« PreviousContinue »
15. We sincerely deprecate all sectional feeling and tendencies. We, therefore, note with deep solicitude that the Democratic party counts, as its chief hope of success, upon the electoral vote of a united South, secured through the efforts of those who were recently arrayed against the nation; and we invoke the earnest attention of the country to the grave truth that a success thus achieved would reopen sectional strife, and imperil national honor and human rights.
16. We charge the Democratic party with being the same in character and spirit as when it sympathized with treason; with making its control of the House of Representatives the triumph and opportunity of the nation's recent foes; with reasserting and applauding, in the national capitol, the sentiments of unrepentent rebellion; with sending Union soldiers to the rear, and promoting Confederate soldiers to the front; with deliberately proposing to repudiate the plighted faith of the Government; with being equally false and imbecile upon the overshadowing financial questions; with thwarting the ends of justice by its partisan mismanagement and obstruction of investigation; with proving itself, through the period of its ascendency in the lower house of Congress, utterly incompetent to administer the Government; and we warn the country against trusting a party thus alike unworthy, recreant, and incapable.
17. The national administration merits commendation for its honorable work in the management of domestic and foreign affairs, and President Grant deserves the continued hearty gratitude of the American people for his patriotism and his eminent service in war and in peace.
18. We present, as our candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States, two distinguished statesmen, of eminent ability and character, and conspicuously fitted for those high offices, and we confidently appeal to the American people to entrust the administration of their public affairs to Rutherford B. Hayes and William A. Wheeler.
JUNE 2, 1880.
The Republican party, in National Convention assembled, at the end of twenty years since the Federal Government was first committed to its charge, submits to the people of the United States its brief report of its administration:
It suppressed a rebellion which had armed nearly a million of men to subvert the national authority. It reconstructed the Union of the States with freedom, instead of slavery, as its corner-stone. It transformed four million of human beings from the likeness of things to the rank of citizens. It relieved Congress from the infamous work of hunting fugitive slaves, and charged it to see that slavery does not exist.
It has raised the value of our paper currency from thirty-eight per cent. to the par of gold. It has restored, upon a solid basis, payment in coin for all the national obligations, and has given us a currency absolutely good and equal in every part of our extended country. It has lifted the credit of the nation from the point where six per cent. bonds sold at eighty-six to that where four per cent. bonds are eagerly sought at a premium.
Under its administration railways have increased from 31,000 miles in 1860, to more than 82,000 miles in 1879.
Our foreign trade has increased from $700,000,000 to $1,150,000,000 in the same time; and our exports, which were $20,000,000 less than our imports in 1860, were $264,000,000 more than our imports in 1879.
Without resorting to loans, it has, since the war closed, defrayed the ordinary expenses of government, besides the accruing interest on the public debt, and disbursed, annually, over $30,000,000 for soldiers' pensions. It has paid $888,000,000 of the public debt, and, by refunding the balance at lower rates, has reduced the annual interest charge from nearly $151,000,000 to less than $89,000,000.
All the industries of the country have revived, labor is in demand, wages have increased, and throughout the entire country there is evidence of a coming prosperity greater than we have ever enjoyed.
Upon this record, the Republican party asks for the continued confidence and support of the people; and this Convention submits for their approval the following statement of the principles and purposes which will continue to guide and inspire its efforts:
1. We affirm that the work of the last twenty years has been such as to commend itself to the favor of the nation, and that the fruits of the costly victories which we have achieved, through immense difficulties, should be preserved; that the peace regained should be cherished; that the dissevered Union, now happily restored, should be perpetuated, and that the liberties secured to this generation should be transmitted, undiminished, to future generations; that the
order established and the credit acquired should never be impaired; that the pensions promised should be paid; that the debt so much reduced should be extinguished by the full payment of every dollar thereof; that the reviving industries should be further promoted; and that the commerce, already so great, should be steadily encouraged. 2. The Constitution of the United States is a supreme law, and not a mere contract; out of Confederate States it made a sovereign nation. Some powers are denied to the nation, while others are denied to States; but the boundary between the powers delegated and those reserved is to be determined by the national and not by the State tribunals.
3. The work of popular education is one left to the care of the several States, but it is the duty of the national government to aid that work to the extent of its constitutional ability. The intelligence of the nation is but the aggregate of the intelligence of the several States; and the destiny of the nation must be guided, not by the genius of any one State, but by the average genius of all.
4. The Constitution wisely forbids Congress to make any law respecting an establishment of religion; but it is idle to hope that the nation can be protected against the influence of sectarianism while each State is exposed to its domination. We, therefore, recommend that the Constitution be so amended as to lay the same prohibition upon the Legislature of each State, to forbid the appropriation of public funds to the support of sectarian schools.
5. We reaffirm the belief, avowed in 1876, that the duties levied for the purpose of revenue should so discriminate as to favor American labor; that no further grant of the public domain should be made to any railway or other corporation; that slavery having perished in the States, its twin barbarity-polygamy-must die in the territories; that everywhere the protection accorded to citizens of American birth must be secured to citizens of American adoption; that we esteem it the duty of Congress to develop and improve our water-courses and harbors, but insist that further subsidies to private persons or corporations must cease; that the obligations of the republic to the men who preserved its integrity in the day of battle are undiminished by the lapse of fifteen years since their final victory— to do them perpetual honor is, and shall forever be, the grateful privilege and sacred duty of the American people.
6. Since the authority to regulate immigration and intercourse between the United States and foreign nations rests with the Con
gress of the United States and its treaty-making powers, the Republican party, regarding the unrestricted immigration of the Chinese as an evil of great magnitude, invoke the exercise of that power to restrain and limit that immigration by the enactment of such just, humane, and reasonable provisions as will produce that result.
7. That the purity and patriotism which characterized the early career of Rutherford B. Hayes in peace and war, and which guided the thoughts of our immediate predecessor to select him for a presidential candidate, have continued to inspire him in his career as chief executive, and that history will accord to his administration the honors which are due to an efficient, just, and courteous discharge of the public business, and will honor his interposition between the people and proposed partisan laws.
8. We charge upon the Democratic party the habitual sacrifice of patriotism and justice to a supreme and insatiable lust for office and patronage. That to obtain possession of the National and State Governments, and the control of place and position, they have obstructed all efforts to promote the purity and to conserve the freedom of suffrage; have devised fraudulent certifications and returns; have labored to unseat lawfully-elected members of Congress, to secure, at all hazards, the vote of a majority of the States in the House of Representatives; have endeavored to occupy. by force and fraud, the places of trust given to others by the people of Maine, and rescued by the courageous action of Maine's patriotic sons; have, by methods vicious in principle and tyrannical in practice, attached partisan legislation to appropriation bills, upon whose passage the very movements of governments depend; have crushed the rights of the individual; have advocated the principle and sought the favor of rebellion against the nation, and have endeavored to obliterate the sacred memories of the war, and to overcome its inestimably valuable results of nationality, personal freedom, and individual equality. Equal, steady, and complete enforcement of the laws, and protection of all our citizens in the enjoyment of all privileges and immunities guaranteed by the Constitution, are the first duties of the nation. The danger of a solid South can only be averted by the faithful performance of every promise which the nation made to the citizen. The execution of the laws, and the punishment of all those who violate them, are the only safe methods by which an enduring peace can be secured, and genuine prosperity established throughout the South. Whatever promises the nation
makes, the nation must perform; and the nation cannot with safety relegate this duty to the States. The solid South must be divided by the peaceful agencies of the ballot, and all opinions must there find free expression: and to this end honest voters must be protected against terrorism, violence, or fraud. And we affirm it to be the duty and the purpose of the Republican party to use all legitimate means to restore all the States of this Union to the most perfect harmony which may be practicable; and we submit to the practical, sensible people of the United States to say whether it would not be dangerous to the dearest interests of our country, at this time to surrender the administration of the National Government to a party which seeks to overthrow the existing policy, under which we are so prosperous, and thus bring distrust and confusion where there is now order, confidence, and hope.
9. The Republican party, adhering to a principle affirmed by its last National Convention, of respect for the Constitutional rule covering appointments to office, adopts the declaration of President Hayes, that the reform of the civil service should be thorough, radical, and complete. To this end it demands the coöperation of the legislative with the executive department of the Government, and that Congress shall so legislate that fitness, ascertained by proper practical tests, shall admit to the public service; and that the power of removal for cause, with due responsibility for the good conduct of subordinates, shall accompany the power of appointment.
The Republicans of the United States, in National Convention assembled, renew their allegiance to the principle upon which they have triumphed in six successive Presidential elections, and congratulate the American people on the attainment of so many results in legislation and administration by which the Republican party has, after saving the Union, done so much to render its institutions just, equal, and beneficent-the safeguard of liberty and the embodiment of the best thought and highest purposes of our citizens.
The Republican party has gained its strength by quick and faithful response to the demands of the people for the freedom and the equality of all men, for a united nation assuring the rights of all