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Jensen, Merrill (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut

B. Commentaries on the convention, 10 January-10 March,   pp. 568-593

Page 570

570                           CONNECTICUT/ 11 JAN.
extend are necessary to the happiness and prosperity of the whole ter-
ritory, and such as no particular state can extend her acts to so as to
control the conduct of her neighbors.
That the means of securing the welfare of the community must be
coextensive with the objects to which the legislature extends its views
I think must be admitted.. If the property and personal service of the
individuals is necessary, under any given circumstance, to secure the
republic, it is certain there must somewhere be lodged a power to
call them forth; as the cases wh ich may occur are so various, human
foresight so limited, and the occasions may probably be so pressing
as not to admit a consultation of the people, it must be exercised
at discretion limited in the best manner we can to prevent abuse.
To say the United States may have the impost and nothing more is
not granting the means of protection in the probable cases which may
occur; to devolve on them a duty to protect and secure the states
and deny them the means is an absurdity. I think we involve our-
selves in unnecessary doubts about our security against an undue use
of the powers granted by the Constitution, by not clearly distinguish-
ing between our present condition and that of the people of Great
Britain. There, the supreme executive is hereditary. He does not
derive his powers from the gift of the people; at least, if the contrary
is true in theory, its practical operation is not such. He there holds, as
his prerogative, the power of raising and disbanding armies, the right
to make war and peace with many other very great and important
rights independent of any control. That the armies are his armies, and
their direction is solely by him without any control. The only security
the people there have, against the ambition of a bad king, is the power
to deny money, without which no army can be kept up. Here the
army, when raised, is the army of the people.. It is they who raise and
pay them; it is they who judge of the necessity of the measure; tis
they who are to feel 'the burthens and partake the benefits., To deny
them  the power by their represent atives to raise armies when they
judge it necessary, to deny them the right to'command so much prop-
erty as shall be necessary for all the exigencies of the states, is to
require of them the discharge of duties they are totally unable to
I think we are safe in the exercise of those powers by Congress,
especially when experience shows us that a body of men raised by
the legislature never did set up the legislative authority as the su-
preme head, independent of the people; but whenever any evil effects
have followed, it has been by setting up an individual in utter ex-
tinction of the legislative. It is therefore our army and our purse,
and not the sword or purse of a king.

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