"A Quorum of the deputies appointed by the Assembly for a commercial convention had a meeting at Richmond shortly after I left it, and the Attorney tells me, it has been agreed to propose Annapolis, for the place, and the first monday in Sepr. for the time of holding the Convention. It was thought prudent to avoid the neighborhood of Congress, and the large Coercial towns, in order to disarm the adversaries to the object, of insinuations of influence from either of these quarters. I have not heard what opinion is entertained of this project at New York, nor what reception it has found in any of the States. If it should come to nothing, it will, I fear confirm G.B. and all the world in the belief that we are not to be respected, nor apprehended as a nation in matters of commerce. The States are every day giving proofs that separate regulations are more likely to set them by the ears, than to attain the common object. When Massts. set on foot a retaliation of the policy of G.B. Connecticut declared her ports free. N. Jersey served N. York in the same way. And Delaware I am told has lately followed the example, in opposition to the commercial plans of Penna. A miscarriage of this attempt to unite the States in some effectual plan, will have another effect of a serious nature. It will dissipate every prospect of drawing a steady revenue from our imposts either directly into the federal treasury, or indirectly thro’ the treasuries of the Commercial States, and of consequence the former must depend for supplies solely on annual requisitions, and the latter on direct taxes drawn from the property of the Country. That these dependencies are in an alarming degree fallacious is put by experience out of all question. The payments from the States under the calls of Congress have in no year borne any proportion to the public wants. During the last year, that is from Novr, 1784, to Novr 1785, the aggregate payments, as stated to the late Assembly fell short of 400,000 dollrs, a sum neither equal to the interest due on the foreign debts, nor even to the current expences of the federal Government. The greatest part of this sum too went from Virga, which will not supply a single shilling the present year. Another unhappy effect of a continuance of the present anarchy of our commerces will be a continuance of the unfavorable balance on it, which by draining us of our metals furnishes pretexts for the pernicious substitution of paper money, for indulgences to debtors, for postponements of taxes. In fact most of our political evils may be traced up to our commercial ones, as most of our moral may to our political. The lessons which the mercantile interests of Europe have received from late experience will probably check their propensity to credit us beyond our resources, and so far the evil of an unfavorable balance will correct itself. But the Merchants of G.B. if no others will continue to credit us at least as far as our remittances can be strained, and that is far enough to perpetuate our difficulties unless the luxurious propensity of our own people can be otherwise checked. This view of our situation presents the proposed Convention as a remedial experiment which ought [Pg. 155] to command every assent; but if it be a just view it is one which assuredly will not be taken by all even of those whose intentions are good. I consider the event therefore as extremely uncertain, or rather, considering that the States must first agree to the proposition for sending deputies, that these must agree in a plan to be sent back to the States, and that these again must agree unanimously in a ratification of it. I almost despair of success. It is necessary however that something should be tried & if this be not the best possible expedient, it is the best that could possibly be carried thro’ the Legislature here. And if the present crisis cannot effect unanimity, from what future concurrence of circumstances is it to be expected? Two considerations particularly remonstrate against delay. One is the danger of having the same1game played on our Confederacy by which Philip managed that of the Grecians. I saw eno’ during the late Assembly of the influence of the desperate circumstances of individuals on their public conduct to admonish me of the possibility of finding in the council of some one of the States fit instruments of foreign machinations. The other consideration is the probability of an early increase of the confederated States, which more than proportionally impede measures which require unanimity, as the new members, may bring sentiments and interests less congenial with those of the Atlantic States than those of the latter are one with another."--James Madison, March 18, 1786 letter to Thomas Jefferson. [The Writings of James Madison, comprising his Public Papers and his Private Correspondence, including his numerous letters and documents now for the first time printed, ed. Gaillard Hunt (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900). Vol. 2. Online Library of Liberty. Liberty Fund, Inc.]Anyone that is even half-way awake can see that the federal government has left us right back in the same situation that caused the creation of it to begin with. It is therefore an abysmal failure, and needs to be done away with. It has neither achieved nor maintained any of its intended purposes. And conversely, has made our situation even worse than when we first established it. Hence:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."--Declaration of Independence IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.