Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 1.djvu/44

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16
CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

THE CONSTITUTION MADE BY STATES.

As everything in this discussion depends on the Constitution it seems prudent to state with some particularity its origin, its establishment and its terms. The confederation was found to be inadequate to the ends of an effective government. The states adopted conflicting and even hostile commercial regulations and trade suffered from these embarrassments. The legislature of Virginia, impressed with the necessity of a government of larger powers, appointed in 1786 commissioners to meet commissioners from other States, at Annapolis, to prepare for adoption by the States a uniform plan of commercial regulations. Some met and recommended to their respective legislatures to appoint delegates to meet in general convention at Philadelphia for the purpose of reforming the government as the interests of the States might require. Congress approved the recommendation and suggested a convention of delegates to be appointed by the several States to meet in Philadelphia and to report to Congress and the several legislatures such alteration of the Articles of Confederation as shall, when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the States, render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of government and the preservation of the Union. Accordingly, the convention was composed of deputies appointed by the States, and they voted as States. Madison, in recording their action, on agreeing to the Constitution, says: "It passes in the affirmative, all the States concurring." It was transmitted to the several State legislatures to be by them submitted to State conventions and each State for itself ratified at different times, without concert of action, except in the result to be as certained. As the jurisdiction of a State was limited to its own territory, its ratification was limited to its own people. The Constitution got its validity, its vitality, not from the inhabitants as constituting one great nation, nor from the people of all the States considered as one people,