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dulge them. I trust it is equally impossible for the result, whatever it may be, to rob me of any reflections which enter into the internal fund of comfort and happiness. Popular favor or disfavor is no criterion of the character maintained with those whose esteem an honorable ambition must court. Much less can it be a criterion of that maintained with one's self. And when the spirit of party directs the public voice, it must be a little mind, indeed, that can suffer in its own estimation, or apprehend danger of suffering in that of others.
Note.—The following paper is copied from a rough draught in the handwriting of Mr. Madison. The particular place it was intended to occupy in his works is not designated; but as it traces the causes and steps which led to the meeting of the Convention of 1787, it seems properly to preface the acts of that body. The paper bears evidence, in the paragraph preceding its conclusion, that it was written at a late period of the life of its author, when the pressure of ill health, combined with his great age, in preventing a final revision of it.
As the weakness and wants of man naturally lead to an association of individuals under a common authority, whereby each may have the protection of the whole against danger from without, and enjoy in safety within the advantages of social intercourse, and an exchange of the necessaries and comforts of life; in like manner feeble communities, independent of each other, have resorted to a union, less intimate, but with common councils, for the common safety against powerful neighbours, and for the preservation of justice and peace among themselves. Ancient history furnishes examples of these confederate associations, though with a very imperfect account of their structure, and of the attributes and functions of the presiding authority. There are examples of
modern date also, some of them still existing, the modifications and transactions of which are sufficiently known.
It remained for the British Colonies, now United States of North America, to add to those examples, one of a more interesting character than any of them; which led to a system without an example ancient or modern. A system founded on popular rights, and so combining a federal form with the forms of individual republics, as may enable each to supply the defects of the other and obtain that advantage of both.
Whilst the Colonies enjoyed the protection of the parent country, as it was called, against foreign danger, and were secured by its superintending control against conflicts among themselves, they continued independent of each other, under a common, though limited, dependence on the parental authority. When, however, the growth of the offspring in strength and in wealth awakened the jealousy, and tempted the avidity of the parent, into schemes of usurpation and exaction, the obligation was felt by the former of uniting their counsels and efforts, to avert the impending calamity.
As early as the year 1754, indications having been given of a design in the British government to levy contributions on the Colonies without their consent, a meeting of Colonial deputies took place at Al