A Coercive League Contrary to the Teachings of American History

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American Peace Society, 1920 - International courts - 8 pages
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Page 6 - defines the extent of the powers of the general government. If the general legislature should, at any time, overleap their limits, the judicial department is a constitutional check. If the United States go beyond their powers, if they make a law which the Constitution does not authorize, it is void; and the judiciary power, the national judges, who, to secure their impartiality, are to be made independent, will declare it to be void.
Page 6 - So far is this from being consistent with republican principles, that it is, in effect, the worst species of monarchy. Hence we see how necessary for the Union is a coercive principle. No man pretends the contrary: we all see and feel this necessity. The only question is. Shall it be a coercion of law, or a coercion of arms ? There is no other possible alternative. Where will those who oppose a coercion of law come outS Where will they end?
Page 8 - I was by the gratification promised to future curiosity by an authentic exhibition of the objects, the opinions, and the reasonings, from which the new system of government was to receive its peculiar structure and organization. Nor was I unaware of the value of such a contribution to the fund of materials for the history of a Constitution on which would be staked the happiness of a people great even in its infancy, and possibly the cause of liberty throughout the world.
Page 4 - Whoever considers the populousness and strength of several of these States singly at the present juncture, and looks forward to what they will become, even at the distance of half a century, will at once dismiss as idle and visionary any scheme which aims at regulating their movements by laws, to operate upon them in their collective capacities, and to be executed by a coercion applicable to them in the same capacities. A project of this kind is little less romantic than the monster-taming spirit,...
Page 6 - Union is a coercive principle. No man pretends the contrary: we all see and feel this necessity. The only question is, Shall it be a coercion of law, or a coercion of arms ? There is no other possible alternative. Where will those who oppose a coercion of law come out? Where will they end? A necessary consequence of their principles is a war of the States one against the other. I am for coercion by law — that coercion which acts only upon delinquent individuals. This constitution does not attempt...
Page 6 - If the general legislature should at any time overleap their limits, the judicial department is a constitutional check. If the United States go beyond their powers, if they make a law which the constitution does not authorize, it is void, and the judicial power, the national judges, who, to secure their impartiality, are to be made independent, will declare it to be void. On the other hand, if the States go beyond their limits, if they make a law which is a usurpation upon the general government,...
Page 4 - Even in those confederacies which have been composed of members smaller than many of our counties, the principle of legislation for sovereign States, supported by military coercion, has never been found effectual. It has rarely been attempted to be employed but against the weaker members...
Page 8 - The curiosity I had felt during my researches into the history of the most distinguished confederacies, particularly those of antiquity, and the deficiency I found in the means of satisfying it, more especially in what related to the process, the principles the reasons, and the anticipations, which prevailed in the formation of them, determined me to preserve, as far as I could, an exact account of what might pass in the Convention...
Page 3 - The great and radical vice in the construction of the existing Confederation is in the principle of LEGISLATION for STATES or GOVERNMENTS, in their CORPORATE or COLLECTIVE CAPACITIES, and as contradistinguished from the INDIVIDUALS of which they consist.
Page 4 - A project of this kind is little less romantic than that monster-taming spirit, which is attributed to the fabulous heroes and demigods of antiquity. Even in those confederacies, which have been composed of members smaller than many of our counties, the principle of legislation for sovereign States, supported by military coertion, has never been found effectual.

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