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be summed as comprising a well-regulated form of government springing from and national currency a tariff for revenue to upheld by the popular will; and contrast defray the necessary expenses of the gov-it with the creed and practice of federalernment, and discriminating with special ism, under whatever name or form, which reference to the protection of the domes- seeks to palsy the will of the constituent, tic labor of the country; the distribution and which conceives no imposture too of the proceeds from the sales of the pub- monstrous for the popular credulity. lie lands; a single term for the presidency; a reform of executive usurpations; and generally such an administration of the affairs of the country as shall impart to every branch of the public service the greatest practical efficiency, controlled by a well-regulated and wise economy.
1844. -- Democratic Platform.
Resolutions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, of the platform of 1840, were reaffirmed, to which were added the following :
10. Resolved, That the proceeds of the public lands ought to be sacredly ap plied to the national objects specified in the constitution, and that we are opposed to the laws lately adopted, and to any law for the distribution of such proceeds among the states, as alike inexpedient in policy and repugnant to the constitution.
11. Resolved, That we are decidedly opposed to taking from the President the qualified veto power by which he is enabled, under restrictions and responsibilities amply sufficient to guard the public interest, to suspend the passage of a bill whose merits can not secure the approval of two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, until the judgment of the people can be obtained thereon, and which has thrice saved the American people from the corrupt and tyrannical domination of
the bank of the United States.
12. Resolved, That our title to the whole of the territory of Oregon is clear and unquestionable; that no portion of the same ought to be ceded to England or any other power, and that the reoccupation of Oregon and the reannexation of Texas at the earliest practicable period, are great American measures, which this convention recommends to the cordial support of the democracy of the Union.
3. Resolved, Therefore, that entertaining these views, the Democratic party of this Union, through the delegates assembled in general convention of the states, coming together in a spirit of concord, of devotion to the doctrines and faith of a free representative government, and appealing to their fellow-citizens for the rectitude of their intentions, renew and reassert before the American people, the declaration of principles avowed by them on a former occasion, when, in general convention, they presented their candidates for the popular suffrage.
Resolutions 1, 2, 3 and 4, of the platform of 1840, were reaffirmed.
branch of the government to enforce and 8. Resolved, That it is the duty of every practice the most rigid economy in conducting our public affairs, and that no more revenue ought to be raised than is required to defray the necessary expenses of the government, and for the gradual but certain extinction of the debt created by the prosecution of a just and necessary
Resolution 5, of the platform of 1840, was enlarged by the following:
And that the results of democratic legislation, in this and all other financial measures, upon which issues have been made between the two political parties of the country, have demonstrated to careful and practical men of all parties, their soundness, safety and utility in all business pur
Resolutions 7, 8 and 9, of the platform of 1840, were here inserted.
13. Resolved, That the proceeds of the public lands ought to be sacredly applied to the national objects specified in the constitution; and that we are opposed to any law for the distribution of such proceeds among the states as alike inexpedient in policy and repugnant to the constitution.
14. Resolved, That we are decidedly opposed to taking from the President the qualified veto power, by which he is enabled, un der restrictions and responsibilities amply sufficient to guard the public interests, to supend the passage of a bill whose merits can not secure the approval of two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, until the judgment of the people can be obtained thereon, and which has saved the American people from the corrupt and tyrannical domination of the Bank of the United States, and from a corrupting system of general internal improvements.
15. Resolved, That the war with Mexi- which is prostrating thrones and erecting co, provoked on her part by years of insult republics on the ruins of despotism in the and injury, was commenced by her army old world, we feel that a high and sacred crossing the Rio Grande, attacking the duty is devolved, with increased responsiAmerican troops, and invading our sister bility, upon the Democratic party of this state of Texas, and upon all the principles country, as the party of the people, to sustain of patriotism and the laws of nations, it is and advance among us constitutional liba just and necessary war on our part, in erty, equality, and fraternity, by continuwhich every American citizen should haveing to resist all monopolies and exclusive legislation for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many, and by a vigilant and constant adherence to those principles and compromises of the constitution, which are broad enough and strong enough to embrace and uphold the Union as it was, the Union as it is, and the Union as it shall be in the full expansion of the energies and capacity of this great and progressive people.
shown himself on the side of his country,
16. Resolved, That we would be rejoiced at the assurance of peace with Mexico, founded on the just principles of indemnity for the past and security for the future; but that while the ratification of the liberal treaty offered to Mexico remains in doubt, it is the duty of the country to sus20. Resolved, That a copy of these resotain the administration and to sustain the lutions be forwarded, through the American country in every measure necessary to pro-minister at Paris, to the National Convenvide for the vigorous prosecution of the tion of the Republic of France. war, should that treaty be rejected.
21. Resolved, That the fruits of the 17. Resolved, That the officers and soldiers who have carried the arms of their great political triumph of 1844, which electcountry into Mexico, have crowned it with ed James K. Polk and George M. Dallas, imperishable glory. Their unconquerable President and Vice-President of the United courage, their daring enterprise, their un-States, have fulfilled the hopes of the defaltering perseverance and fortitude when mocracy of the Union in defeating the deassailed on all sides by innumerable foes clared purposes of their opponents in and that more formidable enemy-the creating a National Bank; in preventing diseases of the climate-exalt their devoted the corrupt and unconstitutional distribupatriotism into the highest heroism, and tion of the land proceeds from the comgive them a right to the profound grati- mon treasury of the Union for local purtude of their country, and the admiration poses; in protecting the currency and labor of the world. of the country from ruinous fluctuations, and guarding the money of the country for the use of the people by the establishment of the constitutional treasury; in the noble impulse given to the cause of free trade by the repeal of the tariff of '42, and the creation of the more equal, honest, and productive tariff of 1846; and that, in ‘our opinion, it would be a fatal error to weaken the bands of a political organization by which these great reforms have been achieved, and risk them in the hands of their known adversaries, with whatever delusive appeals they may solicit our surrender of that vigilance which is the only safeguard of liberty.
18. Resolved, That the Democratic National Convention of thirty states composing the American Republic, tender their fraternal congratulations to the National Convention of the Republic of France, now assembled as the free suffrage representative of the sovereignty of thirty-five millions of Republicans, to establish government on those eternal principles of equal rights, for which their La Fayette and our Washington fought side by side in the struggle for our national independence; and we would especially convey to them, and to the whole people of France, our earnest wishes for the consolidation of their liberties, through the wisdom that shall guide their councils, on the basis of a democratic constitution, not derived from the grants or concessions of kings or dynasties, but originating from the only true source of political power recognized in the states of this Union-the inherent and inalienable right democratic doctrines, by the purity of purof the people, in their sovereign capacity, pose, the energy and ability, which have to make and to amend their forms of gov-characterized his administration in all our ernment in such manner as the welfare affairs at home and abroad; that we tender of the community may require. to him our cordial congratulations upon 19. Resolved, That in view of the recent the brilliant success which has hitherto development of this grand political truth, crowned his patriotic efforts, and assure of the sovereignty of the people and their him in advance, that at the expiration of capacity and power for self-government, his presidential term he will carry with him
22. Resolved, That the confidence of the democracy of the Union in the principles, capacity, firmness, and integrity of James K. Polk, manifested by his nomination and election in 1844, has been signally justified by the strictness of his adherence to sound
to his retirement, the esteem, respect and admiration of a grateful country.
have been rendered, not on the soil, or under the flag of any state or section, but over the wide frontier, and under the broad banner of the nation.
5. Resolved, That standing, as the Whig party does, on the broad and firm platform of the constitution, braced up by all its inviolable and sacred guarantees and compromises, and cherished in the affections, because protective of the interests of the people, we are proud to have as the ex
1848.–Whig Principles Adopted at a Rati- ponent of our opinions, one who is pledged to construe it by the wise and generous rules which Washington applied to it, and who has said-and no Whig desires any other assurance-that he will make Wash
1. Resolved, That the Whigs of the United States, here assembled by their representatives, heartily ratify the nomi-ington's administration his model. nations of General Zachary Taylor as Pres- 6. Resolved, That as Whigs and Ameriident, and Millard Fillmore as Vice-Pres- cans, we are proud to acknowledge our ident, of the United States, and pledge gratitude for the great military services themselves to their support. which, beginning at Palo Alto, and end2. Resolved. That in the choice of Gen-ing at Buena Vista, first awakened the erai Taylor as the Whig candidate for American people to a just estimate of him President, we are glad to discover sympathy who is now our Whig candidate. In the with a great popular sentiment throughout discharge of a painful duty-for his march the nation-a sentiment which having its into the enemy's country was a reluctant origin in admiration of great military suc- one; in the command of regulars at one cess, has been strengthened by the develop- time, and volunteers at another, and of ment, in every action and every word, of both combined; in the decisive though sound conservative opinions, and of true punctual discipline of his camp, where all fidelity to the great example of former respected and loved him; in the negotiadays, and to the principles of the constitu- tion of terms for a dejected and desperate tion as administered by its founders. enemy; in the exigency of actual conflict when the balance was perilously doubtful— we have found him the same brave, distinguished, and considerate, no heartless spectator of bloodshed, no trifler with human life or human happiness; and we do not know which to admire most, his heroism in withstanding the assaults of the enemy in the most hopeless fields of Buena Vista-mourning in generous sorrow over
3. Resolved, That General Taylor, in saying that, had he voted in 1844, he would have voted the Whig ticket, gives us the assurance—and no better is needed from a consistent and truth-speaking man-that his heart was with us at the crisis of our political destiny, when Henry Clay was our candidate, and when not only Whig principles were well defined and clearly asserted, but Whig measures depended on success. The heart that was with us then is with us now, and, we have a soldier's word of honor, and a life of public and private virtue, as the security.
graves of Ringgold, of Clay, of Hardin or in giving, in the heat of battle, terms of merciful capitulation to a vanquished foe at Monterey, and not being ashamed to avow that he did it to spare women and children, helpless infancy and more helpless age, against whom no American soldier ever wars. Such a military man, whose triumphs are neither remote nor doubtful, whose virtues these trials have tested, we are proud to make our candidate.
4. Resolved, That we look on General Taylor's administration of the government as one conducive of peace, prosperity and union; of peace, because no one better knows, or has greater reason to deplore, what he has seen sadly on the field of victory, the horrors of war, and especially of a foreign and aggressive war; of prosperity, now more than ever needed to relieve the nation from a burden of debt, and restore industry-agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial to its accustomed and peaceful functions and influences; of union, because we have a candidate whose very position as a southwestern man, reared on the banks of the great stream whose tributaries, natural and artificial, embrace the whole Union, renders the protection of the interests of the whole country his first
7. Resolved, That in support of this nomination, we ask our Whig friends throughout the nation to unite, to co-operate zealously, resolutely, with earnestness, in behalf of our candidate, whom calumny can not reach, and with respectful demeanor to our adversaries, whose candidates have yet to prove their claims on the gratitude of the nation.
Whereas, We have assembled in conven
trust, and whose various duties in past life tion as a union of freemen, for the sake of
23. Resolved, That this convention hereby present to the people of the United States Lewis Cass, of Michigan, as the candidate of the Democratic party for the office of President, and William O. Butler, of Kentucky, for Vice-President of the United States.
freedom, forgetting all past political dif- to establish justice, promote the general ference, in a common resolve to maintain welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty; the rights of free labor against the aggres- but expressly denied to the Federal govsion of the slave power, and to secure free ernment, which they created, all constitusoil to a free people; and, tional power to deprive any person of life, Whereas, The political conventions re- liberty, or property, without due legal cently assembled at Baltimore and Phila-process. delphia-the one stifling the voice of a 5. Resolved, That in the judgment of great constituency, entitled to be heard in this convention, Congress has no more its deliberations, and the other abandoning power to make a slave than to make a its distinctive principles for mere avail- king; no more power to institute or estabability-have dissolved the national partylish slavery than to institute or establish a organization heretofore existing, by nomi- monarchy; no such power can be found nating for the chief magistracy of the among those specifically conferred by the United States, under the slaveholding dic- constitution, or derived by just implication tation, candidates, neither of whom can be from them. supported by the opponents of slavery extension, without a sacrifice of consistency, duty, and self-respect; and,
Whereas, These nominations so made, furnish the occasion, and demonstrate the necessity of the union of the people under the banner of free democracy, in a solemn and formal declaration of their independence of the slave power, and of their fixed determination to rescue the Federal government from its control,
7. Resolved, That the true, and, in the judgment of this convention, the only safe means of preventing the extension of slavery into territory now free, is to pro
an act of Congress.
1. Resolved, therefore, That we, the peo-hibit its extension in all such territory by ple here assembled, remembering the example of our fathers in the days of the first Declaration of Independence, putting our trust in God for the triumph of our cause, and invoking His guidance in our endeavors to advance it, do now plant ourselves upon the national platform of freedom, in opposition to the sectional platform of slavery.
2. Resolved, That slavery in the several states of this Union which recognize its existence, depends upon the state laws alone, which can not be repealed or modified by the Federal government, and for which laws that government is not responsible. We therefore propose no interference by Congress with slavery within the limits of any state.
3. Resolved, That the proviso of Jefferson, to prohibit the existence of slavery, after 1800, in all the territories of the United States, southern and northern; the votes of six states and sixteen delegates in Congress of 1784, for the proviso, to three states and seven delegates against it; the actual exclusion of slavery from the Northwestern Territory, by the Ordinance of 1787, unanimously adopted by the states in Congress; and the entire history of that period, clearly show that it was the settled policy of the nation not to extend, nationalize or encourage, but to limit, localize and discourage, slavery; and to this policy, which should never have been departed from, the government ought to return.
6. Resolved, That it is the duty of the Federal government to relieve itself from all responsibility for the existence or continuance of slavery wherever the government possesses constitutional power to legislate on that subject, and it is thus responsible for its existence.
4. Resolved, That our fathers ordained the constitution of the United States, in order, among other great national objects,
8. Resolved, That we accept the issue which the slave power has forced upon us; and to their demand for more slave states, and more slave territory, our calm but final answer is, no more slave states and no more slave territory. Let the soil of our extensive domains be kept free for the hardy pioneers of our own land, and the oppressed and banished of other lands, seeking homes of comfort and fields of enterprise in the new world.
9. Resolved, That the bill lately reported by the committee of eight in the Senate of the United States, was no compromise, but an absolute surrender of the rights of the non-slaveholders of all the states; and while we rejoice to know that a measure which, while opening the door for the introduction of slavery into the territories now free, would also have opened the door to litigation and strife among the future inhabitants thereof, to the ruin of their peace and prosperity, was defeated in the House of Representatives, its passage, in hot haste, by a majority, embracing several senators who voted in open violation of the known will of their constituents, should warn the people to see to it that their representatives be not suffered to betray them. There must be no more compromises with slavery; if made, they must be repealed.
10. Resolved, That we demand freedom and established institutions for our brethren in Oregon, now exposed to hardships, peril, and massacre, by the reckless hostility of the slave power to the establishment of free government and free territo
ries; and not only for them, but for our brethren in California and New Mexico. 11. Resolved, It is due not only to this occasion, but to the whole people of the United States, that we should also declare ourselves on certain other questions of national policy; therefore,
12. Resolved, That we demand cheap postage for the people; a retrenchment of the expenses and patronage of the Federal government; the abolition of all unnecessary offices and salaries; and the election by the people of all civil officers in the service of the government, so far as the same may be practicable.
13. Resolved, that river and harbor improvements, when demanded by the safety and convenience of commerce with foreign nations, or among the several states, are objects of national concern, and that it is the duty of Congress, in the exercise of its constitutional power, to provide therefor.
to charter a National Bank; that we be lieve such an institution one of deadly hostility to the best interests of the country, dangerous to our republican institutions and the liberties of the people, and calculated to place the business of the country within the control of a concentrated money power, and that above the laws and will of the people; and that the results of Democratic legislation, in this and all other financial measures, upon which issues have been made between the two political parties of the country, have demonstrated to candid and practical men of all parties, their soundness, safety, and utility, in all business pursuits.
10. Resolved, That the separation of the moneys of the government from banking institutions is indispensable for the safety of the funds of the government and the rights of the people.
11. Resolved, That the liberal principles embodied by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, and sanctioned in the constitution, which makes ours the land of liberty and the asylum of the oppressed of every nation, have ever been cardinal
12. Resolved, That Congress has no
14. Resolved, That the free grant to actual settlers, in consideration of the expenses they incur in making settlements in the wilderness, which are usually fully equal to their actual cost, and of the pub-principles in the Democratic faith; and lic benefits resulting therefrom, of reason- every attempt to abridge the privilege of able portions of the public lands, under becoming citizens and the owners of the suitable limitations, is a wise and just soil among us, ought to be resisted with measure of public policy, which will pro- the same spirit that swept the alien and mote in various ways the interests of all sedition laws from our statute books. the states of this Union; and we, therefore, recommend it to the favorable con-power under the constitution to interfere sideration of the American People. with, or control, the domestic institutions of the several states, and that such states are the sole and proper judges of everything appertaining to their own affairs, not prohibited by the constitution; that all efforts of the Abolitionists or others, made to induce Congress to interfere with questions of slavery, or to take incipient steps in relation thereto, are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences; and that all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people, and endanger the stability and permanency of the Union, and ought not to be countenanced by any friend of our political institutions.
15. Resolved, That the obligations of honor and patriotism require the earliest practical payment of the national debt, and we are, therefore, in favor of such a tariff of duties as will raise revenue adequate to defray the expenses of the Federal government, and to pay annual installments of our debt and the interest thereon.
13. Resolved, That the foregoing proposition covers, and is intended to embrace, the whole subject of slavery agitation in Congress; and therefore the Democratic party of the Union, standing on this national platform, will abide by, and adhere to, a faithful execution of the acts known as the Compromise measures settled by last Congress, "the act for reclaiming fugitives from service labor" included; which act, being designed to carry out an express provision of the constitution, can not, with fidelity thereto, be repealed, nor so changed as to destroy or impair its efficiency.
14. Resolved, That the Democratic party
16. Resolved, That we inscribe on our banner, Free Soil, Free Speech, Free Labor, and Free Men," and under it we will fight on, and fight ever, until a triumphant victory shall reward our exertions.
1852.- Democratic Platform.
Baltimore, June 1.
Resolutions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, of the platform of 1848, were reaffirmed, to which were added the following:
8. Resolved, That it is the duty of every branch of the government to enforce and practice the most rigid economy in conducting our public affairs, and that no more revenue ought to be raised than is required to defray the necessary expenses of the government, and for the gradual but certain extinction of the public debt.
9. Resolved, That Congress has no power l