enjoys the inheritance of his father. Cities may be thinned, but they are neither plundered nor burnt. But when a civil war is kindled, there is thenceforth no security of property nor protection from any law. Life and fortune become precarious. And all that is dear to men is at the discretion of a profligate soldiery, doubly licentious on such an occasion. Cities are exhausted by heavy contributions, or sacked because they cannot answer the exorbitant demand. Countries are eaten up by the parties they favor, and ravaged by the one they oppose. Fathers and sons, sheath their swords in one anothers bowels in the field, and their wives and daughters are exposed to the rudeness and lust of ruffians at home. And when the sword has decided the quarrel, the scene is closed with banishments, forfeitures, and barbarous executions that entail distress on children then unborn. May Heaven avert the dreadful catastrophe! In the most limited governments, what wranglings, animosities, factions, partiality, and all other evils that tend to embroil a nation and weaken a state, are constantly practised by legislators. What then may we expect if the new constitution be adopted as it now stands? The great will struggle for power, honor and wealth; the poor become a prey to avarice, insolence and oppression. And while some are studying to supplant their neighbors, and others striving to keep their stations, one villain will wink at the oppression of another, the people be fleeced, and the public business neglected. From despotism and tyranny good Lord deliver us.
"THE POWER VESTED IN CONGRESS OF SENDING TROOPS FOR SUPPRESSING INSURRECTIONS WILL ALWAYS ENABLE THEM TO STIFLE THE FIRST STRUGGLES OF FREEDOM"
Politically conscious individuals of 1787-88 were very much aware that the issue of the Constitution was epochal. They were setting the course of the western hemisphere. Consequently, they were historically minded, both of the immediate and distant past. Still another anonymous Virginia Antifederalist, "A FEDERAL REPUBLICAN," requested his readers to review some of the background and contents of the Articles of Confederation, and to compare it with the powers created by the Constitution. The essay appeared in The Norfolk and Portsmouth Register, March 5, 1788.
. . . . By the Articles of Confederation, the congress of the United States was vested with powers for conducting the common concerns of the continent. They had the sole and exclusive right and power of determining on peace and war; of sending and receiving ambassadors; of entering into treaties and alliances; and of pointing out the respective quotas of men and money which each state should furnish. But it was expressly provided that the money to be supplied by each state should be raised by the authority and direction of the legislature thereof--thus reserving to the states the important privilege of
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Publication information: Book title: The Antifederalist Papers. Contributors: Morton Borden - Editor. Publisher: Michigan State University Press. Place of publication: East Lansing, MI. Publication year: 1965. Page number: 18.