Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/278

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134
The Fœderalist.

of the people; while the National Government could legally do nothing more than behold its encroachments with indignation and regret. A successful faction may erect a tyranny on the ruins of order and law; while no succor could constitutionally be afforded by the Union to the friends and supporters of the Government. The tempestuous situation from which Massachusetts has scarcely emerged, evinces that dangers of this kind are not merely speculative. Who can determine, what might have been the issue of her late convulsions, if the malcontents had been headed by a Cæsar or by a Cromwell? Who can predict what effect a despotism, established in Massachusetts, would have upon the liberties of New Hampshire or Rhode Island; of Connecticut or New York?

The inordinate pride of State importance has suggested to some minds an objection to the principle of a guaranty in the Fœderal Government, as involving an officious interference in the domestic concerns of the members. A scruple of this kind would deprive us of one of the principal advantages to be expected from Union; and can only flow from a misapprehension of the nature of the provision itself. It could be no impediment to reforms of the State Constitutions by a majority of the People, in a legal and peaceable mode. This right would remain undiminished. The guaranty could only operate against changes to be effected by violence. Towards the preventions of calamities of this kind, too many checks cannot be provided. The peace of society, and the stability of Government, depend absolutely on the efficacy of the precautions adopted on this head. Where the whole power of the Government is in the hands of the People, there is the less pretence for the use of violent remedies, in partial or occasional distempers of the State. The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative Constitution, is a