« AnteriorContinuar »
H. OF R.)
[APRIL 29, 1830.
nufactures twelve and a half per cent. This would be equi- this system is to confiscate the commerce of the South, valent to a bounty to the British manufacturers, in their under the false and delusive pretext of regulating it, and competition with those of the United States, while the to appropriate the proceeds of the property thus confislatter would experience the disadvantage resulting from cated and condemned by the high admiralty of this system the increased price of grain, and consequently of labor, in of plunder, to the special and exclusive uses of the norththis country, proceeding from the same cause. That I ern capitalists, I beg leave to call the attentiou of the comhave not overrated the effect of the repeal of the corn laws mittee to a view of this subject, well calculated to develop of Great Britain, may be inferred from the fact, that a very and illustrate the true genius and character of the system. intelligent writer in that country bas expressed the opinion The representatives of the manufacturing and tariff that the productive industry of the nation would be as much States allege that they have large and extensive manufacrelieved by the abolition of the corn laws, as it would by turing establishments, which it is their interest and their the total extinguishment of the public debt. It would be right to encourage and protect, and deny the right of the absurd to suppose, therefore, that the tariffs of 1824 and southern representatives to interfere with their protecting 1828 were designed to produce a repeal of the British policy. Now, sir, as a southern representative, I claim corn laws. It follows that there is nothing, either in the no right to interfere with any protection, which ady porcauses which gave rise to those measures, or the objects tion of the northern States may choose to extend, at their they were designed to accomplish, at all connected with own expense, to-ther own manufactories. All I pretend the foreign relations of the country, or of a nature to give to claim, is the right to put my veto upon this scheme of them any pretensions to be considered constitutional regu- injustice and plunder, by wbich the property, the rightful lations of commerce.
and exclusive property, of my constituents, is unconstiluWbat, then, was the real cause, and what the real ob- tionally applied to that object. ject, of the probibitory laws of 1824 and 1828 ? Did they There cannot be a proposition more self-evidently just proceed from any commercial regulation of foreign pow. and equitable, than that those States in which the manuers, injurious to the rights or interests which may bave been facturing establishments are situated, should bear the burcommitted by the coustitution to the guardianship of this den of protecting them. Can a map be found, sir, in this Government Assuredly they were not. Were they in- House, or out of it, who would bave the boldness to contended to foster and protect any branch of our foreigo como test this position? Then why do not the manufacturing merce, or any other national interest intrusted to the pro- States protect their own manufactures ? Will it be pretection of Congress! The very reverse, sir. It cannot be tended that they have not the constitutional power! Has disguised-indeed, it has been openly avowed, that they not the Legislature of every State in the Union an unliwere intended for no other purpose than to annibilate, vot mited power to impose taxes upon the people of the State, for a season, but for all time, a lawful branch of commerce and appropriate the proceeds, in the form of bounties, for wbich Congress is constitutionally bound to protect, in the protection of domestic manufactures, or any other order to build up on its ruins another branch of industry branch of domestic industry? No man of common informawith which Congress has no more right to interfere than tion—no man, indeed, of common sense, will deoy that with the parish poor rates.
every State Legislature bas this power. Why, then, is it I ask you then, sir, in the name of the constitution, and not exercised ? Is the protection it would afford less direct of the principles of eternal justice, what right bas Con- and efficient thau that which is afforded by the imposition gress-wbat -right can any human Government possess—to of high impost duties! I will answer this question in the destroy the interests of one entire section of this confedera- language of a man to whom the manufacturers bave always cy, to promote the interests of the other sections? What looked, as to an oracle-I mean Alexander Hamilton. right bave you—I put the question to the majority of this Speaking of “pecuniary bounties," he says: " This bas House, in the name of all the people of the Southern States been found one of the most efficacious means of encou--what right bave you to lay your hands upon our proper- raging manufactures; it is in some views the best. ty-upon that which is ours by the highest of all earthly "It is a species of encouragement more positive and titles--the blessing of God upon our owo honest industry, direct than any other, and, for that very reason, bas a more and arbitrarily appropriate it to your own use, or to that immediate tendency to stimulate and uphold new enterof your constituents 1 No freak of tyranny, ever comınitted prises. by au absolute despot, can exceed this outrage upon the " It avoids the inconvenience of a temporary augmentapriociples of natural justice, which you are perpetrating tion of price, which is incident to some other modes, or under the perverted powers and prostituted forms of a free it produces it in a less degree, either by making no addiGovernment.
tion to the charges on the rival foreigo article, as in the We have an undoubted natural right to the enjoyment case of protecting duties, or by making a smaller addiof that commerce which you are now engaged in the un- tion." righteous work of sweeping from the great highway of " As often as a duty upon a foreign article makes an dations. Superadded to this natural right
, we have a con- addition to its price, it causes an extra expense to the stitutional right to call upon the majority of Congress, as community, for the benefit of the domestic manufacturer. the special guardians of this very commerce, to guaranty A bounty does no more.” the enjoyment of it, not only against the lawless pirates of These quotations are perfectly conclusive as to the suthe ocean, but against the injurious regulations of foreign perior efficacy of pecuniary bounties over protecting du: States. And it is in this state of our mutual rights and ties, as a means of encouraging domestic manufactures. obligations, that this majority are carrying on a system I will add an additional advantage, wbich the advocates of of legislative piracy-degrading the Government from its the bill before us will not surely regard as unimportant. high estate, and reducing it from the sacred relation it The protection given by these bounties cannot be evaded ought to bear to all the interests of the Union, into a dis- | by smuggling or by fulse invoices. This, of itself, would graceful confederacy with sex robbers and outlaws. Sir, seem to be perfectly decisive in favor of the bounty systhis is no picture of the imagination; for I solemnly de- tem. Under that system, sir, there would be no occasion clare that I would ratber, as a southern planter, take my for creating custom-house inquisitions and arbitrary apchance, unaided by the public arm, against all the pirates praisements. How, theo, bas it come to pass, that, while that ever infested the great deep, than to be subject to the the manufacturers have been, for more than ten years comprehensive and desolating sweep of the prohibitory past, clamoriug at our doors for protection, the Legislature system,
of no single State in the Union, so far as I am informed, And now, having sbowo that the tendency and object of has ever appropriated a cent, or raised a finger, to sustain
APRIL 29, 1830.)
[H. OF R.
these languishing and sufferiog interests, which certainly, tural staples of the southern States, which can find a have a claim upon the States for protection, if indeed they market only in foreign countries, and wbich can be adhave any claim at all! Sir, I have frequently put this ques- vantageously sold only in exchange for the foreign manu. tion in former discussions upon this foor, and have never factures which come in competition with those of the fouod a man bold enough to answer it. The advocates of porthern and middle States. It follows, as a necessary the protecting system have invariably passed it over with consequence, that it is the interest of the manufacturers a prudent and profound silence. The reason is obvious. in the northern and middle States to probibit, by heavy No man dares to avow openly the true cause why the ma- taxation, the importation of these foreign manufactures, nufacturing States, having the undoubted power, will not which it is as undoubtedly the interest of the southern extend any protection to their own manufacturers, but send planters to import as free from taxatiou as possible. them to Congress for relief.
These interests, then, stand diametrically, and irreconcilThe moral sense of this nation would not tolerate the ably opposed to each other. The interest, the pecuniary | svowal
, that the State of Massachusetts, for example, will interest of the northern manufacturer is directly promoted not tax her own citizens to afford protection to her own by every increase of the taxes imposed upon southern commanufactures, because the Federal Government can be merce; and it is unnecessary to add, that the interest of made the uprighteous instrument of taxing the people of the the southern planters is promoted by every diminution of southern States for the purpose of affording that protection. the taxes imposed upon the productions of their industry.
This, sir, disguise it as gentlemen may, is the true ques- If, under these circumstances, the manufacturers were tion involved in the protecting system. The tariff States clothed with the power of imposing taxes, at their pleawould permit every establishment within their limits to sure, upon the foreign imports of the planter, no doubt sink into utter ruin, before they would levy taxes from would exist upon the mind of any man, that it would have their own citizens to nourish and sustain them. That all the characteristics of an absolute and unqualified deswould be too plain and palpable a proceeding. It would potism. It will be my purpose, then, to show, that, by instantly open the eyes of the people to the true charac- the aid of various associated'interests, the manufacturing ter of the protecting system. It would tear off from the capitalists have obtained a complete and permanent conmonster the veil which conceals its horrible deformity, trol over the legislation of Congress on this subject. A
and break its infatuating charm forever. If the protec. great number of causes have contributed to give the ition afforded to the manufacturers by this Government manufacturing interest this ascendency. The prominent
were entirely withdrawn to-morrow, I do not believe there and leading cause is, beyond all doubt, the natural influence | is a State Legislature in the Union, that would dare to sub- of accumulated capital in the bands of a comparatively
stitute an equivalent protection in the form of pecuniary small number of men, acting with the sagacity, persever
bounties drawn from the people of the State, and appro- ance, and concert, for which they are invariably distinguish i priated from the public treasury. Nothing that could be ed, in matters affecting their own pecuniary interests. It
possibly suggested, in the way of argument, would exhi is a melancholy fact, to which all history bears the most Sibit the palpable injustice of this system in so strong a light unequivocal testimony, that whenever society becomes so
as the course pursued, in this respect, by the Legislatures far advanced in conimerce and the arts, as to have proof the tariff States. Would any mau believe, sir, that the duced a considerable accumulation of capital, the holders
Legislature of a Sovereign State would memorialize Con of that capital are perfectly irresistible on all those ques. ů gress to protect the manufactures of that State, by impos- tions in relation to which the action of the Government is
ing restrictions and duties upon the commerce of other brought to bear upon the great pecuniary interests of socieStates, when that Legislature, having the admitted power ty. Every one knows that there was a time, not very reto protect those manufactures, utterly, neglects to do it I mote, when the great and leading feature in the policy of Yet such was the conduct of the Legislature of Massachu. this Government was to favor and foster, by every species setts ; and such is, substantially, the course pursued by the of exemption and bounty, the navigating and commercial Legislatures of all the tariff States.
interests of the nation. I need hardly add, that, at the I have, thus far, considered this system as involving an period to which I allude, almost the whole of the acunconstitutional perversion of the power to regulate fo- cumulated capital of the country was embarked in the i reign commerce, with a view to bestow indirect bounties business of navigation and commerce.
upon the maoufactures of certain States, by imposing But as soon as this capital was transferred to the busi1 taxes and restrictions upon the commerce of certain ness of manufactures, the whole policy of the Govern į other States. I will now invite the attention of the com- ment, and the political principles of an entire region of i mittee to some considerations calculated to show that it country, on the subject of free trade and commercial re
involves a violation of the great and fundamental prin- strictions, underwent a corresponding change. One would i ciples of civil and political liberty. There is not one of almost imagine, who had been long enough in Congress to
those principles of more vital importance, or more abso- bave witnessed this extraordinary political transmutatiou, lutely consecrated by all the historical associations of both that the New England members of Congress were sent
Great Britain and the United States, than that which se. here as the representatives of capital, and not of numbers, 1 cures the people against all taxes and burdens not im- so implicitly have they followed its direction.
posed by their own representatives. This principle, in Sir, no man of the slightest observatien can be insensideed, is essentially involved in the very notion of self-go- ble of the influence of large capitalists upon the members vernment. Now, sir, owing to the federative character of of this House, on all questions affecting their peculiar in
our Government, the great geographical extent of our terests. It is not to be disguised, that two or three wealthy i territory, and the diversity of the pursuits of our citizens iron-masters in a congressional district will exercise more i in different parts of the Union, it has so bappened that influence over the representative here, than all the rest of 1 two great interests have sprung up, standing directly op- bis constituents united, upon the question of increasing or 1 posed to each other. One of them consists of those diminishing the tax upon foreigu iron. The same is equalį manufactures which the northern and middle States are ly true as to the sugar planters, salt makers, and manufac! capable of producing, but which, owing to the high price turers of cotton and woollen fabrics. It is not a difficult
of labor and high profits of capital in those States, can matter to account for this influence of capital, employed in not hold competition with foreign manufactures, without manufactures. I do most confidently believe that two or the aid of bounties, directly or indirectly given, either by three large establishments, carried on by white laborers the General Government or by the State Governments who were entitled to vote at elections, would be an overThe other of these interests consists of the great agricul-Imatch for all the other interests in any congressional dis
H. of R.)
(APRIL 29, 1830. .
trict in the Union. I have seen enough, even in my own thies and prepossessions of the States and sections of the district. to convince me that even that forms no excep- Union to which they belong. The question of granting tion to the general rule I have laid down.
relief, for example, to eight or ten manufacturing estaWhat number of farmers, scattered over the country and blishments in Massachusetts, would be evidently regarded unaccustomed to combination, could resist the influence of as a State question, though not ten thousand people should three large manufacturing capitalists, each having three be directly or indirectly interested in it: and the member bundred free laborers in his employment entitled to vote of Congress who should oppose it, would be deemed to Upon any question affecting the interest of the manufac. have deserted the interest of his own State. There is anturers, three thousand farmers would hold no competition other consideration still more decisive. The relief sought with them. In the first place, there would be a perfect by the manufacturers is to be obtained by imposing burunity of action among the capitalists themselves, on the dens and restrictions upon the commerce of other States, question, for example, vital to their own interests of in- and remote sections of the Union. All classes, therefore, ducing Congress to give them a bounty, or impose a pro- in a manufacturing State, will paturally take sides with the hibitory duty having the same effect. In the second place, manufacturers, in regard to all those measures which proall the laborers in their employment would, upon the most pose to advance the interests of those manufacturers, by obvious principles of human action, give their votes in taxing the commerce of the southern planters. Viewing such a way as to gratify the wishes, and promote the inte it as a sectional question, there can be no doubt that the rest, of their employers. This would indeed be their own aggregate interest of the State would be promoted by such interest. In the third place, a considerable number of a measure, however inconsiderable the number of mapufarmers and other persons, in the vicinity of these manufac- facturers. It is, indeed, the interest of Massachusetts to turing establi-hments, would find a market for a great protect any of her manufacturers, however small the dumnumber of agricultural productions, i which would other- ber, and however heavy the imposition necessary to effect wise be of scarcely any value to them. All these causes it, if the benefit, however small
, accrues to her citizens, would produce a perfect unity of action amongst this and the burden, however great, falls upon the citizens of large nuniber of voters, directly and indirectly connected other States. with the manufacturing establishments, and all their ef The unapimity with which the members of this House forts in political contests would be directed to a single ob- vote, even for private claims coming from their own States ject—the protection of the manufacture in which they when scarcely anybody else can perceive aby justice in were engaged or interested. Whatever division might them—is a commentary upon what I bave been saying, take place among other interests of the district, you would which every gentleman will know how to estimate. never find the manufacturers divided. Every candidate On all questions to be decided by Congress, therefore, for popular favor would be made to understand that the affecting the interests of the manufacturers, or any of those consolidated vote of this manufacturing interest would be associated interests which the persons concerned are given against him, unless he would promise to support pleased to denominate domestic industry, I am constrained their applications for the bounty and protection of Con-io regard the policy of the tariff States as fixed and upalgress. In this manner it would come to pass, that the con- terable ; as much so, as if the representatives of those test between the manufacturers and the farmers would be States were chosen exclusively by the manufacturers themlike that between regular soldiers and untrained militia- selves, and sent here as their special agents, acting under men, in which superior discipline would overbalance supe instructions. rior numbers. Men confederated together upon selfislı What, then, becomes of the great principle of liberty, and interested principles, whether in pursuit of the offices to which I have adverted—which secures the people against or the bounties of Government, are ever more active and any burdens of taxation not imposed by their own repre vigilant than the great majority, who act from disinterested sentatives? Is it not absolutely apnulled-nay, is it not and patriotic impulses. Have we pot vitnessed it on this completely reversed, as to the people of the southern floor, sir? Who ever knew the tariff men to divide on States, in all cases involving the interest of the manufaeany question affecting their confederated interests ? If you turers, and the policy of the protecting system ? Is pot the propose to reduce any one of the duties, no matter how majority of Congress composed of the representatives of obvious the expediency of the reduction, they will tell you, those who have a direct and positive pecuniary interest in if not in plain words, at least by their conduct, that the du- imposing taxes upon the people of the southern States, ty you propose to reduce is very oppressive and unjust, in the form of high and prohibitory duties upon their lawas in the case of salt: or very absurd and suicidal, as in the ful commerce--the product of their bonest industry ! Does case of raw wool; but that, if you reduce either of these not that majority declare it to be its interest, and avow it duties, a proposition will be made to reduce some other, to be its object, to pursue this system of prohibitory duties and then some other, until the whole system of confede- until the whole of that commerce which gives value to rated interests will be shaken to its centre. The watch the agricultural productions of the southern States, and word is, stick together, right or wrong, upon every ques- without which our fields would be left desolate, sball be tion affecting the common cause. Such, sir, is the con- utterly and absolutely abolished ? It is not many days cert and vigilance, and such the combinations by which since I heard an honorable gentleman from New York exthe manufacturing party, acting upon the interests of some, press the opinion, that, in less than ten years, probably in and the prejudices of others, have obtained a decided and half the time, the whole of those foreign manufactures permanent control over public opinion in all the tariff which fall within the purview of the probibitory poliey, States. All the representatives of those States, however and which are the only articles the southern planters can decidedly opposed in principle to the probibitory policy, receive, to any tolerable extent, or with any sort of advanare constrained to regard the interest of the manufacturers tage, in exchange for their staples, would cease to be im. as that of their constituents at large. No man, sir, from a ported, leaving not a vestige of that important branch of manufacturing district, would dare to vote against any mea: our foreign commerce. There is too much reason to be sure, however unjust and oppressive, if it be only deemed lieve, sir, that this opinion is well founded. When the beneficial to the manufacturers, and denominated a tariff. tariff of 1828 shall have reached its maximum, and the ri
In addition to the reasons I have stated, for regarding gorous enforcement of the duties shall be secured by the the manufacturing as the controlling interests in the tariff bill on your tables, I have no doubt you will bave providStates, I will add another, which every reflecting man willed a system which will accomplish the work of entire produly appreciate. The manufacturers in their applications bibition in the time limited by the member from New to the General Government, naturally enlist the sympa York, to whom I have alluded.
APRIL 29, 1830.]
(H. OF R.1
It is in vain, then, that the people of the South attempt tions in our federative system of Government, growing: to palter with this question, or to disguise any longer the out of the constitutional compact, and founded upon the sad reality of their conditiou. They have no security principles of natural justice. 'In the first place, the maagainst taxation, but the will of those who have a settled jority cannot rightfully do any thing not authorized by the interest and fixed determination to increase their burdens; constitutional charter. The great object of a written con- ; they have no rights of property, no title to that commerce stitution is to restrain the majority. It is founded upon which gives the principal value to the productions of their the idea that an unchecked majority is as dangerous as an industry, which they do not hold by the same miserable unebecked minority. I believe, when cut loose from the and degrading tenure. They are, to all intents and pur- moorings of an effective and real responsibility, it is more poses, the slaves of northern monopolists. If I were call. 80. But of that hereafter. ed upon to give a definition of slavery, I could not use In the second place, the right of the majority to govern, language more appropriate than that which should accu- in a political system composed of confederated sovereignrately describe the condition of the people of the south. ties, and extending over geographical subdivisions having ern States.
diversified and conflicting interests, must be limited to There is no form of despotism that has ever existed up- those cases where there is a common interest pervading on the face of the earth, more monstrous and horrible the whole confederacy: This is a limitation growing out ! than that of a representative Government acting beyond of the very nature and object of the compact, even upon
the sphere of its responsibility. Liberty is an empty the exercise of powers expressly granted. The submise ; sound, and representation worse than a vain delusion, uosion of interests which are essentially adverse to the con less the actiou of the Government be só regulated that trol of a common Government
, necessarily involves the responsibility and power shall be co-extensive. Now, I destruction of one or the other of them. This is the would be glad to know, under what responsibility the foundation of the checks and balances, even of consolimajority of this House act, in imposing burdens upon the dated Governments, and of the partition of power among industry of the southern people, and in waging this mer distinct sovereignties in this confederacy. ciless warfare against their commerce. Are they, in the It is contrary to the clearest principles of natural justice, slightest degree, responsible to those upon whom they that the majority, merely because they have the power, impose these heavy burdeps? Have they any feelings of should violate the rights and destroy the separate and common interest or common sympathy to restrain them peculiar interests of the minority. This would make from oppression and tyranny! Does the system of pro- power and right synonyinous terms. The majority have hibitory duties, which falls with such a destructive power po natural right, in any case, to govern tha minority. It upon the dearest interests of the southern people, impose is a mere conventional right, growing out of necessity and any burden, or inflict any injury at all
, upon the constitu- convenience. On the contrary, the right of the minority ents of that majority by which it has been adopted ? to the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, without
The very reverse of all this is the truth. The majority any udjust interference on the part of the majority, is the which imposes these oppressive taxes upon the people of the most sacred of the natural rights of man. South, so far from being responsible to them, or to those When the great antagonist interests of society become.
wbo have any common interest or common sympathy with arrayed against each other, particularly when they are sep 1 them, in relation to the matter, are responsible to the very arated by distance, and distinguished by a difference of cli
men who have been, for the last ten years, making the mate, character, and civil institutions, the great object of welkin ring with their clamors for the imposition of these the Government should undoubtedly be, not to become
very burdens. Yes, sir, those who lay ihe iron hand of the partisan of either of those interests, but to interpose ! unconstitutional and lawless taxation upon the people of its power for the purpose of preventing the stronger from i the southern States, are not the representatives of those destroying the weaker. Instead, however, of assuming 1 who pay the taxes, or have any participation in it, but the this attitude, instead of restraining the major interest froma
representatives of those who receive the bounty, and put it doing this act of injustice and oppression, this Govern in their pockets.
ment degrades itself into the character of a partisan of Can there be a more groes, monstrous, and insulting the stronger interest, and an instrument of its oppression. mockery, than to tell my oppressed and outraged consti- It cannot be otherwise, sir, as long as the majority in Con
tuents that their rights are secured by the principle of gress, being nothing more than the agent of the major | representative responsibility! It would be just as rational interest in the confederacy, assumes the power of arbi.
to talk about the respoosibility of a Romau emperor to the trarily and unjustly appropriating to its own use the right
Prætorian bands by whom he was elevated to the throne, ful and exclusive property of the minority. The majority | as a security against plundering the subject provinces for can have no such rightful power. It is peither more nor
the purpose of paying the stipulated donatives by which less, stripped of the disguise thrown around it by the | he had purchased the empire.
empty forms of legislative proceeding, than downright The very principle of representative responsibility, when swindling and robbery: crimes which, in any civilized counthe Government is thrown from its balance, becomes itself try in the world, would subject the individual perpetrator i a principle of the most despotic tyranny. It would be far to infamous punishment. What buman power can confer i better for the southern people, so far as this tariff policy is upon one set of men, however numerous, the right to | concerned, (and, as God is my judge, I would prefer it,) that commit such an outrage upon another set, bowever few in i the majority of Congress should be responsible to do earthly number? Will any advocate of the tariff policy admit
power, than that they should be responsible to the very that ten men have any greater right to rob bim of his propersons who have the deepest interest of all the people on perty, than he has to rob the ten of theirs & Yet this would | earth in the taxation and oppression of the southern peo be a legitimate consequence of admitting that a majority
ple. Sir, these things cannot, must not, be. It is utterly of Congress have an unlimited and uncontrollable right to | impossible that such a state of things can be permitted to dispose of the property of the minority.
continue in a land where liberty, constitutional liberty, is If the commerce which tbis prohibitory system proendeared by so many glorious associations.
poses to destroy were the common property of the whole I am aware that the answer given to all this will be, that Union; if the great agricultural staples, which are the it is the right of the majority to govern, and the duty of basis of that commerce, were equally the productions the minority to submit. There is no political priuciple of all the States of the confederacy, the principle of remore undeniably true, in all the cases to which it properly presentative responsibility would furnish to the southern applies. But it is subject to two very important limita. I planter all the security against oppression which human
H. ÓF R.)
[APRIL 29, 1830.
wisdom can provide. There would be a real and effect. I try-it must be apparent, I say, that whole sections of the ive responsibility pervading the whole system. A citizen Union, distinguished from the minority by the peculiarity of South Carolina would confidently contide his interests to of their civil institutions, and arrayed against that minority a representative from Massachusetts, not because that re- by this united motive of interest, and ambition, and prepresentative was responsible to him, but because he was judice, will prosecute their schemes of injustiee and op responsible to persons having the very same interest. It pressiou with all that want of moral responsibility wbieh is this community of interest that can alone insure the dist gutshes the proceedings of an infuriated mob. Yes, effective responsibility of a representative Government. sir, the mighty mass, blinded by a delusion which converts Where this does not exist, the principle of responsibility plunder into patriotism, will perpetrate, under the prosticeases to afford any security against oppression, and the tuted forms of legislation, acts of oppression and injustice, power of the common Government should cease with it. which no individual composing it would think of perpe
Whenever the Federal Goveroment, therefore, assunies trating, when acting on his separate responsibility. Such, to act upon the local or peculiar interest of particular then, is a faithful portrait of that majority, which we are States or sections of the Union, it as clearly transcends the told bave a natural right to regulate and confiscate the in appropriate sphere of its coustitutional and responsible terests of the minority. What despotism can be pointed power, as a State Government would do, in attempting to out, either among the dark realities of history, or the wildcontrol those common interests that have been committed est fictions of poetry, more fearful to contemplate ? What to the protection of the Federal Government. In the refuge, what hope, what security bave the minority, when one case, it would be despotism ; in the other, anarcby. this devouring monster walks abroad, clothed with the God forbid that we should ever be driven to the dreadful mantle and armed with the sceptre of power, and stimualternative of choosing between them, even for a time. lated by the insatiable spirit of monopoly I Shall I be told
I have said that there cannot be imagined a more odious that the minority must throw themselves upon the bumaniand intolerable form of despotism, than that of a majority, ty, justice, and moderation of this majority! What, sir ! stimulated by motives of self-interest, and acting without are we to expect justice, humanity and moderation from any restraining power upon the interest of the minority, the spirit and genius of monopoly itself! You had as well A just analysis and exposition of the true character and think of striking fire from an icicle! You had as well atprinciples of that combination, or, more properly, con- tempt to satiate the appetite of a cannibal by the cries of spiracy of interests, which constitutes the tariff majority infant tenderness! in the United States, will exhibit this idea in a more striking I solemnly declare that I would prefer the Government point of view than any thing I have yet advanced on the of a single despot to that of such a majority as I have de subject. I venture the assertion, that no priesthood, in scribed, acting upon the rights and interests of the mithe darkest ages of ignorance and superstition, ever pur- nority, without any restraint but that imposed by its ows sued their selfish objects with more untiring, perseverance will. The subjects of an imperial despot are not without and consummate art, than the manufacturing capitalists some security against the extremes of oppression. The have prosecuted their mercenary schemes of monopoly, greatest tyrant that ever reigned—even the Emperor TiCommencing with a few followers like other impostors of berius, was still a man, having the soul, and the feelings, whom we read-they have successively enlisted under their and the sympathies of a man, and could not, therefore, bebanner a sufficient number of confederate interests to red- bold, without some “compunctious visitings," the sufferder themselves formidable; apd, finally, by addressing ings of his subjects, and the desolation and plunder of his themselves to the ambition of some, and the prejudices of provinces. But such a majority as I have described has others, they have disseminated the delusion of their false no more soul than a corporation, and, in the very nature doctrines through all ranks of society in the tariff States. of things, is utterly incapable of human sympathy. Aspiring politicians, finding it conducive to their political There is another restraint upon the power of a single advancement, have not scrupled to form an alliance, ce- tyrant, which does not operate upon this tyrant majority, mented by avarice and ambition, and not less ominous to appropriately denominated in another place “ king numpublic liberty than that which has existed in other times, bers." The physical force of society is on the side of the and in other countries, between church and State. By the oppressed, in the case of a single despot. Ad act of ty. artful use of cant phrases and cabalistic terms, addressed randy will vibrate through the hearts of all bis subjecta, to the national pride and local prejudices of the people from one extremity of his dominions to the other. Every such as the "American System " and the “ British System,” man will feel that the blow which strikes down his fellow"Old England" and "New England,” the “Free States" subject to day, may fall upon him to-morrow. A sense of and the Slave States "-they bave succeeded in working common danger and common suffering will induce the ap the public mind in the manufacturing States to a state most degraded population in the world to impose such of infatuation almost incredible, and, in my opinion, utter- limits upon the practical exercise of despotic power, as ly incurable. What, then, are we to expect from a ma- will prevent the extremes of oppression. It is a bistorical jority, thus bound together by the two strongest of human fact, sir, that there does not exist on the face of the earth passions--avarice and ambition; and acting under the im- a despotism that is not restrained by some principle, moposing disguise of disinterested patriotism! It has been ral religious, or political, wbich operates as a practical said, sir, by a wise man, that one hundred philosophers, check upon power, and a security against oppression. thrown together, and acting under the impulse of a com- But wbat human priociple, what earthly power is there to mon interest, and the contagion of a common passion, would restrain the majority? To what tribuual cau the oppressbe converted into a mob. There can be no doubt of the ed minority carry their appeal, and urge their plea against correctness of the principle; and it is even more powerful- oppression and injustice ? Can they appeal to public opily exemplified in its application to large masses and com- nion, that Ligh tribunal by which the despotism even of munities of men, united by common interests, common Napoleon, with all bis military power, was controlled i That passions, and common prejudices, and directing their ef- public opinion is the very spirit and soul—the animating forts to a common object. It is but too apparent that en principles of the tyrappy that oppresses them. Then, sir, tire sections of the Union, bound together in a confederacy there is no refuge for the minority, if the sacred and proof interest and ambition, urged on by the master spirit of tecting power of the constitution cannot be interposed manufacturing monopoly and political management, and " Their final bope is flat despair." sustained by the blind and demoralizing delusion that it is There is another particular in which the despotism of a the dictate of true patriotism to oppress and plunder the single tyrant is preferable to that of a legislative majority, minority, because they prosecute trade with a foreign coun- such as I have described. His appetite for taxation and