Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Quote of the Day

"What, it will be asked, must the states relinquish their sovereignty and independence, and give Congress their rights of legislation? I beg to know what we mean by United States? If, after Congress have passed a resolution of a general tenor, the states are still at liberty to comply or refuse, I must insist that they are not united; they are as separate as they ever were, and Congress is merely an advisory body. If people imagine that Congress ought to be merely a council of advice, they will some time or other discover their most egregious mistake.

"The resolves of Congress are always treated with respect, and during the late war they were efficacious. But their efficacy proceeded from a principle of common safety which united the interests of all states; but peace has removed that principle, and the states comply with or refuse the requisitions of Congress just as they please.

"The idea of each state preserving its sovereignty and independence in their full latitude, and yet holding up the appearance of a confederacy and a concert of measures, is a solecism in politics that will sooner or later dissolve the pretended union, or work other mischiefs sufficient to bear conviction to every mind."
-- Noah Webster, Sketches of American Policy (1785)

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