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homes of their childhood and their affection and the origin of their laws and customs, and who never had the peculiar and special, separate political life of the colonies. The Civil War settled the supremacy of the Nation throughout the territory of the Union, and its sacrifices sanctified and made enduring that National sentiment. Our country as a whole, the noble and beloved land of every citizen of every State, has become the object of pride and devotion among all our people, North and South, within the limits of the proud old colonial Commonwealths, throughout the vast region where Burr once dreamed of a separate empire dominating the valley of the Mississippi, and upon the far-distant shores of the Pacific; and by the side of this strong and glowing loyalty to the Nation, sentiment for the separate States has become dim and faint in comparison.
The second great influence has been the knitting together, in ties of common interest, of the people forming the once separate communities through the working of free trade among the States. Never was a concession, dictated by enlightened judgment for the common benefit, more richly repaid than that by which the States surrendered in the Federal Constitution the right to lay imposts or duties on imports or exports without the consent of Congress. To it we owe the domestic market for the products of our farms and forests and mines and factories without a parallel in history, and an internal trade which already exceeds the entire foreign trade of all the rest of the world; and to it we owe in high degree the constant drawing together of all parts of our vast and diversified country in the bonds of common interest and in the improving good understanding and kindly feeling of frequent intercourse.
The third great cause of change is the marvelous development of facilities for travel and communication produced by the inventions and discoveries of the past century. The
swift trains that pass over our two hundred and twenty thousand miles of railroad, the seventy millions of messages that flash over the more than fourteen hundred thousand miles of telegraph wires, the conversations across the vast spaces through our more than four million four hundred thousand telephone instruments, take no note of State lines; they have broken down the barriers between the separate communities and they have led to a reorganization of the business and social life of the people of the United States along lines which, for the most part, altogether ignore the boundaries of the States. I left the borders of Virginia this afternoon and traversed Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey to the State of New York, and, barring accident, I shall breakfast to-morrow morning again on the shore of the Potomac. The time required for this journey would hardly have sufficed for an ordinary carriage drive from the adjoining County of Westchester a hundred years ago. Any one of us can go now into a neighboring room in this hotel and talk with a friend in Boston or Chicago and recognize his voice and transact business which formerly would have required months to accomplish, if it could have been done at all. The lines of trade, of financial operation, of social intercourse, of thought and opinion that radiate from the great centers of life in our country such as Boston and New York, and Philadelphia and Baltimore, and Chicago and St. Louis, and New Orleans and San Francisco, and many another great city, are perfectly regardless of State distinctions. Our whole life has swung away from the old State centers and is crystallizing about National centers; the farmer harvests his grain and fattens his cattle, not as formerly, with reference to the wants of his own home community, but for markets thousands of miles away; the man
; ufacturer operates his mills and his factories to meet the needs of far-distant consumers; the merchant has his customers in many States; all — the farmer, the manufacturer, the merchant, the laborer — look for the supplies of their
, food and clothing, not to the resources of the home farm, or village, but to the resources of the whole continent. The people move in great throngs to and fro from State to State and across States; the important news of each community is read at every breakfast-table throughout the country; the interchange of thought and sentiment and information is universal; in the wide range of daily life and activity and interest the old lines between the States and the old barriers which kept the States as separate communities are completely lost from sight. The growth of National habits in the daily life of a homogeneous people keeps pace with the growth of National sentiment.
Such changes in the life of the people cannot fail to produce corresponding political changes. Some of those changes can be plainly seen now in progress. It is plainly to be seen that the people of the country are coming to the conclusion that in certain important respects the local laws of the separate States, which were adequate for the due and just regulation and control of the business which was transacted, and the activity which began and ended within the limits of the several States, are inadequate for the due and just control of the business and activities which extend throughout all the States, and that such power of regulation and control is gradually passing into the hands of the National Government. Sometimes by an assertion of the interstate commerce power, sometimes by an assertion of the taxing power, the National Government is taking up the performance of duties which under the changed conditions the separate States are no longer capable of adequately performing. The Federal Anti-Trust Law, the Anti-Rebate Law, the Railroad Rate Law, the Meat-Inspection Law, the Oleomargarine Law, the Pure-Food Law, are examples of the purpose of the people of the United States to do through the agency of the National Government the things which the separate State Governments formerly did adequately but no longer do adequately. The end is not yet. The process that interweaves the life and action of the people in every section of our country with the people in every other section, continues and will continue with increasing force and effect; we are urging forward in a development of business and social life which tends more and more to the obliteration of State lines and the decrease of State power as compared with National power; the relations of the business over which the Federal Government is assuming control, of interstate transportation with State transportation, of interstate commerce with State commerce, are so intimate and the separation of the two is so impracticable, that the tendency is plainly toward the practical control of the National Government over both. New projects of National control are mooted; control of insurance, uniform divorce laws, childlabor laws, and many others affecting matters formerly entirely within the cognizance of the States are proposed.
With these changes and tendencies, in what way can the power of the States be preserved?
I submit to your judgment, and I desire to press upon you with all the earnestness I possess, that there is but one way in which the States of the Union can maintain their power and authority under the conditions which are now before us, and that way is by an awakening on the part of the States to a realization of their own duties to the country at large. Under the conditions which now exist, no State can live unto itself alone, and regulate its affairs with sole reference to its own treasury, its own convenience, its own special interests. Every State is bound to frame its legislation and its administration with reference not only to its own special affairs, but with reference to the effect upon all its sister States, as every individual is found to regulate his conduct with some reference to its effect upon his neighbors. The more populous the community and the closer individuals are brought together, the more imperative becomes the necessity which constrains and limits individual conduct. If any State is maintaining laws which afford opportunity and authority for practices condemned by the public sense of the whole country, or laws which, through the operation of our modern system of communications and business, are injurious to the interests of the whole country, that State is violating the conditions upon which alone its power can be preserved. If any State maintains laws which promote and foster the enormous overcapitalization of corporations condemned by the people of the country generally; if any State maintains laws designed to make easy the formation of trusts and the creation of monopolies; if any State maintains laws which permit conditions of child labor revolting to the sense of mankind; if any State maintains laws of marriage and divorce so far inconsistent with the general standard of the Nation as violently to derange the domestic relations, which the majority of the States desire to preserve, that State is promoting the tendency of the people of the country to seek relief through the National Government and to press forward the movement for National Control and the extinction of local control. The intervention of the National Government in many of the matters which it has recently undertaken would have been wholly unnecessary if the States themselves had been alive to their duty toward the general body of the country.