Texas and the Massachusetts Resolutions Page: 31 of 54
This book is part of the collection entitled: From Republic to State: Debates and Documents Relating to the Annexation of Texas, 1836-1856 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the UNT Libraries.
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spirit of intrigue of a fe me in Washington may prompt
them to do, under the fori of a solemn treaty.
It is, then, obvious that there is a broad line of distinction
marked out, between the cession by a government of an independent
State of a part of its territory not having a governnent,
to the United States, by a treaty, and the formation of
a new sociatl cotmpa1ct between the people livi ng under two
distinct formsl of governllent, b y th florce of suchi an instrument.
In the 1trmer class Imay be ranked the Louisiana
antl F1lorida treatins , and the laIt treaty of Wasilington,
of which 1IMr Walker tries to rlmke use as a precedent.
Underlr the latter class tst be riankid every proj ect of a
treaty like the one proposed to be Ia(e with 'Tesxas. Whilst
it inmay be a fiair lquestion wthetler treaties of thie former kind
'may not bie made, so lont as they ontlyl Iarv tie effeict of enarii
the territory of i the Union, it seems to us that t not tihe
shadow of a (doubt cian be th lrowiv tpon our position respecting
the latter. A treaty tof ti'is kitnd seelms to us at war with
every thitory of rie'p,icaInnisin wLJich 1ias been eve r acknowledged
in A rie a . It is imlpo sing u11)0 o the people of the
States ntew condiiions, withorut tlhir consent or priv iy. It
is, inl point of fiact, at revolution. After suci an event, the
tonstitution of the c nii teld Sates no longer can be regarded
as the ruIl of acion, but X the President, by virtue of his patronage
and th tle tre ty-'makin0g xpower, becomes a more absolute
sovereignl tliha half of tle tmonarces of Europe.
So obvious 1and palp)ble is the stretch of power which this
doctrine of antnexing a foreign country, by the mere force of a
treaty, assu mes for tihe ge neral governmlent, that it is woiderfil
it should ever have found a single advoate among those
wlho have always professed a wish to restrain its tendencies
to consolidation by all possible means. TIhey wlho object to
duties for the protection of hom e anufactures, or to a national
bank, fi r'o I constitutional scruples, and yet concede
this great power, do indeet strain at a gnat and s allow a
camel. Yet, if we ilnquire intto the reason whichi prtompts to
such very opposite views of the powers of the general governmen
t int th same imen, we must conme back to the ground
of the Massatchusetts resolutions. VWlatever road we mray
take in public aftairs, whatever (question we may propose, they
all terminiate in the same point. bThe Ilmtlintenance of tlJe
property representation is the pole star by which tile course
of the ship of state is steered. Is it necessary to deny the
existence of a power in the eonstitution ? It is, because it is
fearedJ that an unequal benefit may be derived fronm its use by
the Free States. Is it necessary, on the contrary, to strain
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Adams, Charles Francis. Texas and the Massachusetts Resolutions, book, January 1, 1844; Boston, Massachusetts. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2355/m1/31/: accessed May 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .