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A Defence of the Constitutions of Government…
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A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of… (1787)

by John Adams

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... I have read your book with infinite satisfaction & improvement. It will do great good in America. It's learning & it's good sense will I hope make it an institute for our politicians, old as well as young. There is one opinion in it however, which I will ask you to reconsider, because it appears to me not entirely accurate, & not likely to do good. pa 362. 'Congress is not a legislative, but a diplomatic assembly.' Separating into parts the whole sovereignty of our states, some of these parts are yeilded to Congress. Upon these I should think them both legislative & executive; & that they would have been judiciary also, had not the Confederation required them for certain purposes to appoint a judiciary. It has accordingly been the decision of our courts that the Confederation is part of the law of the land, & superior in authority to the ordinary laws, because it cannot be altered by the legislature of any one state. I doubt whether they are at all a diplomatic assembly. On the first news of this work, there were proposals to translate it. Fearing it might be murdered in that operation, I endeavored to secure a good translator. This is done, & I lend him my copy to translate from. It will be immediately announced to prevent others attempting it ... (TJ to John Adams, 23 February 1787)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=rbc3&fileName=rbc0001_2007jeffca...
  ThomasJefferson | Oct 12, 2007 |
front cover loose, stitching secure
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