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arts by which popular favour is acquired. But poor as that chance is, it does not exist for the Americans. The mob is not left to its own sweet will, its own genuine impressions ; if it were, it is very doubtful whether it would go right. As things actually stand, it is almost certain to go wrong; for the people move like sheep in the way pointed out by their party conventions, and those conventions are completely in the hands of the professional traders in politics.
I have mentioned these conventions, or caucuses, already; but I have not mentioned the great spring which sets them in motion. Those who rule in them are not statesmen, desirous of securing the prevalence of what they think the best principles of government. Neither are they ambitious men, impelled by a thirst for notoriety and fame; they are simply intriguers, whose object is to get as large a share of the spoils of office as they can. The patronage of the President is enormous; and he is expected to make use of it so as to reward those who have voted for him. Of course it would be right enough that any vacancies which may occur should be filled up from the ranks of his own partisans. But, as we have seen, this is not enough for the caucusmongers. They will not be content with anything less than the whole patronage of the Union; and consequently
every new President that comes into office does so with such an enormous load of people clamouring to be paid for their votes, that he has to turn out every soul who holds any office of whatever kind under the Federal Government, from the secretary of state to the keeper of the smallest country postoffice, in order to satisfy them. I need not say what a beneficial effect this must have on the transaction of public business. One of the articles of the new Constitution of the Southern Confederacy has been devised in order to obviate the possibility of such a state of things.
But if the caucusmongers are to be bought, they must have something to sell; and if they are to have the power of making the President, they must do something to earn it. It is not to be supposed that they maintain their influence by the display of enlightened wisdom and power of discrimination. They have to work on the electors, at least by implication, by the same motives that actuate themselves. The lower classes of the people will have the smaller offices, those which the caucusmongers despise for themselves, and also plentiful doses of bombastic flattery in the "star-spangled banner" style, which is grateful to their ears. But canny New England, as represented by her manufacturers, must have something more; she must influence legislation, and have a congress which will do as she wishes; and the caucusmongers, among whom doubtless many New England manufacturers are to be found, are only too happy to do all that is asked for them in this respect.
It would be unfair to represent the North as unanimous on this tariff question from the very beginning. It is only as time advances that its full danger has become apparent. There was, and is, a strong party in the North, not without a strong Northern esprit de corps, but not anxious to push matters to extremities; its members are zealous for the Constitution, zealous for State rights, zealous for the preservation of the Union, and fully conscious that it can only be preserved by a conciliatory policy as between the different sections. As may be imagined, most of the Northern statesmen, as opposed to the politicians, are to be found in this party; and they have generally guided it so as to check the ultraNorthern tendencies of their fiercer and more shortsighted countrymen. They have generally, therefore, been considered as the friends of the South ; and their superior ability and greater political skill having generally given them a preponderating share in those parts of the government of the Union which foreigners are brought most in contact with, there has arisen a very common idea in Europe that the South has hitherto had everything her own way, and has seceded in a fit of the sulks because she has at last failed in carrying an election, like a baby crying at not being helped first to pudding. A slight acquaintance with the history of Federal legislation will show that the South was very far indeed from having things her own way; and that on questions which were to her of paramount importance she not only did not have her own way, but was completely powerless and at the mercy of those whose coldblooded selfishness drove them to act towards her in a fashion which might to a looker-on have seemed to be dictated by the most relentless and malignant hatred.
THE BATTLE OF THE TARIFFS—NULLIFICATION
The history of the long battle on the subject of the tariffs, which was so fiercely waged between the Northern and Southern sections of the Union for upwards of a quarter of a century, deserves to be narrated with a greater abundance of detail than I either can or wish to bestow upon it. But in making an attempt to account for the disruption of the Union, it is impossible to avoid dwelling for a short time on this, the most powerful of the causes of which that disruption has been the result.
The antagonism between North and South on this point had been signalled at the time of the Convention as one of the greatest dangers which the young Republic was likely to be called upon to face ; but it was not till the second decade of this century that the antagonism found its expression in Congress, and in