people which has not been long accustomed to conduct its own affairs, or to one in which the science of politics has not descended to the humblest classes of society. I have never been more struck by the good sense and the practical judgement of the Americans than in the ingenious devices by which they elude the numberless difficulties resulting from their Federal Constitution. I scarcely ever met with a plain American citizen who could not distinguish, with surprising facility, the obligations created by the laws of Congress from those created by the laws of his own State; and who, after having discriminated between the matters which come under the cognizance of the Union, and those which the local legislature is competent to regulate, could not point out the exact limit of the several jurisdictions of the Federal Courts and the tribunals of the State.
The Constitution of the United States is like those exquisite productions of human industry which ensure wealth and renown to their inventors, but which are profitless in any other hands. This truth is exemplified by the condition of Mexico at the present time. The Mexicans were desirous of establishing a Federal system, and they took the Federal Constitution of their neighbours the Anglo-Americans as their model, and copied it with considerable accuracy. But although they had borrowed the letter of the law, they were unable to create or to in-
- See the Mexican Constitution of 1824.