Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/13

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xi
Introduction.

of their fortunes and from the current fruits of their labors and of their enterprise, as promptly supplying the means for the consummation of her purposes.

At length, wearied with the continued shortcomings of her sister States, and, probably, aroused by the frequent insults and threats of dismemberment which had been freely indulged in by more than one of her immediate neighbors, — all of whom had envied her rising greatness, without at any time aspiring to her fidelity to the Fœderal compact — on the suggestion of one of the most distinguished and most patriotic, but most maligned, of her citizens, New York had been the first to propose measures for a complete revision of the Fœderal Constitution.

In this hazardous undertaking, however, while she had steadily sought the extension of sufficient authority to the Fœderal Congress to render the existing Government entirely efficient for the purposes for which it had been organized, New York had never lost sight of her own dignity, nor ceased to guard, in the most careful manner, all her rights as a free, sovereign, and independent Commonwealth. Accordingly, while she had steadily sought the delegation, by the several constituent States of the Confederacy, of sufficient authority to the Fœderal Congress to maintain the credit of the United States, to pay their obligations, and, generally, to execute its duties with more efficiency and despatch, she had as steadily opposed every movement which might be construed to imply a surrender of the prerogatives of her sovereignty, or which, in the future, might be considered as her approval of a centralization of "the Right to Command;" and every proposition which possibly might serve at any time to obliterate the lines of the several States, or to consolidate the thirteen distinct Peoples and Sovereignties which then existed within the Union, into one People, one Nation, one Sovereignty,