Слике страница

of surveying it, and in extending terms, yet in effect came in aid the jurisdiction of the State over of the local policy of those three it, in effect rendered it subject to Southwestern States, sanctioned the intrusion of any person.

as that policy was, by the new The laws of the States thus Federal Administration. came directly in conflict with those The Cherokees, however, reof the United States, and as the fused to acquiesce in this policy, President had determined not to and determined to maintain, by execute the law of Congress, when all the means in their power, their it conflicted with State sovereign- rights as guarantied by treaty. iy, he in that manner adopted the Jo this unsettled, and unhappy State laws as part of the national condition they remained at the policy, and this bill thus passed close of the period about whick by Congress, although not in. we are treating.


Opinions in South Carolina. - Proceedings in Southern States. Nullification. - Public Lands. - System of disposing of same.

- Pretensions of Indiana and Illinois. - Graduation Bill. - Mr Foot's Resolution. Debate thencon. - Mr Hayne's Speech. Mr Webster's Reply. - Effect of Discussion. Graduation Bill passes the Senate. Laid over in House. Nullification Party.

THE tendency of the 'two par- 1824 and on the subsequent ties, into which the American modification in 1828, had been people were divided, to assume a led by the talented delegation local character has been noticed from South Carolina in Congress, in the previous volumes of the and when they were defeated in Register, and it may be remarked the Halls of Legislation, with as a general proposition, that the characteristic energy they renewSouthern States have, with the ed their efforts to overturn the exception of South Carolina, been system and to render it unpopular uniformly hostile to the exercise with the people. of power by the Federal Govern At first it was contemplated on ment. This State, although vot- its passage to resign their seats in ing with the adjacent States on all Congress; and a meeting of the local and on most national ques- delegation was held at Washingrions, had on some occasions, as ton with the view of deciding upin 1816, been foremost in asserting on the steps which should be the right of Congress to legislate taken. This proposition was dison certain disputed points. — cussed, together with that of deAmong these were the subjects of claring the law to be void and of Internal Improvement, the United no effect within the State, and the States Bank and the Tariff. A chances of a successful resistance change of opinion bad now taken to the Federal Goverrment were place there, and it began to go freely canvassed. beyond any of the advocates of The delegation, however, did not State rights, in its assertion of concur in adopting violent meaStale sovereignty. A vehement sures, and it was determined to enopposition to the tariff, both in deavor upon their return home to

rouse their constituents to a more Admitting that, under the Constieffectual cpposition to the protect- tution a tribunal was appointed to ing system. No exertions were decide controversies, where the spared to excite public feeling United States was a party, the against the law. It was denounc- report contended that some ed as a measure local in its char- questions must occur between acter, partial and oppressive in the United States and the States, its operation, and unconstitutional which it would be unsafe to subin principle.

mit to any judicial tribunal. The Having convinced themselves Supreme Court had already maniof this, they began to question the fested an undue leaning in favor right of the Federal Government of the Federal Government; and to require obedience, and almost when the Constitution was violated simultaneously with the legisla- in its spirit, and not literally, there ture of Georgia, which, Decem- was peculiar propriety in a State ber 24th, 1827, resolved to 'sub- Legislature's undertaking to demit only to its own construction cide for itself, inasmuch as the of the Federal Compact; the Constitution had not provided any Senate of South Carolina insti- remedy. tuted a committee to inquire into The report then proceeded to the powers of the Federal Gov- declare all legislation for the proernment, in reference to certain tection of doinestic manufactures subjects then agitated.

to be unconstitutional, as being in The report of this committee, favor of a local interest and ihat which received the sanction of Congress had no power to legisthe State Senate on the twelfth late except upon subjects of geneand of the House on the nine. ral interest. The power to conteeth of December, 1827, as- struct roads and canals, within the serted that the Federal Consti- limits of a State, or to appropriate tution was a compact originally money for that purpose, was also formed, not between the people denounced as unconstitutional, as of the United States at large, but was all legislation for the purpose between the people of the differ- of meliorating the condition of the ent States as distinct and inde- free colored or the slave populapendent sovereignties; and that tion of the United States. when


violation of the letter or On this last topic, it was intispirit of that compact took place, mated that no reasoning could it is not only the right of the peo- take place between the United ple, but of the State Legislatures States and South Carolina. It io remonstrate against it; that was a question of feeling, too inthe Federal Government was re- timately connected with their transponsible to the people whenever quillity and safety to be discussed. it abused or injudiciously exer In remonstrating against these cised powers intrusted to it, and violations of the Constitution, the that it was responsible to the State should appear as a soveState Legislatures, whenever it reign, and not as a suppliant beassumed powers not conferred. sore the National Legislature, and

resolutions, expressive of the ap- of 134 to 68; and judging from probation of the State Legislature the opinions expressed by the of these principles, having passed public functionaries of those both Houses, they were transmit- States, the time appeared to be ted, with the report, to the dele- near at hand when the Union was gation in Congress, to be laid be- about to be dissolved by the defore that body, then engaged in terinination of a large section not the consideration of the tariff. to submit to the laws of the Fede

That law having passed, the ral Government, nor to any comState Legislature, at the next mon tribunal appointed to decide session, sanctioned a protest, upon their constitutionality. against it as unconstitutional, op A check was indeed given to pressive and unjust, which was this spirit by the State of North transmitted to their Senators in Carolina, which, although not less Congress to be entered upon the averse to the policy of the tariff, journal of the Senate. This was declared itself against all violent done on the 10th of February, measures in opposition to it. 1829. The change which took The State of Alabama also in place in the Federal Government 1828, when remonstrating against caused a belief that some satisfac- the passage of the tariff, conceded tory modification would be made the right of Congress to pass of the tariff; and during the sum revenue laws, although the incimer of 1829 the excitement ap- dental effect might be to protect peared to be directed less against domestic manufactures. In 1829, the administration and more con- indeed, it went farther and assumcentrated against the law itself. ed nearly the same ground with The doctrine, however, of the Virginia, South Carolina and righi of a State to nullify an act Georgia ; still the qualified oppoof Congress was not relinquished, sition first made to the law proved, although it seemed to be conceded that the South was not united in that it would be best to attempt the unconstitutional stand taken first to procure the repeal of the by some of the States on that subobnoxious law. In these opin- ject, and that the injustice and opions the State Government of pression which were so veheGeorgia fully concurred. . As a mently denounced, were not so measure of policy, the tariff was plainly and generally felt as to renequally unpopular, and the con- der resistance to the tariff a poputroversy respecting the Indians lar step. Indeed it was doubted had been carried to that length, whether the feelings of the peoas to bring the State in collision ple in the three States, which had with a law of Congress, and 10 declared in favor of nullification, induce the Legislature to declare were not misrepresented by the that it should be disregarded and local legislatures. However deheld void.

cidedly they might have disapThe Legislature of Virginia also proved of the policy of protection, declared its assent 10 the same no sufficient evidence had yet principle of nullification by a vote been given that they deemed it a

greater evil than disunion, and The portion west of the Missisthe declarations and resolutions sippi, forming much the larger part put forth by the State Governments is held under the Louisiana treaty, were justly considered as the sud- having been acquired by purchase den ebullitions of violent feelings from France. The residue was or as efforts on the part of leading acquired at the treaty of 1783, men to excite a ternpest in the the fruits of conquest from the public mind for political effect. crown of Great Britain. Several This movement was not rendered of the States set up claims to Jess dangerous by the motives of these lands, then lying beyond the those who made it. When the farthest frontier settlements and storm began to rage, it would be west of the Alleghanies and inimpossible to control it. It might habited only by Indian tribes; as easily break down the barriers but after some dispute these claims of the Constitution and overturn were relinquished (New York the government, as annul an

as annul an un- setting the example) and the right popular law.

The federative of the United States acknowledged principle of the Constitution and to all these lands, which were dithe whole authority of Congress vided into the Northwest and and of the Federal Judiciary were Southwest or Mississippi terriput in issue by the question now tories. started, and however unwilling

Out of these territories, new the leaders might be to destroy States have been from time to time the Union ; still experience had erected and admitted into the too clearly shown the difficulty of Union under certain conditions restraining an excited people, not and stipulations inserted in the act to create apprehension as to the of Congress, authorizing the inresult of these efforts to throw off habitants to form constitutions. the authority of the General Gov- These States have been settled eroment. Similar movements in chiefly by emigrants from the old another portion of the Union, also thirteen States and the titles to their originating in local interests, and land have been derived mostly aiming at an extension of State from the United States. Prior to sovereignty, to the detriment of the adoption of the Federal Conthe just claims of the Federal stitution, but few sales had been Government,

gave additional made. ground for these apprehensions. Three large tracts were sold, Efforts had been inade of. late one called the triangle, north of years in some of the Western Pennsylvania, east of Ohio and States, to induce thern to claim, west of New York, on lake Erie, under pretence of their rights as consisting of 202,187 acres, wbich sovereign States, the public lands was sold to the State of Pennbelonging to the United States sylvania, September 4th, 1778 ; vithin their several limits.

one tract on the Ohio and MuskThe lands, forming the public ingum rivers, to the Ohio company, domain of the country, were ac originally containing two million quired by the Federal Govern- acres, but afterwards reduced by inent in two modes.

consent 10 964,285 acres; and a

« ПретходнаНастави »