Front Page Titles (by Subject) STRICT CONSTRUCTION - Democratick Editorials: Essays in Jacksonian Political Economy
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STRICT CONSTRUCTION - William Leggett, Democratick Editorials: Essays in Jacksonian Political Economy 
Democratic Editorials: Essays in Jacksonian Political Economy, Foreword by Lawrence H. White (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1984).
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January 21, 1837.
A resolution is before Congress, introduced by Mr. Davis, instructing the Committee on Commerce to inquire into the expediency of making provision for the nautical education of American seamen. It would be well if the first object of their inquiry should be the constitutionality of such a provision. According to our understanding of the federal compact, no such power as that proposed to be exercised is given to the general government. An institution, however, created by the federal authority, for the instruction of seamen, would have precisely the same warrant, as the institution which now exists for the instruction of cadets for the army. Congress might also, by the same latitude of construction, erect colleges for the education of shipwrights, carpenters, riggers, caulkers, blacksmiths, sailmakers, and, in short, for the education of persons for every variety of human occupation. Those who have ever taken the pains to read the Journal of the Convention which framed the Constitution, must be satisfied that the power which Congress has exercised in establishing the Military Academy at West Point was not only never intended to be given, either expressly, or as an incident of express powers, but was in terms, and on three several occasions, plainly denied. The project of Mr. Davis is constitutional, if the Military Academy is a constitutional institution, and not otherwise. A strict construction of the federal charter, which is the only kind of construction consistent with democratick freedom, would prohibit both.