Federal v. Consolidated Government

CHAPTER 8 | Document 33

Impartial Examiner, no. 1

5 Mar. 1788Storing 5.14.13

I know it is a favorite topic with the advocates for the new government--that it will advance the dignity of Congress; and that the energy, which is now wanting in the foederal system, will be hereby rendered efficient. Nobody doubts, but the government of the union is susceptible of amendment. But can any one think that there is no medium between want of power, and the possession of it in an unlimited degree? Between the imbecility of mere recommendatory propositions, and the sweeping jurisdiction of exercising every branch of government over the United States to the greatest extent? Between the present feeble texture of the confoederation, and the proposed nervous ligaments? Is it not possible to strengthen the hands of Congress so far as to enable them to comply with all the exigencies of the union--to regulate the great commercial concerns of the continent,--to superintend all affairs, which relate to the United States in their aggregate capacity, without devolving upon that body the supreme powers of government in all its branches? The original institution of Congressional business,--the nature, the end of that institution evince the practicability of such a reform; and shew that it is more honorable, more glorious--and will be more happy for each American state to retain its independent sovereignty. For what can be more truly great in any country than a number of different states in the full enjoyment of liberty--exercising distinct powers of government; yet associated by one general head, and under the influence of a mild, just and well-organized confederation duly held in equilibrio;--whilst all derive those external advantages, which are the great purposes of the union? This separate independency existing in each--this harmony pervading the whole--this due degree of energy in the foederal department, all together, will form a beautiful species of national grandeur. These will add lustre to every member, and spread a glory all around. These will command the admiration of mankind. These will exhibit a bright specimen of real dignity, far superior to that immense devolution of power, under which the sovereignty of each state shall shrink to nothing.

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 1, Chapter 8, Document 33
The University of Chicago Press

Storing, Herbert J., ed. The Complete Anti-Federalist. 7 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.

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