Convention with so much solemnity, nor described its objects with so much latitude, if some substantial reform had not been in contemplation. Will it be said that the fundamental principles of the Confederation were not within the purview of the Convention, and ought not to have been varied? I ask, What are these principles? Do they require, that in the establishment of the Constitution the States should be regarded as distinct and independent sovereigns? They are so regarded by the Constitution proposed. Do they require, that the members of the Government should derive their appointment from the Legislatures, not from the People of the States? One branch of the new Government is to be appointed by these Legislatures; and under the Confederation, the delegates to Congress may all be appointed immediately by the People, and in two States are actually so appointed. Do they require, that the powers of the Government should act on the States, and not immediately on individuals? In some instances, as has been shown, the powers of the new Government will act on the States in their collective characters. In some instances, also, those of the existing Government act immediately on individuals. In cases of capture; of piracy; of the post-office; of coins, weights, and measures; of trade with the Indians; of claims under grants of land, by different States; and, above all, in the case of trials by Courts-martial in the army and navy, by which death may be inflicted without the intervention of a jury, or even of a civil Magistrate; in all these cases, the powers of the Confederation operate immediately on the persons and interests of individual citizens. Do these fundamental principles require, particularly, that no tax should be levied, without the intermediate agency of the States? The Confederation itself authorizes a direct tax, to a certain extent, on the
- Connecticut and Rhode Island.—Publius.