name distinguished) they have always been animated by the same principles, and have kept steadily in view a common object—the consolidation of the Government.
Sir, the party to which I am proud of having belonged from the very commencement of my political life to the present day, were the democrats of ’ 98. Anarchists, anti-federalists, revolutionists, I think they were sometimes called. They assumed the name of democratic republicans in 1812, and have retained their name and their principles up to the present hour. True to their political faith, they have always, as a party, been in favor of limitations of power; they have insisted that all powers not delegated to the Federal Government are reserved, and have been constantly struggling, as they are now struggling, to preserve the rights of the States, and prevent them from being drawn into the vortex, and swallowed up by one great consolidated Government. Sir, any one acquainted with the history of parties in this country will recognize in the points now in dispute between the Senator from Massachusetts and myself, the very grounds which have, from the beginning, divided the two great parties in this country, and which (call these parties by what names you will, and amalgamate them as you may) will divide them forever. The true distinction between those parties is laid down in a celebrated manifesto issued by the convention of the federalists of Massachusetts, assembled in Boston, in February, 1824, on the occasion of organizing a party opposition to the reelection of Governor Eustis. The gentleman will recognize this as “the canonical book of political scripture,” and it instructs us, that “when the American colonies redeemed themselves from British bondage, and became so many independent nations, they proposed to form a national union.” (Not a federal union, sir, but a national union.) “Those who were in favor of a union of the States in this form became known by the name of federalists; those who wanted no union of the States, or disliked the proposed form of union, became known by the name of anti-federalists. By means which need not be enumerated, the anti-federalists became, after the expiration of twelve years, our national rulers; and, for a period of sixteen years, until the close of Mr. Madison’s administration in 1817, continued to exercise the exclusive direction of our public affairs.” Here, sir, is the true history of the origin, rise, and progress, of the party of national republicans, who date back to the very origin of the Government, and who, then, as now, chose to consider the constitution as having created not a federal but a national union; who regarded “consolidation” as no evil, and who doubtless consider it “a consummation devoutly to be wished,” to build up a great “central Government,” “one and indivisible.” Sir, there have existed, in every age and every country, two distinct orders of men—the lovers of freedom, and the devoted advocates of power. The same great leading principles, modified only by peculiarities of manners, habits, and institutions, divided parties in the ancient republics, animated the whigs and tories of Great Britain, distinguished in our own times the liberals and ultras of France, and may be traced even in the bloody struggles of unhappy Spain. Sir, when the gallant Riego, who devoted himself, and all that he possessed, to the liberties of his country, was dragged to the scaffold, followed by the tears and lamentations of every lover of freedom throughout the world, he perished amidst the deafening cries of “Long live the absolute King!” The people whom I represent are the descendants of those who brought with them to this country, as the most precious of their possessions, “an ardent love of liberty;” and while that shall be preserved, they will always be found manfully struggling against the consolidation of the Government, as the worst of evils.
The Senator from Massachusetts, in alluding to the tariff, becomes quite facetious. He tells us that “he hears of nothing but tariff! tariff! tariff! and if a word could be found to rhyme with it, he presumes it would be celebrated in verse, and set to music.” Sir, perhaps the gentleman, in mockery of our complaints, may be himself disposed to sing the praises of the tariff in doggerel verse to the tune of “Old Hundred.” I am not at all surprised, however, at the aversion of the gentleman to the very name of tariff. I doubt not that it must always bring up some very unpleasant recollections to his mind. If I am not greatly mistaken, the Senator from Massachusetts was a leading actor at a great meeting got up in Boston in 1820, against the tariff. It has generally been supposed that he drew up the resolutions adopted by that meeting, denouncing the tariff system as unequal, oppressive, and unjust; and, if I am not much mistaken, denying its constitutionality. Certain it is that the gentleman made a speech on that occasion in support of those resolutions, denouncing the system in no very measured terms; and if my memory serves me, calling its constitutionality in question. I regret that I have not been able to lay my hands on those proceedings, but I have seen them, and I cannot be mistaken in their character. At that time, sir, the Senator from Massachusetts entertained the very sentiments in relation to the tariff which the South now entertains. We next find the Senator from Massachusetts expressing his opinion on the tariff as a member of the House of Representatives from the city of Boston in 1824. On that occasion, sir, the gentleman assumed a position which commanded the respect and admiration of his country. He stood forth the powerful and fearless champion of free trade. He met, in that conflict, the advocates of restriction and monopoly, and they “fled from before his face.” With a profound sagacity, a fulness of knowledge, and a richness of illustration that has never been surpassed, he maintained and established the principles of commercial freedom on a foundation never to be shaken. Great indeed was the victory achieved by the gentleman on that occasion; most striking the contrast between the clear, forcible, and convincing arguments by which he carried away the understandings of his hearers, and the narrow views and wretched sophistry of another distinguished orator, who may be truly said to have “held up his farthing candle to the sun.” Sir, the Senator from Massachusetts, on that, (the proudest day of his life) like a mighty giant bore away upon his shoulders the pillars of the temple of error and delusion, escaping himself unhurt, and leaving its adversaries overwhelmed in its ruins. Then it was that he erected to free trade a beautiful and enduring monument, and “inscribed the marble with his name.” It is with pain and regret that I now go forward to the next great era in the political life of that gentleman, when he was found upon this floor, supporting, advocating, and finally voting for the tariff of 1828—that “bill of abominations.” By that act, sir, the Senator from Massachusetts has destroyed the labors of his whole life, and given a wound to the cause of free trade, never to be healed. Sir, when I recollect the position which that gentleman once occupied, and that which he now holds in public estimation, in relation to this subject, it is not at all surprising that the tariff should be hateful to his ears. Sir, if I had erected to my own fame so proud a monument as that which the gentleman built up in 1824, and I could have been tempted to destroy it with my own hands, I should hate the voice that should ring “the accursed tariff” in my ears. I doubt not the gentleman feels very much in relation to the tariff as a certain knight did to “instinct,” and with him would be disposed to exclaim—
“Ah! no more of that Hal, an thou lov’st me.”
But, to be serious, what are we, of the South, to think of what we have heard this day? The Senator from Massachusetts tells us that the tariff is not an Eastern measure, and treats it as if the East had no interest in it. The Senator from Missouri insists it is not a Western measure, and that it has done no good to the West. The