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and concluded in a friendly manner by the ministers of the two governments; and a hope was expressed by the President, that in due time more favorable terms might be obtained, and a fair reciprocity in trade, between the ports of both nations, be established. The attempts made for participating in the trade of the Black sea, had not proved unsuccessful; and by a treaty then recently made with the Sublime Porte, similar privileges were granted to the United States as to the most favored nations in Europe.t The relations between the United States and Russia were of a stable and satisfactory character. A treaty had been agreed on with Denmark, by which six hundred and fifty thousand dollars were to be paid to American citizens, as an indemnity for spoliations on their commercial property in 1808–1811. Similar indemnity was expected soon to be received from some other European governments, on whom claims had been several years before made, for like previous depredations. The negotiations with France for a recognition and allowance of claims on that government, in consequence of depredations committed on American commerce, at former periods, and to a large amount, had been prosecuted with renewed zeal, and with a strong hope of speedy success; for a friendly spirit was manifested by the French government on the subject, although some objections were offered, as to an allowance of all the claims; the recent revolution in France indicating a favorable result to the negotiation, I as well as a proper occasion for extending the commercial
* It was more than intimated, in the instractions given to Mr. McLane, the Envoy to the British court, in 1830, that the embarrassments on the commercial intercourse between the two countries, especially with the colonial ports of Great Britain, should be attributed to the improper demands or the mistakes of the preceding administration ; and that President Jackson and his ministers were more desirous of adjusting the difficulties on this subject, and would be more ready to agree to the terms proposed by the British government. A suggestion indicative of a want of good policy as well as of true patriotism. President Adams had made every reasonable and proper effort for adjusting these difficulties. But the British chose their own peculiar policy, or not treat at all. No one was more desirous of treating on the subject of commercial intercourse with foreign nations, on terms of reciprocity, than Mr. Adams.
+ The commissioners by whom this treaty was formed, had been appointed by the President in 1829, without consent or knowledge of the Senate ; nor was the Senate's consent asked at the next following session. This was a singular proceeding ; for in all cases, a mission on a new subject, had not been made by the President without consulting the Senate. Mr. Tazewell, of Virginia, severely censured the President for this act ; and opposed the bill for allowing a salary to the commissioners. He said the act was unconstitutional, a flagrant derogation of the rights of the Senate ; and ought not to be passed over by the Senate without express condemnation.
# Mr. Rives, of Virginia, was then the minister of the United States to France ; whose ability and attention the President acknowledged to be highly satisfactory.
intercourse between the two countries : new efforts were made for bringing the subject of the boundary between the United States, and the British possessions adjoining, to a final termination, by submitting the question to the arbitration of a Prince, friendly to the two nations, and laying before him all the evidences in the case; and a hope was confidently entertained, that his opinion and decision would soon be known. The misunderstanding with the republic of Mexico promised to be removed, as the jealousies of that government towards the United States had in a great measure been obviated, by the explanations which had been then recently offered-measures had also been adopted for preserving tranquillity on the borders of the United States and that republic. The financial affairs of the government continued in a prosperous condition; the expenditures being less than fourteen millions of dollars, exclusive of the amount appropriated for paying the annual instalment of the public debt, which was eleven millions; and the receipts into the treasury, exceeding, twenty-four millions ; a large portion of which accrued from the sales of land belonging to the United States.
In the address of the President, at this time, he expressed his views at some length of the powers of the federal and State governments, and of the importance of avoiding all encroachments of each on the other. He had given similar opinions before, and they had an influence in leading him to object to bills for appropriating the public funds to most works for internal improvements. For unless of a manifestly general and national benefit, they would be unequal, and inevitably give occasion for complaints from some parts of the Union. He considered it of vital importance to the Union to sustain the State sovereignties, as far as consistent with the rightful action of the federal government, and of preserving the highest attainable harmony between them." The opinion was again expressed of the propriety of limiting the office of President to one term, and thai for four or six
years. And the entire independence of the legislative and executive departments of the government, of each other, was strongly urged, as necessary to the general welfare. But the doctrine, as it appeared to be understood by the President, was disapproved by a great portion of the people; and it was believed that the executive was but the organ or agent of the legislature, in most cases, designed to carry into effect the laws enacted by the Representatives of the people. In some respects, indeed, the chief magistrate is independent of the other branches of
the government; but not to the extent supposed and claimed by General Jackson.
In this message the President again referred to the condition of the aboriginal tribes of the coumtry; and gave his unqualified testimony to “ the benevolent policy” of the federal government from its origin towards these uncivilized people. He repeated the opinion, which he bad before given, in favor of their removal to a territory entirely exclusive of the settlements of the white population. It had been the desire of the government, as he said, for thirty years, to effect their settlement far west of the Mississippi, and separate from any State or territorial district of the United States; but nothing like compulsion had been previously used to effect the object. This conduct was alike humane and just towards the native tribes, and favorable to the settlement and peace of the States where they had resided. It was justly a matter of complaint only when these tribes were absolutely ordered to remove, and threatened with the displeasure of the government if they did not speedily consent to depart from the lands formerly occupied by their ancestors. The President avowed his friendly regards for the native tribes of Indians; and no one could justly doubt the sincerity of his professions; while his winking at the strong measures of some of the southern States, where they then resided, to force them to remove, subjected him to censure in other parts of the country.
The strong opposition to the high tariff of duties on many imported articles, which was adopted in 1928, and was designed to encourage domestic manufactures, induced the President to refer again to the subject on this occasion. He expressed an opinion favorable to the protective policy, as necessary to the prosperity of the United States: but suggested the importance of some modification in the law, passed two years before, to reconcile it to the views of the people in the non-manufacturing States. He was aware of the difficulty of accomplishing this desirable object. His immediate predecessor had expressed a similar opinion, in 1828; and suggested some modification for the purpose of rendering the operation of the tariff of that period more equal and satisfactory to all classes of citizens, and to all parts of the Union. No act was passed, however, either in 1829, or 1830, for modifying or altering the law of 1828.
President Jackson, early discovered his disapprobation of the Bank of the United States. He had doubts of the constitutional power of Congress to incorporate such a company : and he expressed an apprehension of its mis
management, by which it was productive of more evil than of benefit both to the government and the people. He even doubted the utility of any banking institutions in the nation. Probably he had prejudices against them, as they often afforded facilities to speculators, and served to support the credit system of the country to a mischievous extent: and from the failure or suspension of specie-payments with many banks in the western parts of the l'nion. No doubt there was some foundation for his opposition to them: but it was an unjust conclusion, that all such companies should be probibited, because some of them had been unwisely administered. He had referred to this subject in a former message, and fully expressed his views unfavorable to a renewal of the charter of the Bank of the United States. But the committee of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives, to whom the subject was referred, at the preceding session, made a report adverse to the opinion of the President; and in favor of coutinuing the bank : and they disapproved of the project of a government bank. They believed "the latter would derange and injure the currency, and what was far worse, destroy the liberties of the people.” And as to the constitutionality of the Bank of the United States, they said, it had repeatedly received the sanction of Congress. in repeating his opinion, at this time, he suggested the plan of a bank, very differently formed, and wholly under the management and control of the government. It might still be called the Bank of the United States, or a Bank of the Treasury department, he said; and its object be to secure all the advantages afforded by the bank then in operation, as to the finances of the nation. “ It might,” he said, “ be based on public and individual deposites, but without power to make loans, or to purchase property : not being a corporate body, having no stockholders, debtors, or property, and but few officers, it would not be obnoxious to the constitutional objections which might be urged against the present bank: and having no means to operate on the hopes, fears, or interests of large masses of the community, it would be shorn of the influence which makes that bank formidable; the States would be strengthened by having in their hands the means of furnishing the local paper currency through their own banks; while the bank of the United States, though issuing no paper, would check the issue of the State banks, by taking their notes in deposite and for exchanges, only so long as they were redeemed with specie.”
It did not appear, however, by these suggestions of the
President, that he had matured any plan for a bank, as a substitute for that of the United States, whose charter would expire in 1836. But one may see, even in these outlines, that he was in favor of depositing and keeping the public funds, in a mode similar to that afterwards proposed by his successor. The plan was, indeed, that of à Sub-treasury system, in embryo: which provides for placing the funds of the nation entirely under the control and management of the executive part of the government. President Jackson gave a practical proof of his views on this subject, in 1833, by taking the public funds into his own hands, without authority of Congress, and most evidently contrary to the spirit of the Constitution and of the laws relating to the treasury department.
In all free governments, the public treasury is under the control of the representatives of the people, and of the most popular branch or House of Representatives; and this also has the exclusive right to originate bills for grants and appropriations of the people's money. The chief magistrate has indeed a voice in the laws made for the regulation of the funds; but it is an arbitrary assumption of power in him to make any use or disposition of them other than such as the laws of the legislature have directed. This is a fundamental principle recognized by the framers of our Constitutions, State and federal ; and a violation, or disregard of it, is far more alarming than any single act of misjudgment or impolicy. What stampt this conduct as particularly improper and arbitrary, was the consideration that the legislature had just before instituted an inquiry into the state of the bank, and declared it a safe deposite for the public funds of the government.
There was a large deficit in the Post Office department, for the year 1830. Two years before, under the management of a different person,--Hon. John McLean, of Ohio, afterwards a Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States,-it was in a very prosperous state.
But either through the inefficiency of the present Post Master General, or an injudicious increase of post routes and post offices, the balance was against the department in 1830. It had not always, indeed, yielded a sufficient sum to meet the expenses; but at this time the deficit was greater than for many preceding years. The officer now at the head of the department, was accused, how justly cannot be proved, of party views in his appointment of mail contractors, and of multiplying post offices unnecessarily.
An effort was made, in 1831, to alter the law of the