Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

may repeal the obnoxious and unconstitutional Acts, and thereby prevent the necessity of interposing the veto of the State."'

In the same year (1828) Georgia instructed her governor, should the tariff law not be repealed, to appoint delegates to a convention of the Southern States in order "to deliberate upon and devise a suitable mode of resistance to that unjust, unconstitutional, and oppressive law," while Mississippi and Virginia adopted similar measures.*

To such a pitch had the sectional-economic controversy mounted; and, following as it did the Missouri Compromise of 1820, this tariff agitation developed swiftly into the great debates that found their ultimate determination in civil war. The South, instead of being foremost for the Union as at the time of the Constitutional Convention, was now becoming the lusty exponent of States-rights, although Calhoun was not yet prepared to go as far as Josiah Quincy went (see page 194) in pressing this point to its issue.

General Jackson proved a strong friend of the Union, and paid little heed to the logic or persuasiveness of his colleague, Vice-President Calhoun. When, shortly after his inauguration, a representative from South Carolina, in calling on Jackson, asked whether he had any commands for his friends in South Carolina,

"Yes, I have," he replied; "please give my compliments to my friends in your State, and say to them that if a single drop of blood shall be shed there in opposition to the laws of the United States, I will hang the first man I can lay my hand on en

3 Wilson, Division and Reunion, p. 57.

♦ Cambridge Modern History, vii, pp. 380–381.

gaged in such treasonable conduct, upon the first tree I can reach."5

Later, he denounced Nullification as "'incompatible with the existence of the Union" and called on the South Carolinians to yield.-"The laws of the United States must be executed. I have no discretionary power on the subject, my duty is emphatically pronounced in in the Constitution. Those who have told you that you might peacefully prevent their execution deceived you. Their object is disunion, and disunion by armed force is treason."'

In 1832 Congress undertook to return substantially to the Tariff of 1824. But before this action of Congress could become effective, and after the threatening exchange of wrathful proclamations and counter-proclamations between Jackson and Governor Hayne, Clay succeeded (1833) in the passage of a compromise measure, based on a horizontal rate, which placated South Carolina while it "saved the protective principle" and maintained the rights of the Union. The Force Bill of Jackson, intended for the execution of the former obnoxious tariff laws by military power, if necessary, now became a dead letter: whereupon South Carolina repealed her ordinance nullifying the tariff laws, but at the same time "saved the principle" of States-rights by passing another ordinance nullifying the moribund Force Bill!

It seems already quite evident that even the deft compromises of the highly ingenious Clay cannot long weave together the raveling threads of a Union between two sections whose main object in the yield5 Division and Reunion, p. 172.

• Division and Reunion, p. 61.

ing of policy is the salvation of contradictory principles.

NOTE. The extent to which cotton now dominated the commerce of the South may be gathered from the humorous "impressions of a traveler" printed in the Courier of Augusta, Ga., Oct. 11,

1827:

"A plague o' this Cotton.

"When I took my last walk along the wharves in Charleston, and saw them piled up with mountains of Cotton, and all your stores, ships, steam and canal boats crammed with and groaning under, the weight of Cotton, I returned to the Planters' Hotel, where I found the four daily papers, as well as the conversation of the boarders, teeming with Cotton! Cotton!! Cotton!!! Thinks I to myself, 'I'll soon change this scene of cotton.' But, alas! How easily deceived is short-sighted man! Well, I got into my gig and wormed my way up through Queen, Meeting, King and St. Philip's streets, dodging from side to side, to steer clear of the Cotton waggons, and came to the New Bridge Ferry. Here I crossed over in the Horseboat, with several empty cotton waggons, and found a number on the other side, loaded with cotton, going to town. From this I continued on, meeting with little else than cotton fields, cotton gins, cotton waggons-but 'the wide, the unbounded prospect lay before me!' I arrived in Augusta; and when I saw cotton-waggons in Broad-street, I whistled! but said nothing!!! But this was not all; there was more than a dozen tow boats in the river, with more than a thousand bales of cotton on each; and several steamboats with still more. And you must know, that they have cotton warehouses there covering whole squares, all full of cotton; and some of the knowing ones told me, that there were then in the place from 40,000 to 50,000 bales. And Hamburg (as a negro said) was worser, according to its size; for it puzzled me to tell which was the largest, the piles of cotton or the houses. I now left Augusta; and overtook hordes of cotton planters from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, with large gangs of negroes, bound to Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana; where the cotton land is not worn out.'-I crossed over to Mobile in a small steam boat loaded up to the top of the smoke-pipe with cotton. This place is a receptacle monstrous for the article. Look which way you will you see it; and see it moving; keel boats, steam boats, ships, brigs, schooners, wharves, stores, and press-houses, all appeared to be full; and I believe that in the three days that I was there, boarding with about one hundred cotton factors, cotton merchants, and cotton planters, I must have heard the word cotton pronounced more than 3,000 times.

"From Mobile I went to New Orleans in a schooner, and she was stuffed full of cotton.-I don't know how many hundred thousand bales of cotton there were in New Orleans; but I was there only six days, in which time there arrived upwards of 20,000 bales,— and when we dropped out into the stream in a steam-boat, to ascend the river, the levee for a mile up and down, opposite the shipping,

where they were walking bales on end, looked as if it was alive.— From New Orleans to the mouth of Tennessee River, we passed about thirty steam-boats, and more than half of them laden with cotton. I passed to Nashville; and on my way saw an abundance of cotton and cottonfields.-They calculate on 40 or 50,000 bales of cotton going from Nashville this season.-After seeing, hearing, and dreaming of nothing but cotton for seventy days and seventy nights, I began to anticipate relief. For, on the route I took, whether by night or by day or by stage or by steam boat, wake up when or where you would, you were sure to hear a dissertation on cotton." Cited in Documentary History (as cited), pp. 283-288.

CHAPTER 39

THE CONSTITUTIONAL DILEMMA †

THE fact that the Constitution was a complex of compromises had begun to bear fruit very soon after its adoption. The great instrument offered plenty of handles for disgruntled statesmen or States that might wish to assert individual liberty against the prerogatives of Union. Madison, in spite of his firm stand for the rights of the Union in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 joined with Jefferson in 1798 in the preparation of Resolutions aimed at Federalist policies. These Resolutions not only formulated the "compact" theory of government, afterwards developed by Calhoun and enunciated also by Hayne, but even anticipated Calhoun's doctrine of Nullification. Declaring the Constitution to be a compact to which the States were parties, and that "each party has an equal right to judge for itself as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress," they denounced certain statutes as "not law-void and of no effect;" while the Kentucky Resolutions of 1799, prepared by Jefferson, asserted that "the several States who formed the Constitution, being sovereign, independent, have the unquestionable right to judge its infractions; and a nullification by those sovereigns of all un

† See also chapters 51-54.

1 See Alexander Johnston, American Political History, 1763-1876: New York, 1912; vol. ii, pp. 101 ff, 337.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »