First, they altogether retained what, in part, they could not help, the sovereignty of the separate states. A fundamental article of the Federal Constitution says that the powers not "delegated" to the central government are "reserved to the States respectively." And the whole recent history of the Union—perhaps all its history—has been more determined by that enactment than by any other single cause. The sovereignty of the principal matters of state has rested not with the highest government, but with the subordinate government. The Federal government could not touch slavery—the "domestic institution" which divided the Union into two halves, unlike one another in morals, politics, and social condition, and at last set them to fight. This determining political fact was not in the jurisdiction of the highest government in the country, where you might expect its highest wisdom, nor in the central government, where you might look for impartiality, but in local governments, where petty interests were sure to be considered, and where only inferior abilities were likely to be employed. The capital fact was reserved for the minor jurisdictions. Again, there has been only one matter comparable to slavery in the United States, and that has been vitally affected by the State governments also. Their ultra-democracy is not a result of Federal legislation, but of State legislation. The Federal Constitution deputed one of the main items of its structure to the subordinate governments. One of its clauses provides that the suffrages for the Federal House of Representatives shall be, in each State, the same as for the most numerous branch
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CHECKS AND BALANCES.