Each State is the constituent and enacting party, and the United States in Congress assembled the recipient of delegated power--and that power delegated with such a penurious and carking hand that it had more the aspect of a revocation of the Declaration of Independence than an instrument to carry it into effect.
A substitution of separate State sovereignties, in the place of the constituent sovereignty of the people, was the basis of the Confederate Union.
But in its construction the Convention immediately perceived that they must retrace their steps, and fall back from a league of friendship between sovereign States to the constituent sovereignty of the people; from power to right--from the irresponsible despotism of State sovereignty to the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence.
From the day of that Declaration, the constituent power of the people had never been called into action.
Neither your time, nor perhaps the cheerful nature of this occasion, permit me here to enter upon the examination of this anti-revolutionary theory, which arrays State sovereignty against the constituent sovereignty of the people, and distorts the Constitution of the United States into a league of friendship between confederate corporations.
It is, however, a more profitable employment to trace the constituent principles of future greatness in their kernel; to detect in the acorn at our feet the germ of that majestic oak, whose roots shoot down to the centre, and whose branches aspire to the skies.
But then I hold that knowing itself consists of such constituents suitably related, and that in being aware of them we are sometimes being aware of instances of knowing.
(3) Can we observe anything which differs in its intrinsic nature from the constituents of the physical world, or is everything that we can observe composed of elements intrinsically similar to the constituents of what is called matter?
It is commonly thought that by looking within we can observe all sorts of things that are radically different from the constituents of the physical world, e.g.
A few representatives of the people would be opposed to the people themselves; or rather one set of representatives would be contending against thirteen sets of representatives, with the whole body of their common constituents on the side of the latter.
On the first supposition, it will be restrained by that dependence from forming schemes obnoxious to their constituents. On the other supposition, it will not possess the confidence of the people, and its schemes of usurpation will be easily defeated by the State governments, who will be supported by the people.