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PLATFORMS OF 1860-1864.
PLATFORM OF THE BRECKINRIDGE PARTY OF 1860.
Resolved, That the platform adopted by the Democratic party at Cincinnati be affirmed, with the following explanatory resolutions :
1. That the government of a territory organized by an act of Congress is provisional and temporary, and during its existence all citizens of the United States have an equal right to settle with their property in the territory, without their rights, either in person or property, being destroyed by congressional or territorial legislation.
2. That it is the duty of the Federal Government, in all its departments, to protect the rights of persons and property in the territories, and wherever else its constitutional authority extends.
3. That when the settlers in a territory, having an adequate population, form a State Constitution, the right of sovereignty commences, and being consummated by their admission into the Union, they stand on an equality with the people of other States, and a State thus organized ought to be admitted into the Federal Union, whether its constitution probibits or recognizes the institution of slavery.
4. That the Democratic party are in favor of the acquisition of Cuba, on such terms as shall be honorable to ourselves and just to Spain, at the earliest practicable moment.
5. That the enactments of State Legislatures to defeat the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Law are hostile in character, subversive of the Constitution, and revolutionary in their effect.
6. That the Democracy of the United States recognize it as an imperative duty of the government to protect the naturalized citizen in all his rights, whether at home or in foreign lands, to the same extent as its native born citizens.
WHEREAS, One of the greatest necessities of the age, in a political, commercial, postal, and military point of view, is a speedy communication between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts; therefore, be it resolved,
7. That the National Democratic party do hereby pledge thom. selves to use every means in their power to secure the passage of some bill, to the extent of the Constitutional authority by Congress, for the construction of a railroad to the Paciti«: Ucean, at the earliest practicable moment.
PLATFORM OF THE DOUGLAS PARTY OF 1860.
Resolved, That we, the Democracy of the Union in Convention assembled, hereby declare our affirmation of the resolutions unanimiously adopted and declared as a platform of principles by the Democratic Convention at Cincinnati, in the year 1856, believing that Democratic principles are unchangable in their nature when applied to the same subject matter, and we recommend as our only further resolutions the following:
That inasmuch as differences of opinion exist in the Democratic party as to the nature and extent of the powers of a Territorial Legislature, and as to the powers and duties of Congress, under the Constitution of the United States, over the institution of slavery in the territories;
Resolved, That the Democratic party will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States over the institution of slavery in the territories.
Resolved, That it is the duty of the United States to afford ample and complete protection to all its citizens, at home or abroad, and whether native or foreign born.
Resoloed, That one of the necessities of the age, in a military, commercial, and postal point of view, is a speedy communication between the Atlantic and Pacific States, and the Democratic party pledge such constitutional enactment as will insure the construction of a railroad to the Pacific coast at the earliest practical period.
Resolved, That the Democratic party are in favor of the aoquisition of the Island of Cuba, on such terms as shall be honorable to ourselves and just to Spain.
Resolved, That the enactments of State Legislatures to defeat the faithful execution of the Fagitive Slave Law are hostile in character, subversive to the Constitution, and revolutionary in their effect.
Resolved, That it is in accordance with the Cincinnati Platform, that during the existence of Territorial Governments, the measure of restriction, whatever it may be, imposed by the Fed eral Constitution on the power of the Territorial Legislature over the subject of the domestic relations, as the same has been or shall hereafter be decided by the Supreme Court of the United States, should be respected by all good citizens, and enforced with promptness and fidelity by every branch of the General Goverainente
THE REPUBLICAN PLATFORM OF 1860.
Resolved, That we, the delegated representatives of the Ro. publican electors of the United States, in Convention assembled, in the discharge of the duty we owe to our constituents and our country, unite in the following resolutions :
1. That the history of the nation during the last four years has furly established the propriety and necessity of the organization and perpetuation of the Republican party, and that the causes which called it into existence are permanent in their nature, and now, more than ever, demand its peaceful and constitutional triumph.
2. That the maintenance of the principles promulgated in the Declaration of Independence, and embodied in the Federal Constitution, that “all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are those of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that Governments are instituted among men to secure the enjoyment of these rights, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed”—are essential to the preservation of our republican institutions, and that the Federal Constitution, the rights of the States, and the union of the States, must and shall be preserved.
3. That to the union of the States this nation owes its unprecedented increase in population, its surprising developments of material resources; its rapid augmentation of wealth ; its happiness at home and its honor abroad; and we hold in abhorrence all schemes for disunion, come from whatever source they may; and we congratulate the country that no Republican member of Congress has uttered or countenanced the threats of disunion as often made by the Democratic members of Congress, without rebuke and with applause from their political associates; and we denounce those threats of disunion in case of a popular overthrow of their ascendency, as denying the vital principles of a free Government, and as an avowal of contemplated treason which it is the imperative duty of an indignant people sternly to rebuke and forever silence.
4. That the maintenance inviolate, of the rights of the States, and especially of each State, to order and control its own do mestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depends; and we denounce the lawless in vasion by armed forve of the soil of any State ur Territory, no matter under what pretext, as one of the gravest of crimes.
5. That the present Democratic Administration has far ex ceeded our worst apprehensions in the measureless subserviency to the exactions of a sectional interest, as especially evinced in its desperate exertions to force the infamous Lecompton Consti tution upon the protesting, people of Kansas, construing the relation between master and servant to involve an unqualified property in persons; in its attempted enforcement everywhere, op land and sea, through the intervention of Congress and of the Federal Courts, of the extreme pretensions of a purely local interest; and in its general and unvarying abuse of the power entrusted to it by a confiding people.
6. That the people justly view with alarm the reckless extravagance which pervades every department of the Federal Government. That a return to right economy and accountability is indispensible to arrest the plunder of the public treasury by favored partisans, while the recent startling developments of frauds and corruption at the Federal metropolis show that an entire change of administration is imperatively demanded.
7. That the new dogma that the Constitution of its own force carries slavery into any or all the Territories of the United States, in a dangerous political heresy, at variance with the explicit provisions of that instrument itself, with cotemporaneous exposition, and with legislative and judicial precedents, that it is revolutionary in its tendency and subversive of the peace and harmony of the country.
8. That the nominal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom; that as our Republican fathers, when they had abolished slavery in all our national territory, ordained that no person should be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, it becomes our duty by legislation, whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this provision of the Constitution against all attempts to violate it; and we deny the authority of Congress, or à Territorial Legislature, or of any individual, to give legal existence to alavery in any Territory of the Uuited States.
9. That we brand the recent re-opening of the African Slave Trade, under the cover of our national flag, aided by perversion, of judicial power, as a crime against humanity, and a burning shame to our country and age; and we call upon Congress to take prompt and efficient measures for the total and final suppression of that execrable traffic.
10. That in the recent vetoes by their Federal Governors of tho acts of the Legislatures of Kansas and Nebraska, prohibit ing slavery in these Territories, we find a practical illustration of the boasted Democratic principles of non-intervention and Popular Sovereignty, embodied in tho Kansas-Nebraska bill, and a demonstration of the deception and fraud involved therein.
11. That Kansas should, of right, he immediately admitted as a State under the Constitution recently formed and adopted by her people, and accepted hy the House of Representatives.
12. That while providing revenue for the support of the General Government, by duties upon imports, sound policy requires such an adjustment of these imports as to encourage the development of the industrial interests of the whole country, and we commend that policy of National Exchange which secures to the working men liberal wages, agriculture remunerative prices, do merchants and manufacturers an adequate reward for their skill, labor and enterprise, and to the nation commercial prosperity and independence.
13. That we protest against any sale or alienation to others of the public lands held by actual settlers, and against any view of the free homestead policy, which regards the settlers as paupers or suppliants for public bounty, and we demand the passage by Congress of the complete and satisfactory homestead measure which has already passed the House.
14. That the National Republican party is opposed to any change in our naturalization laws, or any State Legislation, by which the rights of citizenship hitherto accorded to immigrants from foreign lands shall be abridged or impaired, and in favor of giving a full and efficient protection to the rights of all classes of citizens, whether native or naturalized, both at home and abroad.
15. That appropriations by Congress for river and harbor improvements of a national character, is required for the accommodation and security of an existing commerce, or authorized by the Constitution and justified by the obligation of the Government to protect the lives and property of its citizens.
16. That a railroad to the Pacific ocean is imperatively demanded by the interests of the whole country; and that the Federal Government ought to render immediate and efficient aid in its construction, and that preliminary thereto, a daily overland mail should be promptly established.
17. Finally, having thus set forth our distinctive principles and views, we invite the co-operation of all citizens, however differing in other questions, who substantially agree with us, in their affirmance and support.
PLATFORM OF THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL PARTY OF 1860.
Tho Union, the Constitution and the Laws.