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perity and plenty, but not oblivion of the The Democratic members of Congrese, old political issues
, and this was the be- before the adjournment of the first session, ginning of the end of the Federal party. held a caucus for the nomination of canIts decay thereafter was rapid and con- didates to succeed Madison and Gerry. stant
It was understood that the retiring officers The eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth Con- and 'their confidential friends favored presses had continued Democratic. The James Monroe of Virginia. Their wishes fourteenth began Dec. 4, 1815, with the were carried out, but not without a strugDemocratic majority in the House increased gle, Wm. H. Crawford of Georgia receivto 3). Clay had taken part in negotiating ing 54 votes against 65 for Monroe. The the treaty, and on his return was again Democrats opposed to Virginia's dominaelected to the House, and was for the third tion in the polities of the country, made a time elected speaker. Though 65 Feder- second effort, and directed it against Monroe alists had been elected, but 10 were given in the caucus. Aaron Burr denounced to Federal candidates for speaker, this him as an improper and incompetent can. party now showing a strong, and under the didate, and joined in the protest then made circumstances, a very natural desire to against any nomination by a Congressional rub out party lines. The internal taxes caucus; he succeeding in getting nineteen and the postage rates were reduced. Democrats to stay out of the caucus. Later
he advised renewed attempts to break
down the Congressional caucus system, and The Protective Tarift.
before the nomination favored Andrew President Madison, in his message, had Jackson as a means to that end. Daniel urged upon Congress a revision of the B. Tompkins was nominated by the Demotariff
, and pursuant to his recommendation crats for Vice-President. The Federalisty what was at the time called a protective named Rufus King of New York, but in fariff was passed. Even Calhoun then the election which followed he received supported it, while Clay proclaimed that but 24 out of 217 electoral votes. The protection must no longer be secondary to Federalists divided their votes for Vicetevenue, but of primary importance. The President. rates fixed, however, were insufficient, and Monroe was inaugurated on the 14th of many American manufactures were soon March, 1817, the oath being administered frustrated by excessive importations of for- by Chief Justice Marshall. The inaugural eign manufactures. The position of Cal- address was so liberal in its tone that is houn and Lowndes, well known leaders seemed to give satisfaction to men of all from South Carolina, is explained by the shades of political opinion. The questions fact that just then the proposal of a pro- which had arisen during the war no longer tective tariff was popular in the south, in had any practical signiticance, while the tiek of the heavy duties upon raw cotton people were anxious to give the disturbing which England then imposed. The Feder- ones which ante-dated at least a season of alists in weakness changed their old posi- rest. Two great and opposing policies had tion when they found the Democrats advo- previously obtained, and singularly enough cating a tariff, and the latter quoted and each seemed exactly adapted to the times published quite extensively Alexander when they were triumphant. The_FedHamilton's early report in favor of it. eral power had been asserted in a governWebster
, in the House at the time and a ment which had gathered renewed strength leading Federalist, was against the bill. during what was under the circumstances The parties had exchanged positions on a great and perilous war, and the exithe question.
gencies of that war in many instances Peace brought with it another exchange compelled the Republicans or Democrats, of positions. President Madison, although or the Democratic-Republicans as some he had vetoed a bill to establish a National still called them, to concede points which Bank in 1815, was now (in 1816) anxious had theretofore been in sharp dispute, and for the establishment of such an institution. they did it with that facility which only Clay had also changed his views, and Americans can command in emergencies: claimed that the experiences of the war yet as a party they kept firm hold of the showed the necessity for a national curren- desire to enlarge the scope of liberty in its 9. The bill met with strong opposition application to the citizens, and just here from a few Democrats and nearly all of the kept their original landmark. Federalists (the latter having changed po It is not singular then that the adminissition on the question since 1811), but it tration of Monroe opened what has ever passed and was signed by the President. since been known in polities as the “Era
A bill to promote internal improvements, of Good Feeling.” Part differences raadvocated by Clay, was at first favored by | pidly subsided, and politieal serenity was Madison
, but his mind changed and he ve- the order of the day. Monroe made a tour toed the measurem-the first of its kind of the States, with the direct object of in
specting fortifications and means of de' .
passed by Congress.
fence, and in this way spread the good party, you will go far to, if not entirely, feeling, without seeming to have any such eradicate those feelings, which, on former object. He was everywhere favorably occasions, threw so many obstacles in the greeted by the people, and received by way of government. The chief magisdelegations which in many instances were trate of a great and powerful nation should specially made up of all shades of opirion. never indulge in party feelings. His con
The Cabinet was composed of men of duct should be liberal and disinterested; rare political distinction, even in that day always bearing in mind, that he acts for the of great men. It was probably easier to whole and not a part of the community.” be great then than now, just as it is easier This advice had been given with a view to be a big political hero in the little State to influence the appointment of a mixed of Delaware than it is in the big States of political Cabinet, but while Monroe proNew York or Pennsylvania. Yet these fessed to believe that a free government men were universally accepted as great could exist without political parties, he without regard to their localities. All were nevertheless sought to bring all of the peoRepublicans or Democrats, with John ple into one political fold, and that the Quincy Adams as Secretary of State, Wm. Democratic. Yet he certainly and plainly. H. Crawford (Monroe's competitor for the sought to allay factions in his own party, nomination) as Secretary of the Treasury, and with this view selected Crawford for John C. Calhoun as Secretary of War, the Treasury—the gentleman who had William Wirt as Attorney General. All been so warmly supported in the nominaof these united with the President in the ting struggle by the Clintonians and by all general desire to call a halt upon the who objected to the predominating inpolitical asperities which were then recog- fluence of Virginia in national politics. nized as a public evil. On one occasion, Monroe, like his immediate predecessor, during his tour, the citizens of Kennebunk accepted and acted upon the doctrines of and its vicinity, in Maine, having in their the new school of Republicans as repreaddress alluded to the prospects of a politi- sented by Clay and Calhoun, both of whom cal union among the people in support of still favored a tariff, while Clay had be the administration, the President said income a warm advocate of a national sysreply:
tem of internal improvements. These two "You are pleased to express a confident statesmen thus early differed on hope that a spirit of mutual conciliation questions, but they were justly regarded as may be one of the blessings which may re- the leading friends and advisers of the adsult from my administration. This in- ministration, for to both still clung the deed would be an eminent blessing, and I patriotic recollections of the war which pray it may be realized. Nothing but they had so warmly advocated and sup. union is waiting to make us a great people. ported, and the issue of which attested The present time affords the happiest their wisdom. Clay preferred to be called presage that this union is fast consumma a Republican; Calhoun preferred to be ting. It cannot be otherwise; I daily see called a Democrat, and just then the terms greater proofs of it. The further I ad- were so often exchanged and mingled that vance in my progress in the country, the history is at fault in the exact designation, more I perceive that we are all Americars while tradition is colored by the bias of —that we compose but one family—that subsequent events and lives. our republican institutions will be sup Monroe's first inaugural leaned toward ported and perpetuated by the united zeal Clay's scheme of internal improvements, and patriotism of all. Nothing could but questioned its constitutionality. Clay give me greater satisfaction than to behold was next to Jefferson the most original of a perfect union among ourselvesa union all our statesmen and politicians. He was which is necessary to restore to social in- prolific in measures, and almost resistless tercourse its former charms, and to render in their advocacy, From a political standour happiness, as a nation, unmixed and point he was the most direct author of the complete. To promote this desirable re war of 1812, for his advocacy mainly sult requires no compromise of principle, brought it to the issue of arms, which and I promise to give it my continued at- through him and Calhoun were substituted tention, and my best endeavors.”
for diplomacy. And Calhoun then stood Even General Jackson, since held up to in broader view before the country than public view by historians as the most since. His sectional pride and bias had austere and “stalwart” of all politicians, been rarely aroused, and like Clay he caught the sweet infection of peace, and seemed to act for the country as an enthus advised President Monroe -
tirety. Subsequent sectional issues changed “Now is the time to exterminate that the views held of him by the people of monster, called party spirit. By select- both the North and South. ing (for cabinet officers) characters most We have said that Monroe leaned conspicuous for their probity, virtue, toward internal improvements, but he capacity, and firmness, without regard to thought Congress was not clothed by the
Constitution with the power to authorize to do so. It is only when rights are inmeasures supporting it, and when the op- vaded or seriously menaced, that we reportunity was presented (May 4, 1822) he sent injuries, or make preparation for our Fetoed the bill“ for the preservation and defense
. With the movements in this repair of the Cumberland road,” and ac- hemisphere we are of necessity more imcompanied the veto with a most elaborate mediately connected, and by causes which message in which he discussed the consti- must be obvious to all enlightened and tutional aspects of the question. A plain impartial observers. The political system majority of the friends of the administra- of the allied powers is essentially different tion, under the leadership of Clay, sup- in this respect from that of America. This ported the theory of internal improve- difference proceeds from that which exists ments from the time the administration in their respective governments. And to began, but were reluctant to permit a divi- the defense of our own, which has been sion of the party on the question.
achieved by the loss of so much blood and Mississippi and Illinois were admitted treasure, and matured by the wisdom of to the Union during the “ Era of Good their most enlightened citizens, and under Feeling," without serious political disturb- which we have enjoyed unexampled feliciance, while Alabama was authorized to form ty, this whole nation is devoted. We owe a state constitution and government, and it, therefore, to candor, and to the amicaArkansas was authorized as a separate ble relations existing between the United territorial government from part of Mis- States and those powers, to declare, that souri. In 1819 President Monroe made a we should consider any attempt on their tour through the Southern States to ex- part to extend their system to any portion amine their defenses and see and get ac- of this hemisphere as dangerous to our quainted with the people. From the first peace and safety. With the existing coloinauguration of Monroe up to 1819 party nies or dependencies of any European lines can hardly be said to have existed, power we have not interfered, and shall but in the sixteenth session of Congress, not interfere. But with the governments which continued until May, 1820, new who have declared their independence, and questions of national interest arose, pro- maintained it, and whose independence we minent among which were additional pro- have, on great consideration, and on just tective duties for our manufactures; inter- principles, acknowledgeil, we could not nal improvements by the government; view any interposition for the purpose of acknowledgments of the independence of oppressing them, or controlling in any the South American States.
other manner their destiny, by any European power, in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition
toward the United States. In the war The Monroe Doctrine.
between those new governments and Spain, ['pon the question of recognizing the in- we declared our neutrality at the time of dependence of the South American States, their recognition, and to this we have adthe President made a record which has hered, and shall continue to adhere, proever since been quoted and denominated vided no change shall occur which, in the "The Monroe Doctrine." It is embodied judgment of the competent authorities of in the following abstract of his seventh this government, shall make a annual message, under date of Dec. 2d, ponding change on the part of the United 1823
States indispensable to their security. " It was stated, at the commencement of The late events in Spain and Portugal the last session, that a great effort was then show that Europe is still unsettled. Of making in Spain and Portugal to improve this important fact no stronger proof can the condition of the people of those coun- be adduced, than that the allied powers tries, and that it appeared to be conduct- should have thought it proper, on a prined with extraordinary moderation, It ciple satisfactory to themselves, to have need scarcely be remarked that the result interposed by force in the internal conhas been, so far, very different from what cerns of Spain. To what extent such inwas then anticipated. Of events in that terposition may be carried, on the same quarter of the globe, with which we have principle, is a question to which all indeso much intercourse, and from which we pendent powers, whose governments differ derive our origin, we have always been from theirs, are interested ; even those most anxious and interested spectators. The remote, and surely none more so than the citizens of the United States cherish United States. Our policy in regard to gentiments the most friendly in favor of the Europe, which was adopted at an early liberty and happiness of their fellow men stage of the wars which have so long agion that side of the Atlantic. In the wars tated that quarter of the globe, nevertheof the European powers, in matters relat- less remains the same, which is not to ining to themselves, we have never taken any terfere in the internal concerns of any part aor does it comport with our policy of its powers; to consider the government,
de facto, as the legitimate government for portions of the then province of Louisiana, us: to cultivate friendly relations with it, In this controversy, the compromise was and to preserve those relations by a frank, sustained and carried entirely by the Demfirm, and manly policy; meeting, in all ocratic Senators and members from the instances, the just claims of every power, Southern and slave-holding States aided submitting to injuries from none. But in and sanctioned by the Executive, and it regard to these continents, circumstances was opposed by fifteen Senators from nonare eminently and conspicuously different. slave-holding States, who represented the It is impossible that the allied powers opposite side on the political questions of should extend their political system to any the day. It passed the House by a close vote portion of either continent without endan- of 86 to 82. It has been seriously quesgering our peace and happiness; nor can tioned since whether this act was constituany one believe, that our southern breth- tional. The real struggle was political, and ren, if left to themselves, would adopt it of for the balance of power. For a while it their own accord. It is equally impossible, threatened the total overthrow of all potherefore, that we should behold such litical parties upon principle, and the subinterposition, in any form, with indiffer- stitution of geographical parties discrimience. If we look to the comparative nated by the slave line, and thus destroystrength and resources of Spain and those ing the proper action of the Federal gov. new governments, and their distance from ernment, and leading to a separation of each other, it must be obvious that she can the States. It was a federal movement, acnever subdue them. It is still the true cruing to the benefit of that party, and at policy of the United States to leave the first carried all the Northern democracy in parties to themselves, in the hope that its current, giving the supremacy to their other powers will pursue the same course." adversaries. When this effect was per
The second election of Monroe, in 1820, ceived, democrats from the northern non was accomplished without a contest. Out slave-holding States took early opportuof 231 electoral votes, but one was cast nity to prevent their own overthrow, by against him, and that for John Quincy voting for the admission of the States on Adams. Mr. Tompkins, the candidate for any terms, and thus prevent the eventual Vice-President, was only a little less for- separation of the States in the establishtunate, there being 14 scattering, votes ment of geographical parties divided by a against him. Neither party, if indeed slavery and anti-slavery line. there was a Federalist party left made any The year 1820 marked a period of finan. nominations.
cial distress in the country, which soon became that of the government. The army,
was reduced, and the general expenses of The Missouri Compromise.
the departments cut down, despite which The second session of the 17th Con- measures of economy the Congress deemed gress opened on the 4th day of March, it necessary to authorize the President to 1820, with James Monroe at the head of contract for a loan of five million dollars. the Executive Department of the Govern- Distress was the cry of the day; relief the ment, and the Democratic party in the general demand, the chief demand commajority in both branches of the Federal ing from debtors to the Government for Legislature. The Cabinet at that time public lands purchased under the then was composed of the most brilliant minds credit system, this debt at that time agof the country, indeed as most justly re- gregating twenty-three millions of dollars. marked by Senator Thomas H. Benton in The banks failed, money vanished, instalhis published review of the events of that ments were coming due which could not period, it would be difficult to find in any be met; and the opening of Congress in government, in any country, at any time, November, 1820, was saluted by the arrival more talent and experience, more dignity of memorials from all the new States prayand decorum, more purity of private life, a ing for the relief to the purchaser of the larger mass of information, and more ad- public lands. The President referred to it diction to business, than was comprised in in his annual message of that year, and the list of celebrated names then consti- Congress passed a measure of relief by tuting the executive department of the changing the system to cash sales instead government. The legislative department of credit, reducing the price of the lands, was equally impressive. The exciting and and allowing present debtors to apply payagitating question then pending before ments already made to portions of the Congress was on the admission of the land purchased, relinquishing the remainState of Missouri into the Federal Union, der. Applications were made at that the subject of the issue being the attempted time for the establishment of the pretacking on of conditions restricting sla- emptive system, but without effect; the very within her limits. She was admitted new States continued to press the question without conditions under the so-called and finally prevailed, so that now the precompromise, which abolished it in certain lemptive principle has become a fixed part
of our land system, permanently incorpo- Road,which passed both houses of Congress, rated with it, and to the equal advantage met with a veto from President Monroe, of the settler and the government. accompanied by a state paper in exposi
The session of 1820-21, is remarkable as tion of his opinions upon the whole subbeing the first at which any proposition ject of Federal interference in matters of was made in Congress for the occupation inter state commerce and roasis and canals. and settlement of our territory on the He discussed the measure in all its bearColumbia river—the only part then owned ings, and plainly showed it to be uncon. by the United States on the Pacific coast. 'stitutional. After stating the question, he It was made by Dr. Floyd, a representa- examined it under every head of constitutive from Virginia, who argued that the tional derivation under which its aivoestablishment of a civilized power on the cates claimed the power, and found it to American coast of the Pacific could not be granted by no one of them and virtually fail to produce great and wonderful bene- prohibited by some of them. This was fits not only to our own country, but to then and has since been considered to be the people of Eastern Asia, China and the most elaborate and thoroughly conJapan on the opposite side of the Pacific sidered opinion upon the general question Ocean, and that the valley of the Colum- which has ever been delivered by any bia might become the granary of China American statesman. This great state paand Japan. This movement suggested to per, delivered at a time when internal imSenator Benton, to move, for the first time provement by the federal government harl publicly in the United States, a resolution become an issue in the canvass for the to send ministers to the Oriental States. Presidency and was arlently advocated by
At this time treaties with Mexico and three of the candidates and qualified by Spain were ratified, by which the United two others, had an immense current in its States acquired Florida and ceded Texas; power, carrying with it many of the old these treaties, together with the Missouri strict constructionists. compromise measure contemporaneous The revision of the tariff, with a view to with them-extinguished slave soil in all the protection of home industry, and to the the United States territory west of the establishment of what was then called Mississippi
, except in that portion which “The American System,” was one of the was to constitute the State of Arkansas; large subjects before Congress at the sesand, including the extinction in Texas sion of 1823–24, and was the regular comconsequent upon its cession to a non-slave- mencement of the heated debates on that holding power, constituted the largest ter- question which afterwards ripened into a ritorial abolition of slavery that was ever serious difficulty between the federal govup to that period effected by any political ernment and some of the Southern States. power of any nation.
The presidential election being then deThe outside view of the slave question in pending, the subject becametinctured with the United States, at this time, is that the party politics, in which so far as that inextension of slavery was then arrested, gredient was concerned, and was not concircumscribed, and confined within narrow trolled by other considerations, members territorial limits, while free States were divided pretty much on the line which alpermitted an almost unlimited expansion. ways divided them on a question of con
In 1822 a law passed Congress abolish-structive powers, The protection of doing the Indian factory system, which had mestic industry not being among the powbeen established during Washington's ad- ers granted, was looked for in the incidenministration, in 1796, under which the tal; and denied by the strict constructionGovernment acted as a factor or agent for ists to be a substantive term, to be exerthe sale of supplies to the Indians and the cised for the direct purpose of protection; purchase of furs from them; this branch of but admitted by all at that time and ever the service then belonged to the depart- since the first tariff act of 1789, to be an ment of the Secretary of War. The abuses incident to the revenue raising power, and discovered in it led to the discontinuance an incident to be regarded in the exercise
of that power. Revenue the object, proThe Presidential election of 1824 was tection the incident, had been the rule in approaching, the candidates were in the the earlier tariffs; now that rule was sought field
, their respective friends active and to be reversed, and to make protection the busy, and popular topics for the canvass in object of the law, and revenue the inciearnest requisition. Congress was full of dent. Mr. Henry Clay was the leader in v projects for different objects of internal the proposed revision and the champion of improvement, mainly in roads and canals, the American system; he was ably supand the friends of each candidate exerted ported in the House by many able and themselves in rivalry of each other, under effective speakers; who based their arguthe supposition that their opinions would ment on the general distress then alleged to tanfor those of their principals. An act he prevalent in the country. Mr. Daniel for the preservation of the Cumberland / Webster was the leading speaker on the
of that system.