Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 14.djvu/79
Ceremonies at Unveiling of Statue of General Lee. 73
substantially unchallenged for considerably more than a quarter of a century after its adoption. That doctrine blazes forth in every step taken in the formation and adoption of the Constitution; in Mr. Madison's resolution adopted by the Virginia Legislature ap- pointing commissioners to meet such commissioners as may be appointed by the other States to take into consideration trade and commercial regulations; in the address of the convention of those commissioners, subsequently held at Annapolis, which recommended a "general meeting of the States in a future convention," with powers extending "to other objects than those of commerce;" in the consequent commissioning of delegates by the several States to the convention of 1787, with instructions to join in "devising and discussing all such alterations and further provisions as may be necessary to render the Federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of the Union"; in the organization of that convention, under which, every State, large or small, had an equal and independ- ent unit vote ; in the submission of the instrument for ratification to a convention of the people of each separate State, which, thus acting independently and alone, gave its own consent to the proposed com- pact ; in the letter of the convention recommending its ratification, which expressly described the government proposed therein as "the Federal government of these States "; and, finally, in the mode of promulgation directed, which provided that " as soon as the conven- tions of nine States shall have ratified this Constitution," a day should be fixed on which " electors should be appointed by the sev- eral States which shall have ratified the same."
The same doctrine likewise appears in the ordinances of ratifi- cation of several of the States, in the debates of the convention itself, and in those of the various State conventions — denied only by the opponents of the Constitution, always affirmed by its friends.
It is repeatedly and explicitly proclaimed in the Federalist. It appears in the writings and utterances of all the fathers of the Con- stitution, of Hamilton as well as of Madison, of Washington, Frank- lin, Gerry, Wilson, Morris, of those who favored as well as those who feared a strong government. It is emphatically announced, not only in the extreme Kentucky resolutions, but in the famous Virginia resolutions of 1798, the first from the pen of Jefferson, the last from that of Madison, the latter of which declared that they viewed " the powers of the Federal government as resulting from the compact to which the States were parties." These resolutions formed thereafter the corner stone of the great States Rights party,