tended to degenerate, into one consolidated government. On the contrary, we know that the ruin of one of them proceeded from the incapacity of the federal authority to prevent the dissensions, and finally the disunion, of the subordinate authorities. These cases are the more worthy of our attention, as the external causes by which the component parts were pressed together were much more numerous and powerful than in our case; and consequently less powerful ligaments within would be sufficient to bind the members to the head and to each other.
In the feudal system we have seen a similar propensity exemplified. Notwithstanding the want of proper sympathy in every instance between the local sovereigns and the people, and the sympathy in some instances between the general sovereign and the latter, it usually happened that the local sovereigns prevailed in the rivalship for encroachments. Had no external dangers enforced internal harmony and subordination, and particularly, had the local sovereigns possessed the affections of the people, the great kingdoms in Europe would at this time consist of as many independent princes as there were formerly feudatory barons.
The State governments will have the advantage of the federal government, whether we compare them in respect to the immediate dependence of the one on the other; to the weight of personal influence which each side will possess; to the powers respectively vested in them; to the predilection and probable support of the people; to the disposition and faculty of resisting and frustrating the measures of each other.
The State governments may be regarded as constituent
of the state governments. The mere power to charter cities and corporations, which now plays such a vital part in the life of every citizen, probably quite balances all the additional powers hitherto assumed by the general government. Furthermore, the states have secured complete control over public education, have developed a militia far out of proportion to the regular army, and have gained enormously in the power of taxation, through such means as sales of public rights, and inheritance and income taxes. In the daily life of the citizen, the creation and control of the machinery for supplying him with food, water, gas, transportation, and education; for aiding him in sickness, in poverty, or in insanity; and for protecting him from violence and fire, from disease, from vice, and from fraud, all vest—with exceptions scarcely worth a mention—in the state governments, or in their creations—the counties and municipalities. As a result it is probable that the direct reliance of the citizen on the national government, as compared with that of his state, has distinctly lessened rather than increased, in the last hundred years.—Editor.