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of this union, in their successive executive functions in their various generations. Since the adoption relations to foreign affairs, to the of this social compact, one of these revenue and expenditures, and to generations has passed away. It the military force of the union by is the work of our forefathers.- land and sea. A co-ordinate departAdministered by some of the most ment of the judiciary has expoundeminent men, who contributed to ed the constitution and the laws; its formation, through a most event- settling, in harmonious coincidence ful period in the annals of the with the legislative will, numerous world, and through all the vicissi- weighty questions of construction tudes of peace and war, incidental which the imperfection of human to the condition of associated man, language had rendered unavoidable. it has not disappointed the hopes The year of jubilee since the first and aspirations of those illustrious formation of our union, has just benefactors of their age and na. elapsed ; that of the declaration of tion. It has promoted the lasting our independence is at hand. The welfare of that country, so dear to consummation of both was effectus all; it has, to an extent, far be- ed by this constitution. Since that yond the ordinary lot of humanity, period, a population of four milsecured the freedom and happiness lions has multiplied to twelve. A of this people. We now receive territory bounded by the Mississipit as a precious inheritance from pi, has been extended from sea to those to whom we are indebted for sea. New states have been admitits establishment, doubly bound by ted to the union, in numbers nearly the examples which they have left equal to those of the first confedeus, and by the blessings which we ration. Treaties of peace, amity have enjoyed, as the fruits of their and commerce, have been conclulabors, to transmit the same, unim- ded with the principal dominions paired, to the succeeding genera- of the earth. The people of other
nations, inhabitants of regions ac“In the compass of thirty-six quired, not by conquests, but by years, since this great national co- compact, have been united with us venant was instituted, a body of in the participation of our rights laws enacted under its authority, and duties, of our burdens and and in conformity with its provi- blessings. The forest has fallen sions, has unfolded its powers, and by the axe of our woodsmen—the carried into practical operation its soil has been made to teem by the effective energies. Subordinate tillage of our farmers; our comdepartments have distributed the merce has whitened every ocean.
The dominion of man over phy. in our relations with foreign nasical nature, has been extended by tions; upon jealousies of partial the invention of our artists. Li- and sectional interests, aggravated berty and law have marched hand by prejudices and prepossessions, in hand. All the purposes of hu- which strangers to each other are man association have been accom- ever apt to entertain. plished as effectively as under any “ It is a source of gratification other government on the globe ; and of encouragement to me, to and at a cost, little exceeding, in a observe that the great result of this whole generation, the expenditures experiment upon the theory of huof other nations in a single year. man rights, has, at the close of that
“ Such is the unexaggerated pic- generation by which it was formed, ture of our condition, under a con- been crowned with success equal stitution founded upon the repub-4 to the most sanguine expectations lican principle of equal rights. To of its founders. Union, justice, admit that this picture has its tranquillity, the common defence, shades, is but to say, that it is still the general welfare, and the blessthe condition of men upon earth. ings of liberty—all have been proFrom evil, physical, moral and po- moted by the government under litical, it is not our claim to be which we have lived. Standing exempt. We have suffered, some- at this point of time ; looking back times by the visitation of Heaven, to that generation which has gone through disease ; often by the by, and forward to that which is wrongs and injustice of other na- advancing, we may, at once, intions, even to the extremities of dulge in grateful exultation, and in war ; and lastly, by dissensions cheering hope. From the experiamong ourselves—dissensions, per- ence of the past, we derive inhaps, inseparable from the enjoy- structive lessons for the future. ment of freedom, but which have of the two great political parties more than once appeared to threaten which have divided the opinions the dissolution of the union, and and feelings of our country, the with it, the overthrow of all the candid and the just will now ad. enjoyments of our present lot, and mit, that both have contributed all our earthly hopes of the future. splendid talents, spotless integrity, The causes of these dissensions ardent patriotism, and disinteresthave been various, founded upon ed sacrifices, to the formation and differences of speculation in the administration of this government; theory of republican government; and that both have required a libeupon conflicting views of policy, ral indulgence for a portion of human infirmity and error. The re- legitimate government upon earth volutionary wars of Europe, com- –That the best security for the mencing precisely at the moment beneficence, and the best guaranty when the government of the Uni- against the abuse of power, conted States first went into operation sists in the freedom, the purity, and under this constitution, excited a the frequency of popular elections collision of sentiments and of sym- —That the general government of pathies, which kindled all the pas- the union, and the separate gosions, and embittered the conflict vernments of the states, are all of parties, till the nation was in- sovereignties of limited powers ; volved in war, and the union was fellow servants of the same masshaken to its centre. This time of ters, uncontrolled within their retrial embraced a period of five and spective spheres, uncontrollable by twenty years, during which, the po- encroachments upon each otherlicy of the union, in its relations That the firmest security of peace, with Europe, constituted the prin- is the preparation, during peace, of cipal basis of our political divi- the defences of war- That a rigosions, and the most arduous part of rous economy, and accountability the action of our federal govern- of public expenditures, should ment. With the catastrophe in guard against the aggravation, and which the wars of the French re- alleviate, when possible, the burvolution terminated, and our own den of taxation-That the military subsequent peace with Great Bri- should be kept in strict subordinatain, this baneful weed of party tion to the civil power— That the strife was uprooted. From that freedom of the press, and of relitime, no difference of principle, gious opinion, should be inviolate connected either with the theory –That the policy of our country of government, or with our inter- is peace, and the ark of our salvacourse with foreign nations, has tion union, are articles of faith existed, or been called forth, in upon which we are all agreed. If force sufficient to sustain a con- there have been those who doubttinued combination of parties, or ed whether a confederated repregive more than wholesome anima- sentative democracy were a gotion to public sentiment, or legis- vernment competent to the wise lative debate. Our political creed and orderly management of the is, without a dissenting voice that common concerns of a mighty nacan be heard, that the will of the tion, those doubts have been dispeople is the source, and the hap- pelled. If there have been propiness of the people the end, of all jects of partial confederacies, to be
erected upon the ruins of the union, ment, at once federal and national. they have been scattered to the It holds out to us a perpetual adwinds. If there have been dan- monition to preserve, alike and gerous attachments to one foreign with equal anxiety, the rights of nation, and antipathies against an- each individual state in its own goother, they have been extinguish vernment, and the rights of the ed. Ten years of peace, at home whole nation, in that of the union. and abroad, have assuaged the ani. Whatever is of domestic concernmosities of political contention, ment, unconnected with the other and blended into harmony the most members of the union, or with fodiscordant elements of public opi- reign lands, belongs exclusively to nion. There still remains one ef- the administration of the state gofort of magnanimity, one sacrifice vernments. Whatsoever directly of prejudice and passion, to be involves the rights and interests of made by the individuals throughout the federative fraternity, or of fothe nation, who have heretofore reign powers, is of the resort of followed the standards of political this general government. The duparty. It is that of discarding ties of both are obvious in the geevery remnant of rancor against neral principle, though sometimes each other ; of embracing, as perplexed with difficulties in the countrymen and friends; and of detail. To respect the rights of yielding to talents and virtue alone, the state governments is the inviothat confidence which, in times of lable duty of that of the union : the contention for principle, was be- government of every state will feel stowed only upon those who bore its own obligation to respect and the badge of party communion preserve the rights of the whole.
“ The collisions of party spirit, The prejudices every where too which originate in speculative opi- commonly entertained against disnions, or in different views of ad- tant strangers, are worn away, and ministrative policy, are, in their na- the jealousies of jarring interests ture, transitory. Those which are are allayed by the composition and founded on geographical divisions, functions of the great national adverse interests of soil, climate, councils, annually assembled from and modes of domestic life, are all quarters of the union, at this more permanent, and, therefore, place. Here the distinguished men perhaps, more dangerous. It is from every section of our country, this which gives inestimable value while meeting to deliberate upon to the character of our govern- the great interests of those by
whom they are deputed, learn to To improve the organization and estimate the talents, and do justice discipline of the army-To proto the virtues of each other. The vide and sustain a school of miliharmony of the nation is promoted, tary science-To extend equal proand the whole union is knit toge- tection to all the great interests of ther by the sentiments of mutual the nation—To promote the civilirespect, the habits of social inter- zation of the Indian tribes; and course, and the ties of personal To proceed in the great system of friendship, formed between the re- internal improvements, within the presentatives of its several parts, limits of the constitutional power in the performance of their ser- of the union. Under the pledge vice at this metropolis.
of these promises, made by that - Passing from this general re- eminent citizen, at the time of his view of the purposes and injunc- first induction to this office, in his tions of the federal constitution, career of eight years, the internal and their results, as indicating the taxes have been repealed; sixty first traces of the path of duty, in millions of the public debt have the discharge of my public trust, I been discharged; provision has turn to the administration of my been made for the comfort and reimmediate predecessor, as the se- lief of the aged and indigent, cond. It has passed away in a among the surviving warriors of period of profound peace; how the revolution; the regular armed much to the satisfaction of our force has been reduced, and its country, and to the honor of our constitution revised and perfected; country's name, is known to you the accountability for the expendiall. The great features of its po- tures of public moneys has been licy, in general concurrence with made more effective ; the Floridas the will of the legislature, have have been peaceably acquired, and been~ To cherish peace while pre- our boundary has been extended to paring for defensive war-To yield the Pacific ocean; the indepen. exact justice to other nations, and dence of the southern nations of maintain the rights of our own- this hemisphere has been recog
To cherish the principles of free- nized, and recommended, by exdom and of equal rights, wherever ample and by council, to the pothey were proclaimed-To dis- tentates of Europe ; progress has charge, with all possible promp- been made in the defence of the titude, the national debt-To re- country, by fortifications and the duce, within the narrowest limits increase of the navy—towards the of efficiency, the military force- effectual suppression of the African