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H. of R.]
(MARCH 13, 1830.
she asked] for one committee to take up a subject, respect- fesses to secure to each portion of the country equal proing which another committee had discharged its duty? He tection in enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, has a supposed that the rules of the House were intended to law been passed, which must act as an engine of oppres. produce harmony, and that when a subject is referred sion, and rob one portion of the Union, and take its just to one committee, no other committee has jurisdiction earnings out of their pockets and put them into others! over it.
Without intending or wishing to go into the general merits Mr. WICKLIFFE made a few remarks in reply; and, of the tariff, if I do not show, in a very few words, that the on his suggestion, the bill was read.
duty on cotton bagging is the effect of what I have stated, Mr. VANCE said, there was no clause in that bill, the I am greatly mistaken. If the manufacturing States could object of which was provided for by the bill reported by furnish a supply of the article in question as cheap as the the Committee on Military Affairs. He referred to that Southern States can import it, why, then, there might be clause relating to officers engaged in the topographical some pretext for laying the duty; but it has been shown, corps.
in the course of this debate, that the very small portion of The question, on referring the bill to the Committee of the country which manufacture hemp, can, for all the the Whole House on the state of the Union, was then put, bagging they manufacture, find a market beyond the and decided in the affirmative.--Yeas, 97--nays, 49. mountains; and the only effect this duty of four and a half
cents per square yard has on the article at the South, is to
take out of the pockets of the honest, hard working farSATURDAY, March 13, 1830.
mer nearly two hundred thousand dollars annually to THE TARIFF.
squander on objects in the manufacturing States, and to
support their extravagance. It has been shown by the The following resolution, offered by Mr. ANDERSON, gentleman from South Carolina, (Mr. MARTIN)in the strong being under consideration:
view which he took of this subject, that, at the adoption “ Resolved, that the Committee of Ways and Means be of the present tariff, those who advocated the duty on cot. instructed to bring in a bill allowing a drawback of nine ton bagging were requested to show the advantage it cents per gallon on all rum distilled in this country from could possibly be to the manufacturing States. This, sir, foreign molasses, when such rum is exported to a foreign was not done, nor can it be now shown, only that it is necountry;"
cessary to make the system complete, and to effect the Together with the following amendment offered by Mr. ruin of the South. So far as my knowledge extends, I POLK:
have not, in all my life, seen one bolt of it consumed in “ And to allow also a drawback of four and one-half my county; and I venture to say, if the truth could be cents per square yard on foreign cotton bagging, exported ascertained, there has not, since the war, been one huneither in the original packages, or around the cotton bale, «red bolts of it used in the whole Southern States. Sir, to any foreign country;”.
I undertake to say, that, notwithstanding the high duty we After Mr. MARTIN had concluded his remarks, have to pay on the article, we can import and sell it
Mr. SPEIGHT, of North Carolina, rose, and observed cheaper in our market than the domestic bagging can be that the friends of equal rights and liberty should feel uin- purchased from the manufacturers. Let any gentleman der great obligations to the gentleman from Tennessee, make the calculation what it will cost to bring domestic [Mr. Polk] for bringing this subject to the consideration bagging over the mountains into the Southern States, or, of the House. And, I need not tell the gentleman (said if the gentleman please, ship it to us, and he will readily Mr. S. ] that I am prepared to go with him, not only in see the truth of the position which I have stated. Yet, remedying the evil which he complains of, but in regene- sir, with this strong evidence before the face of the manurating the whole tariff system. I view it as an imposition facturers, we are made to pay the bigh duty, to enable which is intended to be practised on the sound judgment New England to buy up Kentucky, and get her to vote for of the people of this country, and one which, while it is the tariff. The South, then, have a right to demand a intended to enslave a small portion of the Union to profit repeal of the duty. And if a majority of this House have and benefit another, requires for its support a usurpation any magnanimity or sense of justice, the appeal must be of power wholly unknown to the constitution. And I irresistible; for no gentleman, however blinded he may take occasion to say further, that it is a policy foreign from be by self-interest, can help seeing the injustice and inithe true interest of this country, and one which, if per- quity of the duty. sisted in, will not only end in the ruin of the Southern or The effect that it has on Southern States is highly inju. agricultural States, but will sooner or la!er demolish this rious, and may be shown in a very few words. It amounts empire, and sink it into bankruptcy.
The inanufacturing States, in order to carry out Mr. S. said, he had not risen for the purpose of attempt- the system of taxation complete, have imposed an unjust ing to discuss the general principles of the “ American tax on a certain article of prime demand in the Southern system:" for if his abilities were sufficient to do justice States, and the tax is no advantage to the manufacturing to the importance of the subject, his health would not States. It takes out of the pockets of the honest, hard permit it; he, therefore, asked the indulgence of the working farmers of the South at least one hundred and Hlouse but for a moment, whilst he, as a Southern repre. fifty thousand dollars, annually, for the single article of sentative, and one whose constituents felt the injurious cotton bagging. Sir, in order to prove the truth of the effect, not only of the duty on cotton bagging, but of the position I have advanced, let us suppose the Southern whole system, expressed his opinion in relation to the States to consume, annually, four millions of yards of cotton amendment of the gentleman from Tennessee.
bagging, forty-three inches wide; a duty on that quantity If, [said Mr. S.] upon an examination of the tariff of of four cents and a half per square yard would amount to 1828, it can be shown that no article which the Southern almost two hundred thousand dollars; but I have no doubt States imported has been taxed, but such as the manu- that the amount consumed exceeds that quantity. Now I facturing States can furnish us with as cheap as we can ask, and I hope to be answered correctly, can any person import it, there might, at the first glance of the subject, desire more conclusive proof of the injustice and oppresbe some justification to plead for its passage. But if it sion of the tariff system, than is here afforded on a deveshould, on examination, appear that not only those, but lopment of the duty on this one article? Here is a tas of such as they cannot furnish us with at all, have been near two hundred thousand dollars annually imposed on taxed, the inquiry will naturally result, how under heaven the South for the consumption of an article which they, has it come to pass, that, under a Government which pro- of necessity, are compelled to have; and, not having the
March 13, 1830.]
[H. of R.
means to manufacture it at home, are compelled to seek undeniable, that the measure was seized on by both sides it in a foreign market. And, what is most iniquitous of all, for the purpose of answering their ends in certain portions the tax does not afford a protection at all for the manufac- of the Union. And it is a fact beyond contradiction, that turers of the article in the United States. I profess to be certain individuals voted for the tariff, for the express no adınirer of the drawback system; I should have pre- purpose of furthering the cause of their favorite candidate ferred a resolution to have abolished the duty at once. for the Presidency. The South has, therefore, a right to Drawbacks I conceive to be one of the many follies which demand of this Congress, and of this administration, a rewe have borrowed from other countries. And, sir, my peal of the obnoxious system, and it, in turn, is bound in objections arise from a belief that there is concealed be good faith to give it. But, sir, if we are to judge from the hind it much mischief, and often great frauds are practised former conduct of this House, what have we to hope for? on the Government. But I cannot see any good or sub- A deaf ear has been turned to all our remonstrances. And stantial reason why the Southern States should not be al- whenever a measure has been brought forward, which lowed a drawback on cotton bagging exported from the proposed a reduction of the high duties, they have been United States, as well as the Northern States on salt used indignantly treated. They have, in fact, been denied the in saving fish, or, in other words, a bounty on fish export- usual courtesy which parliamentary usage has assigned to ed. Now, sir, 1 take it, the object of drawbacks is to pre- them. Even the State from which I come, one of the old vent the duty from being paid on articles which are im- thirteen members of the confederacy, and the first to deported, not with a view of consumption in the country, clare themselves of right free and independent, has been but of exporting them again; as, for instance, the people of refused to be heard in a remonstrance against the high New England urge a reason why they should have draw- and oppressive duty on salt. And to prevent a reference back on salt, that they do not consume a large quantity of of her memorial to a committee who had prejudged the it at home, but use it for the purpose of saving fish which subject, and who had reported that it was inexpedient to are intended to be exported.
make any alterations of the tariff, the memorial was laid This, sir, was the cause of the drawback being allowed. on the table. And I have no doubt, upon the examination of the custom When the tyrannical acts of this Governinent become so house books, in New England, it would be found that scarce. oppressive on the citizens of any State as to move the ly any duty is paid at all on the article of alum salt. It is humanity of the Legislature to interpose in their behalf, quite an easy matter so to manage the business as to pre- it should be a matter of serious concern to those who adsent the appearance of exporting, when in fact not half minister the Government. It is not an irrational inference, the quantity that is imported is again exported. Suppose, to suppose that the Legislatures of the States are comsir, we were to ask for an account of the quantities of fish posed of talents sufficient to judge of the powers of this taken by the citizens of New England. i hesitate not to Government, and we may fairly presume they will never say, that upon an examination it would be found that all speak but on extraordinary occasions; and when the Fedethe salt which is pretended to be exported would amount ral Government transcends its power, they should interto more than two pounds to each fish.
pose. Sir, let me remind gentlemen to beware of the And again, sir, there are large quantities of these fish consequences that may arise from the indignity with which consumed in the United States, and a large quantity of the they seem disposed to treat the sovereign States. I ask salı which is used in saving them is again brought back. the friends of the American system, what must be the inBut this is not the fact as regards the cotton bagging. It dignation with which North Carolina will look on the prois imported into the United States, and immediately export. ceedings of this House in relation to their remonstrance ed, and never again returns; so that there is not that against the high and oppressive duty on salt? and what strong probability of fraud being practised on the Govern- must be her feelings, when she comes to learn that, instead ment, by allowing the drawback on that article, as on salt of its receiving a respectful reference, it has been indigused in saving fish. If it were in order to go into a general nantly laid on the table? I have no doubt she will view it, discussion of the American system, it could easily be shown as I do, with contempt and indignation. Sir, in the schemes that it is a system of fraud and deception, and, in its effects, of speculation that is generally going on, North Carolina fatally calculated to reduce any portion of the country to has remained a silent spectator, and has taken no part in, utter ruin. Sir, we were promised, when this system was nor will she do it; but, however humble she may appear, adopted, a home market, which would consume our pro. I will inform the friends of the tariff, she is not entirely ducts, and give us better prices than we could obtain lost to a sense of her injured rights; and when all hope is abroad. The farmer was always to find a ready market lost, and the day of trial comes, she will not be hindmost for his produce, and money was to be put in every man's in the ranks to resent, with just indignation, the insults pocket. But I ask gentlemen if this has been the effect of which have been offered her. We are told of disunion. the system? Have they found it to come up to their ex- Sir, my Staie repudiates such an idea. But let me ask pectations, or has it not rather, on the contrary, produced gentlemen what they suppose such treatment as they have a different result? Sir, the fact is notorious, while the received this session is calculated to lead to, when a majomanufacturing States themselves have not realized the rity of this House become so lost to every principle of juspromised benefits by one hundred per centum, the South-tice and reason, as to refuse to hear the remonstrance of ern States are sinking into ruin under the system. The the minority? What hope have we of this republic? Can beautiful and Aourishing prospects of agriculture, which we expect a Government which is composed of delegated but a few years back adorned the South, are made, under powers from the State sovereignties, to last, when it at. the American system, to present all the appearances of tempts, by almost every act of a general nature it passes, havoc, destruction, and ruin.
to usurp the reserved powers of its creator? Sir, I ask We had entertained strong hopes that, at the present you if the people of North Carolina will submit to be taxed session of Congress, the tarifi would have been so modified to support the manufactures of New England? This, sir, as to have united all parties. The South, sir, have never is what the Legislature of my State have remonstrated advocated a total repeal of the measure. But we had against. And, sir, I undertake to say, whatever may be hoped, after the party contest had subsided, that a mea- the contrary opinion that a majority of this House may sure got up to answer party purposes, and arousing party entertain from those expressed in the memorial, it should, feelings, would have been so modified as to have put the coming from a respectable member of the Union, have South on an equality with the manufacturing States. I
I do been treated with respect. But, sir, waiving for the prenot wish to be understood as laying the passage of the ta. sent reflections of this kind, let us view the proceedings riff' to the charge of the late administration. The fact is in relation to the same subject, originated in this House.
H. of R.]
(March 13, 1830.
What, sir, was the fate of the bill reported by the Com- bas paid ninety dollars. The duties on imports amount mittee of Ways and Means, proposing a modification of to forty-five per cent. ad valorem. When the importing the high duties on certain articles? Without even permit- merchant lands his goods, he pays under the tarifi
' that ting it to be printed, and receive the ordinary courtesy be amount on his goods. In the per cent. he lays, he of course longing to subjects of importance, it was on the first read-includes it, and therefore the consumer has it to pay. And, ing indignantly laid on the table. From such a course of after all, it may be safely said it is a duty on exports, belegislation as this, what has the South to expect, when one cause we pay for these articles with our produce, and in portion of the Union becomes so powerful in legislation as the end the farmer loses out of the price of his produce. to oppress the other, and so insensible to justice as to re- Sir, it is not my object, nor wish, to go any further into fuse to hear their remonstrances? There is but one alter- the general merits of the subject; I know it is not strictly native left, that alternative I need not mention; "sufficient in order, and there are many considerations which at prefor the day is the evil thereof." Sir, what are we to say sent forbid it. But, sir, I think it is not a difficult task to to our constituents, when we return to our homes, groan- show the analogy existing between the conduct of old Enging, as they are, under the most excessive and unjust sys. land towards the colonies previous to the war of the retem of taxation to be found on the records of any nation? volution, and that of New England towards the South in They will approach us to know if we have redressed their relation to the tariff. When the mother country engaged grievances! What must be their feelings when we unfold in the French war which preceded the revolution, the to them the history of our legislation? What must be their colonies, to a man, came forward in support of British feelings when we tell them that nothing has been done? rights; they sacrificed their lives and treasures in support Disappointed in their expectations, they will depart; and of the cause of the mother country. After the war had terdriven to desperation by the unfeeling acts of an unre- minated, some of the nobility visited this country, and saw lenting and overbearing majority opposed to their welfare the flourishing condition in which we were; they saw that, and happiness, from the most unworthy motives, the worst in point of wealth, and in a very few years, we should outof consequences may be dreaded. Sir, there is a state of strip the mother country. When they returned horảe, and feeling to which human nature can be driven, to which in related these things to the ministry, it became a matter of sulted feelings and wounded pride may be driven, that serious concern; and it was soon resolved, that, in order death is preferable to life. Such, in my opinion, is the ef- to prevent the growth and population of the colonies, a fect this tariff will have on the South, if not speedily re- system of taxation should be devised, which would enable pealed. The history of this country affords a striking proof the mother country to reimburse herself for losses sustained of the height of desperation to which an oppressed people during the war. may be driven.
When, sir, the tyrants of Great Britain Sir, let us now turn our attention to transactions of a were planning the destruction and ruin of these colonies, more recent date, and come a little nearer home. After a system of taxation, fraught with such principles of injus- the late war, with England, in which the South bore a contice and inequality, never entered their minds.
spicuous part, and which was a war more to protect New The famous stamp act and tea tas sinks into insignifi- England scamen and commerce than our own, the South cance when compared with the American system. The planted the standard of liberty, and rallied around it; the contrast is this the former was a tax imposed by tyrants, sacrifice which she made was more than double the gain in which we were required to pay pence; the latter is one she derived from the issue of it. After the war was endimposed by our brethren, our neighbors, and professedly ed, what was the first step takenThe New England republicans, in which, for every one hundred dollars worth manufacturers came forward, and insisted that by the war of cotton, rice, or tobacco, we export, we are made to they had been driven to adopt the manufacturing system, pay forty-five dollars.
It matters not whether the tax be and unless we gave some protection they were ruined. The laid on imports or exports, it is all the same if the doctrine liberality of the South was appealed to, and on this, as on be true that exports and imports in a series of years are all others, it was extended. We !ent our aid, and gare equal. We export to import; and any duty which Govern them the protection they demanded. The South felt no ment may lay, is a tax on this exchange, and, if laid in this hesitation in sacrificing a reasonable portion of their inte. country, must, in the end, come out of the producer of rest to accommodate the North. But, sir, this was not deemthe article exported. If the friends of the tariffare allowed sufficient; it was evident that the tariff of 1816 was not ed to collect out of us a tax of forty-five per cent., they sufficient to tax the South to that degree which would enmight as well take one-half of our cotton, rice, or tobacco, able the manufacturing States to compete with them; they before we export it, as half the articles we import in es- saw that in a very few years the rising wealth of the South change for it; for my own part, I can see no difference: would so far outstrip them, as to sink them into insignifiand if the system of robbery and plunder is to be riveted cance and contempt; and hence the famous American syson us and our posterity, I, for one, would much rather tem was devised, which was not only intended to raise the they would take the raw material at once. If, sir, it is to manufacturers in point of wealth, but sink the South into be the law of this land that for every dollar which the hon-ruin and poverty. What, in 1816, was asked as a matter of est, hard working farmers I represent, spend for the neces- favor, was in 1824 demanded as a matter of right. Then, saries of life, they are to pay this Government forty-five and not until then, was it asserted that a system of taxation cents, I hope in God the system will be so modified as to was morally and constitutionally right, which seized on the authorize them to take half of our cotton, &c. &c. at once. wealth of one portion of the Union, and took money out I would much prefer it to the present tariff. Every per- of their pockets and gave to another. Not until then was son who is desirous of knowing how he is affected by the the doctrine urged, that, because Providence, in the impartariff, may tell by setting down at the end of the year, and tial distribution of its favors, had cast the lot of some in a simply calculating how much he has expended during the rich, fertile country, warmed by the genial rays of the sun, past, for coffee, sugar, salt, iron, &c. &c. If he has ex- and others in a more barren and cold climate, the forpended ten dollars, he has paid four collars and fifty cents. mer had to be taxed to make up, in point of wealth, the If he has expended twenty dollars, he has paid nine dol- deficiency of the latter. This, sir, I repeat, is the effect lars. If he has expended thirty dollars, he has paid thir. of the tariff; and if the principle holds good in one point, teen dollars and fifty cents. If he has expended forty dol- it will in all. And, upon the same principle of reasoning, lars, he has paid eighteen dollars. If he has expended you have the moral and constitutional right to tas the fifty dollars, he has paid twenty-two dollars and fifty cents. wealthy part of our community, to an extent that will bring If he has expended one hundred dollars, he has paid forty- the poor class on an equality with them. I shall not, on five dollars. If he has expended two hundred dollars, he the present occasion, go into arguments to prove the un
Marcı 13, 1850.]
[H. of R.
constitutionality of taxing one portion of the Union for the are to decide all questions of sovereignty between the Gesupport and advantage of the other, but I must ask the in- neral Government and the States) that men, whose opidulgence of the House a few moments, while I notice some nions lean to the ministerial side, would be selected, and of the reasons which are urged in support of it. We are placed in power. And, sir, with a President and both told that this country is able to live on its own resources, branches of the Government in favor of giving to it unindependent of foreign markets, and that, by adopting the limited powers, what prospect have an injured ininority of American system, a home market can be found for our justice, when they appeal to the judiciary? This doctrine own produce. Sir, to my mind, there is not to be found of the minority submitting to judicial decisions, is the docin support of any doctrine ever advanced on earth, an ar- trine of despotic Governments, who never fail to manage gument more destitute of truth and reason than this. In the matter so as to make that branch of the Government the first place, it is a gross absurdity to say that the Ame- subservient to their will; and once let the States concede rican system affords a home market; if it does, and the this power to be in the judiciary, and let the people calmmanufacturers can furnish us articles as cheap as we can ly submit toit, (which God forbid!) and your Government, purchase them abroad, why are these high protecting du- sir, which is called republican, and said to be limited in its ties demanded? and why is it that the manufacturers con- powers, will usurp the powers of the State Governments, sider any reduction of duties rather a curse than å bless because it is unlimited in its control, and the liberty of this ing? To come to the point, if they can-furnish us cotton country finally destroyed by an undue exercise of its powbagging as cheap as we can import it, why is the duty of ers. It is not difficult to see the rapid strides which this four and a half cents per square yard laid on the article? Government is making after power; and the only way to Why not pass the resolution on the table, allow the draw- check the evil, is to cut off the source from whence it deback, and I will venture to say the South will purchase the rives this enormous quantity of money. The amount colarticle where it can be had on the best terms. Sir, it is lected from imports is annually about twenty-three millions equallyabsurd to say that this country can live on its own of dollars, of which the Southern States pay about sixteen resources, as well as to exchange with foreign nations; and millions. And, sir, from this unequal and unconstitutional the doctrine proceeds from the same selfish disposition system of taxation, we have prayed to be relieved, and which unhappily actuates some individuals in our country. from time to time have remonstrated. Our State LegislaBecause God has blessed them with opulence and wealth, ture has protested against this system. Meetings have they are disposed to live on their own means, and even been held, in which the unjustness of the tariff policy has without exchanging the ordinary civilities incident to civil been set forth, for which we have been branded with the life. In those States which have a dense population, I pre- epithet of disunionists. The South cherish no such feeltend not to say but that it may be to their interest to car- ings; they are as firmly attached to the Union as any por. ry on manufacturing; but to every person acquainted with tion of the United States. the Southern States, it is apparent that the system cannot But, sir, let me ask gentlemen to pause, and solemly be adopted without incalculable sacrifice. Unacquainted pause, and reflect on the course they are pursuing. A rewith the arts of manufacturing, owning a rich and fertile spectable portion of the Union have remonstrated against soil, and being under a climate admirably adapted to the the unjust system of taxation under which they are made culture of cotton, tobacco, rice, and other great staples, to labor, and this House has, on all occasions, set at naught it is to our interest to cultivate them, and exchange with the petitions. Their remonstrances against an unconstiother nations for the necessaries of life; and I should like to tutional exercise of power towards them have been indigbe informed, upon what principles of moral reason it is, nantly kicked out of doors. I ask gentlemen if they supwe are bound to abandon our native pursuits, to accommo- pose the wounded pride and patriotism of the South will date the manufacturing States. Though we ask them not, tamely submit to such treatment? Sir, we want no dissir, for a total repeal of the tariff, we are willing to ex- union, and the charge is a foul aspersion, and I indignantly tend them protection, so far as to place them on an equali- throw it back. The wish of the South is to cherish unty with us." I, for one, am willing to extend protection, so impaired the principles of the constitution, venerate its as to enable our country in war to defend herself--further sanctity, and hand it down to posterity unimpaired. But, I am not willing to go, and further the South will not go. sir, when we see that hallowed instrument made to subThat the present tariff is the reverse of this, needs no ar- serve the most unworthy motives; when we see that ingument to prove. As members of the same great family, strument which was made to protect us, and secure to us we have made appeals to the magnanimity of Congress; our liberty, used as an engine to oppress, we have but litbut our remonstrances are turned a deaf ear to. We are tle to hope for. For my own part, I have no hope that the told that a majority must and ought to rule; and that, if we present Congress will do any thing to relieve the grievan. are dissatisfied, we must appeal to the judiciary, which is ces of the South; nor do I believe any thing will ever be the tribunal to settle disputes between the General Govern- done, until we take a bold and independent stand. Sir, I ment and the States. Sir, I confess, in ordinary matters shall advise no harsh measures, but my own opinion is, between the States and individuals, the doctrine is tena- fro:n the cruel and unprecedented treatment the South ble. But I deny, that, in those questions which affect the has received, she would be justifiable in throwing her ports sovereignty and independence of the States, the ma- open, and declaring the tariff unconstitutional. And until jority are to rule, or the judiciary is to be the umpire to some such measure as this is adopted, we are doomed to a decide. No person on earth is more disposed to yield to the state of vassalage. When the South act as one man, and judicial decisions of the country than I am, in matters cog- assert their injured rights, they will be speedily redressed, nizable before them. But when questions of conflicting and not until then. interest exist between the Federal Government and the Sir, gentlemen may say this amounts to treason or disStates, I deny that the judiciary is the tribunal to decide. union. But I think not.' It would be the exercise of a The people themselves are to decide this matter. And I power reserved to the State sovereignties, and the only undertake to say, if the grievances under which they labor alternative which is left an oppressed people, driven to are not speedily redressed, they will decide it. But, sir, desperation by the usurped powers of the General Go. one word more in relation to the judiciary. Suppose the vernment. It would in my opinion be that step, which, Chief Magistrate of this country, and a majority of the Sen- if taken by any one of the States, would lead to a speedy ate, to be in favor of the unlim.tel powers which some at- repeal of the tariff. And I have no doubt, if this llouse tiu i to say this Goscinnent, and vacancies should occurishould persist in the high-toned career which has charac. in the judicial de partidut thereof, it is not irrational to terized their proceedings this session, in relation to this sub. suppose (if the powers be considered, that the judiciary ject, it will sooner or later inevitably lead to it. And I hope,
H. of R.)
[March 13, 1830.
when this is the only alternative left us, there will not be have taken to “protect the constitution of the United found in the whole South a man to collect the duties for the States," is a nullity; for to them there is no constitution General Government. Sir, I have devoutly prayed that to protect. To them the theory and principles of this this "cup might pass us.” Should it not, and we are Government do not exist: they have overleaped the last forced to drink it, the consequences be upon them, and barrier opposed to the encroachments of the reajority not upon us.
upon the rights of the minority; and to them this floor has Mr. CAMPBELL, of South Carolina, said, although 1 already become an arena for the struggle of interest. ! am convinced that the resolution on your table would, by know that constitutional objections had as well be urged its alloption, relieve an important branch of industry iir to the marble pillars which support this dome, as to them; New England from an unjust oppression, and thus tend to for they would be convinced as soon. extend her commerce and increase her resources, yet, To those gentlemen who believe that the powers of disconnected with the amendment, I could not hesitate to this Government have some limit, but who think that vote against it. By the adoption of that resolution, we Congress has exercised a constitutional power in imposing would remove one of the greatest evils which the people on the commerce of the country the fetters of the "Ame. of New England esperience from the present system of rican system,” I would address myself. I conjure them commercial restrictions, and thus unite her politicians still by every tie of patriotism, by every recollection of the more firmly in that unholy war, which is so relentlessly past glory and happiness of this country, and by every waged against the great and legitimate interests of this hope for the permanency and continuance of this Union, country. Take the resolution in connexion with the calmly and dispassionately to review their opinions. lask amendment, and my present impression is favorable to its them to inquire if, in the pursuit of partial objects, they adoption: for, although convinced that nothing short of a have not allowed themselves to be misled to the enactment thorough revision of the revenue laws can either heal the of laws, which, in their operations, must bring ruin and wounds, or soothe thie irritated feelings of the South, yet a desolation upon a portion of this country. I ask them to drawback of four and a half cents per square yard on foreign inquire whether, in exercising the power to lery duties on cotton bagging must be severely felt by the manufacturers foreign importation, they have preserved the letter of the of the domestic article; and, by at once destroying the fal. constitution, if they have not violated its spirit. lacious and extravagant expectations in which the people Sir, I appeal to the friends of the American system; as of the West have indulged, may produce a rational mode patriots 1 appeal to them! Do they believe the tendency of thinking, and ultimately relieve our commerce from the of the existing tariff is to diffuse health and prosperity shackles of the "American system.”
through every section of the Union? Are they not convinc. As the operation of the proposed allowance of draw-ed that such is not its tendency? Are they not, on the backs is in direct opposition to a system of policy which contrary, convinced that its evils are general, its benefits has been loudly condemned by those whom I have the partial; that, if it has opened new sources of industry in honor to represent, and will effect, indirectly, the same one portion of the United States, it has produced depresobjects which would be directly produced by a reduction sion in another? If so, as patriots looking not to the ad. of duties, I trust that I will be indulged in a few brief re- vancement of particular interests only, but to the good of marks upon the subject of protecting duties.
all, they are bound to alter it. I call upon them as repubIt is not, sir, as the representative of a section of this licans. I ask them if the tariff of 1828 is not anti-repubcountry only, but as an American citizen--it is with the lican and aristocrtic in its operation; if its tendency is feelings of one who loves his country, and desires her in- not to enrich the wealthy, and impoverish the poor, to stitutions to flourish, that I address you. It is with the make many dependant on a few, even for that occupa. sincere belief that the laws passed by Congress for the tion which is necessary to their existence, and thus to protection of domestic manufactures, are not only unjust destroy the purity and corrupt the sources of elections. in their operations, but that they are in violation of the If so, as republicans who believe that purity in our elecspirit of the constitution, and utterly destructive of the tions is essential to the preservation of that virtue in the principles, of equality upon which this Government is Government upon which our institutions must mainly rest founded.
for support, they are bound to modify it. In what article, section, or amendment to the constitu That a single interest, and that, too, an inconsiderable tion, do gentlemen find a power given to impose duties, one, should have engrossed the entire protection of this amounting almost to a prohibition of foreign importations, Government at the expense of all others—that a few mofor the encouragement of domestic manufactures? If there nopolists, who neither from numbers, or any other conis such a grant of power, it has escaped my observation; sideration, are entitled to direct our councils, should rule if there is no such power delegated, its exercise must be the destinies of this nation, exhibits the most singular infounded in usurpation; and we are bound by every con- stance to be met with in the annals of human history, of sideration of honor, religion, and patriotism, to retrace an intelligent people allowing themselves to be unresistour steps.
ingly led to the sacrifice. I know that there has been a mode of construction How is it, sir, that in a country where error and pre. adopted on this floor, which, under the power “to regu- judice should fiee before the illumination of unrestricted late commerce," conveys to Congress the power to destroy inquiry, a system so unequal in its operation, and so incommerce; I know that there has been a mode of con- congenial with our republican institutions, should have struction adopted on this floor, which, under the ex- found a home? To me it is an enigma: I know of nothing pression in the constitution, “to provide for the common connected with our history to which it can be attributed, defence and general welfare," conveys to Congress pow- unless it be to the exaggerated terrors inspired by the last er to pass whatever laws may, in the opinion of its mem- war, that we might again be found without the means of bers, be thought necessary. Gentlemen who thus con- defence. At the conclusion of that war, every circum. strue the charter of our liberties, may act conscientiously stance, both internal and external, opened a boundless in the support of the “American system.” The mode of field to American enterprise: the planter of the South construction which they have adopted, has broken down gathered a golden harvest as the reward of his industry; every barrier opposed by the constitution to the exercise the farmer of the Middle and Eastern States received a libeof unlimited power; and there is left no control over their ral price in exchange for his wheat and other productions, votes, but their ideas of expediency. Under the pretext in the East, the West, and South, the rich and varied of the general good, they may trample upon the rights productions of our inexhausted soil fed and clothed the and liberties of their fellow-citizens; the oaths which they population of a world. In short, our commerce and agri