« EelmineJätka »
267. John C. Calhoun; Nullification ; Preparations for War. — Senator John C. Calhoun? of South Carolina protested against this high tariff. He asserted that it compelléd the South to pay such a price for cloth and other goods that the people were constantly growing poorer, while the Northern manufacturers, on the other hand, were getting rich at their expense. He therefor demanded free trade. To this the North answered that free trade would ruin the factory-owners and compel them to close their factories. Congress refused to abolish the protective tariff. Then the feeling of opposition grew so hot in South Carolina that the people declared through their legislature that, after February 1, 1833, they would not pay duties on goods imported into Charleston from Europe. They considered that every state had the right to refuse to obey a law which it believed to be contrary to the Constitution. This refusal was called nullification. In Charleston
England, to let in our produce free, or nearly so; and, 2. To raise meanwhile a revenue or sum of money to carry on our government. Later, after we had begun to manufacture goods quite largely, many people came to believe that we ought to impose a protective tariff which would levy a heavy tax on foreign goods, similar to those we were making, and thus encourage buyers to purchase those made here rather than pay a much higher price for the imported articles. Such a protective tariff was imposed in 1816, and again in 1824, 1828, and 1832.
In 1846 England began to let in our products free, or nearly so. From that date until the Civil War, in 1861, we took off our protective duties, and levied only a small tax for revenue. During the war we again put on a very heavy tax, in order to raise all the money we could to carry on the war. Since peace was declared, strong efforts have been made to reduce the tariff to a low rate, especially by those who believe that free trade between nations is, in the end, for the advantage of all.
1 Nullification: the refusal of a state to obey a law enacted by Congress, on the ground that the law objected to is a violation of the Constitution.
2 John C. Calhoun, born in Abbeville district, South Carolina, 1782; died 1850. Like Jackson, he was of Scotch-Irish descent. He entered Congress in 1810. He was at first a supporter of a protective tariff, but later became a strong advocate of free trade. He was one of the few leading men who taught that slavery is “a positive good,” an advantage alike to the negro and to his owner. His nature was as great as it was pure." Daniel Webster, his chief political opponent, said of him that nothing “ low or meanly selfish came near the head or the heart of Mr. Calhoun."
8 This was the doctrine of “State-Rights "; but the Constitution expressly established the Supreme Court to settle all disputes in regard to such questions.
preparations were made to resist the collection of the duty. Governor Hayne, of South Carolina, threatened that if the government used force, his state would secede or withdraw from the Union and declare itself independent.
268. Daniel Webster's Reply to Calhoun; what we owe to Webster. - When, in the Senate of the United States, Goyernor Hayne had boldly upheld the right of nullification, Daniel Webster replied to him, closing with the well-known words : “Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable.” Later, when Calhoun in the United States Senate defended the right of secession, Webster made a powerful speech, in which he declared that “there can be no secession without revolution." He saw that if a state is resolved to leave the Union, the national government, sword in hand, must insist that it shall remain in its place and obey the laws.
We owe an immense debt to Webster's commanding eloquence on this subject. In the remarkable series of speeches which he delivered at this period (1830–1833), he made Americans realize the inestimable value and sacredness of the Union as they had never felt it before. When, thirty years later, the Civil War threatened to destroy the nation, the reverence for the Constitution and the Union with which that great statesman had inspired so many hearts, made thousands willing to die to save it. The North and the South are now one.
All discord has passed away, and as brothers we can join in honoring the memory of Daniel Webster for his services to our common country.
1 Daniel Webster, born at Salisbury, New Hampshire, 1782 (see note 4, page 95); died at his residence at Marshfield, near Boston, 1852. He graduated at Dartmouth College, and began the practice of law in 1805. In 1812 he was elected to Congress, and again in 1822. From this time forward he was constantly in public life, as representative, senator, or in the Cabinet. He was unquestionably the greatest orator this country has produced, and as a statesman he stood second
His defence of the Union in his second reply to Hayne has been called “the most remarkable speech ever made in the American Congress." Webster's “Reply to Calhoun " was delivered February 16, 1833.
GROWTH OF THE COUNTRY.
269. Jackson's Fidelity to the Union; his Orders to General Scott; Henry Clay obtains a New Tariff. - President Jackson had the same feeling that Webster had of the necessity of preserving the Union. He did not like the tariff, but he was resolved to enforce it so long as it remained law. He saw that what was called the doctrine of “State-Rights," that is, the so-called right of a state to decide for itself when it would obey Congress and when it would not, was destructive of all government.
The Union, said he, is at present like a bag of meal with both ends open. Whichever
way you try to handle it, you will spill the meal. “I must tie the bag and save the country.”
So saying, the President ordered General Scott to go forthwith to Charleston and enforce the law. It was done, and the duties on imported goods in that city were collected as usual.
A few months later (1833) Henry Clay, the “great peacemaker,” succeeded in getting Congress to adopt a new tariff more acceptable to the South. The country could well afford to reduce its taxes on foreign goods, for we did not owe one dollar of public debt. Every claim against the government had been paid.
270. Growth of the Country; Extension of Railroads and Canals; Use of Coal; the Express System.With the exception of a very destructive fire in New York City (1835), Jackson's presidency was a period of great prosperity, and of rapid growth for the entire country, but especially for the West. Canals had been opened, steamboats were running on the Great Lakes and the Western rivers, and the whistle of the locomotive was beginning to be heard beyond the Alleghanies.
Both hard and soft coal' had been found in immense quantities in Pennsylvania, and they were now coming into use for manufacturing as well as for other purposes.
1 Hard or anthracite coal was not discovered until 1790. The first load taken to Philadelphia, in 1803, was thought to be too hard to burn, and was used, it is said, to mend roads with. This bed of Pennsylvania hard coal is the richest in the world, and has been worth more to the country than all the gold mines of California.