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STATE GOVERNMENTS. 65
tween the Federal or General government, and each State within its immediate territory. To the Federal Government, belongs the power of making peace, or war with foreign nations; raising and supporting an army and navy; fixing the organization of the militia; imposing taxes for the common defence and benefit of the Union; borrowing and coining money, and fixing the standard of weights and measures; establishing post offices and post roads; granting patents for inventions, and exclusive copyrights to authors; regulating commerce with foreign nations; establishing an uniform bankrupt law; also, an uniform law of naturalization; and lastly, the federal tribunals judge of felonies and piracies committed on the high seas; of offences against the laws of nations, and questions between the citizens of different States.
To the State Governments is committed the branch which directs and controls the internal concerns of each State; its local laws, as far as relates to property and private rights; regulates the police; appoints the judges and all civil officers; imposes taxes for all State purposes ; and exercises all other rights not vested in the Federal Government by direct enactment.
In examining the principles on which the Federal Constitution is based, we shall, perhaps, find much to commend; its laws are framed with a liberal and enlightened policy, though of partial and limited influence in securing and otherwise protecting the rights of the American citizen, who is more imme
VOL I. F
diately placed under the control of the State laws, of some one or other of the numerous sections into which the country is divided.
These States may be said (except in their foreign or external relations, and in the other instances we have enumerated,) to be placed beyond the influence of any other controlling power ; and whilst enjoying a perfect, at least an imaginary sovereignty, frame such laws for their internal government as they may think proper; and provided that they do not overstep the leading principles of the Constitution of 1787, such as abrogating the writ of habeas corpus, or the trial by jury, secured to every American, may adopt such measures, as in their caprice or wisdom may seem meet. They have certainly taken advantage of these reserved rights, and, in their efforts at legislation, have presented to the world as neat a piece of legal patchwork as is to be found extended over any other, or equal, portion of the habitable globe.
The wrongs and inconveniences arising from this intricate and anomalous state of Government, are of admitted and daily occurrence. To the foreigner, this novelty is for a while inexplicable. Heretofore, accustomed to look upon America as one great family, regulated by one general and fixed system of mild and wholesome laws, he is strangely perplexed to find instead, that each State, or division of the country, is in a great measure controlled by a distinct code peculiar to itself, and only operative within the limit of its immediate territory, or jurisdiction. He finds the laws of Massachusetts of a
NUMBER OF STATES. 67
somewhat different complexion from those of New York; New York equally distinct from those of Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania to vary from those of New Jersey and Maryland; Maryland from those of Kentucky; in short, no two States of the Union, however according in their general principles, governed by the same precise rule, but each distinct, and as unconnected with the other, as if directed by opposite interests, or forming parts of two separate hemispheres. Americans of intelligence, those who can see their country, otherwise than through the distorted medium of their national prejudices, are generally prepared to admit the evils that grow out of this system. But it would be idle to propose any change, or reformation. The national, or rather the sectional prejudices of every citizen, would rise in arms to discourage the attempt, as threatening their individual or state sovereignty, and interfering with their assumed, or asserted, right of self-government, by which is reserved to them the privilege of living under as ill defined and perplexing code of laws, as any people were ever cursed with.
The recent admission of Arkansas, and Michigan, into the Union, has increased the present number of these States to twenty-six. The thirteen united colonies which first abjured their allegiance to the Crown of England, and that adopted and issued their memorable Declaration of Independence in 1776, were, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. All the other States, that are now members of the Union, have been since admitted in the following order, viz.:—
Vermont—which was separated from New York, was admitted into the Union, 1794.
Tennessee—which was separated from North Carolina, was admitted, 1796.
Kentucky—originally a part of the territory of Virginia, was admitted, 1796.
Ohio— which was formed from lands north-west of the Ohio River, that have been ceded to the General Government by the States to which they belonged, was admitted, 1802.
Louisiana—formed from the Louisiana purchase, admitted, 1812.
Indiana—from a portion of what is called the North-west territory, in 1816.
Mississippi—from part of the territory of Georgia, admitted, 1817.
Illinois— from the North-west territory, admitted, 1818.
Alabama—from part of Georgia, admitted, 1819.
Maine—which was separated from Massachusetts, was admitted, 1820.
Missouri—formed a part of the Louisiana purchase, was admitted, 1820.
Arkansas—from a portion of the Louisiana purchase, was admitted, 1836.
Michigan—which was constituted a territory in 1805, was admitted, 1837.
ORIGIN OF THEIR NAMES. 69
The several origin of the names of these States are as follows, viz.:—Maine was so called as early as 1688, from Maine in France, of which Henrietta Maria, Queen of England, was at that time proprietor. New Hampshire was the name given to the territory conveyed by the Plymouth Company to Captain John Mason, by patent, Nov. 7, 1639, with reference to the patentee, who was governor of Portsmouth, in Hampshire, England. Vermont was so called by the inhabitants, in their Declaration of Independence, January 16, 1777, from the French verd, green, and mont, mountain. Massachusetts from a tribe of Indians in the neighbourhood of Boston. The tribe is thought to have derived its name from the Blue Hills of Milton: "I have learned (says Roger Williams) that Massachusetts was so called from the Blue Hills." Rhode Island was named in 1644, in reference to the Island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. Connecticut was so called from the Indian name of its principal river; New York, in reference to the Duke of York and Albany, to whom this territory was granted. Pennsylvania was named, in 1681, after William Penn. Delaware, in 1703, from Delaware Bay, on which it lies, and which received its name from Lord De La War, who died in this bay. Maryland, in honour of Henrietta Maria, Queen of Charles I., in his patent to Lord Baltimore, June 30, 1632. Virginia was named, in 1584, after Elizabeth, the virgin Queen of England. Carolina, by the French in 1564, in honour of King Charles IX., of France.