to time, all of them, with a single exception, organized by the consent of the general government and embracing territory previously under its control. The exception was Texas, which had previously been an independent sovereign State, but which, by the conjoint action of its government and that of the United States, was received into the Union on an equal footing with the other States.

Without therefore discussing, or even designing to allude to any abstract theories as to the precise position and actual power of the several States at the time of forming the present Constitution, it may be said of them generally that they have at all times been subject to some common national government, which has exercised control over the subjects of war and peace, and other matters pertaining to external sovereignty; and that when the only three States which ever exercised complete sovereignty accepted the Constitution and came into the Union, on an equal footing with all the other States, they thereby accepted the same relative position to the general government, and divested themselves permanently of those national powers which the others had never exercised. And the assent once given to the Union was irrevocable. “The Constitution in all its provisions looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States." 2

The government of the United States is one of enumerated powers ; the national Constitution being the instrument which specifies them, and in which authority should be found for the exercise of any power which the national government assumes

may be observed, that although no are past, and the anticipation of a political relation can subsist between speedy triumph over the obstacles to the assenting and dissenting States, reunion, will, it is hoped, not urge in yet the moral relations will remain vain moderation on one side, and pruuncancelled. The claims of justice, dence on the other.” Federalist, No. both on one side and on the other, 43 (by Madison). will be in force and must be fulfilled; 1 See this subject discussed in Gibthe rights of humanity must in all bons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1. • cases be duly and mutually respected; 2 Chase, Ch. J., in Texas v. White, whilst considerations of a common 7 Wall. 700, 725. See United States interest, and above all the remem- v. Cathcart, 1 Bond, 556. brance of the endearing scenes which

to possess. In this respect it differs from the constitutions of the * several States, which are not grants of (* 10] powers to the States, but which apportion and impose restrictions upon the powers which the States inherently possess. The general purpose of the Constitution of the United States is declared by its founders to be, “ to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” To accomplish these purposes, the Congress is empowered by the eighth section of article one:

1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States. But all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

2. To borrow money on the credit of the United States.

3. To regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes.

4. To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcy, throughout the United States.

5. To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures.

6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States.

7. To establish post-offices and post-roads. 8. To promote the progress of science and the useful arts, by

1 " The government of the United United States v. Cruikshanks, 92 States can claim no powers which are U. S. Rep. 542, 550, 551, per Waite, not granted to it by the Constitution; Ch. J.; Weister v. Hade, 52 Penn. and the powers actually granted must St. 477. The tenth amendment to be such as are expressly given, or the Constitution provides that “the given by necessary implication.' powers not delegated to the United Per Marshall, Ch. J., in Martin v. States by the Constitution, nor proHanter's Lessee, 1 Wheat. 326. hibited by it to the States, are reserved “ This instrument contains an enu- to the States respectively, or to the meration of the powers expressly people.” No power is conferred by granted by the people to their gov- the Constitution upon Congress to ernment." Marshall, Ch. J., in Gib- establish mere police regulations bons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 187. See within the States. United States v. Calder v. Bull, 3 Dall. 386; Briscoe Dewitt, 9 Wall. 41. See Live Stock, 0. Bank of Kentucky, 11 Pet. 257; &c. Association v. Crescent City, &c. Gilman v. Philadelphia, 3 Wall. 713; Co., 16 Wall. 36.

[*9] * Left at liberty now to assume complete powers of

sovereignty as independent governments, these two States saw fit soon to resume their place in the American family, under a permission contained in the Constitution ; and new States have since been added from time to time, all of them, with a single exception, organized by the consent of the general government and embracing territory previously under its control. The exception was Texas, which had previously been an independent sovereign State, but which, by the conjoint action of its government and that of the United States, was received into the Union on an equal footing with the other States.

Without therefore discussing, or even designing to allude to any abstract theories as to the precise position and actual power of the several States at the time of forming the present Constitution, it may be said of them generally that they have at all times been subject to some common national government, which has exercised control over the subjects of war and peace, and other matters pertaining to external sovereignty ; and that when the only three States which ever exercised complete sovereignty accepted the Constitution and came into the Union, on an equal footing with all the other States, they thereby accepted the same relative position to the general government, and divested themselves permanently of those national powers which the others had never exercised. And the assent once given to the Union was irrevocable. “ The Constitution in all its provisions looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States.” 2

The government of the United States is one of enumerated powers ; the national Constitution being the instrument which specifies them, and in which authority should be found for the exercise of any power which the national government assumes

may be observed, that although no are past, and the anticipation of a political relation can subsist between speedy triumph over the obstacles to the assenting and dissenting States, reunion, will, it is hoped, not urge in yet the moral relations will remain vain moderation on one side, and pruuncancelled. The claims of justice, dence on the other." Federalist, No. both on one side and on the other, 43 (by Madison). will be in force and must be fulfilled; 1 See this subject discussed in Gibthe rights of humanity must in all bons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1. • cases be duly and mutually respected; 2 Chase, Ch. J., in Texas v. White, whilst considerations of a common 7 Wall. 700, 725. See United States interest, and above all the remem- v. Cathcart, 1 Bond, 556. brance of the endearing scenes which

to possess. In this respect it differs from the constitutions of the * several States, which are not grants of (* 10] powers to the States, but which apportion and impose restrictions upon the powers which the States inherently possess. The general purpose of the Constitution of the United States is declared by its founders to be, “ to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” To accomplish these purposes, the Congress is empowered by the eighth section of article one:

1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States. But all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

2. To borrow money on the credit of the United States.

3. To regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes.

4. To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcy, throughout the United States.

5. To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures.

6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States.

7. To establish post-offices and post-roads. 8. To promote the progress of science and the useful arts, by

1 “The government of the United United States v. Cruikshanks, 92 States can claim no powers which are U. S. Rep. 542, 550, 551, per not granted to it by the Constitution; Ch. J.; Weister v. Hade, 52 Penn. and the powers actually granted must St. 477. The tenth amendment to be such as are expressly given, or the Constitution provides that "the given by necessary implication. powers not delegated to the United Per Marshall, Ch. J., in Martin v. States by the Constitution, nor proHunter's Lessee, 1 Wheat. 326. hibited by it to the States, are reserved "This instrument contains an enu- to the States respectively, or to the meration of the powers expressly people.” No power is conferred by granted by the people to their gov- the Constitution upon Congress to ernment." Marshall, Ch. J., in Gib- establish mere police regulations bons o. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 187. See within the States. United States v. Calder v. Bull, 3 Dall. 386; Briscoe Dewitt, 9 Wall. 41. See Live Stock, 8. Bank of Kentucky, 11 Pet. 257; &c. Association v. Crescent City, &e. Gilman o. Philadelphia, 3 Wall. 713; Co., 16 Wall. 36.

Waite,

securing for limited terms to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.

9. To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court; to define and punish piracies and felonies committed upon the high seas, and offences against the law of nations.

10. To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.

11. To raise and support armies; but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years.

12. To provide and maintain a navy. 13. To make rules for the government and regulation of the

land and naval forces. (* 11] * 14. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute

the laws of the nation, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions.

15. To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.

16. To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such district not exceeding ten miles square as may, by cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of government of the United States; and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings.

17. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by the Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Congress is also empowered by the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments to the Constitution to enforce the same by appropriate legislation. The thirteenth amendment abolishes slavery and involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, throughout the United States and all places subject to their jurisdiction. The fourteenth amendment has several objects. 1. It declares all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, to be citizens of

« AnteriorContinuar »