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calty, iuto a remorseless despotism, and the various and con flicting interests and pursuits of one of the vastest political bodies in the world were intrusted to the arrogant and reckless majority of numbers.
The slavery question was the logical and inevitable result o Consolidation. It is remarkable how many minds in America have proceeded on the supposition that this agitation was accidental, and have distracted themselves with the foolish inquiry why the Yankees assailed the domestic institutions of the South, while they neglected to attack the similar institutions of Cuba and Brazil. These minds do not appreciate the fact that the slavery agitation was a necessity of the Northern theory of government. Duty is the correlative of power; and if the government at Washington in Yankee estimation was a consolidated organization, with power to promote the general welfare by any means it might deem expedient, it was proper that it should overthrow the hated institution of slavery in the South. The central government was responsible for its continuance or existence, in proportion to its power over it. Under these circumstances, the duty of acting upon the subject of slavery was imperions, and amounted to a moral ne cessity.
But the slavery agitation was not the only remarkable con. sequence of the Northern idea of the divine rights of majorities. It may be said that every political maxim of the North has its practical and selfish application as well as its moral and sentimental aspect. The same idea of the power of numerical majorities that kindled the slavery disputes, gave birth to the tariff and other schemes of legislation, to make the Southern minority subservient and profitable to those who were their masters by the virtue of numbers.
The slavery and tariff issues are singularly associated in American politics; for one at least was an important auxiliary to the other. It was necessary for the Northern people to make their numerical power available to rule the Union ; and as slavery was strictly a sectional interest, it only had to be made the criterion of the parties at the North to unite this section and make it master of the Union. When the power of the North could thus be united, it was easy to carry out its measures of sectional ambition, encroachment, and aggrandize
Dent. The history of the enormous despotizm of Yankee tariffs is easily summed up.
The war of 1812 left the United States with a debt of one hundred and thirty millions. To provide for the payment of this debt, heavy duties were laid on foreign goods; and as in the exigencies of the war some home manufactures had sprung. ap, which were useful and deserving, and which were in danger of sinking under foreign competition, on the return of peace it was proposed to regulate the tariff so as to afford them some assistance. Protection was an incidental feature in the tarift of 1816, and as such was zealously recommended even by John C. Calhoun, who was a conspicuous advocate of the bill. But the principle of protection once admitted, maintained its hold and enlarged its demands. In the tariffs of 1820, '24, and '28, it was successively carried further; the demand of the North for premiums to its manufacturing interests becoming more exacting and insolent.
In 1831 the public debt had been so far diminished as to render it certain that, at the existing rate of revenue, in three years the last dollar would be paid. The government had been collecting about twice as much revenne as its usual expenditures required, and it was calculated that if the existing tariff continued in operation, there would be, after three years, an annual surplus in the treasury of twelve or thirteen millions. Under these circumstances, the reduction of the tariff was a plain matter of justice and prudence; but it was resisted by the North with brazen defiance. Unfortunately, Mr. Clay was weak enough to court popularity in the North by legislativo bribes, and it was mainly through his exertions that enough was saved of the protection principle to satisfy the rapacity of the Yankee ; for which the statesman of Kentucky enjoyed a brief and indecent triumph in the North,
As an engine of oppression of the South, the tariff did its work well; for it not only impoverished her, but fixed on her a badge of inferiority, which was an unfailing mark for Yankee derision. The South had no great cities. Their growth was paralyzed, and they were scarcely more than the suburbs or Northern cities. The agricultural productions of the South were the basis of the foreign commerce of the l’nited States; yet Southern cities did not carry it on. The resources of this
unhappy part of the country were taxed for the benefit of the Northern people, and for forty years every tax imposed by Congress was laid with a view of subserving the interests of the North.
The blight of such legislation on the South was a source of varied gratification to the Yankee; especially that it gave him the conceit that the South was an inferior. The contrast between the slow and limited prosperity of the South and the swift and noisy progress of the North, was never more remarkable tha: at the period of the great tariff controversy of 1831–2. The condition of the country at this time is described by Parton, the Yankee biographer of Andrew Jackson, with flippant self-complacency. He says:
“ The North was rushing on like a Western high-pressure steamboat, with rosin in the furnace, and a man on the safety valve. All through Western New York, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, the primeval wilderness was vanishing like a mist, and towns were springing into existence with a rapidity that ren dered necessary a new map every month, and spoiled the gazet. teers as fast as they were printed. The city of New York began already to feel itself the London of the New World, and to calculate how many years must elapse before it would be the London of the world.
“The South meanwhile was depressed and anxions. Cotton was down, tobacco was down. Corn, wheat, and pork were down. For several years the chief products of the South had either been inclining downward, or else had risen in price too slowly to make up for the alleged) increased price of the commodities which the South was compelled to buy.
Few new towns changed the Southern map. Charleston languished, or seemed to languish, certainly did not keep pace with New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. No Cincinnati of the South became the world's talk by the startling rapidity of its growth. No Southern river exhibited at every bend and coyne of vantage a rising village. No Southern mind, distracted with the impossibility of devising suitable names for a thousand new places
а per annum, fell back in despair upon the map of the Old World, and selected at random any convenient name that presented itself, bestowing upon clusters of log huts such titles as Utica, Ronie, Palermo, Naples, Russia, Egypt, Madrid, Paris, Elba, and Berlin. No Southern commissioner, con pelled 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 legis lation, 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 per:: fect free trade between the States, had a preference over all the world for its wares in the markets of the South. This prefer ence amounted to 20 or 30, or 40 or 50 per cent., and ever more, according to the article and the existing tariff. It ex tended 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 pnblic 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; ior 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 profesred to find a remedy for the grievances of States without disturbing the Union; and the nullification of an unconstitui. tional 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, advucated 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 sho t of a severance of the ties which bound South Carolina to the other States, that Mr. Calhoun advocated the doctrine of nul ification, 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.”
Di defending, in the speech referred to, the action of the State of Mississippi in separating herself from the Union, Mr. D2 -is remarks with justice, that Secession belongs to another class of remedies than that proposed by the great South Carolin-an. The Kentucky and Virginia resolutions of 1798, long the political text of the South, bore the seeds of the present rewolution, for they laid the foundation for the right of secesein in the sovereignty of the States; and Mr. Calhoun's dediction from them of his doctrine of nullification was narrow god incomplete.
But we shall not renew here vexed political questions. We