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of the people ought to decide. This brings us precisely to the question of the amendment. It is the intention of the constitution, that the popular principle shall operate in the election of a President and vice president. It is also the intention of the constitut on that the popular principle, in discharging the functions committed to it by the constitution, should operate by a majority and not by a minority. That the majority of the people should be driven by an unforeseen state of parties, to the necessity of relinquishing their will, in the election of one or the other of these officers; or that the principle of majority, in a function confided to the popular will, should be deprived of half its rights, and be laid under a necessity of violating its duty to preserve the other half, is not the intention of the constitution.

But the gentleman from Connecticut has leaped over all this ground, and gotten into the House of Representatives, without considering the principles of the constitution, as applicable to the election of President and vice president by electors, and distinguishing them from an election by the House of Representatives. And by mingling and interweaving the two modes of electing together, a considerable degree of complexity has been produced. If, however, it is admitted, that, in an election of a President and vice president by electors, the will of the electing majority ought fairly to operate, and that an election by the will of a minority would be an abuse or corruption of the principles of the constitution, then it follows, that an amendment to avoid this abuse, both accords with, and is necessary to save these principles. In like manner, had an abuse crept into the same election, whenever it was to be made under the federal principle by the House of Representatives, enabling a minority of states to carry the election, it would not have violated the intention of the constitution to have corrected this abuse also, by an amendment. For, sir, I must suppose it to have been the intention of the constitution, that both

the federal principle, and the popular principle, should operate in those functions respectively assigned to them, perfectly and not imperfectly; that is, the former by a majority of states, and the latter by a majority of the people.

Under this view of the subject, the amendment ought to be considered. Then the question will be, whether it is calculated or not, to cause the popular principle, applied by the constitution in the first instance, to operate perfectly, and to prevent the abuse of an election by a minority. If it is, it corresponds with the intention, diminishes nothing of the rights of the smaller states, and of course affords them no cause of jealousy. Sir, it could never have been the intention of the constitution to produce a state of things, by which a majority of the popular principle should be under the necessity of voting against its judgment, to secure a President; and by which a minor faction should acquire a power capable of defeating the majority in the election of a President, or of electing a vice president, contrary to the will of a majority of the electing principle. To permit this abuse, would be a fraudulent mode of defeating the operation of the popular principle in this election, in order to transfer it to the federal principle; to disinherit the people, for the sake of endowing the House of Representatives; whereas it was an accidental, and not an artificial disappointment in the election of a President, against which the constitution intended to provide. A fair and not an unfair attempt to elect, was previously to be made by the popular principle, before the election was to go into the House of Representatives. And if the people of all the states, both large and small, should, by an abuse of the real design of the constitution, be bubbled out of the election of executive power, by leaving to them the nominal right of an abortive effort, and transferring to the House of Representatives the substantial right of a real election, nothing will remain but to corrupt the election in that House, by some of those abuses of which elections by diets are susceptible, to bestow upon executive power an aspect, both formidable and inconsistent with the prin. ciples by which the constitution intended to mould it. The great check imposed upon executive power, was a popular mode of election; and the true object of jealousy, which ought to attract the attention of the people of every state, is any circumstance, tending to diminish or destroy that check. It was also a primary intention of the constitution, to keep executive power independent of legislative; and although a provision was made for its election by the House of Representatives in a possible case, that possible case never was intended to be converted into the active rule, so as to destroy, in a degree, the line of separation and independency between executive and legislative power. The controversy is not, therefore, between larger and smaller states, but between the people of every state, and the House of Representatives. Is it better that the people-a fair majority of the popular principleshould elect executive power; or that a minor faction should be enabled to embarrass and defeat the judgment and will of this majority, and throw the election into the House of Representatives? This is the question. If this amendment should enable the popular principle to elect executive power, and thus keep it separate and distinct from legislation, the intention of the constitution, the interest of the people, and the principles of our policy will be preserved ; and if so, it is as I have often endeavored to prove in this debate, the interest of the smaller states themselves that the amendment should prevail. For, sir, is an exposure of their representatives to bribery and corruption, (a thing which may possibly happen at some future day, when men lose that public virtue which now governs them,) an acquisition more desirable than all those great objects, best, (if not exclusively,) attainable, by the election of executive power by the popular principle of the federal government, as the constitution itself meditates and prefers ?

So far, then, the amendment strictly coincides with

the constitution, and with the interests of the people of eyery state in the union. But suppose, by some rare accident, the election should still be sent into the House of Representatives; does not the amendment then afford cause of jealousy to the smaller states? Sir, each state has but one vote, whether it is large or small; and the President and vice president are still to be chosen out of five persons. Such is the constitution in both respects now. To have enlarged the number of nominees, would have increased the occurrence of an election by the House of Representatives; and if, as I have endeavored to prove, it is for the interest of every state, that the election should be made by the popular principle of government and not by this House; then it follows, that whatever would have a tendency to draw the election into this House, is against the interest of every state in the union; and that every state in the union is interested to avoid an enlargement of the nominees, if it would have such a tendency.

Sir, the endeavor to excite a national jealousy against the idea of amending the constitution, is, in my view, infinitely more dangerous and alarming, than even the attempt to marshal states against states. The gentleman from Connecticut, (Mr. Tracy,) has twice pronounced with great emphasis, “ man is man,” and attempted to make inferences against all attempts to amend our constitution, from the evil moral qualities with which human nature is afflicted! Sir, he has forgotten, that governments as well as nations are constituted of men, and that if the vices of governed man, ought to alarm us for the safety of liberty, the vices of governing man, are not calculated to assuage our apprehensions. Sir, it is this latter species of depravity, which has suggested to the people of America, a new idea, enforced by constitutions. Permit me, to illustrate this new idea, by the terms political law and municipal law. The former is that law, called constitutional, contrived and enacted in the United States, to control those evil moral qualities, to which this creature “ man” is liable, when invested with power! The latter is that law enacted to control the vices of man in his private capacity. If the former species of law should be suffered to remain unchanged, the effects would be the same, as if the latter should remain unchanged. Both, unaltered, would be evaded by the ingenuity, avarice and ambition of public man, as well as private man. And therefore, it is as necessary for the preservation of liberty, that constitutions or political law, should be amended from time to time, in order to preserve liberty against the avarice and ambition of men in power, by meeting and controlling their artifices; as it is occasionally to amend municipal law, for the preservation of property against the vicious practices of men not in power.

To illustrate this argument, I will repeat a position which I lately advanced, namely, that the substance of a constitution may be effectually destroyed, and yet its form may remain unaltered. England illustrates it. The government of that country took its present form in the thirteenth century; but its aspect, in substance, has been extremely different at different periods, under the same form. Without taking time to mark the changes, in substance, which have taken place under the form of kings, lords and commons, it will suffice to cast our eyes upon the present state of that government. What are now its chief and substantial energies? Armies, debt, executive patronage, penal laws and corporations. These are the modern energies or substance of the English monarchy; to the ancient English monarchy they were unknown. Of the ancient, they were substantial abuses; for, whether these modern energies are good or bad, they overturned the ancient monarchy substantially, without altering its form. Under every change of administration, these abuses proceeded. The outs were clamorous for preserving the constitution, as they called it; for though divorced from its administration, the hope of getting in,

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