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Page:Remedy by State Interposition, or Nullification.djvu/5

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own acknowledgment in adhering to the system and demanding its extension, those states are more than indemnified for them and, thereforet that in effect the south alone is burdened. The author says further, "that the prospective injury from restrictions on our foreign commerce threatens the most pernicious inequality, and if carrried out to the point of prohibition, will probably be attended with the depopulation and abandonment of the whole lower region of the Southern States." He adds "we should consider it a less evil to have this system, with all its attendant losses and prospective risques, to a separation of the states." We are happy to believe that the losses and risques can be prevented without the danger of this separation.

I am among those who believe that the losses and dangers imposed and threatened by the American System, instead of being exaggerated have not been fully estimated. I agree with those who estimate at the highest our present pecuniary burdens I believe that the south has been cheated out of the bounties of nature, richer than aver were bestowed on any section of the earth, by the policy or the selfish instincts of man; I believe that the continuance of the system tends, not doubtfully, to the total destruction of our commerce, to the subversion of our domestic institutions, and in the words of the author I have quoted, to "the depopulation and abandonment of the whole lower region of the Southern States."

But it is not of these matters that it was my hint to speak. I propose to go more fully into the question of the remedy. More than seven years have elapsed since our remonstrances and clamours have been heard against this system. How have we been answered? By neglect and contempt, and the imposition of fresh burdens. We are told that this is not the time to act: new hopes are opened to us—the Tariff is to be broken down in detail, and the President has imposed his veto on certain acts of internal improvement. Fellow citizens, if we can be content to follow such ignes fatui they will lead us on forever. The modifications which have been made in the Tariff have only made it more satisfactory to the manufacturing states. The President avows himself in principle against us, and will only impose on the majority the necessity of looking out for more plausible objects of expenditure. Two years ago we were told to wait for the election of a President and a new Congress; now we are told to wait fur the payment of the national debt, Such encouraging appearances will not be wanting for twenty years to come, if we are willing to be soothed by them. We may choose here to hope against hope, but what voice has come out of the manufacturing majority to encourage our hope? What member of Congress has intimated that his opinion may be changed? What newspaper, north of the Potomac, has told of change of public sentiment or spoken of an abandonment of the policy as a thing within the remotest range of probable events? The manufacturers tell us they have nailed their color to the mast. Have not the majority against us gradually strengthened since the policy was adopted? and so not new interests daily enlisted against us? We are told we shall gain Kentucky. I believe it for Kentucky is identified with us in interests and feelings, and must be with is sooner or later. But what signifies the gaining of an outpost, when the main phalanx is deepening and strengthening against us. The states North of the Potomac. and those north west of the Ohio, which must be identifed with them, constitnte a sufficient majority to perpetuate the system.