Texas and the Massachusetts Resolutions Page: 39 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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iThe prohibition is absolute. No State can even set on
foot a negotiation with Texas, without at once violating her
obligations to the Union. Indeed, how could it be otherwise
? mWhat power of control would there be in the governmient
of the United States over the foreign relations of the
counttry, if this clause were not in the constitution ? The
provisio wllich follows forbidding the States to enter into any
com}pact or agreemnent with another State or with a foreign
power, without the consent of Congress, manifestly has reference
to certain cases of extreme necessity; it by no means
conflicts withl the clause whilch we ihave quoted. This may
easily be seen bay noting tihe context, much of whiiclh has refcrence
oily to a state of war. " No State,"3 it says, " shall
without tite consent of Congress, lay any dutly of tonnage,
keep troops or ships of war in tinm of peace, enter into any
agreemeit St or at it h ather tat foreign power,
or wengage i1 war unless actually invaded or in such imminent
danger as will not admit of dIelay." Some of these
powers nay nt i e exerci ed t e a ll excepting by consent of
Congress, and others may be exercised upon certain contingencies
of war, witiout that consent, but they are all of a
character which catnnot and outht not to be resorted to exceptitg
in cases in wlhich it is clear that the States must
do so for some very strong and peculiar reason. This
sees; to be the cause of the diffirence of the language used
in this and it the first clause of the same section already
quoted. cC No State shall eiter into any treaty, alliance, or
cofedertn ation whatever, upon any ternms, with or without
the consent of Congress-but it may, with such consent, enter
into ' a compact or agreelment" with another State or a foreigni
power, that is, some arrangement justified by extreme
necessity, either for mutual defence or for protection, making
it an exception to the general rule of action, temporary
in its nature, and havin g no sort of reference to plans of
enlargetment or of dotminionl in time of peace, like that which
Mr. Walker Ihas attemrpted to introduce under the words.
But apparently aware that none of the three modes thus
suggested are free from the dfficulties which we have endeavored
to point out, this gentleman is ready, with a new and
more general position, to meet the contingency of his failure
to prove thet constitutional. He maintains, though it
amust be confessed, in language somewhat ambiguous, the existence
of a reserved right in any State, to extend her territory
as far as she pleases, without regard to the constitution.
As we desire not to misrepresent him on so delicate a point,
we will copy his own words.
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Adams, Charles Francis. Texas and the Massachusetts Resolutions, book, January 1, 1844; Boston, Massachusetts. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2355/m1/39/: accessed November 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .