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extension of the powers which it confers; but I speak of the spirit with which those powers should be exercised. If there be any doubts, whether so many republics, covering so great a portion of the globe, can be long held together under this Constitution, there is no doubt in my judgment, of the impossibility of so holding them together by any narrow, contracted, local, or selfish system of legislation. To render the Constitution perpetual, (which God grant it may be) it is necessary that its benefits should be practically felt, by all parts of the country, and all interests in the country. The East and the West, the North and the South, must all see their own welfare protected and advanced by it. While the eastern frontier is defended by fortifications, its harbours improved, and commerce defended by a naval force, it is right and just that the region beyond the Alleghany should receive fair consideration and equal attention, in any object of public improvement, interesting to itself, and within the proper power of the government.—These, sir, are, in brief, the general views by which I have been governed, on questions of this kind; and I trust they are such as this meeting does not disapprove..
I would not trespass farther upon your attention, if I did not feel it my duty to say a few words on the condition of public affairs under another aspect. We are on the eve of a new election for President; and the manner in which the existing administration is attacked might lead a stranger to suppose, that the Chief Magistrate had committed some flagrant offence against the country, threatened to overturn its liberties, or establish a military usurpation. On a former occasion I have, in this place, expressed my opinion of the principle, upon which the opposition to the administration is founded; without any reference whatever to the person who stands as its apparent head, and who is intended by it to be placed in the chief executive chair. I think that principle exceedingly dangerous and alarming, inasmuch as it does not profess to found opposition to the government on the measures of government, but to rest it on other causes, and those mostly personal. There is a combination, or association, of persons holding the most opposite opinions, both on the constitutional powers of the government, and on the leading measures of public concern, and uniting in little, or in nothing, except the will to dislodge power from the hands in which the country has placed it. There has been no leading measure of the government, with perhaps a single exception, which has not been strenuously maintained by many, or by some of those, who co-operate, altogether, nevertheless, in pursuit of the object which I have mentioned. This is but one of many proofs that the opposition does not rest in the principle of disapprobation of the measures of government. Many other evidences of the same truth, might be adduced easily. A remarkable one is, that while one ground of objection to the administration is urged in one place, its precise opposite is pressed in another. Pennsylvania and South Carolina, for example, are not treated with the same reasons for a change of administration; but with flatly contradictory reasons. In one, the administration is represented as bent on a particular system, oppressive to that State, and which must ultimately ruin it; and for that reason there ought to be a change. In the other, that system, instead of being ruinous, is salutary, is necessary,
rivalry, may, indeed, be useful. But these are very different things from organized and systematic party combinations. He admitted,
even, that party associations were sometimes unavoidable, and per· haps necessary, to the accomplishment of other ends and purposes.
-But this did not prove that, of themselves, they were good; or that they should be continued and preserved for their-own sake, when there had ceased to be any object to be effected by them.
But there were those who supposed, that whether political party distinctions were, or were not, useful, it was impossible to abolish them. Now he thought, on the contrary, that under present circumstances, it was quite impossible to continue them.New parties, indeed, might arise, growing out of new events, or new questions; but as to those old parties, which had sprung from controversies now no longer pending, or from feelings which time and other causes had now changed, or greatly allayed, he did not believe that they could long remain. Efforts, indeed, made to that end, with zeal and perseverance, might delay their extinction, but, he thought, could not prevent it. There was nothing to keep alive these distinctions, in the interests and objects which now engage society. New questions and new objects arise, having no connexion with the subjects of past controversies, and present interest overcomes or absorbs the recollection of former controversies. All that are united on these existing questions, and present interests, are not likely to weaken their efforts to promote them by angry reflections, on past differences. If there were nothing, in things, to divide about, he thought the people not likely to maintain systematic controversies about men. They have no interest in so doing. Associations formed to support principles, may be called parties, but if they have no bond of union but adherence to particular men they become factions. - The people, in his opinion, were at present grateful to all parties, for whatever of good they had accomplished, and indulgent to all for whatever of error they had committed; and, with these feelings, were now mainly intent on the great objects which affected their present interests. There might be exceptions to this remark; he was afraid there were; but nevertheless, such appeared to him to be the general feeling in the country. It was natural that some prejudices should remain longer than their causes, as the waves lash the shore, for a time, after the storm has subsided; but the tendency of the elements was to repose. —Monopolies of all sorts were getting out of fashion, they were yielding to liberal ideas, and to the obvious justice and expediency of fair competition,
An administration of the general government, which had been, in general, highly satisfactory to the country, had now closed. He was not aware that it could with propriety be said that that administration had been either supported, or opposed by any party associations, or on any party principles. Certain it was, that as far as there had been any organized opposition to the administration, it had had nothing to do with former parties. A new administration had now commenced, and he need hardly say that the most liberal and conciliatory principles had been avowed. It could not be doubted, that it would conform to those principles. Thus far, he believed, its course had given general satisfaction. After what they all had seen,
DELIVERED AT A MEETING OF CITIZENS OF BOSTON, HELD IN FAN.
EUIL HALL, ON THE EVENING OF APRIL 30, 1825, PREPARATORY TO THE GENERAL ELECTION IN MASSACHUSETTS.
Mr.WEBSTER'said, he was quite unaccustomed to appear in that place; having, on no occasion, addressed his fellow citizens there, either to recommend or to oppose the support of any candidates for public office. He had long been of opinion, that to preserve the distinction, and the hostility, of political parties, was not consistent with the highest degree of public good. . At the same time he did not find fault with the conduct, nor question the motives, of those who thought otherwise. But, entertaining this opinion, he had abstained from attending on those occasions, in which the merits of public men, and of candidates for office, were discussed, necessarily, with more or less reference to party attachment, and party organization.
The present was a different occasion. The sentiment which had called this meeting together, was a sentiment of union and conciliation; a sentiment so congenial to his own feelings, and to his opinion of the public interest, that he could not resist the inclination to be present, and to express his entire and hearty approbation.
He should forbear, Mr. W.-said, from all remarks upon the particular names which had been recommended by the committee. They had been selected, he must presume, fairly, and with due consideration, by those who were appointed for that purpose. In cases of this sort every one cannot expect to find everything precisely as he might wish it; but those who concurred in the general sentiment would naturally allow that sentiment to prevail, as far as possible, over particular objections.
On the general question he would make a few remarks, begging the indulgence of the meeting, if he should say anything which might with more propriety, proceed from others.
He hardly conceived how well disposed and intelligent minds could differ, as to the question, whether party contest, and party strife, organized, systematic, and continued, were of themselves desirable ingredients in the composition of society.--Difference of opinion, on political subjects, honorable competition, and emulous in relation to the gentlemen holding the highest appointment in the Executive Department, under the President, he would take this opportunity to say, that having been a member of the House of Representatives for six years, during the far greater part of which time Mr. CLAY had presided in that House, he was most happy in being able, in a manner less formal than by concurring in the usual vote of thanks, to express his own opinion of his liberality, independence, and honorable feeling. And he would take this occasion also to add, if his opinion could be of any value in such a case, that he thought nothing more unfounded than that that gentleman owed his present situation to any unworthy compromise or arrangement whatever. He owed it to his talent, to his prominent standing in the community, to his course of public service, not now a short one, and to the high estimation in which he stands with that part of the country to which he belongs.
Remarks, Mr. Webster proceeded to say, had been made from the Chair, very kind and partial, as to the manner in which he had discharged the duties which he owed to his constituents, in the House of Representatives. He wished to say, that if he had been able to render any, the humblest services, either to the public or his constituents, in that place, it was owing wholly to the liberal manner in which his efforts there had been received.
Having alluded to the Inaugural Address, he did not mean in the slightest degree to detract from its merits, when he now said, that in his opinion, il either of the other candidates had succeeded in the election, he also would have adopted a liberal course of policy. He had no reason to believe that the sentiments of either of those gentlemen were, in this respect, narrow or contracted. He fully believed the contrary, in regard to both of them; but if they had been otherwise, he thought still, that expediency or necessity, would have controlled their inclinations.
I forbear, said Mr. W., from pursuing these remarks farther. I repeat, that I do not complain of those who have hitherto thought, or who still think, that party organization is necessary to the public good. I do not question their motives; and I wish to be tolerant eren to those who think that toleration ought not to be indulged.
It is said, sir, that prosperity sometimes hardens the heart. Perbaps, also, it may sometimes have a contrary effect, and elevate and liberalize the feelings. If this can ever be the result of such a cause, there is certainly in the present condition of the country enough to inspire the most grateful and the kindest feelings. We bave a common stock both of happiness and of distinction, of which we are all entitled as citizens of the country to partake. We may all rejoice in the general prosperity, in the peace and security which we enjoy, and in the brilliant success which has thus far attended our republican institutions. These are circumstances which may well excite in us all a noble pride. Our civil and political institutions, while they answer for us all the great ends designed by them, furnish at the same time an example to others, and diffuse blessings beyond our own limits.-In whatever part of the globe men are found contending for political liberty, they look to the United States