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with which new settlements and new States have sprung up, as if by enchantment, in the wilderness; or that political necessity or lust for territorial aggrandizement would, in sixty years, have given us new territories and States equal in extent to the entire area of the country for which they were then framning a Government? They were not priests or prophets to that God of MANIFEST DESTINY whom we now worship, and will continue to worship, whether united into one Confederacy still, or divided into many. And yet it is this very acquisition of territory which has given strength, though not birth, to that sectionalism which already has broken in pieces this, ihe noblest Government ever devised by the wit of man. Not foresecing the evil or the necessity, they did not guard against its results. Believing that the great danger to the system which they were about to inaugurate lay rather in the jealousy of the State governments towards the power and authority delegated to the Federal Government, they defended diligently against that danger. Apprehending that the larger States might aggress upon the rights of the smaller States, they provided that no State should, without its consent, be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate. Lest the legislative department inight encroach upon the executive, they gave to the President the self-protecting power of a qualified velo, and in turn made the President impeachable by the two Houses of Congress. Satisfied that the several State governments were strong enough to protect themselves from Federal aggressions, it, indeed, not too strong for the (ficiency of the General Government, they thus devised a system of internal checks and balances looking chiefly to the security of the several departments from aggression upon each other, and to prevent the system from being used to the oppression of individuals. I think, sir, that the debates in the Federal convention and in the conventions of the several Siates called to ratify the Constitution, as well as the cotemporaneous letters and publications of the time, will support me in the statement that the friends of the Constitution wholly under-estimated the power and influence of the Government which they were establishing. Certainly, sir, many of the ablest stalesmen of that day earnestly desired a stronger Government; and it was the policy of Mr. Hamilton, and of the Federal party which he created, to strengthen the General Government; and hence the funding and protective systems-ihe national bank, and other similar schemes of finance, along with the "general-welfare doctrine," and a liberal construction of the Constitution.

Sir, the framers of the Constitution-and I speak it reverently, but with the freedom of history failed to foresee the strength and centralizing tendencies of the Federal Government. They mistook wholly the real danger to the systein. They looked for it in the aggressions of the large States upon the small States without regard to geographical position, and accordingly guarded jealously in that direction, giving for this purpose, as I have said, the power of a self-protecting veto in the Senate to the small States, by means of their equal suffrage in that Chamber, and forbidding even amendment of the Constitution in this particular, without the consent of every State. But they seem wholly to have overlooked the danger of secTIONAL COMBINATIONS as against other sections, and to the injury and oppression of other sections, to secure possession of the several departments of the Federal Government, and of the vast powers and influence which belong to them. In like manner, too, they seem to have utterly under-estimated SLAVERY as a disturbing element in the system, possibly because it existed still in almost every State; but chiefly because the growth and manufacture of cotton had scarce yet been commenced in the United States: because Cotton was not yet crowned king. The vast extent of the patronage of the Executive, and the immense power and influence which it exerts, seem also to have been altogether under-estimated. And independent of all these, or rather perhaps in connection with them, there were inherent defects incident to the nature of all governments; some of them peculiar to our system, and to the circumstances of the country, and the character of the people over which it was instituted, which no human sagacity could have foreseen, but which have led to evils, mischiefs, and abuses, which time and experience alone have disclosed. The men who made our Government were human ; they wer: men, and they made it for men of like passions and infirmities with themselves.

I propose now, sir, to inquire into the practical workings of the system; the experiment-as the fathers themselves called it-after seventy years of trial.

No man will deny—no American at least; and I speak to-day to and for Americans—that in its results it has been the most successful of any similar Government ever established; and yet, in the very midst of its highest development and its perfect success, in the very hour of its might, while “towering in its pride of place,” it has

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suddenly been stricken down by a revolution which it is powerless to control. Sir, if I could believe, as the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. ETHERIDGE) would seem to have me believe, that for more than half a century the South has had all that she ever asked, and more than she ever deserved ; and that now, at last, a few discontented spirits have been able to precipitate already seven States into insurrection and rebellion, because they are displeased with the results of a presidential election; or if I could persuade myself, with the gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. ADAMS, that thirteen States, or fifteen States, and eleven or twelve millions people have been already drawn or may soon be drawn into a revolt against the grandest and most beneficent Government, in form and in practice, that ever existed, from no other than the trivial and most frivolous causes which he has assigned, then I should indeed regard this revolution in the midst of which we are, as the most extraordinary phenomenon ever recorded in history. But the muse of history will, I venture to say, not so write it down upon the scroll which she still holds in her hand, in that grand old Hall of Representatives where, linked to time, solemnly and sadly she numbers out yet the fleeting hours of this perishing Republic. No; believe me, Representatives, the causes for these movements lie deeper and are of longer duration than all this

. If not, then the malady needs no extreme medicine, no healing remedies, nothing, nothing. Time, patience, forbearance, quiet-these, these alone will restore the Union in a few months. But, sir, I have not so read the history of this country, especially for the last fourteen years. The causes, I repeat, are to be found in the practical workings of the system, and are to be removed only by remedies which go down to the very root of the evil; not, indeed, by eradicating the passions which give it birth and strength-for even religion fails to accomplish that impossible mission-but by checking or taking away the power with which these passions are armed for their work of evil and mischief.

I find, then, sir, the first or remote cause which has led to the incipient dismemberment of the Union, in the infinite honors and emoluments, the immense, and continually increasing, power and patronage of the Federal Government. Évery admission of new States; every acquisition of new territory; every increase of wealth, population, or resources of any kind; all moral, social, intellectual, or inventive development—the press, the telegraph, the railroad, and the application of steam in every form ; whatsoever there is of greatness at home, or of national honor and glory abroad-all, all has inured to the aggrandizement of this central Government. Part of this, certainly, is the result of causes which no constitutional restriction, no party policy, and no statesmanship can control; but much of it, nevertheless, from infringements of the Constitution, and from usurpations, abuses, corruptions, and mal-administration of the Government. In the very beginning, as I have said, a fixed policy of strengthening the General Government, in every department, was inaugurated by the Federal party; and this led to the bitter and vehement struggle, in the very first decade of the system, between the Democratic-Republicans and the Federalists; between the advocates of power and the friends of liberty; those who leaned strongly towards the General Government and those who were for State rights and State sovereignty--the followers of Hamilton and the disciples of Jefferson-which ended, in 1801, in the overthrow of the Federal party, and the inauguration of the Democratic policy, which demanded a simple Government, a strict construction of the Constitution, no public debt, no protective tariff, no system of internal improvements, no national bank, hard money for the public dues, and economical expenditures; and this policy, after a long and violent contest for more than forty yearsma contest marked with various fortune, and occasional defeat, and sometimes temporary departure by its own friends at last became the established policy of the Government, and so continued until this pestilent sectional question of slavery obliterated old party divisions, and obscured and hid over, and covered up for a time if, indeed, it has not removed utterly—some, at least, of the ancient landmarks of the Democratic party. And yet, in spite of the overthrow of the Federal party ; in spite of the final defeat of its policy, looking especially and purposely to the strengthening of the General Government, partly from natural causes, as I have said, and partly because the Democratic party has

sometimes been false to its professed principles-above all, to its great doctrine of State rights, and its true and wise policy of

economy in expenditures, and decrease in executive patronage and influence the ร์

Federal Government has gone on, steadily increasing in power and strength and honor and consideration and corruption, too, from the hour of its inauguration to this

and when I speak of "corruption," I use the word in the sense in which British




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statesmen use it-men who understand the word, and who have, for a century and a half, reduced the thing itself to a science and a system, and have made it an element of very great strength in the British government.

Nor, sir, is this mischief, if mischief indeed_it be, confined wholly to any one department of the General Government? The Federal judiciary-to begin with ithere and in the States, dazzles the imagination and invites the ambition of the lawyers, that not most numerous but yet most powerful class of citizens, by its supe

I rior honors, its great emoluments, its life tenure, its faith in precedents, and its settled forms and ancient practice, untouched by codes and unshaken by crude and reckless and hasty legislation. Here, in this venerable forum, where States at home and States and empires from abroad, and the Federal Government itself, are accustomed to contend for the judgment of the court, whatever there yet remains of ancient and black-letter law; whatever of veneration and regard for the names and memories, and the volumes of Littleton and Coke and Croke and Plowden, and the year books; or for silk gowns, and for all else, too, that is valuable in legal archæology, has taken refuge, and stands intrenched. All that there was of form and ceremony and dignity and decorum, in the beginning of the Government, is still to be found here, and only here; all but the bench and bar of forty years ago--the Marshalls and the Storys, the Harpers, the Pinckneys, the Wirts, and the Websters, of an age gone by.

Still, the circle of honor through the judiciary is a narrow one, and it lies open to but few; and yet, in times past, the judiciary has done much to enlarge the powers and increase the consideration and importance of the central Government.

But it is the Senate and the House of Representatives which are the great objects of ambition and the seats of power. All the legislative powers of this great and mighty Republic, whose name and authority and majesty are known and felt, and feared too, throughout the earth, are vested in the Congress of the United States. War, revenues, credit, disbursement, commerce, coinage, the postal system, the punishment of crimes upon the high seas and against the law of nations, the admission of new States, the disposition of the public lands, armies, navies, the militia, all belong to it to control, together with an unnumbered, innumerable, and most indefinable host of implied or derivative powers: whence funding systems, banks, protective tariffs, internal improvements, distributions, surveys, explorations, railroads, land grants, submarine telegraphs, postal steam navigation and post roads upon the high seas, plunder schemes, speculations and peculations, pensions, claims, the acquisition and government of Territories, and a long train of usurpations and abuses all tendo ing-legitimate powers and illegitimate assumptions of power alike--to aggrandize the central Government, and to make its possession and control the highest object of a corrupt, wicked, perverted, and peculating ambition, in any party or any section.

But great and imposing as the powers, honors, and consideration of Congress are, the executive department is scarce inferior in anything, and in some things is far superior to it. Your President stands in the place of a king. There is a divinity that doth hedge him in; it is the divinity of PATRONAGE. He is the god whose priests are a hundred and fifty thousand, and whose worshipers a host whom no man can number; and the sacrifices of these priests and worshipers are literally "a broken spirit.” Sir, your President is commander-in-chief of your armies, your navies, and of the militia--four millions of men. He carries on war, concludes peace, and makes treaties of every sort. Through his qualified veto, he is a participant in the entire legislation of the Government, and it behooves the whole army of seculators, jobbers, contractors, and claimants, to propitiate him as well as Senators and Representatives. He calls the Congress together on extraordinary occasions, and adjourns them in case of disagreement. He appoints and receives embassadors and all other diplomatic agents; appoints judges of the Supreme Court, and of other judicial tribunals; Cabinet ministers; collectors of customs, and postmasters; and controls the appointment of a hundred and fifty thousand other officers of every grade, from Secretary of State down to the humblest tide-waiter. All that is implied in the word "patronage," and all that is meant by that other word, the "spoils," —res detestabilis et caduca--a word and a thing unknown to the fathers of the Republic, all belong to him to control. His power of appointment and removal at discretion makes him the master of every man who would look to the Executive for honor or emolument; and its tremendous influence is reflected back upon the Senate and this House, on every Senator or Representative who would reward his friends for their support at home, or secure new friends for a re-elec


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tion. The Constitution forbids titles of nobility; yet your President is the fountain of hon ir. Sir, to pass by the utter and extraordinary perversion of the original purpose of the Constitution in the choice of electors for the President-a perversion the result of caucuses, national conventions, and other party machinery, and which has led to those violent and debauching presidential struggles every four years for possession of the inmense spoils of the executive office~no department has, in other respects also, so utterly outstripped the estimate of the founders of the Government; except, indeed, of the few who, like Patrick Henry, were derided as ghost-seers and hypochondriacs.

When the elder Adams was President, the great east-room of the White Housewhere now, or lately, on gala days are gathered the embassadors and ministers of a hundred courts, from Mexico to Japan, and the assembled wit, and fashion, and , beauty, and distinction of the thirty-three States of the Union-was then used by the excellent and patriotic wife of the President as a drying-room for-not the maids of honor-but the washerwoman of the palace.

Sir, there is an incident connected with the early settlement of this city-still the capital of the Republic, selected as the seat of Government by Washington, the father of the Republic, and bearing his honored name-an incident which shows how much he and the other great men who made the Constitution underestimated the power and importance of the Executive. This Capitol, within which we now deliberate, fronts to the ecst. There all your Presidents are inaugurated; and it was the design and the expectation of the founders of the city that it should extend to the eastward. There, sir, there, in that direction, was to be the future Rome of the American continent. The Executive mansion was meant to be in the rear, and to be kept in the rear of the Chambers of the Legislature. A long vista through the original forest trees-il sort of American mall_was to connect them together; and the President was expected to enter below stairs and at the back door into this Capitol. But he was to be kept for the most part trans Tiberemon the other side of the Tiber. The low, marshy ground to the westward, it was supposed, would forever forbid the building up of a city between the seats of legislative and executive magistracy; and the whole, if indeed ever laid out at all, might have become a great national park. But behold the strange perversity of man! The city has all gone to the westward. The rear of the Capitol has now become its front. Pennsylvania Avenue, instead of a suburban drive, is now a grand thoroughfare, the chief artery which conveys the blood from that which is now the center or heart of the system, the President. The Executive mansion—that old castle, with bad fires and without bells, to the sore discomfort of Mistress Abigail Adams--is now, and has been for years, the great object of attraction; and whereas, in the beginning, the 'taverns”for that was the name given them sixty years ago--all clustered around this Capitol, I observe that now the greatest, most flourishing, and best patronized "hotel" has established itself within bow-shot of the White House. Sir, the power of executive gravitation has proved too strong for the framers of the Government and the founders of the city. Westward the course of architecture has taken its way; and certainly, sir, certainly, it is not because of any especial attraction about that most venerable of ancient marts-old Georgetown.

But to resume, sir. Nothing adds so much to the power and influence of the Executive as a large rernnue and heavy expenditures; and if a public debt be added, so much the worse. Every dollar more borrowed or collected, and every dollar more spent, is just so much added to the power and value of the executive office. Nothing in the political history of the country has been so marked as the steady, but enormous, increase in the taxation and disbursement of the Federal Government. Fifteen years ago-to g) back no further-just previous to the Mexican war, the receipts of the Treasury were $29,000,000, and the expenditures $27,000,000; while four years ago, only ten years later, the receipts had run up to $69,000,000, and the expenditures to $71,000,000—the latter being always, or nearly always, a little in advance of the former. Nature, it is said, sir, abhors a vacuum; but government, our Government, at least, would seem to abhor a plethoric Treasury. There are always surgeons, volunteers, too, at that, if need be, of a very famous school of surgery, who are ready to resort upon all occasions to financial phlebotomy. Verily, sir, verily these surgeons of the executive household have great faith in a low fiscal regimen.

The collection and disbursement of $80,000,000 a year, for four years, is a prize worth every sacrifice. The power of the sword, the command of armies and navies and the militia, is itself a tremendous power; and from the signs around us, from all



that everywhere meets the eye or falls upon the car, at every step throughout this capital, I am afraid that noir at length, and before the close of the last quarter of the first century of the Republic, it is about to assume a terrible significancy, and that the reign of military despotism is lenceforth to be dated from this year. But great as this power is, it is nothing, nothing as yet in this country, compared with the power of the purse. He who commands that unnumbered host of cager and hungry expectants whose eyes are fixed upon the Treasury, to say nothing of that other liost of scekers of cílice, is mightier far than the commander of military legions. The gentleman from Tennessee [lir. ETIENIDGE) entertaineil us the other day with a glowing picture of the cxodus of the present incumbe?ts about the executive offices and elsewhere. Sir, I should be pleased, when he next avledresses the Ilouse, to have his fine powers of wit and cloquence tested by a description of the flight of the incoming locusts about the fourth of March. Certainly, sir, cerainly the dep:uture of the army of fat, sieck, contenteil, weli fed and will clad offic:lolders, whose natural habitat is the Treasury building, or some other of the same scri, is a picture melancholy enough to excite commiseration in oren the lardest and the stoniest heart. But the ingress of that other mighty host of office Seekers, ility to one; lcan, lank, cadaverous, laugry, hollow eyed; with bones bursting through their muments, and long, skinny fingers, cager to clutch the spoils; and stung, too, with the ristrus of that practical sort of patriotism which Joves the country for its material benefits, moull require some part at least of the powers of those diabolical oli päisters of the Szanish or Italian school. The gentleman will pardon me, but I am sure that even he is not equal to it.

Such, Jir. Speaker, is the central Govern inent of the United States, and such its powers and honors and emoluments; and every year adds strength to them. Against Y the centralizing tendencies and influences of such a Government, the States separately cannot contend. Neither an:bition nor avarice, the love of honor, or the love of gain, find anything to salst their large desires in the State governments. Sir, the State executives are no cabinets, no velo for the most part, no army, no navy, no militia, except upon the peace establishment, and that commonly despised; no foreign appointinents, and no diplomatic intercourse; no treaties, 110 post office, no land office, no great revenues to disburse; small salaries, and no patronage-in short, sir, noihing to arouse ambition, or to excite avarice. The Legislatures of the States have a most valuable, but not the most dignified, field of labor. They declare no war, levy no imports, regulate no external commerce, coin no money, establish no post-routes, oceanic or overland; make no land grants, emit no bills of credit of their own, publish no Globe, have no franking privilege, and their senators and representatives serve the State for a few hundred dollars a year. The State judiciaries, however important the litigation before them iniy be to the parties, attract commonly but small interest from the public; and of late years, no great or splendid legal reputation is to be acquired outside of a few of the larger cities at least, either upon the benci or at the bar of the State courts. Whatever, sir, the dignity or power or consideration of the United States may be, that of each State is but the one thirtyfourih part of it; and, indeed, for some years past, the control of the State governments has, 10 a great extent, been sought after chiefly as an instrumentality for securing control of legislativé, executive', or judicial position in the Federal Govern

And all this mischief-for mischief certainly I must regard it--has been steadily aggravated by the policy pursued in nearly all the States, of diminishing in every way, in their constitutions, and by their laws, the dignity, power, and consideration of the several departments of their State governments. Short tenures, low salaries, biennial sessions, crusle, lasty, and continually changing legislation, new constitutions every ten years, and whatever else may be classed under ihe head of reform, falsely so called, have been the bane of State sovereignty and importance. Indeed, for years past, Slate constitutions, laws, and institutions of every sort, seem to have been regarded as but so many subjects for rude and wanton experiment at the hands of reckless ideologists or demagogues. But besides all this, the infinite subdivision of political power in the States, from the chief departments of State down through counties, townships, school Jistricts, cities, towns, and villages, all wuicl certainly is very necessary and proper in a democratic Government, tends very much of itself to decrease the dignity and importance of the States. In short, sir, in nearly all the States, and especially in the new States, the great purpose of the politicians would seem io have been to ascertain just how feeble and simple and insignificant their governinents could be made-just how near to a pure and perfect democracy our representative form of republicanism can be carried. All this, sir,



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