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all that in them lies to preserve and perpetuate the Union of the States and the liberties of which it is the surest pledge-but feeling it to be their bounden duty to expose and to resist all encroachments upon the true spirit of the Constitution, lest an apparent acquiescence in the system of protecting duties should be drawn into precedent, do, in the name of the Commonwealth of South Carolina, claim to enter upon the journals of the Senate their protest against it as unconstitutional, oppressive, and unjust.
Senator Smith supported the protest in the following speech:
South Carolina believed that when, as a sovereign State, she surrendered a portion of her territory it was for certain and specified objects; and that, when those objects were accomplished, the authority ceded to the general Government was at an end; that any measures pursued beyond the objects first contemplated were a violation of the compact. It belonged to the States to resume the authority. South Carolina did not assent to the postulate that the authority was ever delegated to the Government, which the Government had assumed, over individuals and property composing the State. South Carolina had a deep interest in the Government. She had been as patriotic as any State in the revolutionary contest. In that struggle she furnished her full proportion of resources; she spilled her due proportion of blood; and, in point of privations, waste of property, and individual suffering, there she was without a compeer. She had been content to obey all the requisitions of the general Government, and she had done so from the reflection that her sufferings were not for the benefit of one member only, but of the whole Union. She had surrendered what, upon the consideration of wealth, would have placed her among the most opulent States in the Union had she retained it. And she had done it for no other compensation, with no other intention, with no other desire than her expectation of the protection of the general Government. After that struggle was over she was an independent sovereign; she owed no allegiance to the Government of the whole, except by the compact to pay her portion of the expenses of the war. She then surrendered to the general Government a part, the profits of which were second to few, if any, in the Union, and which, except for the present circumstances, would be second to but one in the country. All this South Carolina, perfectly informed of the objects
to be attained, was willing to yield for the sake of union, and was willing to add her strength to that of the others that she might have their strength to protect her rights. She surrendered almost everything in receiving the Constitution, and obtained nothing more from the Government than her own sovereignty already gave her. She gave up her wealth for the security of the other States. South Carolina, in yielding all this, never regretted that she did so until she found that her rights were not secured as she expected they would be. Laws were passed which restrained her citizens and discouraged her industry, and her wealth was taken and bestowed upon the citizens of other States.
During seven years of the old war it was her pride to suffer for the general good; and upon the return of peace the face of her country was indeed a dreary waste. She had risen again, but after three years of the last war she was again reduced; your embargo and your non-intercourse laws had prevented her sending out her products; she was obliged to retain them, and on the return of peace a second time she was again in poverty. News of the peace was received in February, 1815; a law imposing an extra duty for the protection of manufactures dragged on the heels of that declaration. This was yielded to under a pledge that it was only for a few years, that in a short time the manufacturers of this country would be able to compete with those of other countries; that then the people would be satisfied and the duties would be reduced. So far from this, the manufactories had increased; the prosperity of one had induced others to embark in the business, and there had been constant applications for new duties, which had been granted. South Carolina has protested against these duties, but year after year the memorials from South Carolina had slept in the archives of the Senate, if, indeed, they had ever been honored with a place there, while the committee always came in with a bill putting on additional duties.
Senator Robert Y. Hayne [S. C.] also spoke upon the protest:
One of the most unhappy circumstances connected with the present condition of the Southern States is the great, he might perhaps say the insuperable, difficulty of causing their sentiments and feelings to be made known so as to be understood and appreciated by their fellow citizens in other quarters of the Union. Viewing the United States as one country, the
people of the South may almost be considered as strangers in the land of their fathers. The fruits of their industry have from the policy pursued by the Federal Government, for many years past been flowing to the North in a current as steady and undeviating as the waters of the great Gulf; and, as the sources of our prosperity are drying up, that reciprocal intercourse which had softened asperities and bound the different parts of the country together in the bonds of common sympathy and affection has, in a great measure, ceased. That close and intimate communion necessary to a full knowledge of each other no longer exists, and in its place there is springing up (it is useless to disguise the truth) among the people in opposite quarters of the Union a spirit of jealousy and distrust, founded on a settled conviction on the one part that they are the victims of injustice, and on the other that our complaints, if not groundless, may be safely disregarded.
Sir, this state of things, let me assure gentlemen, must not be suffered to continue or it will inevitably lead to the most unhappy consequences. It has become necessary, thereforeindispensably necessary-that the sentiments of our constituents should be expressed in the most deliberate and imposing form, in a manner no longer to be misunderstood or misrepresented. The legislature of South Carolina, coming directly from the people, have, at their late session, with a unanimity without example, instructed their Senators to lay this, their protest, before you. In obedience to that command, my colleague and myself here, in our places, in the presence of the representatives of the several States, and in the face of the whole American people, solemnly protest against the system of protecting duties as "unconstitutional, oppressive, and unjust." We desire that this record may bear witness for us to all future times, that we have earnestly remonstrated with our brethren against the extension of an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us; and, with full experience of the ruinous effects of the system of protecting duties, have denounced it as utterly destructive of our interests. The people of South Carolina find themselves impelled, by their attachment to the principles of the Constitution and by a proud recollection of common dangers and common triumphs, to endeavor to preserve for themselves and their posterity those rights and privileges secured to them by the great charter of our liberties and consecrated by the blood of our fathers. It is (to use the language of the protest) "because they anxiously desire to live in peace with their brethren, to do all that in them lies to preserve and perpetuate the union
of the States and the liberties of which it is the surest pledge" that they now protest against a system which not only aims a fatal blow at the prosperity of South Carolina (dependent as she must ever continue upon agriculture and commerce), but which threatens her very existence as a State.
THE UNION: SEPARABLE OR INSEPARABLE?
Debates in the Senate Between Robert Y. Hayne [S. C.] and Daniel Webster [Mass.] on "Consolidation" and "Nullification"-Thomas H. Benton [Mo.] Replies to Webster's Peroration.
WING to the prospect of a modification of the tariff in Southern interests, according to the promise of President Adams, in which he was joined by other influential Northern statesmen, the threats of secession by the South quieted down and remained in abeyance.
However, in various debates, the Southern statesmen expressed their adherence to the theory of nullification. The most notable of these debates arose between Robert Y. Hayne [S. C.] and Daniel Webster [Mass.] in connection with a resolution presented in the Senate on January 19, 1830, by Samuel A. Foot [Conn.], inquiring into the expediency of suspending the sale of public lands [see Vol. X, chap. i].
This debate between Hayne and Webster is the great classic of American forensic oratory. Each section of the Union, the South and the North, was represented in the audience by its ablest statesman. Upon the conclusion of Senator Hayne's first speech on nullification (that containing his eulogy of South Carolina) the Southern statesmen and newspapers hailed the effort as one that could not be surpassed in American oratory, and which the great speeches of Burke and Chatham alone equaled in the annals of British eloquence. Senator James Iredell, of North Carolina, however, remarked that Daniel Webster was yet to be heard: "Hayne has aroused the lion; wait till we hear his roar and feel his claws."
On the evening before the day set for Webster's