Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 1.djvu/185

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own sphere. The citizens who constituted the Republi can party had aided in establishing the Constitution. They helped to create the general government for general purposes, and they could have no interest in an insane and unpatriotic effort to render it incapable of perform ing its functions. Expressed in homely phrase, they did not wish to tie the hands of the general government, but they did wish to keep its hands off the States.

There is no inconsistency in maintaining, on the one hand, a rule of strict construction, as applied to conflicts between the general government and the individual States, concerning the powers which the United States can exercise within the several State jurisdictions; and, on the other hand, a rule of liberal construction for exert ing the powers of the general government in its unques tioned constitutional sphere, outside of the States. If there be any real inconsistency in these two positions, it has survived in the creeds of the Republican party and its successor, the Democratic party, to the present day.

Among those who have blamed both parties for incon sistency, the able and brilliant author of the "Winning of the West" has arrived at the happiest conclusion. After scoring the Federalists of 1803 for their present part of the "inconsistency," and the Republicans for their past part of the "inconsistency," he says of the "Jeffersonian Re publicans": "Nevertheless, at this juncture they were right, which was far more important than being logical or consistent."

The reader who desires to pursue the investigation of the constitutional questions involved is referred to the Annals of Congress, 1803-1804, which contain a record of the debates in the Senate and in the House on the various questions connected with the acquisition of Louisiana.

From these debates it plainly appears that whatever inconsistency may be chargeable to the Federalists was incurred in opposition to the acquisition of foreign terri tory ; and whatever inconsistency may be chargeable to

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