If hope is not to be abandoned, common sense teaches us to attempt the best means of preservation. This is all that men can do, and this they ought to do. Will it be said, that any kind of disunion, or a connection tending to it, is preferable to a firm union? Or, is there any charm in that despotism, which is said, to be alone competent to the rule of such an empire? There is no evidence of fact, nor any deduction of reason, that justifies the assertion. It is true, that extensive territory has in general been arbitrarily governed; and it is as true, that a number of republics, in such territory, loosely connected, must inevitably rot into despotism. Such territory has never been governed by a confederacy of republics. Granted. But,
there ever a confederacy of republics, in such territory, united, as these states are to be by the proposed constitution? Where was there ever a confederacy, in which, the sovereignty of each state was equally represented in one legislative body, the people of each state equally represented in another, and the sovereignties & people of all the states conjointly represented in a third branch?
Or, in which, no law could be made, but by the agreement of three such branches?3
Or, in which, the appointment to federal offices was vested in a chief magistrate chosen as our president is to be, with the concurrence of a senate elected by the sovereignties of each state?4
Or, in which, the other acts of the executive department were regulated, as they are to be with us?
Or, in which, the federal judges were to hold their offices independently and during good behaviour? Or, in which, the authority over the militia and troops was so distributed and controuled, as it is to be with us? Or, in which, the people were so drawn together by religion, blood, language, manners and customs, undisturbed by former feuds or prejudices? Or, in which, the affairs relating to the whole union, were to be managed by an assembly of several representative bodies, invested with different powers that became efficient only in concert, without their being embarrassed by attention to other business?5
Or, in which, a provision was made for the federal revenue, without recurring to coertion, the miserable expedient of every other confederacy that has existed, an expedient always attended with odium, & often with a delay productive of irreparable damage?
Where was there ever a confederacy, that thus adhered to the first principle of society, obliging by its direct authority every individual, to contribute, when the public good necessarily required it, a just proportion of aid to the support of the commonwealth protecting him-without disturbing him in the discharge of the duties owing by him to the state of which he is an inhabitant; and at the same time so amply, so anxiously provided, for bringing the interests, and even the wishes of every sovereignty and of every person of the union, under all their various modifications and impressions, into their full operation and efficacy in the national councils?6
The instance never existed. The conclusion ought not to be made. It is without premises.