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citizens, for the elevation of labor, for an honest currency, for purity in legislation, and for integrity and accountability in all departments of the Government; and it accepts anew the duty of leading in the work of progress and reform.
We lament the death of President Garfield, whose sound statesmanship, long conspicuous in Congress, gave promise of a strong and successful Administration, a promise fully realized during the short period of his office as President of the United States. His distinguished success in war and in peace has endeared him to the hearts of the American people.
In the Administration of President Arthur we recognize a wise, conservative, and patriotic policy, under which the country has been blessed with remarkable prosperity, and we believe his eminent services are entitled to, and will receive, the hearty approval of every citizen.
It is the first duty of a good government to protect the rights and promote the interests of its own people. The largest diversity of industry is most productive of general prosperity and of the comfort and independence of the people. We therefore demand that the imposition of duties on foreign imports shall be made, not for revenue only, but that, in raising the requisite revenues for the Government, such duties shall be so levied as to afford security to our diversified industries and protection to the rights and wages of the laborer, to the end that active and intelligent labor, as well as capital, may have its just reward and the laboring man his full share in the national prosperity. Against the so-called economic system of the Democratic party, which would degrade our labor to the foreign standard, we enter our earnest protest. The Democratic party has failed completely to relieve the people of the burden of unnecessary taxation by a wise reduction of the surplus. The Republican party pledges itself to correct the inequalities of the tariff and to reduce the surplus, not by the vicious and indiscriminate process of horizontal reduction, but by such methods as will relieve the tax-payer without injuring the labor or the great productive interests of the country. We recognize the importance of sheep husbandry in the United States, the serious depression which it is now experiencing, and the danger threatening its future prosperity; and we therefore respect the demands of the representative of this important agricultural interest for a readjustment of duty upon foreign wool, in order that such industry shall have full and adequate protection.
We have always recommended the best money known to the civilized world, and we urge that an effort be made to unite all commercial nations in the establishment of an international standard which shall fix for all the relative value of gold and silver coinage.
The regulation of commerce with foreign nations and between the States is one of the most important prerogatives of the General Government, and the Republican party distinctly announces its purpose to support such legislation as will fully and efficiently carry out the constitutional power of Congress over inter-State commerce. The principle of the public regulation of railway corporations is a wise and salutary one for the protection of all classes of the people, and we favor legislation that shall prevent unjust discrimination and excessive charges for transportation, and that shall secure to the people and to the railways alike the fair and equal protection of the laws.
We favor the establishment of a national bureau of labor, the enforcement of the eight-hour law, a wise and judicious system of general education by adequate appropriation from the national revenues wherever the same is needed.
We believe that everywhere the protection to a citizen of American birth must be secured to citizens by American adoption, and we favor the settlement of national differences by international arbitration.
The Republican party having its birth in a hatred of slave labor, and in a desire that all men may be free and equal, is unalterably opposed to placing our workingmen in competition with any form of servile labor, whether at home or abroad. In this spirit we denounce the importation of contract labor, whether from Europe or Asia, as an offense against the spirit of American institutions, and we pledge ourselves to sustain the present law restricting Chinese immigration and to provide such further legislation as is necessary to carry out its purposes.
The reform of the civil service, auspiciously begun under Republican administration, should be completed by the further extension of the reformed system already established by law to all the grades of the service to which it is applicable. The spirit and purpose of the reform should be observed in all executive appointments, and all laws at variance with the objects of existing reformed legislation should be repealed, to the end that the dangers to free institutions which lurk in the power of official patronage may be wisely and effectively avoided.
The public lands are the heritage of the people of the United States, and should be reserved as far as possible, for small holdings by actual settlers. We are opposed to the acquisition of large tracts of these lands by corporations or individuals, especially where such holdings are in the hands of non-resident aliens, and we will endeavor to obtain such legislation as will tend to correct this evil.
We demand of Congress the speedy forfeitures of all land grants which have lapsed by reason of non-compliance with acts of incorporation in all cases where there has been no attempt in good faith to perform the conditions of such grants.
The grateful thanks of the American people are due to the Union soldier and sailors of the late war, and the Republican party stands pledged to suitable pensions for all who were disabled, and for the widows and orphans of those who died in the war. The Republican party also pledged itself to the repeal of the limitations contained in the arrears act of 1879, so that all invalid soldiers shall share alike, and their pensions shall begin with the date of disability or discharge, and not with the date of the application.
The Republican party favors a policy which shall keep us from entangling alliance with foreign nations, and which shall give the right to expect that foreign nations shall refrain from meddling in American affairs. The policy which seeks peace and can trade with all powers, but especially with those of the Western Hemisphere.
We demand the restoration of our navy to its old-time strength and efficiency, that it may in any sea protect the rights of American citizens and the interests of American commerce, and we call upon Congress to remove the burdens under which American shipping has been depressed, so that it may again be true that we have a commerce which leaves no sea unexplored, and a navy which takes no law from superior force.
Resolved, That appointments by the President to offices in the Territories should be made from the bona fide citizens and residents of the Territories which they are to serve.
Resolved, That it is the duty of Congress to enact such laws as shall promptly and effectually suppress the system of polygamy within our Territory and divorce the political from the ecclesiastical power from the so-called Mormon Church, and that the law so enacted should be rigidly enforced by the civil authorities if possible, and by the military if need be.
The people of the United States, in their organized capacity, con
stitute a nation, and not a mere confederacy of States. The National Government is supreme within its sphere of national duty, but the States have reserved rights which should be faithfully maintained; each should be guarded with jealous care, so that the harmony of our system of government may be preserved and the Union kept inviolate. The perpetuity of our institutions rests upon the maintenance of a free ballot, an honest count, and correct returns. We denounce the fraud and violence practiced by the Democracy in Southern States, by which the will of the voter is defeated, as dangerous to the preservation of free institutions, and we solemnly arraign the Democratic party as being the guilty recipient of the fruits of such fraud and violence.
We extend to the Republicans of the South, regardless of their former party affiliations, our cordial sympathy, and pledge to them our most earnest efforts to promote the passage of such legislation as will secure to every citizen, of whatever race or color, the full and complete recognition, possession, and exercise of all civil and political rights.
AUGUST 29, 1864.
Resolved, That in the future, as in the past, we will adhere with unswerving fidelity to the Union under the Constitution, as the only solid foundation of our strength, security, and happiness as a people, and as a frame-work of government equally conducive to the welfare and prosperity of all the States, both Northern and Southern.
Resolved, That this convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretense of a military necessity of a war power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired, justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with a view to an ultimate convention of all the States, or other peaceable means, to the end that, at the earliest practicable moment, peace may be restored on the basis of the Federal Union of all the States.
Resolved, That the direct interference of the military authority of the United States in the recent elections held in Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, and Delaware, was a shameful violation of the Constitution; and the repetition of such acts in the approaching election will be held as revolutionary, and resisted with all the means and power under our control.
Resolved, That the aim and object of the Democratic party is to preserve the Federal Union and the rights of the States unimpaired; and that they hereby declare that they consider the administrative usurpation of extraordinary and dangerous powers not granted by the Constitution, the subversion of the civil by the military law in States not in insurrection, the arbitrary military arrest, imprisonment, trial, and sentence of American citizens in States where civil law exists in full force, the suppression of freedom of speech and of the press, the denial of the right of asylum, the open and avowed disregard of State rights, the employment of unusual test-oaths, and the interference with and denial of the right of the people to bear arms in their defense, as calculated to prevent a restoration of the Union and the perpetuation of a government deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed.