Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/80

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

English statesman, was so charmed with it that he said: "It is the very greatest refinement in social policy to which any age has given birth." Under these favorable commendatory auspices the ship of State was launched upon the untried waters of popular government, and while the good old ship has had comparative smooth sailing, she has encountered many adverse winds and stood the storm of many conflicts, both external and internal  – wars without and wars within – and yet

"The star spangled banner continues to wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave."

In every foreign war and in conflicts with the Indians, our government has been victorious. The first domestic or internal trouble encountered was under Washington's administration in 1792, and is known in history as "The Whiskey Insurrection," in Pennsylvania, which was quelled without bloodshed upon the proper display of authority and determination by the Chief executive.

In 1797, when John Adams was President, the famous retaliatory measures known as the "Alien and Sedition Acts, were passed, resulting in great distress and discontent, and the country was brought to the verge of civil war, but this crucial test was passed in safety.

The next trouble, during Mr. Jefferson's term, was a threat by the New England States to withdraw from the Union on account of the Embargo Act. This measure was repealed by Congress and the malcontents became reconciled.

Again, in 1832, the Nullification Ordinance was passed by South Carolina, and disruption threatened. This critical trial was gotten over by the commendable firmness and decision of Andrew Jackson and the Tariff Compromise of 1833. The supreme test to which our government has been subjected was the war between the States, and the usurpation of powers not granted to the Constitution. The Federal authorities in their efforts to preserve the Union destroyed the government, so far as many of the rights of the States are concerned. It was the fond delusion, the basic idea of the founders of the republic, that it depended upon the States for its very existence. Who holds such ideas now ? The man at Washington with "the big