Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[graphic][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

ONE session of this Congress has gone to the earlier statesmen of the Union. by; another has begun. The country Turning its back upon that wretched has reason to rejoice that it is so near its conceit of the day, which calls itself the end. The late elections exhibit an ex- progressive principle--and which, as extraordinary revolt in the public mind hibited in our legislation, is nothing against the principles, professions and more than the charlatanry of small polipractice of the dominant party which ticians, who come into the public service has guided the conduct of this Congress. unprovided with the experience, and unThe elections yet to be held, we may be- endowed with the capacity, for the grave lieve, will speak with equal empbasis to duties of statesmanship-it placed itself the same purport. The Twenty-Ninth upon the ground which was occupied Congress will terminate its career in a by the last administration of Madison, blaze of popular reproof.

and which was preserved through the In the brief review which we propose two administrations that followed, with to make of some of the leading measures the approbation and support of the most to which this Congress has given its eminent and capable men who have ever sanction, we are led, by many considera- graced the public counsels of this countions, tó recur to that with which it iry. It should never be forgotten that stands in very remarkable contrast-the the Twenty-Seventh Congress, in the ever-memorable Twenty-Seventh. These scheme of its action, aimed at perpetuattwo legislative bodies may be regarded ing that system of measures which way as rivals in the public view. They are be described as the Madisonian platform, antagonistic in nearly every point of doc. and which was sustained, in 1816, by trine and policy affecting the manage- the whole democracy of the Union;ment of public affairs; each the sign which had Madison himself, Clay, Crawand exponent of a new administration; ford, Calhonn, Lowndes, Sergeant, and each the type of the party by which it a host of others not less renowned, for was controlled. We can find no better its champions; which gave to the counindex, in the events of our time, to the try the Tariff, the Bank, the Internal Imcharacteristic temper, aims and practical provements, as its measures, and the purposes of the two great parties which careful restraint of Executive power, divide the nation, than is afforded in the economy of administration, and faithful history of these two Congresses.

execution of the Laws as its principles. Of the Twenty. Seventh it may be said, Endeavoring to conduct its action acthat its ruling influence was Conservat- cording to this scheme, the Twentyism. It was careful to maintain the na Sevenih Congress was industrious to tional institutions as they were known suggest and promote whatever was likely VOL. IV. —NO. VI.

36

to enlarge the national prosperity. It it the subject of denunciation and even sought to regulate the currency by a of State nullification in some sections of National Bank, improved and guarded the Union, by a party which affects to by every guarantee which a long expe be the champion of equal rights and asrience had suggested as likely to protect sumes to call itself the democracy. it against abuse. It became, in the most This Congress resisted, and with comliberal sense, the patron of domestic in- plete success during the period of its own dustry; and, with infinite care and study, existence, that ill-fated policy, which enacted a Tariff by which it imparted has, under less propitious counsels, added the greatest vigor to every resource of the Republic of Texas to the Union. A labor. It provided means for the pro scrupulous adherence to the limits of tection and expansion of our Jake and constitutional power, a becoming sensiriver commerce, for the multiplication bility to the injustice which might be and scarcity of harbors and the erection done to the rights of a friendly neighbor of lighthouses. It directed a distribution republic, and an apprehension of those of the proceeds of the public lands to be unhappy consequences which have since made amongst the several States, as long been realized, and were then foreseen as the country should be at peace—in and foretold, will ever vindicate the wisaccordance with a policy which all par- dom as well as the humanity which reties had once approved, and which never fused to concur in the Annexation. fell into disfavor until it was discovered These are amongst the triumphs of that its adoption might add to the already the Twenty-Seventh Congress. Several brilliant reputation of one of the wisest of the measures which we have enumeand best of American statesmen. It en rated in this summary, it is true, were larged our foreign trade by the Chinese not permitted to take effect. They fell Treaty; and laid the foundation of a under that formidable power of the veto permanent peace with Great Britain by which the accidental occupant of the the wise and just spirit in which it met chief magistracy of that day has rendered the difficulties of the Macleod and Boun. even more odious than it had been before, dary questions. And it cannot be doubt. by his attempt to make it subservient to ed that the equitable disposition mani. the mean flattery of one party and the fested by this Congress, in reference to deliberate betrayal of the other. Still, these negotiations, prepared the way for what that Congress accomplished is not the adjustment of the dispute as to Ore more honorable to its fame, than what it gon, and thus contributed, in no small was denied the privilege of giving to the degree, to the removal of the only re country. Nor is it less to be commended maining point of collision between two for its many labors that were not matured great communities, of whom it has been into actual legislation. It devoted its at. justly said—that they possessed the tention to every branch of the public means of doing to each other and to the service; its investigations in this field cause of civilization more good or more were careful, minute and comprehensive; harm than any other nations upon the and there may be found, in ihe reports globe.

of its committees, a digested mass of inIt established an economical adminis- formation upon the public affairs, and tration ; arrested the ruinous policy by an amount of prepared business touching which, in a time of peace with all for the various interests of the nation, which eign powers, a national debt had been may serve as the basis of useful legislapermitted to grow up; provided means tion for many years to come. The for its extinguishment, and restored the Twenty-Seventh was, in fact, a working credit of the government, which a waste. Congress. It aimed to present to the ful system of expenditure had impaired. country, in visible shape, an embodiment It repealed the Independent Treasury, of that political philosophy which the that most absurd abortion in legislation Whigs have ever believed to be essential which partisan pride and obstinacy ever to the prosperity and grandeur of the nainflicted upon the country. It enacted tion. It was steadfast to this purpose, the single district system for the election and spared no toil to commend itself to of the House of Representativesma mea- the judgment and affections of the peosure so eminently just, so exactly in ac- ple by its industry, its patriotism and its cordance with the spirit and design of fidelity to every interesi embraced within the Constitution, that we cannot cease the circle of national concern. to wonder at the hardihood which made The Twenty-Ninth Congress is, almost

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »