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while it deprives them of their due must needs have many explanations of profits."

interest and passion ; but it is certainly Even in this the philosophic observer sufficiently comprehensive of the main saw nothing so very alarming, provided issue. The South, jealous of declining time were given, and with time, the sense influence, and indisposed from pride or of justice and moderation which comes prejudice to look for new elements of with reflection, to settle and compose strength, which might have been found such fears. He perceived, however, an within the Union, sought power and auunfavorable influence at work, in that thority outside of it, in a revolutionary respect, growing out of the very extent attempt at its destruction. and rapidity of the national prosperity. Mr. John Stuart Mill, the eminent If the development were less rapid there English author of the System of Logic, would not, he thought, be so much occa- universally acknowledged one of the sion for alarm. “The progress of society most acute writers of the times on matin America is precipitate, and almost ters relating to political and social scirevolutionary. The same citizen may ence, has, in a chapter of his recent work have lived to see his State take the lead on Representative Government, considin the Union, and afterward become powered the essential conditions of a sucerless in the federal assemblies; and an cessful federation. He finds them to be Anglo-American republic has been known three-fold : a mutual sympathy ; an to grow as rapidly as a man, passing from amount of power in none of the states birth and infancy to maturity in the great enough to maintain itself alone course of thirty years. It must not be against encroachment; an equilibrium of imagined, however, that the States which strength, involving mutual dependence lose their preponderance, also lose their of the component parts.

component parts. Taking the population or their riches ; no stop is put United States separately, and not by to their prosperity, and they even go on large geographical divisions, we may to increase more rapidly than any king- safely apply the two latter tests. None dom in Europe. But they believe them- of them is powerful enough to array itselves to be impoverished, because their self in arms against any serious foreign wealth does not augment as rapidly as aggression, and no one is strong or that of their neighbors; and they think wealthy enough not to feel the need of that their power is lost because they sud- one or more of the others. As for the denly come into collision with a power first and most important consideration, greater than their own. Thus they are it is resolved by Mr. Mill, somewhat in more hurt in their feelings and their pas- the style of thought of De Tocqueville, sions than in their interests. But this is into the sympathies of race, language, amply sufficient to endanger the mainten- religion, and above all, of political instiance of the Union.”

tutions. To name these conditions is at How wise is all this! What a key once to suggest their applicability to the does it afford to the present unhappy con- United States. We need not stop to iltest. It may not unlock all the recesses lustrate them. . But while we draw from of this intricate question which, assuming them the most hopeful auguries for the the vast form of an attempted revolution, future, we may pause to note the single




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exception taken by this intelligent ob- as it is yours. It belongs to the country

“In America,” says he “where by Divine right, if jus divinum ever all the conditions for the maintenance of existed in any case ; and let us trust in union existed at the highest point, with God, that the country will never allow it the sole Irawback of difference of insti- to be wrested from us. Every consideratutions in the single but most important tion, from the consciousness of a high article of slavery, this one difference has mission impressed upon us by our Maker gone so far, in alienating from each oth- to that of the commonest economy, urges er's sympathies, the two divisions of the us to hold fast to the unstinted freedom Union, as to be now actually effecting the of our fluvial and all other communicadisruption of a tie of so much value to tion."* them both."*

Turning from this cursory glance at The argument for Union afforded in the elementary conditions of the Union the physical geography of the country, and its preservation, we may briefly rethe bonds and ties of its great arteries view a few of the historical antecedents of river communication, needs only a which stand out prominently in more or glance at the map to be demonstrated. less relation to this great Revolt. They Its force was felt by the first founders of may be referred generally, with sufficient the nation. No one saw it better than accuracy for our purpose, to the maintenJefferson, who, with prophetic instinct, ance on important occasions of the docgave the nation Louisiana. No dweller trine of State Rights, and to the legislaon the Ohio, the Missouri, the Mississippi tion on the subject of Slavery. The first or their numerous tributaries need be told prominent assertion of the former after of it. Yet we may cite with satisfaction the adoption of the Constitution, arose in the noble expression of this great natu- the administration of John Adams, in an ral and political truth uttered by Dr. opposition to certain measures of the Lieber in a letter to the President of the government, and found expression in Chamber of Commerce of New York. those pregnant texts for future political “Nature,” says he, gave us a land orators the Kentucky and Virginia Resoabounding in all the means of sustaining lutions of 1798. Both of these were life and industry-food and fuel. She levelled against what are called the Alien cast a net work of fluvial high roads over and Sedition acts, which were passed by the whole. Our history is marked by no Congress with the view of defending the feature more distinctly than by the early government against the machinations of complete freedom of river navigation, foreigners, and any conspiracies or furfor which other nations have struggled therance of them by malicious writings. in vain for many long centuries ; and The Administration of Adams, it will be

; this Insurrection with a Federal confes- remembered, was then opposed with great sion of judgment, steps in and means to violence by a faction in the interest of snap, the silver thread. The Mississippi France, and it was held, doubtless, by belongs to you, sir, as much as to any the legislators who passed the acts, that man in Louisiana, and it is mine as much the extraordinary perils of the day jus

Considerations on Representative Government. By John Stuart Mill. Chap. xvii. Lond. 1801.

ber of Commerce, New York, October, 1861.

* Letter of Dr. Francis Lieber to the President of Cham


tified them. Not so, however, thought subject, have deprecated any division of that watchful guardian of the public the Union on any grounds short of an liberties, Thomas Jefferson, whose zeal absolute necessity for revolution, may be on the occasion was sharpened by the judged from the words of a letter which fervor of political animosity. He pre- he wrote some months before, to John pared the draft of a series of resolutions Taylor of Caroline, when that extreme to be presented to the Kentucky Legis- theorist thought it was time “to estimate lature, in which a theory of the govern- the separate map of Virginia and Nort] ment was laid down, and a practice Carolina with a view to their separate enjoined which would virtually set aside existence." Not so, said Jefferson, in the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on reply, after reviewing the evils which questions where power given by the the country was supposed to be suffering Constitution to the government was sup- from the New England domination :posed to be transcended, and make the "If, on a temporary superiority of the individual States sovereign judges over one party, the other is to resort to a scisthe whole. The Resolutions, as actually sion of the Union, no Federal governpresented in a less destructive, modified ment can ever exist. If to rid ourselves form, asserted the limited powers of the of the present rule of Massachusetts and government under the "compact” of the Connecticut we break the Union, will Constitution, and maintained that as in the evil stop there? Suppose the New all other cases of compact, among parties England States cut off, will our natures having no common judge, each party has be changed ? Are we not men still to an equal right to judge for itself, as well the South of that, and with all the pasof infractions as of the mode and meas- sions of men ? Immediately we shall see ure of redress.” This was certainly a a Pennsylvania and a Virginia party broad generalization, but, if we may in- arise in the residuary confederacy, and terpret it by the light of the accompany- the public mind will be distracted with ing resolutions, it was by no means the same party spirit. What a game, intended to cover the modern doctrine too, will the one party have in their of secession. The object of the Resolu- hands by eternally threatening the other tions was to agitate and procure a repeal that unless they do so and so they will of the obnoxious acts. The utmost that join their Northern neighbors ? If we was said, was that these and successive reduce our Union to Virginia and North Acts of the same character, unless arrest- Carolina, immediately the conflict will be ed on the threshold, may tend to drive established between the representatives these States into,” not, be it remarked, of these two States, and they will end by peaceable secession, but “revolution and breaking into their simple units. Seeing, blood.” The spirit of the whole was a therefore, that an association of men who jealous maintenance of the reserved will not quarrel with each other, is a rights of the States against any usurpa- thing which never yet existed, from the tion of authority by the general gov- greatest confederacy of nations down to ernment. That Jefferson himself

, their a town meeting or a vestry-seeing that author, would, if he had been required we must have somebody to quarrel with, to pronounce a settled opinion on the I had rather keep our New England as



sociates for that purpose than to see our ral compact, or whatever it may be bickering transferred to each other."* called, at will. When that question came

The Virginia resolutions, drawn up up thirty-four years after, one of the hy James Madison, and presented in parties, Madison, emphatically the guarthe State Legislature in December, a dian and interpreter of the Constitution, , month after the Kentucky resolutions, gave no unequivocal opinion upon the may be considered explanatory of the subject.* latter. In marked language they ex

No action injurious to the government pressly assert “that this Assembly most followed these much talked of resolutions. solemnly declares a warm attachment to The occasion which called them forth the Union of the States," and maintain soon passed away; the obnoxious acts the inviolability of the Constitution for ceased from their own limitation. Jefthe preservation of that Union. For ferson came into power, and his party, that end, an alarm of danger was indeed of course, were satisfied with the ordinsounded, but with no other sentiment ary working of the Constitution. than "the truest anxiety for establishing The next demonstration of this nature and perpetuating the union of all.” The on the part of the States, arose in New other States were called upon to join England, and grew out of dissatisfaction Virginia in pronouncing the acts uncon- with the war of 1812. The embargo stitutional, and to take the necessary destroyed the commerce of that region, measures to co-operate “in maintaining and there were local jealousies and other unimpaired the authorities, rights, and distrusts of the employment of the milliberties reserved to the States respect-itia. The eastern States were disposed ively, or to the people.” The resolu- to claim exclusive control over the latter

. tions were undoubtedly of a suspicious raised within their borders. They were and dangerous character, but they were reluctant to furnish money and men for far from countenancing any doctrine of what they thought an unprofitable warsecession, still further from putting any fare. A Convention was called at Hartsuch doctrine in practice. Their object ford to discuss these grievances. It gave was political agitation within the limits birth to a Report which reflected the of the Constitution, for its preservation. spirit of the Kentucky and Virginia res

They were often appealed to, in sub-olutions in some of its sentences, but sequent days, as the creed of the State which by no means countenanced rebelRights party, and much that they con- lion. The resolves which were adopted, tain is incontrovertible; they were, were limited to recommendations to the doubtless, mischievous in the tendency legislatures of the States represented, to of certain expressions ; they perhaps protect their citizens from the operatrifled with nullification ; but we have tion of acts unauthorized by the Constitoo much respect for their authors, Thom- tution, subjecting them to forcible drasts, as Jefferson and James Madison, to sup- conscriptions, or impressinents, and adpose for a moment that they inculcated vice to the States to protect and defend so absurd a political doctrine as the se- * Letter to Daniel Webster on his speech in t'ae United cession of a State from the Union, fede- States Senate, “ The Constitution not a Compact." in reply

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to Calhoun. Everett's Memoir of Webster,
Works, I. cvii

• Hildretli's Hisi, of the United States. 2d series, II, 234.

themselves. There were also amend- November, 1832, and adopted an ordinments to the Constitution proposed, ap- ance applying the principle. The tariff portioning representation and taxation on acts were declared null and void, and the basis of the white population, limiting any attempt of the United States to enthe powers of Congress with reference to force them, it was resolved should be a einbargoes and the war-making power, signal for the dissolution of the Union, forbidding naturalized citizens to be el when the State of South Carolina would igible to any civil office under the United forthwith proceed to organize a separate States, and the president to be elected government. This revolutionary declaratwice or for two terms, or to be chosen tion was met the following month by the from the same State twice in succession. most energetic proceeding on the part of The convention which made these sugges- the government, to maintain its military tions met in secret, prepared them with authority at Charleston, and the Prodiffidence, and had but little encourage-clamation of President Jackson, which ment in any quarter. The proceedings with great clearness and an unanswerable came to nothing. It was but a local and line of argument, maintained the power temporary agitation. The war passed assumed by the State to be “incompatiover, and the suggestions and amend- ble with the existence of the Union, conments were not thought of again. The tradicted expressly by the letter of the Hartford Convention, greatly exagger- Constitution, unauthorized by its spirit, ated, remained only a name of terror, inconsistent with every principle on occasionally brought forward to discredit which it was founded, and destructive politicians who, rightfully or wrongfully, of the great object for which it was

, were made to bear the penalty of an un- formed.” popular act. The bare suspicion of dis- The Proclamation, as is well known, loyalty to the government was a fatal was written by Edward Livingston, but brand to a man endeavoring to rise in its sentiments and ideas were fresh from public life.

the heart of Jackson. It was prepared Nearly twenty years passed away when under his supervision, and received its the voice of disaffection was again heard most earnest appeals from his patriotic at the South. This time the tariffacts of energy. “Let it,” said he, as he wrote 1828 and 1832 were the grievances com- at midnight, submitting the conclusion to plained of. They were in the interest his friend for his amendment and reviof the North and a burden to the South, sion, "let it receive your best flight of it was alleged, and were pronounced eloquence to strike to the heart and unconstitutional. The South Carolina speak to the feelings of my deluded Legislature, under the inspiration of Cal- countrymen of South Carolina.' The houn, asserted the State Rights doc- Union must be preserved, without blood trines in their extreme form. The if this be possible ; but it must be preState, it was resolved, should, when it served at all hazards and at any price. *** had determined for itself that the Con

Andrew Jackson to Edward Livingston, December 4, 1832 stitution was infringed, repudiate the acts -11 o'clock P. . This letter was read by Mr. George Ban

croft at the Cooper Institute at a meeting in November, 1861, of the government. This was Nullifica- called for the aid of the suffering patriots of North Carolina.

. tion. A Convention of Delegates met in The original letter was placed in his hands by the only sur

viving child of Mr. Livingston.

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