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of suffering, stimulated to read by hope, and fear, and jealousy, and curiosity, then they thought they found in it this power. There it was, in the very language familiar to them from childhood-language associated, fast and imperishably, with the story of the long wrongs of England, the resistance of America, the great names of heroes and wise men, the living and the dead, with liberty, and with glory.
See if the fact is not so, and then see how resistless it is as evidence that the power really was there. Look into the press of that day—that day when men were great, and events were great; look into the newspaper press, and tell me if you find, anywhere, a whisper of complaint of any deficiency of power in this regard in the new Constitution. You have heard, in the selections I have read, something of what the people expected; do you find, by looking farther into the same source of evidence, that they were disappointed in their expectations? Fears there were
ere-sickly fears, patriotic fears, and loudly uttered—that the Constitution was too strong; too strong for liberty. But who said that, in its protecting energy, it was too weak? Who complained that he did not find it clothed with the whole power of defense against other nations—defense against their arms, their policy, their pernicious trade, their extorted and pauper labor? I can only say that I have found no trace of such an objection.
Any one who has the hardihood, after becoming conversant with this extended and comprehensive showing of facts and authorities, to maintain that the Constitution does not authorize and require the protection of home industry by duties on imports, must be considered a person of unsound judgment, unfit to form an opinion on the subject. Evidence, prodigal in quantity and unexceptionable in quality, shows that, among the prerogatives expressly vested in Congress by the Constitution, is the power to enact a tariff for protection with incidental revenue, necessarily included in the power to regulate commerce; that protection and revenue belong to entirely different branches of legislative authority; that, although duties on imports had long been universally recognized as a form of commercial regulation, protection by means of duties had never been designed to be an instrument for raising revenue; and that the several States had deprived themselves of the power of protection in order to confer that power upon the general government, with which it has remained to this day, else is extinct.
What is the expressed object of this power? It is to regulate commerce-to produce effects upon commerce by legislative action—not as an end in itself, but as means to an end, which is to develop, strengthen, and enrich the nation. It is, therefore, a power to do something; it was intended to be exercised, and maintained as a living principle. Since this power is prohibited to the States, it must have been conferred upon the general government with the view of being efficiently and wisely administered so long as the Constitution should last. This inherent and manifest purpose, which necessarily implies obligation on the part of Congress, would be assailed and vanquished by allowing the power to slumber in lethargy, or to decay by neglect, or to die out through disuse. To quote the glowing language of Choate: “The power which this whole country with one voice demanded to have inserted in the Constitution, and which they hailed as another Declaration of Independence; the power by which we are able to protect all our children of labor, on whatsoever fields they wipe the sweat from their brow; by which, as Washington foretold, we may hope to bind these States together, to run the race of freedom, power, enjoyment, and glory with the nations, and to afford the example of a people, now counted by millions, every one of whom has work to do, and good pay for his work—this power must not be surrendered, must not sleep, till the Union flag shall be hauled down from the last mast-head!”
The entire matter may be condensed into the following propositions: Power to protect home industry by duties on imports was put in the Constitution by its founders in pursuance of a set purpose to put it there. Before the present Union was formed, the people demanded the insertion of that power; the people expected to find that power in the instrument; the Federal Convention conferred that powerin words familiar from childhood to both statesmen and the people as fully expressing that power; the people adopted the Constitution, believing that power was in it; and the very first Congress, at its first session, in its first act of general legislation, proceeded to exercise that power in express terms, with avowed intent to give it practical shape. These are historical facts, which it would be useless to dispute; hence, the only sort of a tariff on imports, which conforms to both the letter and the spirit of the fundamental law, is a protective tariff; and “a tariff for revenue only" (which is a tariff for revenue without protection), by leaving altogether out of view the seminal purpose incorporated in the Constitution—by requiring that the trust therein for the benefit of home industry shall remain unexecuted, and be made a frustrated and nullified and impotent provision—is a kind of tariff never designed nor contemplated by the great builders of our political structure, and must be, therefore, a defeat of one of the principal objects in forming the present Union, and, by unavoidable inference, in the nature of an unconstitutional measure. Protection is right; it was intended to be guaranteed by the organic law of the United States. The right should stand erect upon its feet, demand its honest dues, and fearlessly defy the wrong.