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approbation of this House. Recall to your recollection the free pations which have
Where are they now?
“Gone glimmering through the dream of things that were,
A school-boy's tale, the wonder of an hour."
And how have they lost their liberties ? If we could transport ourselves back to the ages when Creece and Rome flourished in their greatest prosperity, and, mingling in the throng, should ask a Grecian if he did not fear that some daring military chieftain, covered with glory, some Philip or Alexander, would one day overthrow the liberties of his country, the confident and indignant Grecian would exclaim, No! no! we have nothing to fear from our heroes; our liberties will be eternal. If a Roman citizen had been asked, if he did not fear that the conqueror of Gaul might establish a throne upon
the ruins of public liberty, he would have instantly repelled the unjust insinuation. Yet Groooo foll, Cæsar passed the Rubicon, and the patriotic arm even of Brutus could not preserve the liberties of his devoted country! The celebrated Madame de Stael, in her last and perhaps her best work, has said, that in the very year, almost the very month, when the President of the Directory declared that monarchy would never more show its frightful head in France, Bonaparte, with his grenadiers, entered the palace of St. Cloud, and dispersing, with the bayonet, the deputies of the people, deliberating on the affairs of the state, laid the foundation of that vast fabric of despotism which overshadowed all Europe. I hope not to be misunderstood; I am far from intimating that General Jackson cherishes any designs inimical to the liberties of the country. I believe his intentions to be pure and patriotic. I thank God that he would not, but I thank him still more that he could not, if he would, overturn the liberties of the republic. But precedents, if bad, are fraught with the most dangerous consequences. Man has been described, by some of those who have treated of his nature, as a bundle of habits. The definition is much truer when applied to governments. Precedents are their habits. There is one important difference between the formation of habits by an individual and by governments. He contracts it only after frequent repetition. A single instance fixes the habit and determines the direction of governments. Against the alarming doctrine of unlimited discretion in our military commanders, when applied even to prisoners of war, I must enter my protest. It begins upon them; it will end on us. I hope our happy form of government is
to be perpetual. But, if it is to be preserved, it must be by the practice of virtue, by justice, by moderation, by magnanimity, by greatness of soul, by keeping a watchful and steady eye on the executive; and, above all, by holding to a strict accountability the military branch of the public force.
We are fighting a great moral battle, for the benefit not only of our country, but of all mankind.
The eyes of the whole world are in fixed attention upon us. One, and the largest portion of it, is gazing with contempt, with jealousy, and with envy; the other portion, with hope, with confidence, and with affection. Everywhere the black cloud of legitimacy is suspended over the world, save only one bright spot, which breaks out from the political hemisphere of the West, to enlighten, and animate, and gladden the human heart. Obscure that, by the downfall of liberty here, and all mankind are enshrouded in a pall of universal darkness. To you, Mr. Chairman, belongs the high privilege of transmitting, unimpaired, to posterity, the fair character and liberty of our country. Do you expect to execute this high trust, by trampling, or suffering to be trampled down, law, justice, the constitution, and the rights of the people ? By exhibiting examples of inhumanity, and cruelty, and ambition? When the minions of despotism heard, in Europe, of the seizure of Pensacola, how did they chuckle, and chide the admirers of our institutions, tauntingly pointing to the demonstration of a spirit of injustice and aggrandizement made by our country, in the midst of an amicable negotiation. Behold, said they, the conduct of those who are constantly reproaching kings. You saw how those admirers were astounded and hung their heads. You saw, too, when that illustrious man, who presides over us, adopted his pacific, moderate, and just course, how they once more lifted up their heads with exultation and delight beaming in their countenances. And you saw how those minions themselves were finally compelled to unite in the general praises bestowed upon our government. Beware how you forfeit this exalted character. Beware how you give a fatal sanction, in this infant period of our republic, scarcely yet twoscore years old, to military insubordination. Remember that Greece had her Alexander, Rome her Cæsar, England her Cromwell, France her Bonaparte, and that if we would escape the rock on which they split we must avoid their
How different has been the treatment of General Jackson, and that modest but heroic young man, a native of one of the smallest States in the Union, who achieved for his countıy, on Lake Erie, one of the most glorious victories of the late war. In a moment of passion he forgot himself, and offered an act of violence which was repented of as soon as perpetrated. He was tried, and suffered the judgment to be pronounced by his peers. Public justice was thought not even then to be satisfied. The press and Congress took up the subject. My honorable friend from Virginia, (Mr. Johnson,) the faithful and consistent sentinel of the law and of the constitution, disapproved in that instance, as he does in this, and moved an inquiry. The public mind remained agitated and unappeased until the recent atonement so honorably made by the gallant commodore. And is there to be a distinction between the officers of the two branches of the public service? Are former services, however eminent, to preclude even inquiry into recent misconduct ? Is there to be no limit, no prudential bounds to the national gratitude ? I am not disposed to censure the President for not ordering a court of inquiry or a general court-martial. Perhaps, impelled by a sense of gratitude, he determined by anticipation to extend to the General that pardon which he had the undoubted right to grant after sentence. Let us not shrink from our duty. Let us assert our constitutional powers, and vindicate the instrument from military violation.
I hope gentlemen will deliberately survey the awful isthmus on which we stand. They may bear down all opposition ; they may even vote the General the public thanks; they may carry him triumphantly through this House. But, if they do, in my humble judgment, it will be a triumph of the principle of insubordinationa triumph of the military over the civil authority-a triumph over the powers of this House-a triumph over the constitution of the land. And I pray most devoutly to Heaven, that it may not prove, in its ultimate effects and consequences, a triumph over the liberties of the people.
ON PROTECTION TO HOME INDUSTRY.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, APRIL 26, 1820.
[The bill to protect and foster the Productive Labor of the United States, by im posing higher duties on the importation of Foreign Goods, especially Manufactures, being under consideration in Committee of the Whole, Mr. Clay addressed the Committee as follows:]
MR. CHAIRMAN : Whatever may be the value of my opinions on the interesting subject now before us, they have not been hastily formed. It may possibly be recollected by some gentlemen, that I expressed them when the existing tariff was adopted ; and that I then urged, that the period of the termination of the war, during which the manufacturing industry of the country had received a powerful spring, was precisely that period when government was alike impelled, by duty and interest, to protect it against the free admission of foreign fabrics, consequent upon a state of peace. I insisted, on that occasion, that a less measure of protection would prove more efficacious, at that time, than one of greater extent at a future day. My wishes prevailed only in part; and we are now called upon to decide whether we will correct the error which, I think, we then committed.
In considering the subject, the first important inquiry that we should make is, whether it be desirable that such a portion of the capital and labor of the country should be employed, in the business of manufacturing, as would furnish a supply of our necessary wants ? Since the first colonization of America, the principal direction of the labor and capital of the inhabitants has been to produce raw materials for the consumption or fabrication of foreign nations. We have always had, in great abundance, the means of subsistence, but we have derived chiefly from other countries our clothes, and the instruments
of defence. Except during those interruptions of commerce arising from a state of war, of from measures adopted for vindicating our commercial rights, we have experienced no very great inconvenience heretofore from this mode of supply. The limited amount of our surplus produce, resulting from the smallness of our numbers, and the long and arduous convulsions of Europe, secured us good markets for that surplus in her ports or those of her colonies. But those convulsions have now ceased, and our population has reached nearly ten millions. A new epoch has arisen; and it becomes us deliberately to contemplate our own actual condition, and the relations which are likely to exist between us and the other parts of the world. The actual state of our population, and the ratio of its progressive increase when compared with the ratio of the increase of the population of the countries which have hitherto consumed our raw produce, seem, to me, alone to demonstrate the necessity of diverting some portion of our industry from its accustomed channel.
We double our population in about the term of twenty-five years. If there be no change in the mode of exerting our industry, we shall double, during the same term, the amount of our exportable produce. Europe, including such of her colonies as we have free access to, taken altogether, does not duplicate her population in a shorter term, probably, than one hundred years. The ratio of the increase of her capacity of consumption, therefore, is, to that of our capacity of production, as one is to four. And it is manifest, from the simple exhibition of the powers of the consuming countries, compared with those of the supplying country, that the former are inadequate to the latter. It is certainly true, that a portion of the mass of our raw produce, which we transmit to her, reverts to us in a fabricated form, and that this return augments with our increasing population. This is, however, a very inconsiderable addition to her actual ability to afford a market for the produce of our industry.
I believe that we are already beginning to experience the want of capacity in Europe to consume our surplus produce. Take the articles of cotton, tobacco, and bread-stuffs. For the latter we have scarcely any foreign demand. And is there not reason to believe that we have reached, if we have not passed, the maximum of the foreign demand for the other two articles ? Considerations connected with the cheapness of cotton, as a raw material, and the facility with which it can be fabricated, will probably make it be more and more used as