Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/413

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269
The Fœderalist.

exercised by the Convention, answer these questions. Let them declare, whether it was of most importance to the happiness of the People of America, that the Articles of Confederation should be disregarded, and an adequate Government be provided, and the Union preserved; or that an adequate Government should be omitted, and the Articles of Confederation preserved. Let them declare, whether the preservation of these Articles was the end, for securing which a reform of the Government was to be introduced as the means; or whether the establishment of a Government, adequate to the National happiness, was the end at which these Articles themselves originally aimed, and to which they ought, as insufficient means, to have been sacrificed.

But is it necessary to suppose, that these expressions are absolutely irreconcilable to each other; that no alterations or provisions in the Articles of Confederation, could possibly mould them into a National and adequate Government; into such a Government as has been proposed by the Convention?

No stress, it is presumed, will, in this case, be laid on the title; a change of that could never be deemed an exercise of ungranted power. Alterations in the body of the instrument are expressly authorized. New provisions therein are also expressly authorized. Here then is a power to change the Title; to insert new Articles; to alter old ones. Must it of necessity be admitted, that this power is infringed, so long as a part of the old Articles remain? Those who maintain the affirmative, ought at least to mark the boundary between authorized and usurped innovations; between that degree of change which lies within the compass of alterations and further provisions, and that which amounts to a transmutation of the Government. Will it be said, that the alterations ought not to have touched the substance of the Confederation? The States would never have appointed a