foundation on which it is to be established; to the sources from which its ordinary powers are to be drawn; to the operation of those powers; to the extent of them; and to the authority by which future changes in the Government are to be introduced.
On examining the first relation, it appears, on one hand, that the Constitution is to be founded on the assent and ratification of the People of America, given by deputies elected for the special purpose; but on the other, that this assent and ratification is to be given by the People, not as individuals composing one entire Nation, but as composing the distinct and independent States to which they respectively belong. It is to be the assent and ratification of the several States, derived from the supreme authority in each State,—the authority of the People themselves. The act, therefore, establishing the Constitution, will not be a National, but a Fœderal act.
That it will be a Fœderal, and not a National act, as these terms are understood by the objectors, the act of the People, as forming so many independent States, not as forming one aggregate Nation, is obvious from this single consideration, that it is to result neither from the decision of a majority of the People of the Union, nor from that of a majority of the States. It must result from the unanimous assent of the several States that are parties to it, differing no otherwise from their ordinary assent than in its being expressed, not by the Legislative authority, but by that of the People themselves. Were the People regarded in this transaction as forming one Nation, the will of the majority of the whole People of the United States would bind the minority, in the same manner as the majority in each State must bind the minority; and the will of the majority must be determined either by a comparison of the individual votes, or by considering the will of the majority of the