the general principles which they have adopted for the accom-
plishment of that end.
To form a good system of government for a single city or state,
however limited as to territory, or inconsiderable as to numbers,
has been thought to require the strongest efforts of human genius.
With what conscious diffidence, then, must the members of the
convention have revolved in their minds the immense underta-
king which was before them. Their views could not be confined
to a small or a single community, but were expanded to a great
number of states, several of which contain an extent of territory,
and resources of population, equal to those of some of the most
respectable kingdoms on the other side of the Atlantick. Nor
were even these the only objects to be comprehended within
their deliberations. Numerous states yet unformed; myriads of
the human race, who will inhabit regions hitherto uncultivated,
were to be affected by the result of their proceedings. It was ne-
cessary, therefore, to form their calculations on a scale commen-
surate to a large portion of the globe.
For my own part, I have been often lost in astonishment at
the vastness of the prospect before us. To open the navigation of
a single river was lately thought, in Europe, an enterprize ade-
quate to imperial glory. But could the commercial scenes of the
Scheldt be compared with those that, under a good government,
will be exhibited on the Hudson, the Delaware, the Potowmack,
and the numerous other rivers that water and are intended to en-
rich the dominions of the United States?
The difficulty of the business was equal to its magnitude. No.
small share of wisdom and address is requisite to combine and re-
concile the jarring interests that prevail, or seem to prevail, in a
single community. The United States contain already thirteen
governments mutually independent. Those governments present
to the Atlantick a front of fifteen hundred miles in extent. Their
soil, their climates, their productions, their dimensions their num
bers are different. In many instances, a difference, and even an
opposition subsists among their interests: and a difference and
even an opposition is imagined to subsist in many more. An ap-
parent interest produces the same attachment as a real one,
and is often pursued with no less perseverance and vigour. When
all these circumstances are seen and attentively considered, wilk