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could not be ignorant of its own powers, nor indifferent to their effects for evil or for good, both in his own and in future generations. But few there are of mortal birth whose secret aspirations might, like his, be unfolded to the curious and sinister gaze of his fellow men, and yet found blameless. And what has he to gain by mere external dignities, even the highest in the gift of his fellow citizens; the ephemeral glories of the Presidency can add no lustre to his virtue, no honour to his name. A higher renown, a noble, haitia immortality are his.
For a period of twenty two years Mr. Calhoun has been the strenuous supporter of unrestricted commercial regulations; this policy is becoming universal throughout the trading world, and so far the experience of every day has fully confirmed the expectations of its advantages. In advocating this system with regard to America, this stern republican, in addition to his conviction of its innate excellence, and expediency, and truth, was besides urged forwards by his dread of a surplus revenue, the natural consequence of protective
duties, and the evil uses to which such surplus revenue might be directed in the unconstitutional usurpation and extension of the governing powers. The distribution of the excessive Treasury funds threatened, moreover, to establish a correspondence and union of monied interests between the Federal and the States' Governments, which would have been fatal to all the free institutions of the Republic. To prevent these most pernicious, most destructive influences, Mr. Calhoun denounced the Tariff of 1828; and, supported by South Carolina alone, “his beloved and virtuous State," he stood opposed in the Session of 1830 in open, undaunted, and single handed resistance against the scheme of “a permanent distribution of the
surplus revenue, sustained by a perpetual pro- tective Tariff.” The attitude assumed by the State and Mr. Calhoun, is the act of NulliFiCATION. “This right of interposition, said Mr. “Calhoun, be it called what it may, State Right, “Veto, Nullification, or by any other name,
I “conceive to be the fundamental principle of our “system resting on facts historically as certain as “our Revolution itself, and deductions as simple
6 and demonstrative as that of any political or
“moral truth whatever."*
The principle of the State Veto is regarded by Mr. Calhoun as the strongest consolidating bond of the Union ;t while any State can defend herself
*“Nullification, as declaring null an unconstitutional act of “the General Government, so far as the State is concerned;
Interposition or State Right, as throwing the shield of protection “between the citizens of a State and the encroachments of the “Government; and Veto, as arresting or inhibiting its unauthorized “acts within the limits of the State."
+ Third Resolution of Mr. Calhoun, moved in the Senate:“ Resolved, That the assertions, that the people of these United States, taken collectively as individuals, are now, or ever have been, united on the principle of the social compact, and, as such, are now formed into one nation or people, or that they have ever been so united in any one stage of their political existence; or that the people of the several states comprising the Union have not, as members thereof, retained their sovereignty; or that the allegiance of their citizens has been transferred to the General Government; or that they have parted with the right of punishing treason through their respective state governments; or that they have not the right of judging, in the last resort, as to the extent of the powers reserved, and, of consequence, of those delegated : are not only without foundation in truth, but are contrary to the most certain and plain historical facts, and the clearest deductions of reason; and that all exercise of power on the part of the General Government, or any of its departments, deriving authority from such erroneous assumptions, must of necessity be unconstitutional; must tend directly and inevitably to subvert the sovereignty of the States, to destroy the federal character of the Union, and to rear on its ruins a consolidated government, without constitutional check or limitation, and which must necessarily terminate in the loss of liberty itself.”
“I am not ignorant that those opposed to the doctrine have
individually, so long is there safety for the whole against aggression. And also ;
The power of the Veto, or of individual State resistance, generally understood by the term Nullification, involves, besides the power of self
always, now and formerly, regarded it in a very different light, as anarchical and revolutionary. Could I believe such in fact to be its tendency, to me it would be no recommendation. I yield to none, 1 trust, in a deep and sincere attachment to our political institutions, and the union of these states. I never breathed an opposite sentiment; but, on the contrary, I have ever considered them the great instrument of preserving our liberty, and promoting the happiness of ourselves and our posterity; and, next to these, I have ever held them most dear. Nearly half my life has passed in the service of the Union, and whatever public reputation I have acquired is indissolubly identified with it. To be too national has, indeed, been considered by many, even of my friends, to be my greatest political fault. With these strong feelings of attachment, I have examined, with the utmost care, the bearing of the doctrine in question; and so far from anarchical or revolutionary, I solemnly believe it to be the only solid foundation of our system and of the Union itself, and that the opposite doctrine, which denies to the states the right of protecting their several powers, and which would vest in the General Government (it matters not through what department) the right of determining, exclusively and finally, the powers delegated to it, is incompatible with the sovereignty of the states and of the Constitution itself, considered as the basis of a Federal Union. As strong as this language is, it is not stronger than that used by the illustrious Jefferson, who said, to give to the General Government the final and exclusive right to judge of its powers, is to make its discretion and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers;' and that,' in all cases of compact between parties having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of the infraction as of the mode and measure of redress.'”
defence, the distinctive preserving principle of the united Commonwealths, the vital germ of Federal regeneration ; for so long as one individual State recognizes the infallible and Sovereign Will OF THE PEOPLE, the “Constitution making power," so long will there exist the principle of renewal for the whole; the model on which may be reconstructed, should destiny permit, or corruption induce it to perish, the glorious fabric of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
The exercise of the power of Nullification arose, therefore, in resistance to the appropriation by the Federal Government of the surplus revenue of the States; and this abuse was provided against by reducing the high protective system, which had supplied the state coffers with a revenue beyond the necessities of the Government; and South Carolina asserted her right of opposition by resisting the imposition of the Tariff of 1828. When the noble State first took her stand, the very existence of States' Rights was almost forgotten in the Union. That a great and cheering change has since taken place, all must admit; and that it
may be attributed in a great measure to