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themselves not to buy from the north and west any goods which were protected by the tariff from foreign competition, but instead to use wares of native manufacture. Even in South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, the embitterment against the north produced a momentary possibility of building up a manufacturing industry of their own. But it had to be admitted that it would be at least very doubtful whether much could be done by individuals in this way, and an energetic display of state power was therefore demanded. Prohibitory duties were thought of and other projects were broached, which were also in direct opposition to the constitutional provisions in art. I., sec. 10, §§ 1 and 2. It was therefore only talked of, and this did not avail to crown the policy of terrorism with any practical result. The new tariff became a law and the collection of the duties was nowhere opposed. But the accomplishment of the fact did not bring back repose to the land. The outward alarms were weaker for a while, but the agitation was so much the deeper. It was felt on both sides that the decision would come with the next war. The protectionists soon recognized the fact that Tyler's prophecy was still always true and South Carolina prepared herself to test the efficacy of her constitutional means of protection.
'Niles' Reg., XXXV., pp. 15, 48, 60, 62, 63, 64, 83.
Part of the events mentioned above happened after the adoption of the tariff.
SECRET WORKINGS OF SLAVERY.
THE PANAMA CONGRESS. GEORGIA AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
After the Missouri compromise, the slavery question apparently slept for some years. Its intimate alliance with the tariff-struggle was only understood by slow degrees, and other problems, which would have brought forward the opposing principles and interests involved in it, did not crop out for the moment. The politicians felt no inclination to artificially create such problems. There were, indeed, Catalines in the south even now, but they were not of such extraordinary talents that they would have ventured to play with this fire, when its ravaging strength had just been so powerfully shown. The justification of the complaints which became so current, later, among all parties and were already becoming loud here and there, that the apple of discord had again been thrown among a people longing for rest by ambitious men, fanatics and demagogues, reduces itself, everything considered, to a minimum. The best proof of this is that slavery, despite the silent agreement of the politicians to try to shun every mention of it, often suddenly and unexpectedly became the determining element in questions which in and for themselves stood in no sort of relation to it.
The most important instance of this sort, which had, indeed, no practical results, but sharply sketched the situation, happened at the beginning of the presidency of the younger Adams.
As early as 1821 the idea of forming a close connection between the Spanish colonies in Central and South America, then engaged in revolution, had been suggested by
Colombia. A few months before their independence was recognized by the United States, a treaty was negotiated between Colombia and Chili (July, 1822) in which a convocation of a congress of the new republics was contemplated. The construction of a continental system for America," which should "resemble the one already constructed in Europe," was the apparent project of these two powers. The idea ripened very slowly. It was not until the spring of 1825 that the meeting of the congress in Panama was so far assured that the ambassadors of Colombia and Mexico verbally inquired of Clay, who was then secretary of state of the United States, whether an invitation to be represented at the congress would be acceptable to the president. Adams had an answer sent, worded in his own cautious way, to the effect that he first wished to be informed concerning the topics agreed upon for discussion, the nature and form of powers to be given to the "diplomatic agents," and the "organization and method of procedure" of the congress. The ambassadors of the two mentioned states, in their formal letters of invitation, gave very unsatisfactory assurances on these points. Clay referred to this in his answers, but at the
1 Webster, Works, III., p. 195; report of the senate committee on foreign affairs of Jan. 16, 1826; Niles' Reg., XXX., p. 103. All the documents referring to the congress of Panama, as far as the United States are concerned, can be found in the State Papers (Foreign Relations) and also in Niles' Reg., Vol. XXX. Part of them are printed in Elliot, American Diplomatic Code, II., p. 648, seq.
2 Monroe recommended the recognition to congress in a special mes. sage of March 8, 1822, (Elliot, Diplomatic Code, II., pp. 640–642; compare also Adams's dispatch of May 27, 1823, to Anderson, the ambassador of the United States in Colombia) and this was ratified by both houses by the almost unanimous appropriation of the money needed for the creation of embassies. (May 4, 1822, Statutes at Large, III., p. 678.)
Report of the senate committee, Jan. 16, 1826.
4 Clay's report of March 14, 1826, to the house of representatives.
Salazar (the ambassador of Colombia) to Clay, Nov. 2, 1825, and Obregon (the ambassador of Mexico) to Clay, Nov. 3, 1825.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.
same time declared that the president had decided to accept the invitation "at once.""
When the question of sending representatives to the congress came up in the senate, and later in the house, the Opposition tried to make capital out of this piece of inconsistency. It was too meaningless in itself to deserve any censure. Its interest was due simply to the fact that it lifted for a moment the veil of the future.
Adams, both as a statesman and as an individual, resembled his father in many respects. He was of an earnest, deeply moral nature, and knew how to stamp this character upon his administration in a degree which, compared with all the following presidencies, makes an extremely favorable impression. Political ambition was one of his most prominent characteristics; but this did not degenerate in him, as it did in his father, into morbid vanity. He did not know what the fear of man meant. In the struggle for the right of petition, which he afterwards. carried on alone in the house of representatives for a long while, he found a certain satisfaction in driving to frenzy, by his biting satire, the representatives of the slaveholding interest, who then held almost absolute power. But his scorn for all the arts of demagogues not infrequently turned into rudeness, and his firmness into obstinacy; and yet, at the same time, under certain circumstances, he let himself be influenced too much by others. During his long diplomatic service he had acquired a habit of prudent examination, which sometimes led, in the more difficult questions, to irresolution and vacillation. This is, however, partly due to the fact that sober, statesmanlike thought and idealism were not properly fused together in his nature. The former decidedly outweighed the other; but yet the latter made itself felt, and not infrequently in a destructive way.
1 The answers are dated Nov. 30.
Ingham of Pennsylvania read in the house of representatives two newspaper articles, which treated the request for participation in the Panama congress in exactly different ways. He stated that it was as good as certain that the article opposing this had proceeded from or been inspired by Adams, and the one in its favor by Clay.' He gave no proof for the assertion. It must therefore remain a question whether his zeal in opposition did not lead him to put forward groundless suspicions as facts. But it may be considered as sufficiently proved that Adams at first looked on the project much more coolly than he did afterwards, and that Clay was not without influence upon this change of opinion.
Clay had rendered great services to the young republics. He had been the most determined champion of their affairs in the United States. He had at first demanded with stormy energy that sympathy for them should not exhaust itself in worthless words, but take the form of acts. No defeat frightened him from the field, and it was largely due to his constant efforts that their independence had been already recognized by the United States in the spring of 1822. His speeches on these questions are among the most brilliant productions of his genius. His most notable characteristics, as well as his greatest weaknesses, appeared in them in the clearest light. His enthusiasm lifted him, with a bold sweep, to a height from which he looked down with compassionate impatience upon the petty politicians who, in their routine-wisdom, could not see the forest because of the trees around them. The knowledge that America was an integral part of one civilized world dawned in his mind. If his agitation was based on the sharp emphasis which he laid on the opposing positions of America and Europe, yet the fact does not contradict this assertion. Exactly because he did not, in his poli
'Debates of Congress, IX., pp. 198–200.