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Page 19 - That government is, or ought to be instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community ; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of...
Page 87 - That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot by any compact deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
Page 9 - My political curiosity, exclusive of my anxious solicitude for the public welfare, leads me to ask, who authorized them to speak the language of, We, the People, instead of We, the States? States are the characteristics, and the soul of a confederation. If the states be not the agents of this compact, it must be one great consolidated national government of the people of all the states.
Page 148 - The existing system has been derived from the dependant, derivative authority of the legislatures of the states ; whereas this is derived from the superior power of the people. If we look at the manner in which alterations are to be made in it, the same idea is in some degree attended to. By the new system, a majority of the states cannot introduce amendments ; nor are all the states required for that purpose ; three fourths of them must concur in alterations; in this there is a departure from the...
Page 248 - Sir? — Have they not power to provide for the general defence and welfare? — May they not think that these call for the abolition of slavery?
Page 140 - States, and what are the sources of that diversity of sentiment which pervades its inhabitants, we shall find great danger to fear, that the same causes may terminate here, in the same fatal effects, which they produced in those republics. This danger ought to be wisely guarded against.
Page 25 - ... the community hath an indubitable, unalienable and indefeasible right to reform, alter or abolish government in such manner as shall be by that community judged most conducive to the public weal.
Page 130 - Our legislature will indeed be a ludicrous spectacle — one hundred and eighty men, marching in solemn, farcical procession, exhibiting a mournful proof of the lost liberty of their country, without the power of restoring it. But, sir, we have the consolation, that it is a mixed government ; that is, it may work sorely on your neck, but you will have some comfort by saying that it was a federal government in its origin.