Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

other side, and disputed the universality bouūd to obey a particular impulsion, and of the distress which had been described"; disobedience to which would be attended and contested the propriety of high or pro- with infamy, and with every penalty which hibitory duties, in the present active and public indignation could inflict. From the intelligent state of the world, to stimulate beginning they have stood pledged to vote industry and manufacturing enterprise. for the candidate indicated by the public

The bill was carried by a close vote in will; and have proved not only to be useboth Houses. Though brought forward less, but an inconvenient intervention beavowedly for the protection of domestic tween the people and the object of their manufactures, it was not entirely supported choice. Mr. McDuffie in the House of on that ground; an increase of revenue Representatives and Mr. Benton in the being the motive with some, the public Senate, proposed amendments; the mode debt then being nearly ninety millions. of taking the direct vote to be in districts, An increased protection to the products of and the persons receiving the greatest several States, as lead in Missouri and Illi- number of votes for President or Vicenois, hemp in Kentucky, iron in Pennsyl- President in any district, to count one vote vania, wool in Ohio and New York, com- for such office respectively which is nothmanded many votes for the bill; and the ing but substituting the candidates themimpending presidential election had its in- selves for their electoral representatives fluence in its favor.

In the election of 1824 four candidates Two of the candidates, Messrs. Adams were before the people for the office of and Clay, voted for and avowedly supported President, General Jackson, John Quincy General Jackson, who voted for the bill, Adams, William H. Crawford and Henry was for it, as tending to give a home sup- Clay. None of them received a majority ply of the articles necessary in time of war, of the 261 electoral votes, and the election and as raising revenue to pay the public devolved upon the House of Representadebt; Mr. Crawford was opposed to it, and tives. John C. Calhoun had a majority of Mr. Calhoun had withdrawn as a Presiden- the electoral votes for the office of Vicetial candidate. The Southern planting President, and was elected. Mr. Adams States were dissatisfied, believing that the was elected President by the House of new burdens upon imports which it im- Representatives, although General Jackposed, fell upon the producers of the ex son was the choice of the people, having ports, and tended to enrich one section of received the greatest number of votes at the Union at the expense of another. the general election. The election of Mr. The attack and support of the bill took Adams was perfectly constitutional, and as much of a sectional aspect; Virginia, the such fully submitted to by the people; but two Carolinas, Georgia, and some others, it was a violation of the demos krateo prin. being unanimous against it. Pennsylva- ciple; and that violation was equally renia, New York, Ohio, and Kentucky being buked. All the representatives who voted unanimous for it. Massachusetts, which against the will of their constituents, lost up to this time had no small influence in their favor, and disappeared from public commerce, voted, with all, except one life. The representation in the House of member, against it. With this sectional Representatives was largely changed at aspect, a tariff for protection, also began to the first general election, and presented a assume a political aspect, being taken un- full opposition to the new President. Mr. der the care of the party, afterwards de- Adams himself was injured by it, and at nominated as Whig. The bill was ap- the ensuing presidential election was beatproved by President Monroe; a proof that en by General Jackson more than two to that careful and strict constructionist of one. the constitution did not consider it as de Mr. Clay, who took the lead in the prived of its revenue character by the de- House for Mr. Adams, and afterwards took gree of protection which it extended. upon himself the mission of reconciling the

A subject which at the present time is people to his election in a series of public exciting much criticism, viz: proposed speeches, was himself crippled in the amendments to the constitution relative to effort, lost his place in the democratic par. the election of President and Vice-Presi- ty, and joined the Whigs (then called the dent, had its origin in movements in that national republicans). The democratic direction taken by leading Democrats dur- principle was victor over the theory of the ing the campaign of 1824. The electoral Constitution, and beneficial results ensued. college has never been since the early elec- It vindicated the people in their right and tions, an independent body free to select their power. It re-established parties a President and Vice-President; though upon the basis of principle, and drew anew in theory they have been yested with such party lines, then almost obliterated under powers, in practice they have no such prac- the fusion of parties during the "era of tical power over the elections, and have good feeling," and the efforts of leading had none since their institution. In every men to make personal parties for themcase the elector has been an instrument, I selves. It showed the conservative power

of our goverment to lie in the people, more | Adams, stated the objects of the Congress than in its constituted authorities. It to be as follows: "An agreement between showed that they were capable of exercis- all the parties represented at the meeting, ing the function of self-government, and that each will guard, by its own means, lastly, it assumed the supremacy of the de- against the establishment of any future mocracy for a long time, and until lost by European colony within its own borders, causes to be referred to hereafter. The may be advisable. This was, more than Presidential election of 1824 is remarkable two years since, announced by my predeunder another aspect—its results cautioned cessor to the world, as a principle resultall public men against future attempts to ing from the emancipation of both the govern presidential elections in the House American continents. It may be so deof Representatives; and it put an end to veloped to the new southern nations, that the practice of caucus nominations for the they may feel it as an essential appendage Presidency by members of Congress. This to their independence." mode of concentrating public opinion be Mr. Adams had been a member of Mr. gan to be practiced as the eminent men of Monroe's cabinet, filling the department the Revolution, to whom public opinion from which the doctrine would emanate. awarded a preference, were passing away, The enunciation by him as above of this and when new men, of more equal preten-Monroe Doctrine," as it is called, is very sions, were coming upon the stage." It was different from what it has of late been suptried seyeral times with success and general posed to be, as binding the United States approbation, because public sentiment was to guard all the territory of the New World followed-not led-by the caucus. It was from European colonization. The mesattempted in 1824 and failed; all the op- sage above quoted was written at a time ponents of Mr. Crawford, by their joint when the doctrine as enunciated by the efforts, succeeded, and justly in the fact former President through the then Secrethough not in the motive, in rendering tary was fresh in the mind of the latter, these Congress caucus nominations odious and when he himself in a communication to the people, and broke them down. to the American Senate was laying it down They were dropped, and a different mode for the adoption of all the American naadopted that of party nominations by tions in a general congress of their depuconventions of delegates from the States. ties. According to President Adams, this

The administration of Mr. Adams com- “Monroe Doctrine" (according to which it menced with his inaugural address, in has been of late believed that the United which the chief topic was that of internal States were to stand guard over the two national improvement by the federal gov. Americas, and repulse all intrusive coloernment. This declared policy of the ad- nists from their shores), was entirely conministration furnished a ground of opposi- tined to our own borders; that it was only tion against Mr. Adams, and went to the proposed to get the other States of the New reconstruction of parties on the old line of World to agree that, each for itself, and by strict, or latitudinous, construction of the its own means, should guard its own terriConstitution. It was clear from the begin- tories; and, consequently, that the United ning that the new administration was to States, so far from extending gratuitous have a settled and strong opposition, and protection to the territories of other States, that founded in principles of government would neither give, nor receive, aid in any -the same principles, under different such enterprise, but that each should use forms, which had discriminated parties at its own means, within its own borders, for the commencement of the federal govern- its own exemption from European colonial ment. Men of the old school-survivors intrusion. of the contest of the Adams and Jefferson No question in its day excited more intimes, with some exceptions, divided ac- temperate discussion, excitement, and feelcordingly-the federalists going for Mr. ing between the Executive and the Senate, Adams, the republicans against him, with and none died out so quickly, than this, the mass of the younger generation. The relative to the proposed congress of AmeriSenate by a decided majority, and the can nations. The chief advantage to be House by a strong minority, were opposed derived from its retrospect--and it is a real to the policy of the new President. one-is a view of the firmness with which

In 1826 occurred the famous debates in the minority maintained the old policy of the Senate and the House, on the proposed the United States, to avoid entangling alCongress of American States, to contract liances and interference with the affairs of alliances to guard against and prevent the other nations; and the exposition, by one establishment of any future European co-so competent as Mr. Adams, of the true lony within its borders. The mission scope and meaning of the Monroe docthough sanctioned was never acted upon

trine. or carried out. It was authorized by very At the session of 1825–26 attempt was nearly a party yote, the democracy as a again made to procure an amendment to party being against it The President, Mr. I the Constitution, a relation to the moda

[ocr errors]

of election of President and Vice-Presi- | North and the South. This tariff law was dent, so as to do away with all intermedi- projected in the interest of the woolen ate agencies, and give the election to the manufacturers, but ended by including all direct vote of the people. In the Senate manufacturing interests. The passage of the matter was referred to a committee who this measure was brought about not because reported amendments dispensing with it was favored by a majority, but because electors, providing for districts equal in of political exigencies. In the then apnumber to the whole number of Senators proaching presidential election, Mr. and Representatives to which the State Adams, who was in favor of the Ameriwas entitled in Congress, and obviating all can System,” supported by Mr. Clay (his excuses for caucuses and conventions to Secretary of State) waş'opposed by General concentrate public opinion by, providing Jackson. This tariff was made an adminthat in the event of no one receiving a ma- istration measure, and became an issue in jority of the whole number of district votes the canvass. The New England States, cast, that a second election should be held which had formerly favored free trade, on limited to the two persons receiving the account of their commercial interests, highest number of votes; and in case of an changed their policy, and, led by Mr. equal division of votes on the second elec- Webster, became advocates of the protection then the House of Representatives tive system. The question of protective shall choose one of them for President, as tariff had now not only become political, is prescribed by the Constitution. The but sectional. The Southern States as a idea being that the first election, if not re- section, were arrayed against the system, sulting in any candidate receiving a ma- though prior to 1816 had favored it, not jority, should stand for a popular nomina- merely as an incident to revenue, but as a tion-a nomination by the people them- substantive object. In fact these tariff selves, out of which the election is almost bills, each exceeding the other in its desure to be made on the second trial. The gree of protection, had become a regular same plan was suggested for choosing a appendage of our presidential electionsVice-President, except that the Senate was carrying round in every cycle of four years, to finally elect, in case of failure to choose with that returning event; starting in 1816 at first and second elections. The amend- and followed up in 1820–24, and now in ments did not receive the requisite support 1828, with successive augmentations of of two-thirds of either the Senate or the duties; the last being often pushed as a House. This movement was not of a par- party measure, and with the visible purtisan character; it was equally supported pose of influencing the presidential elecand opposed respectively by Senators and tion. General Jackson was elected, havRepresentatives of both parties. Substan- ing received 178 electoral votes to 83 retially the same plan was recommended by ceived by John Quincy Adams. Mr. President, Jackson in his first annual mes- Richard Rush, of Pennsylvania, who was sage to Congress, December 8, 1829. on the ticket with Mr. Adams, was de

It is interesting to note that at this Ses- feated for the office of Vice-President, and sion of 1825 and 26, attempt was made by John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, was the Democrats to pass a tenure of office elected to that office. bill, as applicable to government em,

The election of General Jackson was a ployees and office-holders; it provided triumph of democratic principle, and an *that in all nominations made by the assertion of the people's right to govern President to the Senate, to fill vacancies themselves. That principle had been viooccasioned by an exercise of the Presi-lated in the presidential election in the dent's power to remove from office, the House of Representatives in the session of fact of the removal shall be stated to the 1824–25; and the sanction, or rebuke, of Senate at the same time that the nomina- that violation was a leading question in the tion is made, with a statement of the rea- whole canvass. It was also a triumph sons for which such officer may have been over the high protective policy, and the removed.” It was also sought at the same federal internal improvement policy, and time to amend the Constitution to prohibit the latitudinous construction of the Conthe appointment of any member of Con- stitution; and of the democracy over the gress to any federal office of trust or profit, federalists, then called national republiduring the period for which he was elec- cans; and was the re-establishment of parted; the design being to make the mem-ties on principle, according to the landbers wholly independent of the Executive, marks of the early years of the governand not subservient to the latter, and in- ment. For although Mr. Adams had recapable of receiving favors in the form of ceived confidence and office from Mr. bestowals of official patronage.

Madison and Mr. Monroe, and had classed The tariff of 1828 is an era in our politi- with the democratic party during the “ era cal legislation; from it the doctrine of of good feeling,” yet he had previously “ nullification” originated, and from that been federal ; and on the re-establishment date began a serious division between the l of old party lines which began to take place

after the election of Mr. Adams in the stract contemplation of slavery, at the disHouse of Representatives, his affinities tance of five hundred or a thousand miles and policy became those of his former off.” This allusion to the Missouri conparty; and as a party, with many indivi- troversy, and invective against the free dual exceptions, they became his suppor- States for their part in it, by Messrs. ters and his strength. General Jackson, Hayne and Benton, brought a reply from on the contrary, had always been demo- Mr. Webster, showing what their conduct cratic, so classing when he was a Senator had been at the first introduction of the in Congress under the administration of slavery topic in the Congress of the United the first Mr. Adams; and when party lines States, and that they totally refused to inwere most straightly drawn, and upon prin- terfere between master and slave in any ciple, and as such now receiving the support way whatever. But the topic which beof men and States which took this political came the leading feature of the whole deposition at that time, and maintained it for bate, and gave it an interest which cannot years afterwards; among the latter, notably die, was that of nullification—the assumed the States of Virginia and Pennsylvania. right of a State to annul an act of Congress

The short session of 1829-30 was ren- —then first broached in the Senate-and dered famous by the long and earnest de- in the discussion of which Mr. Webster bates in the Senate on the doctrine of nul- and Mr. Hayne were the champion lification, as it was then called. It started speakers on opposite sides—the latter by a resolution of inquiry introduced by voicing the sentiments of the Vice-PresiMr. Foot of Connecticut; it was united dent, Mr. Calhoun. This turn in the dewith a proposition to limit the sales of the bate was brought about, by Mr. Hayne public lands to those then in the market- having made allusion to the course of New to suspend the surveys of the public lands England during the war of 1812, and espe-and to abolish the office of Surveyor-cially to the assemblage known as the General. The effect of such a resolution, Hartford Convention, and to which designs if sanctioned upon inquiry and carried into unfriendly to the Union had been atlegislative effect, would have been to check tributed. This gave Mr. Webster an opemigration to the new States in the West, portunity to retaliate, and he referred to and to check the growth and settlement of the public meetings which had just then these States and Territories. It was warmly taken place in South Carolina on the subopposed by Western members. The de-ject of the tariff, and at which resolves bate spread and took an acrimonious turn, were passed, and propositions adopted sigand sectional, imputing to the quarter of nificant of resisistance to the act; and conthe Union from which it came an old and sequently of disloyalty to the Union. He early policy to check the growth of the drew Mr. Hayne into their defence and West at the outset by proposing to limit into an avowal of what has since obtained the sale of the Western lands, by selling the current name of "Nullification.He no tract in advance until all in the rear said, “I understand the honorable gentlewas sold out; and during the debate Mr. man from South Carolina to maintain, that Webster referred to the famous ordinance it is a right of the State Legislature to interof 1787 for the government of the north- fere, whenever, in their judgment, this western territory, and especially the anti-government transcends its constitutional slavery clause which it contained.

limits, and to arrest the operation of its Closely connected with this subject to laws, * * that the States may lawwhich Mr. Webster's remarks, during the fully decide for themselves, and each State debate, related, was another which excited for itself, whether, in a given case, the act some warm discussion—the topic of slavery of the general government transcends its -and the effect of its existence or non

powers,

* that if the exigency existence in different States. Kentucky of the case, in the opinion of any State and Ohio were taken for examples, and government require it, such State govthe superior improvement and popula- ernment may, by its own sovereign aution of Ohio were attributed to its exemp- thority, annul an act of the general gove tion from the evils of slavery. This was ernment, which it deems plainly and palan excitable subject, and the more so be- pably unconstitutional.” Mr. Hayne was cause the wounds of the Missouri contro- evidently unprepared to admit, or fully versy in which the North was the undis- deny, the propositions as so laid down, but puted aggressor, were still tender. Mr. contented himself with stating the words Hayne from South Carolina answered with of the Virginia Resolution of 1798, as folwarmth and resented as a reflection upon lows: "That this assembly doth explicitly the Slave States this disadvantageous com- and peremptorily declare, that it views the parison. Mr. Benton of Missouri followed powers of the federal government as resulton the same side, and in the course of his

ing from the compact, to which the States remarks said, “I regard with admiration, are parties, as limited by the plain sense that is to say, with wonder, the sublime and intention of the instrument constituting morality of those who cannot bear the ah. that compact, as no farther valid than they

are authorized by the grants enumerated ever any attempt shall be made from any in that compact, and that, in case of a de- quarter, to enforce unconstitutional laws, liberate, palpable and dangerous exercise clearly violating our essential rights, our of other powers, not granted by the said leaders (whoever they may be) will not be compact, the States who are parties thereto found reading black letter from the musty have the right, and are in duty bound, to pages of old law books. They will look to interpose, for arresting the progress of the the Constitution, and when called upon by evil, and for maintaining, within their re- the sovereign authority of the State, to spective limits, the authorities, rights, and preserve and protect the rights secured to liberties appertaining to them.”

them by the charter of their liberties, they This resolution came to be understood will succeed in defending them, or 'perish by Mr. Hayne and others on that side of in the last ditch.'” the debate, in the same sense that Mr. These words of Mr. Hayne seem almost Webster stated, as above, he understood prophetic in view of the events of thirty the gentleman from the South to interpret years later. No one then believed in anyit. On the other side of the question, he thing serious in the new interpretation argued that the doctrine had no foundation given to the Virginia resolutions-nor in either in the Constitution, or on the Vir- anything practical from nullification-nor ginia resolutions—that the Constitution in forcible resistance to the tariff laws from makes the federal government act upon South Carolina-nor in any scheme of discitizens within the States, and not upon union. the States themselves, as in the old con Mr. Webster's closing reply was a fine federation: that within their Constituțion- piece of rhetoric, delivered in an elaborate al limits the laws of Congress were supreme and artistic style, and in an apparent spirit -and that it was treasonable to resist of deep seriousness. He concluded thusthem with force: and that the question of When my eyes shall be turned to behold, their constitutionality was to be decided for the last time, the sun in heaven, may I by the Supreme Court: with respect to the not see him shining on the broken and disVirginia resolutions, on which Mr. Hayne figured fragments of a once glorious relied, Mr. Webster disputed the interpre- Union; on States dissevered, discordant, tation put upon them-claimed for them belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds, an innocent and justifiable meaning—and or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood. exempted Mr. Madison from the suspicion Let their last feeble and lingering glance, of having framed a resolution asserting the rather, behold the gorgeous ensign of the right of a State legislature to annul an Act Republic, now known and honored throughof Congress, and thereby putting it in the out the earth, still full high advanced, its power of one State to destroy a form of arms and trophies streaming in their origovernment which he had just labored so ginal lustre, not a stripe erased or polluted, hard to establish.

nor a single star obscured, bearing for its Mr. Hayne on his part gave (as the prac- motto no such miserable interrogatory as, tical part of his doctrine) the pledge of for- What is all this worth? nor those other cible resistance to any attempt to enforce words of delusion and folly, Liberty first unconstitutional laws.

He said,

“The and Union afterwards; but everywhere, gentleman has called upon us to carry out spread all over in characters of living light, our scheme practically. Now, sir, if I am blazing in all its ample folds, as they toat correct in my view of this matter, then it over the sea and over the land, and in follows, of course, that the right of a State every wind under the whole heavens, that being established, the federal government other sentiment, dear to every true Ameriis bound to acquiesce in a solemn decision can heart—Liberty and Union, now and of a State, acting in its sovereign capacity, forever, one and inseparable!” at least so far as to make an appeal to the President Jackson in his first annual people for an amendment to the Constitu- message to Congress called attention to the tion. This solemn decision of a State binds fact of expiration in 1836 of the charter the federal government, under the highest of incorporation granted by the Federal constitutional obligation, not to resort to government to a moneyed institution called any means of coercion against the citizens The Bank of the United States, which was of the dissenting State. * Suppose originally designed to assist the govern Congress should pass an agrarian law, or a ment in establishing and maintaining a law emancipating our slaves, or should uniform and sound currency. He seriously commit any other gross violation of our doubted the constitutionality and expediconstitutional rights, will any gentlemen ency of the law creating the bank, and contend that the decision of every branch was opposed to a renewal of the charter. of the federal government, in favor of such His view of the matter was that if such an laws, could prevent the States from de- institution was deemed a necessity it should claring them null and void, and protecting be made a national one, in the sense of their citizens from their operation? * * being founded on the credit of the govern. Let me assure the gentlemen that, when I ment and its revenues, and not a corpora

*

« ПредишнаНапред »