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THE PRESIDENT NOT ENDORSED.
"Constitutional" Rights of Traitors.
tect itself were urged in |-did not believe the right of suspension of justification of the revolu- the writ of habeas corpus rested with the Pretionists! Of course Mr.sident, nor that he had the power to increase the standing army; but, for all that, he (Mr. S.) thought the President acted for the best. Thompson, of New Jersey, took the same view.
Breckenridge on the 4th of July, 1861, was with the South, heart and soul; and, without doubt, he visited Washington to cripple legislation so far as possible, but, more particularly, to create those "Constitutional" issues upon which the party of which he was the leader might rally and reorganize as a peace party. We are led to conclude, from the course he soon afterward pursued, and from the revelations that have, from time to time, been made, of the secret proceedings of the conspirators, that Mr. Breckenridge's sole object in attending the extra session was to strike that key-note of opposition to the Administration which should create a friendly element—a "Constitutional party"-for secession and revolution in the North. That he succeeded well was painfully apparent in the utterance of sympathy for the South, upon Constitutional grounds, by certain journals and persons whose reiterated devotion to the Constitution was but a pusillanimous pretext to cover their own
Comparatively little reply was made by the friends of the Administration to this speech by the Kentucky Senator. Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, made the most lengthy defense of the President offered. His argument was one of loyalty rather than of technical constitutional construction. The Union was in danger of subversion-treason was besieging the Nation's Capital-the Constitution was contemned-compromise was scoffed attherefore it was right for the President to have pursued the course he did in meeting the danger. It was for the good of the country, and that was all-sufficient for his defense, if, indeed, any defense were needed.
The President not en
Several members believed the President did right in his forced measures, rather than that he acted strictly within the limits prescribed by the Constitution. Thus, Mr. Sherman, of Ohio-a leading Republican
The joint resolution of indemnity was not pressed to a vote in the Senate. There unquestionably existed a dislike to establish a precedent for extra-constitutional procedure, or for endorsing the arbitrary suspensive acts of the President. Nevertheless, Congress did not fail to sanction his entire proceedings by its cheerful endorsement of his policy and views, by voting more men and money than he called for, by confirming his appointments, and, finally, by inserting in one of its acts a clause which virtually gave the seal of indemnity to the steps taken by the Executive. Mr. Breckenridge remarked upon the introduction of the clause, by amendment, that he recognized in it his "old friend"—the act of indemnity.
We need not here cite the proceedings of that extra session. That they were of a thoroughly warlike nature and well calcu lated to meet the great crisis fully, the world soon learned. There never was so great unanimity in legislation. Even those " conservatives" who stood by the Crittenden compromise to the last, during the previous session -even Mr. Crittenden himself-forgot all in the patriotic purpose of sustaining the Administration. The number of those who sought to cripple war legislation were counted upon the fingers of the hand.
No Congress legislated upon matters of greater moment. The emergency demanded talent of a high order to divert the mighty energies of the country from a peace to a war establishment. That talent was not wanting. Many minds in that Congress were fully qualified for the labors imposed upon it. The Treasury, the War and the Navy Depart ments all were vivified, and sprang at once into a vigor gratifying to all loyal hearts, discouraging to the disloyal.
THE LOYAL STATES то SUSTAIN A STATE
Opposition to Taxation. The Tariff.
LONG-CONTINUED pros- polity, with which to make perity under the benign in-party issues, and to divert fluences of peace had not the people, in the absence rendered the American people indifferent to of more exciting subjects for the canvass. taxes and public burdens. On the contrary, with growth in wealth the study of legislators has been to impose as few direct assessments as possible; and, at the hustings, he was the most favored candidate who proclaimed as his "platform" a reduction of taxes and fiscal economy in the management of public affairs. Most unfortunate was it for the political standing of the office-seeker, if his name had been associated with any enterprise which should add, for its consummation, to the tax lists of the year.
In view of this sensibility on the question of direct taxes, our economists have tenaciously adhered to the tariff principle, in providing for the expenses of the General GovThe amounts annually required were comparatively easy to obtain by this indirect mode of subtraction; whereas, if the tariff were abrogated and free trade proclaimed, there would be no inconsiderable trouble for the National Government to secure its means of sustenance. In that event, the expense account of every vessel in the navy would be overhauled by the people; every army ration would pass under their scrutiny; every Government employee would have his hours of labor and his wages promptly regulated by the trades' standard; accountability would be affixed to every contract and contractor; in fact, Government would be crippled by a system of economy, which, though having its virtues, would soon restrict the energies and paralyze the prestige so necessary in every commanding power. The tariff offered all the revenue required, while it encouraged several petty questions in political, commercial and industrial
For two generations prior to the year 1862, the people knew little or nothing of national taxes save by the slightly enhanced prices of foreign importations; yet these goods, manufactured by the half-paid labor of English and French soil, were supplied to our people, even with the tariff duty added, at such prices as rendered them cheap for all. The woman of 1860 must have been poor, indeed, who could not sport her gown of silk and mantle of lace. When, therefore, the ques tion of providing for the enormous expenditures of war came to be discussed, increase of the tariff duty was deemed a feasible mode of securing fifty millions per annum-a sum which, if used to pay interest, might represent five hundred millions and a sinking fund for its redemption. But, this representative sum was only the first conception of our national wants. While it might do to issue notes and bonds based upon duties, it became a question if the tariff would produce, under the depressing influences of war, sufficient to meet the rapidly maturing principal and interest of the old debt, much less provide for the large semi-annual per centum of new obligations. And, after awhile, when the rebellion dragged its slow length along, and was not suppressed—when five hundred millions per year represented the cost of the Union, Americans, for the first time in the history of the Republic, had to meet the dreaded responsibility of a great national debt.
The old adage-"misery loveth company" -was verified, in this case; for our people and journalists were not long in discovering that, should the debt accumulate at the rate indicated, we still should find other Governments
CONDITION OF GREAT BRITAIN.
The Public Debt.
Multiplying each amount by 200,000, (the number of dollars
indebted than ourselves, with vasty less resources to draw upon than here were available. This, though offering a consoling thought, did not bring relief from the apprehension growing in strength daily, viz.: in a million of francs,) we have the sum reduced to dollars. that the country must become burdened with These are current receipts and expendia debt which it would require years of exac- tures, not providing for the standing indebttion and depression to discharge. This ap-edness of each Government. The same auprehension, though not groundless, still afthority fixes this indebtedness at these figures: forded no just cause for alarm. Alarmists in 1861-62 consisted of two classes, namely: secret sympathizers with the South, and those who, professing loyalty, filled the ears of their constituents with exaggerated estimates of evils to flow from the war, thus repressing enthusiasm and, in various ways, giving Government but a qualified support. It will be well for us to recur to the question of our Turkey. ability to sustain a war of magnitude, in order to demonstrate the actual strength of the country, and thus to prove how groundless have been the fears of bankruptcy and ruin which afforded a sounding theme to the two classes named above.
Public Debt of ForeignGovernments.
A comparative statement of the indebtedness of other countries will not be unin
teresting, while it will offer us the strength of the inferential proposition, viz.: that, if those countries, with their resources, can sustain their loads of indebtedness, the United States, with its almost boundless means, is prepared to carry an equal or greater burden of debt with less assistance from home and foreign capital.
M. Kolb, a German statist, gives us, in his work on the condition of Europe in 1860, the following table of the receipts and expenses of the several Kingdoms-(the figures representing millions of francs):
Germany (small states)..
Giving a grand total of fifty-seven thousand millions of francs, or something like twelve thousand millions of dollars!
The financial condition
The Financial Condition of Great Britain.
of Great Britain alone affords data for useful estimates. In spite of the enormity of her indebtedness, and her increasing annual expenditures, that Government is steadily and effectually clearing off its old obligations. It is being done by taxation, of course; in the wealth and energies of a people lie all the resources of recuperation. McCullough estimates the amount of burdens imposed upon the British people to be so admirably levied as to consume one fifth of the income of every inhabitant of the three countries-a Expenses. statement which would seem incredible were 1,703 it not placed beyond question. The secret 1,800 of the success in obtaining the enormous 788 amount yearly required, without exciting the 494 people to revolt, is found in the nicely535 balanced dissemination of the tax over the field of available wealth. But a small por145 tion of the revenue is obtained from assessments on property. Of the taxes of all kinds collected for 1860, amounting to £70,809,977, 26 land and assessed taxes produced only
£3,241,107; leaving £67,568,870 raised upon | consumption, chiefly of luxuries. Of this sum the customs produced £23,396,395; excise, £20,070,000; stamps, £8,267,258; postoffice, £3,370,000; income tax, £3,012,935.
This system of taxation originated with the elder Pitt. During the first four years, 1793-97, of the war with France, the budget was chiefly sustained by loans; but, as the war called for the exercise of more vigor, the Prime Minister at once resolved to throw upon the people the burdens of the war. At that time the population of Great Britain numbered but eight and a half million of souls; but, from that body, the gigantic resources necessary to fight Napoleon were drawn. Having matured his plans, Pitt proceeded to inaugurate them; and the secret of that twenty-three years' struggle is found in the ready response of the people to the Minister's demands. What those demands were may be inferred from the fact that the tax for 1801 was equal to thirty per cent. of the incomes of the people! Were the people of America to reflect on this fact they would realize that, in England, they have an antagonist who may safely defy numbers because her people submit cheerfully to unlimited taxation in order to sustain the power and prestige of their Government.
This, be it mindful, was drawn not from the Great Britain of to-day, but from a popula tion of 9,187,176 in the year 1800, 12,609,864 in 1811, and 15,000,000 in 1815. In 1811 the proportion of tax to incomes was equivalent to 42 per cent. of the gross incomes of the entire population of the kingdom! In 1815 the proportion had fallen to 35 per cent. A people who would submit to such a drain upon their earnings may well be deemed invincible. As a specimen of the distribution made, to obtain these amounts, we append the schedule list of taxes collected in 1814:
Land and Assessed
.$116.850,275 Hereditary revenues $866.335
A Lesson in
These fruitful figures we do well to repeat, since the American people are slow to realize how favored they have been in their comparative immunity from taxes for the support of their National establishment; and when, out of the boundless abundance of their resources-rendered boundless by the beneficent nature of the Government-they are asked to contribute a mere fraction of their resources to sustain the Republic, they should find their lips forever sealed to complaint in view of what Englishmen have done for England. A writer on this period of Great Britain's history says: "During the whole period from 1793 to 1835, the energies and resources of the British people were put to the severest trial. A large proportion of the wealth-producing classes was sent abroad in the army or navy, or employed in unproductive labor. Subsidies and loans were ad1793.....$48.556,190 $67,555,000 $22.500.000 $85.352.000 vanced to foreign Powers. The home markets
Cost of War with
In order more fully to impress the minds of our readers with the vastness of the expenditures made by Great Britain to sustain her supremacy over France, during the twenty-three years referred to, we append the following table, explanatory of itself: War Expense.
Interest Cost of Army
1795.... 63,499,655 143,755.000 90.000.000 89.292.270
were not, as in our present struggle, benefited
77.876.650 138.030.000 162.500.000 103.273.250 by the war funds being spent in the country.
1800..... 92.914.750 148,065.000 102.500.000 169.482.320
1801..... 99,099.195 134,990.000 140.000.000 170,754,800
1802....100.342,755 115.605,000 125.000.000 186.201.065
1803.....104.064.810 105.530.000 76,014,625 188,345.316
112.841,795 181.095,000 139,657.410 249,291,405
Commerce was for years preyed on by hostile cruisers. English goods were prohibited from entering the continent of Europe. Yet, amidst much individual suffering, and in spite
1804. .108.294.450 154.270,000 100,521,105 226.297.210 1806. ...115,982.910 186,530,000 102,430,775 266,521,127 of all that a Napoleon, wielding the strength 1807.....116,865,460 186.055,000 119,446,285 291.051.125 of the twenty-eight millions of France, could 121,461.380 210,585,000 117,023,455 317,026,470 do for its destruction, the British nation pros122.715.810 216.230.000 112.214,394 333.406.830
1808.....117,925.065 193.890,000 102,383,850 307.691,035
1812.....134,269.230 243.695,000 201,2 8,445 315,829,175
127,423,835 259.840.000 137.084.145 323.819,350 pered and grew rich with a rapidity and 149,468,685 274.360.000 270,14,110 334.629, 75 steadiness seldom seen in the history of na155,028,220 301.195,000 235,798,485 318.420.960 tions. The war cry seemed to rouse the en163,228,090 216,410,000 230,148,016 352,017,210
RESOURCES OF THE NORTH.
Resources of the
ergetic masses of the British people from their | resources of this country lethargy. The indomitable spirit which gave was cotton. Thus, the tonvictory to battalions in the field, fired the nage carried by the railhearts of the peaceful workers of the produc- roads of the State of Massachusetts for 1859 tive army at home, and stirred all classes and was 3,716,726 tons, worth, at the very low valall men to labor, to save and to accumulate uation of $100 per ton, $371,672,600. The toncapital. Hence, in the words of one of Eng-nage of the Erie Canal and the Erie and New land's greatest statesmen, "commerce and war York Central railroads for 1860 were 6,767,flourished side by side and both achieved un-736 tons, worth at least $676,773,600-making wonted victories."
an internal commerce for the two States alone exceeding $1,000,000,000 in value. As this consisted almost wholly of the products of the West, and of the commerce created thereby in goods and trade with that section, it will be perceived that cotton could offer but little in comparison with such a trade. The loyal States, in 1860 had, to do this traffic, 28,600 miles of railroad, costing $950,000,000, and 5,000 miles of canal, costing $200,000,000. If the annual value of the trade of the public works of New York and Massachusetts, with a mileage of 5,160 miles, was equal to $1,000-, 000,000, that of the remainder of the loyal States, with a railroad and canal mileage of 23,500 miles, must surely have amounted to a sum twice as large or $2,000,000,000. To all this internal commerce cotton contributed only in a small and comparatively inappreciable degree-most of it finding its way to market by river and sea transportation. The traffic in cotton was nothing to the North and West.
As compared with the American Supremacy population of Great Britain of Domain, &c. in 1861, that of the loyal States, including Maryland, Delaware, Western Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri, was about equal to that of England and Wales. [See tables, vol. I., pages 27, 28, for statistics.] Our wealth and breadth of domain was at once our weakness and our strength-our weakness, because it embodied vast estates with small population: our strength, because those estates produced such limitless quantities of grain and animal food. If Great Britain contained the most people, the elements to sustain her population did not rest with her, and British gold flowed freely to our shores for the food we could spare from our abundance. This surplus alone offered the loyal States all the funds necessary, from abroad, to make up what was wanted in currency for commercial transactions, leaving the means of our capitalists at liberty to The assessed value of taxable property in operate in Government paper. This ease in the State of New York, in 1860, was $1,430,the money market did not fail to excite the 000,000; of Massachusetts, $897,000,000; of astonishment of our enemies, at home and Ohio, $880,000,000, &c., &c. Run these estiabroad; for, so wretchedly blinded were even mates through the eighteen loyal States, and intelligent men not conversant with our com- what a sum for economists to regard! The mercial elasticity, that ruin was predicated capital employed in manufacturing, in the as in store for the North if the rebellion were United States, in 1860, was $1,059,000,000— not soon suppressed. To that class of phi-the value of the annual product was $1,900,losophers Cotton alone was King; wanting| 000,000. Nearly or quite six-eighths of this it, England and France would intervene and amount belonged to the loyal States. It is no give the Southern Confederacy independence; wonder that, in view of such a basis of solid wanting it, Northern looms and commerce worth behind our Government, its paper would languish and stagnation would visit commanded a premium in one of the shrewdall our marts. Such were their short-sighted est money marts in the world. A sysbut confident assumptions. tem of taxation on the North one half as rigid as that practised by Great Britain on its people, for years, during its wars with Napoleon, would produce a fund equivalent to keeping one million of men constantly in the field.
If the war wrought much evil it also wrought much good; and not the least good was that it taught the Southern Slave States and their sympathizers in Europe how really inconsiderable a portion of the wealth and