The question of national organization is the most difficult problem that the United States has yet been called upon to solve. Possessing all the characteristics commonly attributed to nations, - common race, language, religion, geographical unity, - the full expression of this nationality met with stubborn resistance, and was realized only after the bloodiest war of the century had been fought. The question as to the nature of the American Union was an important one, theoretically and practically, in the days when the Constitution was pending. The new government involved, it was seen, a closer union than that under the old Confederation, and yet it was not desired to form a centralized state, a "consolidated republic". The nature of the new Union, it was held, is neither wholly national nor wholly federal, but contains both national and federal elements in combination.