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and Berlin. No Southern commissioner, compelled to find names for a hundred streets at once, had seized upon the letters of the alphabet and the figures of arithmetic, and called the avenues A, B, C, and D, and instead of naming his cross streets, numbered them."
For forty years the North reaped the fruits of partial legislation, while the South tasted the bitterness of oppression. The shoemakers, the iron men, the sailmakers, and the cotton and woollen spinners in the North, clamored for protection against their English, Swedish, and Russian competitors, and easily obtained it. The South paid duties upon all articles that the tariff kept out of the country; but these duties, instead of going into the treasury as revenue, went into the purses of manufacturers as bounty. After paying this tribute money to the North, the South had then to pay her quota for the support of the government. The North, for there was perfeet free trade between the States, had a preference over all the world for its wares in the markets of the South. This preference amounted to 20 or 30, or 40 or 50 per cent., and even more, according to the article and the existing tariff. It extended over a country having twelve millions of customers. The sum of the Yankee profits out of the tariff was thus enormous. Had the South submitted to the "Morrill tariff," it would have exacted from her something like one hundred million dollars as an annual tribute to the North. But submission has some final period, and the South has no longer a lot in the legislation at Washington.
In the tariff controversy of 1831-2, we find the premonitions of the present revolution. It is a curious circumstance that in the excitement of that period some medals were secretly struck, bearing the inscription, "John C. Calhoun, First President of the Southern Confederacy." The name of the new power was correctly told. But the times were not ripe for a declaration of Southern independence, and even the public opinions of Mr. Calhoun resisted the suggestion of a dissolution of the Union.
The "nullification" doctrine of the statesmen of North Carolina, is one of the most interesting political studies of America; for it illustrates the long and severe contest in the hearts of the Southern people between devotion to the Union and the sense
of wrong and injustice. Mr. Calhoun either did not dare to offend the popular idolatry, or was sincerely attached to the Union; but at the same time he was deeply sensible of the oppression it devolved upon the South. Nullification was simply an attempt to accommodate these two facts. It professed to find a remedy for the grievances of States without disturbing the Union; and the nullification of an unconstitutional law within the local jurisdiction of a State, was proposed as the process for referring the matter to some constitutional tribunal other than the Supreme Court, whose judgments should be above all influences of political party. It was a crude scheme, and only remarkable as a sacrifice to that peculiar idolatry in American politics which worshipped the name of the Union.
The present President of the Southern Confederacy-Mr. Jefferson Davis-has referred to the political principles of Mr. Calhoun, in some acute remarks made on the interesting occa sion of his farewell to the old Senate at Washington. He says: "A great man, who now reposes with his fathers, and who has often been arraigned for a want of fealty to the Union, advocated the doctrine of nullification, because it preserved the Union. It was because of his deep-seated attachment to the Union, his determination to find some remedy for existing ills short of a severance of the ties which bound South Carolina to the other States, that Mr. Calhoun advocated the doctrine of nullification, which he proclaimed to be peaceful; to be within the limits of State power, not to disturb the Union, but only to be the means of bringing the agent before the tribunal of the States for their judgment."
In defending, in the speech referred to, the action of the State of Mississippi in separating herself from the Union, Mr. Davis remarks with justice, that Secession belongs to another class of remedies than that proposed by the great South Carolinian. The Kentucky and Virginia resolutions of 1798, long the political text of the South, bore the seeds of the present revolution, for they laid the foundation for the right of secession in the sovereignty of the States; and Mr. Calhoun's deduction from them of his doctrine of nullification was narrow and incomplete.
But we shall not renew here vexed political questions. We
have referred at some length to the details of the old United States' tariffs and the incidental controversies of parties, because we shall find here a peculiar development of the political ideas of the North. To all the ingenious philosophy of State rights; to the disquisitions of Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Tyler; to the discussions of the moral duties of the government, the North had but one invariable reply, and that was the sovereignty of the will of the majority. It recognized no sovereign but numbers, and it was thought to be a sufficient defence of the tariff and other legislation unequal to the South, that it was the work and the will of the majority.
It was during the agitation of the tariff that the consolidation school became firmly established. Mr. Webster, the mouth-piece of the manufacturing interest in the North, attempted by expositions of the Constitution to represent the government as a central organization of numbers, without any feature of originality to distinguish it from other rude democracies of the world. In his attempt to simplify it, he degraded it to the common-place of simple democracy, and insulted the wisdom of those who had made it. The political opinions of Mr. Webster were summed up in what he arrogantly called "Four Exhaustive Propositions." These propositions were fa-. mous in the newspapers of his day, and may be reproduced here as a very just summary of the political ideas of the North.
MR. WEBSTER'S FOUR EXHAUSTIVE PROPOSITIONS.
1. "That the Constitution of the United States is not a league, confederacy, or compact between the people of the several States in their sovereign capacity; but a government founded on the adoption of the people, and creating direct relations between itself and individuals."
2. "That no State authority has power to dissolve these relations; that nothing can dissolve them but revolution; and that, consequently, there can be no such thing as secession without revolution."
3. "That there is a supreme law, consisting of the Constitution of the United States, acts of Congress passed in pursuance of it, and treaties; and that in cases not capable of assuming the character of a suit in law or equity, Congress must
judge of, and finally interpret this supreme law, as often as it has occasion to pass acts of legislation; and in cases capable of assuming the character of a suit, the Supreme Court of the United States is the first interpreter."
4. "That the attempt by a State to abrogate, annul, or nullify an act of Congress, or to arrest its operation within her limits, on the ground that, in her opinion, such law is unconstitutional, is a direct usurpation on the just powers of the general government, and on the equal rights of other States; a plain violation of the Constitution; and a proceeding essentially revolutionary in its character and tendency."
It is in the light of these propositions that the present assertion of the independence of the South is denounced by the North as rebellion.. And it is with reference to them and their savage doctrine of the power of numbers in a union of sovereign States, that we may in turn challenge the world to declare if the South in this struggle is not enlisted in the cause of free government, which is more important to the world than "the Union," which has disappeared beneath the wave of history.
In the present war the North has given faithful and constant indications of its dominant idea of the political sovereignty, as well as the military omnipotence of numbers. It is absurd to refer to the person of Abraham Lincoln as the political master of the North; he is the puppet of the vile despotism that rules by brute numbers. We have already referred to some of the characteristics of such despotism. We shall see others in this war, in the timidity and subservient hesitation to which such a government reduces party minorities, and in that destitution of honor which invariably characterizes the many-headed despotism of the people.
Mr. Lincoln was elected on a principle of deadly antagonism to the social order. His party found him subservient to their passions, and with the President in the hollow of their hand, for two years they have reigned triumphantly in the Congress at Washington. Such has been the stupendous lunacy and knavery of this body, that it will be regarded in all coming time as a blotch on civilization and a disgrace to the common humanity of the age.
There are some minds in the South which are prejudiced by
the impression that the power of the Lincoln party was broken by the fall elections of 1862; that it has lost the majority of numbers in the North; and that thereby the despotism which we have described as characteristic of the North is rapidly approaching the period of its dissolution or an era of reaction. But this reply to our theory does not take into account all the facts. The Republican party in the North still has the majority of force-a majority more dangerous and appalling than that of numbers, as it finds more numerous objects of revenge among its own people.
The Yankee Congress rejected at the polls has taken fearful revenge on the people who ventured an opinion hostile to the ruling dynasty. They have passed the bank, conscription, and habeas corpus suspension bills, thus placing every life and every dollar, and, indeed, every right of twenty millions of freeborn people at the absolute mercy of Abraham Lincoln. They have abated none of their legislation against the interests of humanity and the written and unwritten law of civilization in this war. They have added to it. They are organizing insurrections in South Carolina; they have sent a negro army into Florida; they are organizing black regiments in Tennessee. But a few months ago the infamous law was passed at Washington known as "the Plunder Act," in which the Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to appoint agents to go South, collect all property, send it North, and have it sold. In different parts of the Confederacy the Yankee troops are now destroying all farming implements, seizing all provisions, and preventing the planting of crops, with the avowed determination of starving the Southern people into submission. Such a warfare contemplates the extermination of women and children as well as men, and proposes to inflict a revenge more terrible than the tortures of savages and the modern atrocities of the Sepoys.
It is, perhaps, not greatly to be wondered at that a people like the Yankees should show a brutal rage in warfare upon an enemy who has chastised their insolence and exasperated their pride, and that they should therefore be generally ready to give their adhesion to any train of measures calculated for revenge upon the South. But it is a matter of grave and solicitous inquiry that this people should so easily tolerate