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own subsequent peace with Great Britain, this baneful weed of party strife was uprooted. From that time no difference of principle, connected either with the theory of government or with our intercourse with foreign nations has existed or been called forth in force sufficient to sustain a continued combination of parties, or give more than wholesome animation to public sentiment or legislative debate.
Our political creed is, without a dissenting voice that can be heard, that the will of the people is the source, and the happiness of the people the end, of all legitimate government upon earth. That the best security for the beneficence, and the best guaranty against the abuse of power consists in the freedom, the purity, and the frequency of popular elections.
That the general government of the Union and the separate governments of the
states are all sovereignties of legitimated powers ; fellow servants of the same masters, uncontrolled within their respective spheres, uncontrollable by encroachments upon each other. That the firmest security of the preparation during peace of the defences of war. That a rigorous economy and accountability
of public expenditures should guard against the aggravation, and alleviate, when possible, the burden of taxation. That the military should be kept in strict subordination to the civil
That the freedom of the press and of religious opinion should be inviolate. That the policy of our country is peace, and the ark of our salvation, union, are articles of faith upon which we are all agreed. If there have been those who doubted whether a confederated representative democracy were a government competent to the wise and orderly management of the common concerns of a mighty nation, those doubts have been dispelled. If there have been projects of partial confederacies to be erected upon the ruins of the Union, they have been scattered to the winds. If there have been dangerous attachments to one foreign nation, and antipathies against another, they have been extinguished. Ten years of peace, at home and abroad, have assuaged the animosities of political contention, and blended into harmony the most discordant elements of public opinion.
There still remains one effort of magnanimity, one sacrifice of prejudice and passion, to be made by the
individuals throughout the nation who have heretofore followed the standards of political party. It is that of discarding every remnant of rancour against each other; of embracing as countrymen and friends ; and of yielding to talents and virtue alone that confidence which, in times of contention for principle, was bestowed only upon those who wore the badge of party communion.
The collisions of party spirit which originate in speculative opinions or in different views of administrative policy are in their nature transitory. Those which are founded on geographical divisions, adverse interests of soil, climate, and modes of domestic life, are more permanent, and therefore perhaps more dangerous. It is this which gives inestimable value to the character of our government, at once federal and national. It holds out to us a perpetual admonition to preserve alike, and with equal anxiety, the rights of each individual state in its own government, and the rights of the whole nation in that of the Union. Whatever is of domestic concernment, unconnected with the other members of the Union, or with foreign lands, belongs exclusively to the administration of the state
governments. Whatsoever directly involves the rights and interests of the federative fraternity, or of foreign powers, is of the resort of this general government. The duties of both are obvious in the general principle, though sometimes perplexed with difficulties in the detail. To respect the rights of the state governments is the inviolable duty of that of the Union ; the government of every state will feel its own obligation to respect and preserve the rights of the whole. The prejudices every where too commonly entertained against distant strangers are worn away, and the jealousies of jarring interests are allayed by the composition and functions of the great national councils annually assembled from all quarters of the Union at this place. Here the distinguished men from every section of our country, while meeting to deliberate upon the great interests of those by whom they are deputed, learn to estimate the talents and do justice to the virtues of each other. The harmony of the nation is promoted, and the whole Union is knit together by the sentiments of mutual respect, the habits of social intercourse and the ties of personal friendship
formed between the representatives of its several parts in the performance of their service at this metropolis.
Passing from this general review of the purposes and injunctions of the federal constitution and their results, as indicating the first traces of the path of duty in the discharge of my public trust, I turn to the administration of my immediate predecessor as the second. It has passed away in a period of profound peace; how much to the satisfaction of our country, and to the honour of our country's name, is known to you all. The great features of its policy in general concurrence with the will of the legislature have been :-To cherish peace while preparing for defensive war; to yield exact justice to other nations, and maintain the rights of our own; to cherish the principles of freedom and of equal rights, wherever they were proclaimed; to discharge with all possible promptitude the national debt; to reduce within the narrowest limits of efficiency the military force; to improve the organization and discipline of the army; to provide and sustain a school of military science ; to extend equal protection to all the great