Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/33

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menced, in fact, at the wrong end. They declared by their Constitution that each State was a sovereignty in itself, and that all the powers incident to a sovereignty belonged to each State, except those powers which by the Constitution were conferred upon the general government and Congress.

Here we have adopted a different system. We have strengthened the general government. We have given the general legislature all the great subjects of legislation. We have conferred on them, not only specifically and in detail all the powers which are incident to sovereignty, but we have expressly declared that all subjects of general interest not distinctly and exclusively conferred upon the local governments and local legislatures shall be conferred upon the general government and legislature. We have thus avoided that great source of weakness which has been the cause of the disruption of the United States. We have avoided all conflict of jurisdiction and authority, and if this Constitution is carried out, as it will be in full detail in the imperial act to be passed if the colonies adopt the scheme, we will have in fact, as I said before, all the advantages of a legislative union under one administration, with at the same time the guaranties for local institutions and for local laws which are insisted upon by so many in the Provinces now, I hope, to be united.

I think it is well that in framing our Constitution our first act should have been to recognize