Texas and the Massachusetts Resolutions Page: 34 of 54
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such a government to be called one of the United States.
The words of the article can bear no other construction witlhout
positive violence to their meaning. The spirit of the
whole instrument is still more adverse to Mr. Walker's idea,
for it breathes throughout a government of limited powers for
the perpetuation of the blessings of liberty to the people who
adopted it and to their posterity. But what limit can be set
to the powers granted to the Congress, if it once be granted
that the act of a bare majority can at any time introduce new
elements into the social system, the character of which the
people of the States can as little regulate as they can foresee ?
Luckily, on this point, we are not left without the means
of knowing what was the intent of the framers of the constitution
in adopting the article in question. We find from Mr.
Mladison's report of the debates had in the convention, that
the view we have taken of it is the correct one. The article
was originally desigined to meet the contingency that was
foreseen as likely to happen of the formation of new States
within the linits of the territory of the Union. Among the
propositions brought forward by Mr. Edmund Randolph at
the outset, which propositions are well known to have emrbraced
the principles ultimately incorporated into the constitution,
the tenth runs in the following words:Resolred,
That provision ougl1ht to be made for the admission of States
lawfullt/ /rini. i thir ni thet limits of the United States, whether from a voluntary
junctin of' fgovernment aldnd territory, or otherwise, with the consent
of a numnber ' voices in the National Legislatuare less than the
It will be seen at once what the intention was in introducing
this proposition at all. It vwas not to enlarge the system
by the incorporation into it of foreign States, but to open a
way for the preservation of the existing territorial rights of
the Union, without the necessity of including them within the
limits of the existing States. This would hlave been inconvenient,
by reviving the difficult questions that had once
been settled by thle vol.ntary act of the States, claiming the
territories at I e westtward, which ha1d been induced to surrender
their claims for the comnmon good. ''he States to
be admitted wevre *only those which mi ght lawfully arise within
the lirmits of the Uni tesd State. There is no amtbiguity in
this language, whatever. Accordingly, we find that in thiis
very language the teonth proposition of Mr. landolph was on
the 5th of June, 1787, adopted by the convenltion, and made
the basis of the article rupon the subject. In tis form, it,
together with the rest of the propositions that had been
agreed to, was referred to the commi ttee of detail appointed
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Adams, Charles Francis. Texas and the Massachusetts Resolutions, book, January 1, 1844; Boston, Massachusetts. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2355/m1/34/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .