« 이전계속 »
their local governments, than towards the government of the union, unless the force of that principle should be destroyed by a much better administration of the latter.
This strong propensity of the human heart, would find power. ful auxiliaries in the objects of state regulation.
The variety of more minute interests, which will necessarily fall under the superintendence of the local administrations, and which will form so many rivulets of influence, running through every part of the society, cannot be particularized, without involving a detail too tedious and uninteresting, to compensate for the instruction it might afford.
There is one transcendent advantage belonging to the province of the state governments, which alone suffices to place the matter in a clear and satisfactory light-I mean the ordinary administration of criminal and civil justice. This, of all others, is the most powerful, most universal, and most attractive source of popular obedience and attachment. It is this, which, being the immediate and visible guardian of life and property; having its benefits and its terrors in constant activity before the public eye; regulating all those personal interests, and familiar concerns, to which the sensibility of individuals is more immediately awake; contributes, more than any other circumstance, to impress upon the minds of the people affection, esteem, and reverence towards the government. This great cement of society, which will diffuse itself almost wholly through the channels of the particular governments, independent of all other causes of influence, would insure them so decided an empire over their respective citizens, as to render them at all times a complete counterpoise, and not upfrequently dangerous rivals to the power of the union.
The operations of the national government, on the other band, falling less immediately under the observation of the mass of the citizens, the benefits derived from it will chiefly be perceived, and attended to by speculative men. Relating to more general interests, they will be loss apt to come home to the feelings of the people; and, in proportion, loss likely to inspiro
a babitual sense of obligation, and an active sentiment of attachment.
The reasoning on this head has been abundantly exemplified by the experience of all federal constitutions, with which we aro acquainted, and of all others, which have borne the least analogy to them.
Though the ancient foudal systems were not, strictly speaking, confoderacies, yet they partook of the nature of that species of association. There' was a common head, chieftain, or sovereign, whose authority extended over the whole nation; and a number of subordinate vassals, or feudatories, who had large portions of land allotted to them, and numerous trains of inferior vassals or retainors, who occupied and cultivated that land upon the tenuro of foalty, or obedience to the persons of whom thoy held it. Each principal vassal was a kind of sovereign within his particular demesnes. The consequences of this situation were a continual opposition to the authority of the sovereign, and frequent wars between the great barons, or chief feudatories themselves. The power of the head of the nation was commonly too weak either to preserve the public peace, or to protect the people against the oppressions of their immediate lords. This period of European affairs is empbatically styled by historians, the times of feudal anarchy.
When the sovereign happened to be a man of vigorous and warlike temper and of superior abilities, he would acquire a personal weight and influence, which answered for the time the purposes of a more regular authority. But in general, the power of the barons triumphed ovor that of the princo; and in many instances bis dominion was ontirely thrown off, and tho great fiefs were erected into independent principalities or states. In those instances in which the monarch finally prevailed over his vassals, 'his success was chiefly owing to the tyranny of those vassals over their dependants. The barons, or nobles, equally the enemies of the sovereign and the oppressors of the common people, were dreaded and detested by both; till mutual danger and mutual interest cffected an union between them fatal to the
power of the aristocracy. Had the nobles, by a conduct of clemency and justice, preserved the fidelity and devotion of their retainers and followers, the contests between them and the prince must almost always have ended in their favour, and in the abridgement or subversion of the royal authority.
This is not an assertion founded merely in speculation or conjecture. Among other illustrations of its truth which might be cited, Scotland will furnish a cogent example. The spirit of clanship which was at an early day introduced into that king. dom, uniting the nobles and their dependants by ties equivalent to those of kindred, rendered the aristocracy a constant overmatch for the power of the monarch, till the incorporation with England subdued its fierce and ungovernable spirit, and reduced it within those rules of subordination, which a more rational and a more energetic system of civil polity had previously established in the latter kingdom.
The separate governments in a confederacy may aptly be compared with the feudal baronies; with this advantage in their favour, that from the reasons already explained, they will generally possess the confidence and good will of the people; and with so important a support, will be able etfectually to oppose all encroachments of the national government. It will be well if they are not able to counteract its legitimate and necessary authority. The points of similitudo consist in the rivalship of power, applicable to both, and in the CONCENTRATION of large portions of the strength of the community into particular DEPOSITORIES, in one case at the disposal of individuals, in the other caso, at tbe disposal of political bodies.
A concise review of the events that have attended confederate governments, will further illustrate this important doctrine; an inattention to which has been the great source of our political mistakos, and has given our jealousy a direction to the wrong gide. This review shall form the subject of some ensuing papers.
NEW YORK, DECEMBER 8, 1787.
HAMILTON AND MADISON.
THE SUBJECT CONTINUED, WITH FARTHER EXAMPLES.
Among the confederacies of antiquity, the most considerable was that of the Grecian republics, associated under the Amphyctionic council. From the best transmitted accounts of this celebrated institution, it bore a very instructive analogy to the present confederation of the American states.
The members retained the character of independent and sovereign states, and had equal votes in the federal council. This council bad a general authority to propose and resolve whatever it judged necessary for the common welfare of Greece; to declare and carry on war; to decide, in the last resort, all controversies between the members; to fine the aggressing party; to employ the whole force of the confederacy against the disobedient; to admit new members. The Amphyctions were the guardians of religion, and of the immense riches belonging to the temple of Delphos, where they had the right of jurisdiction in controversies between the inhabitants and those who came to consult the oracle. As a further provision for the efficacy of the federal powers, they took an oath mutually to defend and protect the united cities, to punish the violaters of this oath, and to inflict vengeance on sacrilegious despoilers of the templo.
In theory, and upon paper, this apparatus of powers, seems amply sufficient for all general purposes. In several material instances, they exceed the powers enumerated in the articles of confederation. The Amphyctions had in their bands the superstition of the times, one of the principal engines by which gov. ernment was then maintained; they had a declared authority to use coercion against refractory cities, and were bound by oath to exert this authority on the necessary occasions.
Very different, nevertheless, was the experiment from the theory. The powers, like those of the presont congress, were administered by deputies appointed wholly by the cities in their political capacities; and exercised over them in the same capacities. Honce the weakness, the disorders, and finally the destruction of the confederacy. The more powerful members, instead of being kept in awe and subordination, tyrannized successively over all the rest. Athens, as we learn from Demosthenes, was the arbiter of Greece seventy-three years. The Lacedemonians next governed it twenty-nine years; at a subsequent period, after the battle of Leuctra, the Thebans had their turn of domination.
It happened but too often, according to Plutarch, that the deputies of the strongest cities, awed and corrupted those of the weakest, and that judgment went in favour of the most power
Even in the midst of defensive and dangerous wars with Porsia and Macedon, the members never acted in concert, and wore more or fower of them, etornally the dupos, or the hirelings, of the common enemy. The intervals of foreign war, were filled up by domestic vicissitudes, convulsions, and carnage.
After the conclusion of the war with Xerxes, it appears that the Lacedemonians required that a number of the cities should be turned out of the confederacy for the unfaithful part they bad acted. The Athenians, finding that the Lacedemonians would lose fewer partizans by such a measure than themselves, and would become masters of the public deliberations, vigor. ously opposed and defeated the attempt. This piece of history