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President Jackson vetoed bills that Congress cherished as vital to the welfare of the nation. He deemed the United States Bank an odious monopoly, and his veto of the renewal of its charter was sustained by the people in his triumphant re-election. Congress voted a subscription of public money to the stock of a private company-the Maysville Road Co. Jackson successfully opposed the bill as unconstitutional, impolitic, injurious and demoralizing.
Presidents Tyler and Andrew Johnson made a free use of the veto power, opposing the favorite measures of the parties that placed them in office, but only when the time shall come for writing the history of the Whig and Republican parties, can it be said who were right.
Conflicts between the two chambers of Congress, if settled at all, are pacified by means of committees of conference and compromises; the opposition of the President can be overcome by a two-thirds vote of both houses.
Nearly every veto is a triumph of law. "The nation is free," said Benjamin Constant, "when the deputies are shackled." With a pliable President, or one who cares not for law or constitution, then with us Congress is unshackled, expediency becomes law and soon distrust and anarchy will take the place of order and good government. Corruptissima respublica," says Tacitus, "plurimae leges." In a degraded corrupt government the statute books become ponderous volumes. Some of the best legislation of modern times has removed the restraints applied by former law makers. The protective system of special
legislation, the burthens imposed upon society by old law are attacked and removed, and for securing these liberties to the people men are applauded as statesmen and reformers.
Government being a necessary evil, the less we are governed the better, as long as peace and order reign.