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to you by that venerable instrument which we are ala oound to support ; let no consideration induce you to assume the exercise of powers not granted to you by the people. But il the power to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over the District of Columbia; if the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States; if the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes; to fix the standard of weights and measures; to establish post-offices and post-roads; to declare war; to raise and support armies ; to provide and maintain a navy ; to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States; and to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying these powers into execution: if these powers, and others enumerated in the constitution, may be effectually brought into action by laws promoting the improvement of agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, the cultivation and encouragement of the mechanic and of the elegant arts, the advancement of literature, and the progress of the sciences, ornamental and profound; to refrain from exercising them for the benefit of the people themselves, would be to hide in the earth the talent committed to our charge—would be treachery to the most sacred of trusts.
The spirit of improvement is abroad upon the earth. It stimulates the hearts and sharpens the faculties, not of our fellow-citizens alone, but of the nations of Europe, and of their rulers. While dwelling with pleasing satisfaction upon the superior excellence of our political institutions, let us not be unmindful that liberty is power; that the nation blessed with the largest portion of liberty, must, in proportion to its numbers, be the most powerful nation upon earth ; and that the tenure of power by man is, in the moral purposes of his Creator, upon condition that it shall be exercised to ends of beneficence, to improve the condition of himself and his fellow-men. While foreign nations, less blessed with that freedom which is power than ourselves, are advancing with gigan
tıc strides in the career of public improvement; were we 10 slumber in indolence, or fold up our arms and proclaim to the world that we are palsied by the will of our constie tuents, would it not be to cast away the bounties of Providence, and doom ourselves to perpetual inferiority? In he course of the year now drawing to its close, we have peheld, under the auspices and expense of one state in our Union, a new university unfolding its portals to the sons of science, and holding up the torch of human improve ment to eyes that seek the light. We have seen under the persevering and enlightened enterprise of another state, the waters of our western lakes mingle with those of the ocean. If undertakings like these have been accomplished in the compass of a few years, by the authority of single members of our confederation, can we, the representative authorities of the whole Union, fall behind our fellow servants in the exercise of the trust committed to us for the benefit of our common sovereign, by the accomplishment of works important to the whole, and to which neither the authority nor the resources of any one state can be adequate ?
Finally, fellow-citizens, I shall await, with cheering hope and faithful co-operation, the result of your deliberations ; assured that, without encroaching upon the powers reserved to the authorities of the respective states, or to the people, you will, with a due sense of your obligations to your country, and of the high responsibilities weighing upon yourselves, give efficacy to the means committed to you for the common good. And may He who searches the hearts of the children of men, prosper your exertions to secure the blessings of peace and promote the highest welfare of our country.
JACKSON'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS,
March 4, 1829.
Fellow Citizens :
About to undertake the arduous duties that I have been appointed to perform, by the choice of a free people, I avail myself of this custoinary and solemn occasion to express the gratitude which their confidence inspires, and to acknowledge the accountability which my situation enjoins. While the magnitude of their interests convinces me that no thanks can be adequate to the honor they have conferred, it admonishes me that the best return I can make, is the zealous dedication of my humble abilities to their service and their good.
As the instrument of the federal constitution, it will devolve upon me, for a stated period, to execute the laws of the United States; to superintend their foreign and confederate relations; to manage their revenue; to command their forces; and, by communications to the legislature, to watch over and to promote their interests generally. And the principles of action by which I shall endeavor to accomplish this circle of duties, it is now proper for me briefly to explain.
In administering the laws of Congress, I shall keep steadily in view the limitations as well as the extent of the executive power, trusting thereby to discharge the functions of my office, without transcending its authority. With foreign nations, it will be my study to preserve peace, and to cultivate friendship on fair and honorable terms ; and in the adjustment of any differences that may exist or arise, to exhibit the forbearance becoming a powerful nation, rather than the sensibility belonging to a gallant people.
In such measures as I may be called on to pursue, in regard to the rights of the separate states, I hope to be animated by a proper respect for those sovereign members of our Union; taking care not to confound the powers they have reserved to themselves with those they have granted to the confederacy.