« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
ment. The magic power of her moral influence and of the moral force of this principle, is felt all over the civilized world. This, and the virgin fertility of our country daily attract large numbers of men; therefore the extension of our Union must be perpetual. Hence the importance and necessity of the annexation of new states.
On this occasion Congress will develop its greatest usefulness. Being elevated above the selfish interests of governments based upon animal physical force, its debates will never be inspired by avarice, by a craving for territorial grandeur, or by a desire to make money by fighting, killing, subjecting men and creating slavery. No, they will be only guided by an earnest wish to promote and extend the empire of humanity, peace, order, and justice, or, in other words, of self-government. If a sufficient number of freemen have established a state, and present their constitution with a request for annexation, Congress will examine the instrument carefully, to ascertain that it strictly harmonizes with the principle of self-government; that liberty of education, instruction, and industry are secured by it to all, and that nothing is admitted, like slavery, for example, which is opposed to self-government. After Congress has approved the Constitution, the right to decide on the fact of admission belongs to the qualified voters. The importance of the question requires such a verdict.
On such occasions Congress will be the defender and advocate of self-government, which will be a delicate task in conflicts with physical force governments. Congress will not acknowledge any rights of ownership to be derived merely from discovery without actual settlement and occupation. The difference between our government and those based on the physical force principle, is as great and wide as that between moral power and physical violence. Brutal violence hates and assails moral power, until subdued by its charm. The physical force governments are well aware that the principle of self-government, with its moral power, will finally terminate their existence. Let us therefore act with firmness and prudence in all conflicts with them.
2. Congress has the care of diplomatic business. We have, as a matter of course, to make use of diplomatic agents only so far as they are needed for business.
We think that court ambassadors are superfluous, because we have no courts ourselves, and we have tried in vain to discover a single business object for an American ambassa
dor or minister near the persons of the Turkish, Russian, Prussian or Austrian autocrats, &c., which would not be as well answered by a consul, who, we are aware, is needed. American travellers will protect themselves by prudence, and with the help of consuls. This, we understand to be the meaning of George Washington's advice in his beautiful farewell address, viz., “to have as little connexion as possible with foreign powers.
Besides it must be a settled principle of American policy never to treat on domestic affairs abroad.
3. National Defence. Let us never prepare in peace for war, if we will preserve peace. We are satisfied that a strict adherence to the principle of self-government is the surest preserver of eternal peace. Remember that only savages can incur the necessity of fighting and killing. We have, therefore, in our plans of Constitutions committed the care of the general defence only to Congress, and not to state governments.
In regard to other congressional business, we refer to the annexed plan of a Federal Constitution, which is plain enough to be thoroughly understood by every commonsense reader.
23. We have often laid great stress upon the saving of public expenses.
Our reason for it is not false economy; no ! we say, pay all officers you are really in need of, well. Our reason for recommending the strictest economy is chiefly, because self-governing freemen require much more for education, instruction, industrial pursuits, and the comforts of life, than mere subjects. They wish to maintain equality in civilized society; they apply great sums for useful information; their enterprise is only bounded by the limits of nature; their commerce embraces the whole world. This is otherwise in Asia and Europe, where the great mass are kept in subjection by force, and only a few among them attain comparatively a higher standard of civilization. Therefore we should avoid by all means superfluous public business, superfluous offices, and superfluous public expense.
24. In regard to the realizing of the necessary reform, we recommend the gradual improving of constitutions and laws.
First, we should establish throughout the Union uniformity in the right of voting, as the natural beginning of all public business; then we should abolish the army and navy,
and ambassadors, as soon as possible, meanwhile amending the constitutions, and not ceasing the work of reform until the principle of self-government be wholly realized.
25. We have omitted, in our plans of Constitutions, bills of rights. We have done so because we are satisfied, that, on close examination, it will be found that the liberty of education, instruction and industry, embraces all these rights, and more than are usually enumerated in these bills; and that it will serve as a more effectual protection to the people. A man cannot be industrious, if he is undeservedly imprisoned; and if so, he is entitled to damages. If the liberty to print, or to plough, or to cast iron, or to speak, or to preach, is infringed, we cannot instruct ourselves, or earn money to live upon. Self-governing freemen are never in danger of arbitrary laws. Our present Federal and State constitutions are superabundantly provided with bills of rights, precautions, and prohibitory injunctions, just as if our state officers were Asiatic-European autocrats. Notwithstanding, they could not check slavery, war, mercantile revulsions, state bankruptcies, crimes and mismanagement of the most outrageous kind. Instead of what we believed to be superfluous, we have added some axioms, which might well be generally adopted as American public and common law, abstracted from the principle of self-government, and not from the laws and usages of uncivilized nations. America is by nature destined to be the lawgiver of the world. She will become so if all her sons have the courage to be, in fact, what they proclaim themselves to be, self-governing freemen, and will go bravely to work to set all things right which are not in harmony with self-government,
PLAN OF A CONSTITUTION FOR A STATE OF 200,000 VOTERS.
The freemen of the State of have established the following
CONSTITUTION. 1. State. The State of is one of the United States of under the Constitution of the Confederation of the United States, dated
and is bounded north by -, west by south by east by and is at present divided into Counties and Towns. (In an appendix the names of the Counties and Towns may be contained.) 2. Voting.
The right of voting in all kinds of public business, and of electing public officers, shall belong to the freemen who are qualified, as follows:
a. Over 21 years of age.
c. Sufficiently able to speak, read and write the language in public use.
d. When immigrants, one year's residence in the town where the vote is to be cast shall be required, in addition to the foregoing qualifications.
3. Excluded from voting and offices, for the time being, are, insane, confirmed drunkards, town-poor, convicts during the time of punishment;—until admitted by a town vote, public defaulters, convicts after the time of punishment has expired, and duellists. Public officers are not allowed to vote upon any question touching the objects under their care.
4. Unmarried. Unmarried persons of proper age can be elected as officers, (servants of the people.)
5. Plurality In all cases a plurality of votes shall elect to office.
6. Towns. All public business, and no other, within the limits of a town, and concerning the municipal interests of the people of the toron, shall belong exclusively to the town freemen and their officers. Laws making exceptions to this rule shall become valid when approved by the town, but not otherwise.
7. Districts. For certain purposes districts may be formed out of several towns for a longer or shorter time, and towns may be divided into smaller districts, according to law.
8. Toron Expenses. The town expenses shall be raised by direct taxation.
9. Town Officers. The town officers shall consist of the Selectmen, Mayor, and other necessary officers.
10. Their Pay. The town officers shall get a compensation for their services, beyond those in meetings and ordinary sessions.
11. Election. In towns of more than five thousand voters, the number of Selectmen shall be one to two hundred voters; in towns of less than five thousand voters, the number of Selecimen shall be one to one hundred voters.
12. Two Chambers. In large towns, the Selectinen may be divided by ballot into two chambers.
(In an appendix to the Constitution may be added general rules for the organization and administration of towns and counties.)
13. Counties. For public business requiring the co-operation of sev, eral towns, counties shall be organized.
14. County Officers. The public business in Counties shall be performed by a Board of County Commissioners, elected for two years. Half of the number shall have their seats after the lapse of one year, (the first time to be decided by ballot) afterwards, every year half of the number shall be elected.
15. County Election. Each town shall elect two County Commissioners. Out of their number a presiding officer, called Overseer, shall be elected by them. . This board shall elect other necessary County Officers.
16. County Expense. The County expenses shall be raised by direct taxation.
17. Districts. Out of several Counties, Districts may be formed for business convenience, as harbor, river, navigation districts, &c.
18. By-laws. Counties and towns shall have the right to make Bylaws. In towns they shall be made by the qualified voters, in counties by the commissioners.
19. State. The public business concerning the whole state, or of general interest, is either legislative, judicial, or executive.
20. Legislature. The state legislative business shall belong to the state legislature, which is divided into two houses, the Senate, and the House of Representatives.
21. Election Qualifications. A freeman to be eligible to the State Legislature shall possess,
a. The qualifications of voting, mentioned in section 2, and shall have,
b. Served as a Selectman or Commissioner, or in any other constitutional public station for at least two years.
22. The members of the Senate shall be chosen for four years. After the first two years half of the number vacate their seats, which is decided by ballot. Each County shall elect one Senator.
23. Each town shall elect, biennially, one Representative, and each County one Senator for che respective vacated seats.
24. All State elections shall take place on the first Monday of on which day all public business shall be suspended.
25. Legislative Members no State Officers. À member of the Legislature cannot be, for the time being, elected to anoiber State office.
26. Disqualified. Disqualified for the Legislature are all Slate and Congress officers with salary, or unsettled balances from their admin. istration.
27. Meeting. The Legislature shall convene biennially on the first Monday of at the Slate Capitol.