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CONFEDERATIONS.                                  249
certain additions should be made to the instrument of gov-
ernment, providing for the more perfect security of the states
and of individuals against encroachments from the general
government.    North Carolina came into  the union late in
1789, and Rhode Island in  1790.     Meanwhile,   in  March,
1789, the government had  been organized, and the chief
,   magistrate entered upon his office.    Between this date and
the date of the accession of Rhode Island, a question of good
'faith and of constitutional law occurred, owing to the giving
up  of the  old  confederation.    The twelfth  article of that
document declares that "the union shall be perpetual; nor
shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of
the articles, unless such alteration be agreed to in a congress
of the United States, and  be afterwards confirmed by the
legislature of every state."     But these alterations, if they
could be called such, were not agreed to in congress,  nor
were they confirmed by the legislature of every state until
the smallest of the states added its confirmation to the rest
in 1790.    Strictly, then, there was a violation of the compact
until that time.    But the pressure for a change was so great,
the danger from delay so serious, that it seemed necessary
to go forward ; the measure itself of constructing a new pol-
ity by a convention had something of a revolutionary charac-
ter ; and we may say that the terms of the article in question
did not contemplate a new frame of government,   but  a
mending of an old one.    Thus, ordinary rules were not appli-
cable to the proceeding, and doubtless the other states, if
unanimous, would have been justified at such a serious crisis
in crushing the little obstacle to perfect union  by war, if
that had been the necessary means for the end before thefti.
Supposing the provisions of the existing constitution to be
Nature and spirit familiar to my readers. I proceed to make some
of the U. S. constU           '                            ,                               ,        .   .
tution. itisastate. remarks upon its nature and spirit.
I. It creates a state formed by a league, and not a simple
confederacy of states.    This very important characteristic is