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To the StATES IN FAvour of A TARIFF; Adopted by the LEGISLATURE

of THE STATE of GeoRGIA, DEc. 19, 1828.


(See Pamphlet Laws, Reports and Resolutions of 1829, p. 87.)

House of Representatives, Friday, December 19, 1828.

To the People of the States in favour of prohibiting importations, as a policy for the encouragement of domestic Manufactures.

To preserve the Union of these States, and the full enjoyment of that happiness which is secured to us all by a holy regard to the Constitution, is deemed an object of sufficient magnitude to justify an Address, friendly in its character, and brotherly in its objects, from one part of the political family to the other.

The people of Georgia believe the crisis to have arrived, when it becomes necessary, through their representatives, to express to you, in language of sincerity and truth, their views and feelings upon the great question which seriously affects the interest of a large portion of the confederacy, and agitates the feelings of the whole. It is not for the purpose of making captious objections to the exercise by Congress of legitimate powers, that we claim your attention: But with an ardent hope, founded upon the intelligence, virtue, and love of common country, which reigns among the people, of bringing the public servants back to that republican simplicity, in the administration of our affairs, which marks, sustains, and adorns our political institutions, and is the only safeguard to liberty. The nature and extent of our political associations cannot be misunderstood by any one who will discard sectional interest and dispel from his mind the mists and prejudices produced by its deceptive influence.

That the relation in which we stand towards each other, may be distinctly understood and acknowledged, it is only necessary to review our several situations previous to any political alliance with each other. From our earliest colonization we were of kindred blood, and kindred in Fol. and close connections in pure love of liberty. Our primary poitical connexion had its origin in the oppressions of the mother country. We resisted aggressions upon our unalienable rights, and with a fervour that thrilled through every heart, joined our fortunes, our lives, and our sacred honor, in the declaration of our independence and the achieve

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ment of our libeties. Providence hallowed the undertaking, and victory sealed our trumph; and each of us was acknowledged a free, independent and soverign State.



Strance. 1828.

To secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, we S-2

formed that Constitution, against the provisions of which no Georgian
was ever hearl to utter a murmur of complaint. It was by that Consti-
tution we expected to be governed in our relations with foreign govern-
ments, and with each other as States, or Independent Communities.
The people of Georgia wish neither to deny nor withdraw any power
which they have granted. ... They love and venerate the Constitution, as
they believe a tenacious adherence to it is the only security to the pros-
perity, the liberties, the glory and the happiness of all the States; and
that upon its perpetuation, in its nativeP. the principle and progress
of free government in the whole world depend. In the legal exercise
of the powers conferred in that instrument there is not a dissenting voice
in Georgia. But it is the misconstruction and abuse of those powers
that is sought to be redressed. The sovereignty of the State Govern.
ments was never intended to be given up or impaired, in any other man.
ner than that expressed in the Constitution, and was retained and cau.
tiously guarded, both by the limited and special grants of power in the
Constitution, and by the insertion in that instrument of the following ar.
ticles: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not
be construed to disparage others retained by the people.” And “the
wers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor pro-
hibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to
the people.” These articles were intended as express limitations to the
General Government; and explicit reservations to the State Govern.
ments of every power not granted. The language is too plain to fail in
expressing the object of the Convention. It cannot then be believed, not
withstanding the warmth and earnestness with which it has been con
tended, that the States assented to any powers being given to the Nation
al Government, but those which were expressed and those which wer
strictly necessary and proper to carry such expressed powers into
effect. -
A system of measures not contemplated by the Constitution, has been
adopted and pertinaciously pursued by Congress, having for its object the
improvement of particular parts of the country, and the advancementof
sectional interests. These measures, of whatever kind or character, are
justly objectionable—as they can only be supported by forced constric-
tions of the Constitution, and are partial and oppressive in their opea-
tion: and among them may be included that system, which has beenin
progress for years, of levying heavy duties, to exclude from our ports
many articles of general commerce, for the purpose of encouraging and
o the manufacturing interest, in exclusion to the other geat
ranches of industry. *
If it were inexpedient only, oppressive and ruinous as it is to our in-
terests, we would not use this method of opposing it. The repea of
the measure would be sought in a different way; but when it is an q'en
and violent infraction of our Compact, we have a right which we will
never surrender, to demand its repeal. It is not presumed that you will
continue to confide in those who persevere in the exercise of a power
which has never been granted them. If it has been granted, it is open to
public view; there are no secrets in the Constitution—but for the autho-
rity which it confers, the National Government would not exist. Its pow-
er is based upon the Constitution alone, and has no auxiliary. Where,

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then, we may confidently ask you, is the power granted, either expressed
or implied, either in letter or spirit, to pass laws to create, extend, and to
protect a particular branch of industry, to the prejudice of other interests
of equal importance to the people, and of equal advantage to the Nation?
It cannot be denied that this is the effect of protecting duies, and that it
was intended to be the effect, as prices of all articles upon which duties
are paid are obviously enhanced to the extent of the duty imposed. Is
the right claimed by Congress fairly deriveable from the power granted
to levy taxes, lay imposts, &c." The object to be obtained by this power
is very clear. It was to enable the government to raise a revenue to de-
fray expenses, indirect taxes being considered a better mode of raising
funds than direct, because they bear most heavily upon those who have
most ability to pay them. That power was likewise given to Congress
to prevent the injustice which would have resulted to the non-importing
States, by paying their indirect taxes into the coffers of importing States,
and at the same time through direct taxation upon their people to fur-
mish their quota of the disbursements of the government. It was not in
contemplation of the framers of the Constitution, that a power to raise
revenue should be exercised to destroy it. The Convention of Harris-
burgh, who met to goad Congress to the late desperate expedient for the
establishment of the monopoly of the manufacturers, knew full well, while
recommending an increase of duties, that a decrease of revenue would
be the immediate, and the annihilation of it, the final result, if their wish-
es were accomplished; and gave occasion to the subterfuge used in Con-
gress to evade the question of Constitutional power, by rendering it im-
practicable for the judges of the Supreme Court to ascertain the true ob-
ject of the act passed, without looking to the motives of its advocates,
which unhappily, as it regards this act, they do not consider themselves
uuthorized to examine.
The Constitution declares that the imposts shall be uniform throughout
he United States. That declaration was intended to protect the States
rom any partiality and advantage which might otherwise have been ex-
tonded to one quarter of the country, by making the imposts greater at
cle port than another. What is the difference in effect, if you insist, through
tlat power, to levy such excessive duties as will give the interest of one
prt of the community, an advantage over that of another! though that
eld is not accomplished by imposing greater duties at some ports than at
others, yet you desire to attain the same object by their excessive imposi-
tion and increase. - -
Is the right to protect manufactures, claimed under the power to
regulate commerce It is true, Congress has the power to regulate
commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and
wihin the Indian tribes. This power was given to enable Congress
to arry into effect the commercial treaties with foreign nations, and
render them uniform throughout all the States, to save the perplexity
wheh would have arisen by each State retaining the power of making
its own commercial regulations with foreign nations, and with the States,
which, without such a grant of power, would not have been effected.
That clause was never intended to vest the right, nor can it be legiti-
mately inferred from it, that Congress had the power of legislating upon
the internal concerns and interest of the people of the several states.
It was only intended to regulate our relations between the whole of the
States as one body, and foreign governments, and our commerce with
each other as states, or independent communities. If under that grant
of power, the right of passing laws for the protection of manufactures

can be justified, a continuance of the principle, and an extension of the practice, will lead to the entire exterpation of the very commerce which that clause was inserted to regulate. If it be your interest to lay such interdicting duties as to exclude one article, by the same rule you may exclude another, and go on excluding, until you completely inhibit the importation of every species of foreign manufacture. Should you continue to claim the right of excluding all articles which it is your interest to manufacture, you will not, nor cannot deny the same right to other sections of the Union. We might upon our part, insist upon such a duty on sugar, rum and molasses, as to prohibit the importation of those articles; and though we might not be able at once to furnish a sufficient supply for the consumption of the whole Union, it would be no decisive argument against us, since it is always in our power to retort upon you the favorite answer of the manufacturers—“ It is true we cannot at

present furnish what is required for the consumption of the nation, and

the people will pay higher for these articles of necessity; but give us our own prices long enough, and we shall furnish them much cheaper than they are now afforded, to the great benefit of the country, and the encouragement of American industry.”

Other sections of the country having the same right, would require

prohibitory duties upon their favored products or manufactures; and if
protection be granted to all, as justice requires it should be, if granted
to any, the inferrence is irresistable that the commerce with foreign
nations, so far as regards importations, would be at an end ; it follows
as a necessary consequence, that all foreign commerce will be entirely
cut off. Money is the only medium of exchange, and no nation will find it
to be to her interest to buy our exports, unless we receive theirs in
If the system cannot be justified in the general, upon the principles of
our government, it cannot be in part—It is not reasoning upon extreme
cases, and if it were, it is not an illegitimate test of constitutional
principle. -
Whenever a power is exercised by Congress, which is not granted, it
is an assumption of authority by that body, dangerous to the liberties
of the people, since every assumption of power is an act of despotism.
The intention and letter of the Constitution, were to prescribe within
certain defined limits, the power of the General government, and not to
consolidate the power of i. state sovereignties. If the latter was the
real government, no matter how arbitrary and partial might be its
measures, they would nevertheless be the law, as the majority would rule.
But while the Constitution is to regulate the power of Congress, any
act which is in contravention of that instrument is illegal, and not binding,
even though it may have been passed unanimously, and twenty-three out of
twenty-four States should assent to it. “To provide for the general welfare,”
is an expression in the Constitution by virtue of which it has been
contended, that any law would be constitutional which, in the opinion of
Congress, would redound to the general interest. From an inspection
of the instrument, this, so far #. being a grant of power, is the
designation of one object to be effected by powers specially and distinctly
granted in the Constitution. The Constitution never intended to grant
power by this clause; if it had, there would have been no need of any
other article in the Constitution—lf it were standing alone, and received
the construction given to it by those who claim unlimited controul for
the national councils, it would of itself render every article in that in-
strument nugatory—Indefinite in its extent, it would give, if it gave
VOL. I.-37.

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any thing, unlimited authority. Establish its claim as an authoritative
article, and it will justify any thing and every thing which Congress
might pretend to believe would promote the general welfare. -
The interest of one State was never intended to be sacrificed to that
of the others—Climate, soil, and custom, have prescribed different
occupations and pursuits suitable to the situation and condition of each.
If it be the interest of any part of the confederacy, to manufacture, let
them pursue those vocations in peace to which their genius and circum-
stances direct them; it is not, though, expected that they will by legisla-
tive enactments, continue to require the agriculturalist to make sacrifices
to enhance the products of their labor. Such pretensions are foreign
from the spirit of the compact. We have as much right to lay probibi-
tory duty upon the hogs, horses and mules of Kentucky and §. to
promote the encouragement of raising those animals, as the General
Government has to prohibit foreign goods, to promote the manufacture
of them in a peculiar section; or that Kentucky should vote for a duty
on bagging to compel us to pay a greater price for the article. The
whole prohibitory system is founded in error, and humanity weeps over
the fading patriotism of those who sordidly pursue their own interest at
the expense and utter sacrifice of the holy principles of liberty and the
The people of Georgia are fully sensible of the impositions which
are heaped upon them by the extravagant constructions and perversions
of the power delegated to the United States, and regret that they have
causes of complaint too well founded to be removed by argument, or to
be softened by explanation. Let us recur to the inducements which
were held out, the great objects to be attained, by our political connex-
ion. The Constitution was adopted to form a more perfect union,
establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the com-
mon defence, promote the general welfare, and to secure the blessings of
liberty to ourselves and posterity. Can it be said that the anticipations
of our forefathers, who looked to effect these objects by the instrumen-
tality of the Constitution, are realised, when our interests are made
subservient to a growing monopoly 7 Is justice established, when we
are required not only to buy the products of your labor at your own
price, but to suffer by the same compulsory arrangement the loss of a
great market, and a depreciation of price for our own Is it reasona-
ble to expect a more perfect Union, when the interest of a portion of
that Union is wholly disregarded, and made the subject of depredation by
the other part 1 Can tranquility be ensured among a people who are
reminded of their injuries and oppressions by repeated infractions of their
compacts and solemn engagements' Is the general welfare promoted
by a studious and systematic course of legislation, which has for its
object the promotion and encouragement of a particular branch of
industry at the expense of all others ? And will the blessings of liberty
to ourselves and posterity be secured, if the violence of irritated feel-
ings, and a sense of that misery and degradation which, if the limita-
tions of the Constitution are not more strictly observed, must be our
portion, should produce such convulsions as to rend in twain the Tem-
ple of Liberty
When we entered the confederacy, it was for the protection of our
rights, and we were particularly cautious to grant no power by which
they might be either disregarded or abused; and if instead of that
protection, they are abandoned, and made the sport of the self-interest
of our nearest and dearest friends, we must, as we did under British

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