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It was thought to be wise policy to bind the country together. Business would thrive; states would be brought closer by great national highways; over them foreign immigrants and our own people could move on towards the wilderness and the prairies; the mails could be carried, and troops marched if there should be need. Many schemes of this kind were proposed; the administration favored them, but denied the constitutional power. Internal improvements became the rallying cry of new parties. The great Cumberland Road, which stretched across the mountains from the Potomac to the Ohio River, was begun in 1806. It was the parent of in

. numerable schemes to build roads at the expense of the nation. Mr. Monroe in 1822 vetoed the bill making appropriations for repairs of this road, assigning as the ground of his veto the unconstitutionality of the laws under which the road was made and maintained.

The Constitution provides that “no state, without the consent of Congress, shall lay any duty of tonnage.” Every state at the time of the adoption of the Constitution had a sea-coast and at least one sea-port of more or less importance. The early practice under the Constitution was for each state, in order to improve its harbors, sea-ports, or navigable rivers, to impose some duty of tonnage, and for Congress to pass an act consenting. Congress, however, from the beginning steadily appropriated money for light-houses and public piers. The state was required to cede to the United States exclusive jurisdiction over them. The admission of states having no sea-port was finally followed by complaints that it was unfair for the sea-port states to provide for internal improvements by levying duties which the inland consumer would have ultimately to pay, while the inland states must make their necessary internal improvements at their own expense. The Cumberland Road was the first concession to this complaint. Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe denied that Congress had any power to authorize and maintain these roads upon the terri. tory of a state without the consent of the state. John Quincy Adams held the opposite, but Andrew Jackson denied the constitutionality of such legislation. Nevertheless, Congress, by making provisions for internal improvements in the appro



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priation bill, a bill which is generally so framed that the President cannot veto it without depriving the government of the means to perform its functions, — succeeded in mak

, ing large appropriations for internal improvements.

The success of the Erie Canal in the State of New York, and the introduction of railroads and steamboats, put an end to road-building by the nation, but meantime the improvement of harbors and rivers by the general government was foisted upon it. On the 3d day of March, 1823, the first act for the improvement of a harbor was passed by Congress. It owed its origin to an expression in Mr. Monroe's message vetoing the Cumberland Road bill. While he denied the power of Congress to assert any jurisdiction in a state over a turnpike gate, or bridge, and to punish any one for injuring them or for refusing to pay toll, because these were the domestic matters of the state, he nevertheless said that Congress had power to appropriate money at its discretion for objects of national importance, and the President could not sit in judgment upon the selections of the objects made by Congress. He was clearly wrong in the last proposition. But Congress soon chose to select harbors as the object of the national lavishness, and thence the extension to rivers was easily made. In 1846, President Polk vetoed a river and harbor improvement bill, and in 1856 President Pierce also vetoed one. Congress passed the bill over his veto. This was the first instance in the government under the Constitution in which a bill was passed over the veto of the President. Thereafter, this kind of improvement fell into desuetude until 1870, but the public hunger for an appropriation was in the mean time somewhat satisfied by the erection of public buildings, such as post - offices, custom - houses, and the like. In 1870 a river and harbor bill appropriating $2,000,000 was passed, and was approved by President Grant. The of Congress “ to regulate commerce ” is now supposed to embrace this power. The public rapacity was now manifested by the rising tide of appropriations, until in 1883 they reached the sum of $18,700,000. President Arthur vetoed the bill, but Congress, to its dishonor, immediately passed it over bis veto. In 1888 a bill appropriating over $20,000,000 was al



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lowed to become a law. It is useless now to discuss the constitutional power of Congress to appropriate money for the improvement of rivers and barbors, since the congressional and presidential decisions are final upon such a question ; but as a question of expediency and morality, in view of the system of " log-rolling” by which the appropriations are inflated and carried, it is to be regretted that the conservative construction of Jefferson and Madison should have been departed from. Neither political party has virtue enough to refuse the improper appropriations demanded for this purpose.

In Monroe's administration we acquired Florida from Spain for the sum of $5,000,000. By the treaty of cession the Sabine River was described as the boundary between Louisiana and the Spanish dominions. It was subsequently alleged that we thus gave away our claim to Texas, -a claim which we ought to have made good under the Louisiana purchase from France.

In President Monroe's message of 1823, the declaration since famous as the “ Monroe doctrine ” was made.

The occasion for the declaration was this: After the downfall of Napoleon, three of the powers arrayed against him, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, together with France, then restored to monarchy, formed what was termed a “Holy Alli. ance,” to maintain the principle of the legitimacy of the existing dynasties. If the principle should be threatened in Europe, these powers promised armed interference to protect it. This was in 1820. England had acquiesced in this agreement of the IIoly Alliance. But in 1823 her secretary of foreign affairs represented to our government that England apprehended that the Alliance entertained the project of armed intervention to reduce the revolted Spanislı dominions in North and South America to the control of such monarchical governments as the Alliance might dictate. Eng. land preferred that the revolted dominions should remain independent, hoping to establish better trade facilities with them in their condition of independence than if they were controlled

Spain or by the Holy Alliance. Besides, she wanted the United States to disclaim all intention of acquiring any of the American Spanish states. Our government was afraid that



the Holy Alliance would restore all South America to Spain and reinstate Spanish dominion over Mexico. President Monroe, in his message in 1823, thereupon said: “We owe it to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and the allied powers to declare that we should regard any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered, and shall not interfere, but with the governments which have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have on great consideration and just principles acknowledged, we could not view an interposition for oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny by any European power, in any other light than as a manifestation of an unfriendly disposition towards the United States. ... The American continents should no longer be subjects for any new European colonial settlement.” This was very bold doctrine for the United States to promulgate. Compared with the powers which composed the Holy Alliance our country was feeble. But this bold proclamation commanded respect. Of

. course this doctrine is not law, and if any occasion should arise for its application, our government would be governed by the circumstances, and do what it thought to be right. Indeed, it refused to interfere in 1863, when France placed Maximilian on the throne of Mexico. But then we were engaged in our civil war, and one war at that time was all we could well attend to. After the war our government signified to France that the presence of her troops in Mexico was disagreeable. The troops were withdrawn and Maximilian and his empire perished. There is no doubt that the Monroe doctrine asserts a policy which the people of the United States would be willing and prompt to sustain and enforce, if any occasion should arise in which we should feel justified in asserting it.






The decay of old party lines, the new interests of a growing country, and the ambition of younger statesmen gave rise to new party divisions. John Quincy Adams was Secretary of State under Mr. Monroe. He was originally a Federalist, but had supported the late war and was in favor of internal improvements. He led a new party of Adams Republicans. William H. Crawford was at the same time Secretary of War. He was the leader of the old line Republicans, and obtained the congressional caucus nomination for President. Henry Clay had also been a Republican, but was now the eloquent and magnetic leader of a large following who favored a protective tariff and internal improvements. He expounded the Constitution in accord with these measures.

Andrew Jackson had been nominally a Republican; he was the hero of New Orleans, and of a war against the Indians in Florida. He relied more upon his personal popularity in the Southwest than upon any policy in civil affairs. The scattered portions of the old parties, which had no distinctive theories of governmental policy, were greatly attracted to this new character in American politics, and they rallied around him under the name of Democrats. These four men were candidates for the presidency to succeed Mr. Monroe. When the electoral votes were counted, Mr. Jackson had 99, Mr. Adams 84, Mr. Crawford 41, and Mr. Clay 37. As no candidate had a majority, the election devolved upon the House of Representatives, voting by states, each state having one vote.

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