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The Distribution Bill

Boston Quarterly Review, January, 1842

Art. IV.Speech of Mr. Calhoun, of South Caroli­na, on the Distribution Bill, in the Senate of the United States, August 24, 1841.

Nothing can more forcibly demonstrate the utter recklessness of power, or the total disregard of consti­tutional restrictions, by a factious majority, having a favorite measure to carry, than the passage, at the late extra session of Congress, of the Bill for distributing the proceeds of the public lands among the States. A bolder assumption of power, on the part of the general gov­ernment, was never attempted : and a measure more directly in violation of the very letter and spirit of the constitution it is impossible to conceive. And yet distinguished statesmen advocated it, a majority of both Houses of Congress recorded their votes in its favor, a conscientious President, laying great stress upon the sanctity of Iiis official oath, sworn to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution, gave it his approbation; nay, recommended it. and it has become the law of the land! We hardly know what to say or think of so astounding a fact! It were sheer simplicity, to imagine for a moment, that the intelligent men, who voted for it, were not perfectly aware of its being altogether unau­thorized by the constitution. There are some matters so plain that men can come to but one honest conclu­sion concerning them ; on which an honest difference of opinion is impossible. The constitutionality of the distribution scheme is one of those matters. Men may perhaps honestly differ in their views of it, as a ques­tion of policy, but we cannot conceive it possible, that any one could for a single moment regard it in harmo­ny with the constitution. How, then, account for the fact, that men, who hoped to be able to hold up their heads in decent society, and even to look their constit­uents in the face, could urge and vote its passage ?

We can account, for this fact only on the loose no­tions in regard to constitutional governments in general, and the constitution of the United States in particular, which have grown up and become prevalent in the com­munity. We committed a serious error when we trans­lated the word Republicanism by the word Democracy. It was a grave error. Names are things. From our habit of regarding our institutions as democratic insti­tutions, and ourselves as democrats, has originated a doctrine, false in itself, and which, if not soon corrected, will prove the ruin of our government and of our liber­ties. We may define words as we will, but if is impossible to make an arbitrary definition of an old word practically prevail over its popular and legitimate sense. Those of us who, in these times, call ourselves demo­crats, and adhere to the democratic or present opposi­tion party, mean, by a democracy, a government where the supreme power of the state is lodged in the peo­ple, and administered by tlie people, in accordance with constitutional rules, for the freedom and common good of all. So defined, democracy is worthy of all accep­tation, lint it is only in our closet speculations, that the word ever is so defined. This is not the old and legitimate sense of the word ; nor that which obtains or will obtain in practical life. In practice, democracy will assume but one meaning,  a meaning which has passed into the axiom, " The majority 'must rule ; :' which again is always practically translated, ' The ma­jority have a right to rule."

Carry this doctrine, this practical democratic formula, into the legislative hall, and it is easy to predict its con­sequences. The majority are in favor of a given mea­sure, obviously unauthorized by the constitution. But what then ? The constitution represents only the will of the majority that framed it. The will of the major­ity has the right to govern ; and the majority at one time is oijual to the majority at another. The majority of the legislature is as much the majority of the peo­ple, as the majority of the convention that framed the constitution. It is, then, as supreme, invested with as much authority; why, then, shall it yield to it? Why is the dead letter of the constitution of paramount au­thority to the iiving majority of the people speaking through the voice of the majority of the legislature ? The constitution, moreover, was framed for the general welfare. The majority are the sole judges of what is for the general welfare. The majority decide that a given measure is for the general welfare : it is then virtually a constitutional measure,  one of those mea­sures for which the framers of the constitution would have provided in just so many words, if they had but foreseen its importance. What, then, shall prevent the sovereign authority, the majority, in whom vests the right to govern, from adopting it ? The majority that framed the constitution is necessarily merged in the majority of the legislature to-day; the two, then, are one and the same sovereign power ; and shall this sovereign power he hindered from pursuing the gen­eral good by a lew barren technicalities, a mure lifeless form of words? Out upon your "abstractions." Just as if the constitution could be paramount to the people that make it !

To this fatal conclusion, the democratic theory of the country inevitably leads, when translated into practice. "We say not that this is the conclusion to which the theo­ries of the present opposition party inevitably lead, for we are perfectly aware that it is not : but it is the conclu­sion to which leads democracy, as practically under­stood by the country: and as it will be understood, in spite of all that can be said or done. This is the dem­ocratic doctrine of the majority: a doctrine boldly avow­ed by General Harrison, in his inaugural address : and acted on, with a consistency and vigor commanding our admiration, by the leader of the whig party in the Senate of the United States, during the late extra ses­sion of Congress, it is in vam to protest against this doctrine in the name of democracy; to declare that it is not democracy ; and in vain that we oiler defini­tions and resolutions. It is democracy, according to its legitimate meaning ; it is democracy, in the only prac­tical sense in which the word ever was or ever will be understood by a people at large. How long is it. since the oificial organ oi* the Jackson party, at "Washington, declared that :t the only intelligible democracy is the democracy of numbers?" The Globe was right. There is no other democracy intelligible to the great mass of politicians even. The greater part of the men elected to Congress are men, who know little of the science of government : men unaccustomed to nice distinctions, and incapable of appreciating them. They pique themselves on being practical men, who do not believe it necessary to be expert in splitting hairs in 
order to be ahle to legislate for the common good. They eschew devoutly all abstractions : and so long as they adopt the maxim, the majority have the right to govern, all constitutional restrictions on the power of the majority will be to them mere ' abstractions," be­neath the notice of wise and practical statesmen, who legislate not for theories, but for the general welfare.

Wise and patriotic men may raise their warning voice ; they may plead the constitution, as the authori­ty under which they act ; they may show the danger­ous tendency of the "general welfare doctrine;" that it is an utter abandonment of constitutional govern­ment ; that it removes all check on the sovereign pow­er, and places all the rights and interests of the people, of minorities and individuals, at the mercy of the law­less will of an irresponsible majority,  inevitably lead­ing to anarchy, oppression, and despotism : but all in vain. They will be answered, by the ruling majority for the time  "The people are the only legitimate source of power ; they are the judges of what is, or is not, for the general welfare ; we represent the majority of the people. Through us they demand these mea­sures ; and who are we to betray the trust confided to us, from regard to the selfish protests and declamations of a minority, whose foolish 'abstractions' the sover­eign people have already condemned? If you do not like our measures go and talk to the people, convert them to your ' abstractions,' if yon can. We are re­sponsible to them, and not to you. We shall obey the instructions they have given us ; do the will of our constituents, of the people, who have sent us here to act. not to theorize; to adopt great and essential mea­sures for the relief of the country, and the general good, not to split hairs on constitutional abstractions with a few impracticable political metaphysicians." So al­ways will answer the ruling majority, when is adopted, as the creed of the country, the practical democratic formula, " The majority have the right to govern." This is wherefore we say the American people commit­ted a serious mistake in translating republicanism into  democracy,  a mistake which we fear it is too late to correct. It has silently worked a radical revolution in our system of government,  a revolution unsuspected by some, and encouraged by others in the hope that it would tend to the advantage of the poorer and more numerous classes; but which has tended to strengthen and confirm the power of the wealthier and more influ­ential minority. The word democrat has so long been the rallying word of the Republican party, it has be­come so endeared by past struggles, successes, and de­feats, lhat it is now perhaps impossible to lay it aside, and reassume our old and legitimate appellation of Re­publican. The politician, who should propose to do such a thing, would hazard his popularity ; and though his whole life had been devoted to the welfare of the poorer and more numerous classes, be thought to have grown cool in his love of liberty, and indifferent to the rights aud interests of the people. But we much doubt whether we shall be able to restore the government to the true principles of the constitution, and effectually maintain constitutional order, till we rally again under our old appellation of republican, on true republican ground, staunch and eager to rush to the battle under the old republican flag of ;98, weather-beaten and torn as it may be, but still streaming in the wind, promising victory and freedom.
We know well enough how these remarks will be received. But we have never desired to be among those, who are incapable of profiting by the lessons of experience. The election of IS40 has taught us much ; the conduct of the whigs at the extra session, and the documents they have put forth since the veto of the bank bill, have taught us more ; and have,  we care not who knows it,  essentially modified our views, not of the end of government, but of the means by which that end is to be secured. We are satisfied what we and our friends are striving for is not to be obtained by the appeals, which were made during the last Presiden­tial campaign. What we have heretofore hoped to gain, by calling upon the political party, with which we act, to be more democratic, we are now satisfied can be gained only by first establishing a rigid constitutional order, by restoring the government to the true princi­ples of the constitution, and rulininistering it according to them. Then it will be administered for the common good of all. And this is precisely what, and all that the laboring classes, whose interests we have had, and trust we ever shall have, specially at heart, demand. But (ill we can confine the government within its con-stitutional limits, it will, in spile of all that can be done, be wielded for the special interest of the class, or section, that, for the time being, can command a ma­jority; and this will not be the interest of the laboring classes. We have seen the use the whigs can make of the word democracy., and we see that they, and not our party, use that word in its popular acceptation ; and, therefore, they, and not we, will control the govern­ment, when that is the common watch-word of both parties. Theirs is the simple, natural, easy meaning of the word, the first meaning it suggests ; ours is more recondite, more philosophical, more abstract, and there­fore less easily seized; and will be supposed, by the mass, to be practically the same. Hence, we refuse to shout democracy: we refuse to shout for enlarging the power of the masses; and substitute the call for con­stitutional restrictions on government : a negative on power, so that it cannot tyrannize ; a republican gov­ernment, confined within wholesome limits, constituted to manage the affairs of the public, and not of individ­uals, special classes or interests ; and which will neces­sarily operate only for the freedom and common good of all. This is precisely the end the party with which we act are aiming at, and which they misname democ­racy ; and it is because they are aiming at this end, that we act, and shall continue to act, with them. But to secure this end, we repeat, it is the constitutional ordku, and not the democratic ordkr, as this last will be pracr.ically understood by the country, that we must labor to confirm.
But to return. It is to the general prevalence, practically, in all parties, but more especially in the whig party, of what we have termed the democratic formula, that is, "the general welfare'' doctrine, which strikes at the foundation of all constitutional order, that we must attribute the astounding fact, that a majority of the two Houses of Congress could record their votes in favor of the Distribution Act. The majority had be­come habituated to a mode of considering and constru­ing the powers of the government, which made the constitution of no practical significance ; they believed that government was instituted for the " general wel­fare," and that the people had elected them to take charge of the '-'general welfare/' and were they to sup­pose that they had not the power to adopt such mea­sures as were obviously for its promotion ? A constitu­tion prohibiting them from adopting such measures would be null and void from the beginning, by defeat­ing the very end for which government is instituted. Having, then, by some means or other, persuaded themselves that the distribution of the proceeds of the public lands would be for what they regarded as the ''general welfare/' they could entertain no question as to its constitutionality. They were not the men to sacrifice the interests of the country to the constitutional scruples. They were patriots, philanthropists, practical statesmen, of enlarged and liberal minds, adopting a broad and comprehensive policy ; and quite too patri­otic and conscientious to be deterred from doing their duty to the country by the dreams, or wire-drawn ob­jections of a few "abstractionists." No more theoriz­ing, no more refining on the constitution. Action, action, action, is all that we want. So place they their gag on debate, and almost without allowing the minor­ity an opportunity to enter their protest, they, with indecent and ruinous haste, hurry through their revolu­tionary measures. Hence are they, after having wan­tonly violated the constitution, able to come home, and look even honest men in the face, and to wonder why they are not applauded for their proud superiority to mere technicalities, to " abstractions." All we say is, their example should be instructive, and full of solemn warn­ing to every man, avIio really loves his country, and desires for it the blessings of good government.

But we need not dwell on the dangerous tendency of the "general welfare" doctrine. We have drawn it out distinctly, that its destructive tendency may be seen. We cheerfully admit that there are probably few men in the country who would, in genera! thesis, main­tain it as we have stated it.

Nevertheless, we have only stated what is lurking confusedly, and half the time unsuspected, but always effectually, in the minds of a large portion of our countrymen, and pro­ducing the saddest results. It is, as we have stated it, the doctrine that almost exclusively shapes the policy of the government, and gives to it its false and mis­chievous direction. The whig party of to-day are its per­fect representatives ; and at the extra session they carried it out with admirable boldness, vigor, and consistency. .All must see that it is at war with constitutional order, and therefore with freedom and good government. The real issue before the country, between the whigs and republicans is, then, no longer bank or no bank ; but
CONSTITUTION, Or NO CONSTITUTION," The Freedom of law and order, or the tyranny of an irresponsible majority ; the rule of the people constituting the state, or the rule of a lawless mob. In the whig-democracy, we see only the foundation for the misrule of the mob,  not indeed the unwashed mob in the streets, of hard fists and coarse garments; but your well clad and even perfumed mob of brokers, stock-jobbers, bankers, spec­ulators, and ambitious and intriguing politicians, the only real mob there is in this country, or that is, or can be, formidable. The poorer and more numerous classes are, with us, the fast friends of law and order ; and would endure almost any conceivable wrong, sooner than, as a body, violate them.
We have no intention of going again into the general merits of the distribution policy. In our Journal for April, and also for July last, we considered it at length, both in its constitutional bearings, and as a question of expediency. Moreover, after the very full dis­cussion the subject has received in both branches of Congress, and especially after the masterly speeches of the distinguished Senator from South Carolina, nothing in fact remains for us to say, but to repeat what others have already said, and better said than we could say it. It is hard gleaning after Mr. Calhoun. We have no ambition to follow him in the discussion of any question relating either to the principles of government, or to its policy. He usually covers the whole ground; and however we may be disposed to question some of his propositions at first, we are, for the most part, obliged to surrender to him unconditionally at last. To this subject of dis­tribution he has had his attention drawn for a long time ; and no small portion of his efforts for the last twelve years have been directed to its defeat. It is but simple justice to him to say, that he was the first of our statesmen to see and expose its mischievous bear­ing ; and he has exerted himself, often alone, amid re­proach and obloquy, showered upon him from all quar­ters, for its defeat, with a foresight, a sagacity, a stead­iness of principle, and a firmness of purpose, which have won for him a place in every truly American heart; and the reputation of being the first statesman, in the purest and loftiest sense of the term, that his age or coun­try can boast. The American people have great reason to be proud of Mr. Calhoun, and to cherish a profound respect for his talents and worth, and a tender regard for his fame. With a personal character that has passed for years through all the bitter conflicts of party strife, unsullied by even a breath of suspicion; an intellect of the highest order, enlarged and invigorated by a long life of assiduous cultivation ; an unwearied devotion, from his earliest manhood, of his best affections and powers to the public service, in high and responsible stations, to every one of which he has proved himself equal, and the duties of all of which he has discharged with a fidelity and success unparalleled in the history of any other public man in the country ; a clear and vivid perception of justice, and a martyr-like firmness of principle, that would lead him to rush in where " blows fall thickest and heaviest," to its support, and to brave power and even the axe of the executioner in its de­fence ; always true to the great principles of law and order, and the fast friend of the broadest liberty, em­bracing in his policy the freedom and well-being of the humblest as well as the proudest citizen ; unseduced by power, uncorrupted by success, undazzled by reputa­tion, he is a man of whom his native country may well be permitted to boast, for such a man is only the slow growth of the ages ; and in showing that she knows how to appreciate and honor him, his country inscribes her name high on the list of the more advanced na­tions of the earth, and proves that she has within her­self the elements of national greatness and immor­tality.

We have been particularly interested in this last speech of Mr. Calhoun on the Distribution Bill, which we have placed at the head of this article ; not only as being one of the ablest of his speeches, but as develop­ing a liberal and patriotic policy, deserving the special attention of our own beloved New England. Mr. Cal­houn proves in this speech that he is a southern man, with strong affections for his own section of the Union, and disposed to resist to the utmost any aggression on its rights or interests ; but, also, that he studies and embraces in his policy the protection and furtherance of the common rights and interests of the whole country. We have no high opinion of that man who has no local attachments, no preference for his own natal soil; and into whom the peculiar circumstances, amid which he has been reared, have infused nothing. We wish to see in every man the marks of his age and country; and to read in his feelings, and to hear in the accents of his voice his birth place. Your men from whom all traces of their native land are obliter­ated, who have that enlarged philanthropy which over­leaps all geographical distinctions, and grasps, with equal affection, all lands, races, and individuals, are quite too refined and transcendental for daily use ; and the soon­er they are translated to a world where time and space count for nothing, the sooner will they find themselves in a congenial element, and at home. The harmony of this world is maintained, and its real well-being pro­moted, by men who are not superior to tradition ; by assigning in fact to each individual a special sphere in which his affections shall centre, and the principal part of his labors be performed. We are too feeble beings to be able to grasp the universe in our affections, and to labor with equal zeal, energy, and wisdom for the whole. In aiming at so much, we lose the less we might accomplish, A southern man, born and reared under the influence of southern interests and institu­tions, habits, manners, and customs, who should yet have no traces of them, would be to us as undeserving our respect, as the travelled fop who had lost his mother tongue, and become unable to speak the language of any Christian people. And the ISew Englander whose heart does not swell at the sound of the surf breaking on her " rock-ribbed " coast, and at sight of her hills and vallies, her churches and school-houses, her facto­ries and wharves, and thank God that she is his own, his native land, and prefer her to all other lands, like the man, who has no music in his soul,
"Is fit for treason, stratagem, and spoils."

Thank God, we have never yet been able to hear the word 'Green Mountain Boy," at home or abroad, but our heart bounded as when a child ; and our own mountain-home came back to us in all its freedom and freshness, and the tears unbidden to our eyes. Long may it be so. For so long as it is so, we shall feel that the heart with which God made us is yet unestranged, and still retains somewhat of its early purity, simplicity, and warmth.
But whatever may be Mr. Calhoun's preferences and affections, as a southern man, he has nothing of that narrow, sectional feeling, that would lead him to pro­mote the interest of one section of the country at the expense of another. His proposition, which he made some time since, to dispose of the public lands to the States in which they lie, on condition that these States would assume the entire management of them, and pay-over to the federal treasury sixty-five per cent, of their proceeds, showed that he comprehended and was will­ing to further the true interest of the West; and we regret that the late administration party did not adopt that proposition when they had the power. Had it been adopted, it would have settled our land policy on a foot­ing equally advantageous to the West and to the whole Union; and the statute hook would not have been stained by so unconstitutional and ruinous an Act as this for distribution. But, unhappily, some of those who should have supported him, preferred to misrepre­sent him ; and to try to prejudice the country against him, by alleging that he proposed to give the lands away to the new States, as is supposed to be the case even now by the larger portion of the community ; when, in fact, his proposition, if carried into effect, hesides relieving the new States of their present depend­ence on the general government, and paying them lib­erally for their management of the public lands, would have secured to the federal government a larger net profit, than it can possibly receive by continuing the present system. It is exceedingly difficult to tell the truth about a man, who makes a proposition we do not wish to have succeed.

In this speech, again, he shows himself disposed to urge the general government to adopt a policy equally wise, just, and liberal to the north. He has here urged with great force and clearness the policy suggested, we believe by Dr. Linn, the worthy Senator from Missouri, the appropriation of the proceeds of the public lands, or of a sum equal in amount, to the defence of the country, and principally by means of enlarging our naval force. Mr. Calhoun, from his first entrance into public life, has shown himself the staunch friend of the navy ; and his policy has always been to afford effect­ual encouragement to commerce and navigation. He considers the encouragement and protection of com­merce and navigation the principal external duty of the Union, and wishes that duty never to be lost sight of. In any plan of general defence the interests of these must hold a permanent place. We have little to fear, and can suffer comparatively little from any hostile invasion of our territory. A war with a foreign power would be principally destructive by its injury to our shipping interest, by sweeping our commerce from the ocean; and reducing to the greatest distress that large class of our citizens who depend upon it, not only for their wealth, but their means of subsistence. Con­sequently, a foreign war must always fall with peculiar weight on our section of the country ; the section prin­cipally concerned in the interests of commerce and navigation. This fact was proved in the war of 1812 with Great Britain. It almost ruined our New Eng­land. Another war with Great Britain, with our pres­ent insufficient naval force, would be equally, if not even more, ruinous. We should feel its effects not only in our commercial and navigation interests, but even in our manufacturing interests. The kind of de­fence demanded by our interests is, unquestionably, that which protects us, not only on the land, but on the ocean, where so much of our property is afloat, and "which is the home of so many of our free and hardy citizens. For this we must rely solely on our naval force. This is what our New England statesmen have always contended. Hence, the deep interest so many of them have taken in the navy.

The only power with which we are likely, at any time, to come into serious collision, is Great Britain. This country and Great Britain are commercial, and beginning to be manufacturing rivals. They are com­peting with each other for the markets of the world. Their territories join; and the ocean, instead of separ­ating, brings them but the nearer together. They meet and rub against each other everywhere. We are the only power really formidable to Great Britain ; and she is the only power really formidable to us. It is against her, and her alone, that we arc called upon to put our­selves in an attitude of defence. No defence against her will be adequate for the protection of our commerce and navigation, short of a naval force fully equal to that which she can, at any time, bring against us. This, Mr. Calhoun thinks, will require the increase of our naval force to about one third, or one half, of the actual naval force of Great Britain. By a wise and just policy we can always secure the friendship of Rus­sia, Austria, and France, in case of any collision with England. This consideration, with the fact, that Eng­land has more points to defend than we have, shows that a far less effective force than hers will always be adequate to our defence. She can never liberate from other points, more than one third of her actual force to operate against us ; or, at most, not more than one half. Mr. Calhoun proposes, then, that we increase our naval force, and maintain it, to the equal of one third or one half of hers. In this he takes precisely the view that every New England merchant must approve.

Mr. Calhouirs policy is to unite firmly the north and the south Atlantic States, while he would he just, and even generous, to the west. He contends, with great, justness, that the interests of the north and of the south Atlantic States, so far as they come under the cognizance of the general government, are virtually the same : and lie would bring chivalric South Carolina, and the glori­ous old Bay State, with her adventurous spirit, her love of order, her industry, and her 'fierce democratic," together on the constitutional platform, to labor side by side, for the glory and prosperity of the common coun­try, as they fought side by side, in the days of the Rev­olution, for the common liberty and independence. The land of Warren and Hancock and Adams, and that of Marion and Surnpter and Haynes, should be but friendly rivals in the cause of freedom, and patriotism, and honor, and glory. In order to make them so, he urges a policy of all others the most essential to our interests and prosperity, the only policy which can effectually protect our commerce and navigation, as well as our manufactures themselves. Ouv manufac­tures have grown too large to be contented with the home market. Their protection is now involved in the protection of our commercial interests.

We will not revive, at this moment, the angry con­troversy concerning the expediency of the protective policy. The advocates of that policy, if we remember aright, never contended that it ought to be the perma­nent policy of the country. They asked its adoption only for a time, during the infancy of our manufactures, to give them a start, and enable them to acquire suf­ficient strength to sustain themselves; whether even this was needed, it is now useless to inquire. Our own New England came very reluctantly into their views ; the enlightened merchants of our city resisted their policy, and never adopted it till forced into it by the great central States. It is worthy of note, that no pro­tective tarJIT, laid by Congress, has ever received the votes of a majority of the members of Congress from either New England, or the south Atlantic States. But let this pass. The protective policy, however expedi­ent it may have been, is now no longer necessary. Our maufactures, so far from being encourged by the con­tinuance of that policy, imperiously demand its aban­donment. That policy is to encourage our manufac­tures, by securing to them the monopoly of the home market. But we can secure to them the monopoly of the home market, only by excluding ourselves from foreign markets. For, if we will not buy of foreign­ers, they cannot buy of us. But the home market is too contracted for the present growth of our manufac­tures. Confined to that market, they would diminish, at least not increase, or at best but to a very moderate extent. They now depend, in no small degree, for their prosperity on foreign markets; and their contin­ued prosperity requires us to seek out for them as many and as valuable foreign markets as possible. Their real interest, then, instead of demanding the policy, which would confine them to the home market, de­mands a policy that leads us forth to compete with other nations for the markets of the world. This last is the policy most worthy of our ingenious, bold, and enterprising countrymen ; and this policy with them, whatever it might be with a more sluggish race, would be successful. But this policy demands not restrictions on commerce ; it demands its freedom and effective protection.

This is unquestionably the true policy for New Eng­land, and, in fact,- for our whole country; for it would give us the widest field for our enterprise, and ulti­mately prove the only real protection to our manufac­turing interests possible. Mr. Calhoun, among other reasons, therefore, objects to the distribution bill, its direct elFcct, by withdrawing from three to five millions annually from the revenues of the country, which must be supplied by increased duties on imports, to restrict commerce, by throwing upon it the whole weight of the government expenses ; which, if increased by the addi­tional expenditure which will be demanded for enlarg­ing and maintaining our naval force to the extent necessary for the defence of the country, and its navi­gation and commercial interests, will prove altogether too burdensome, if not overwhelming. The operation of the bill must be to increase the duties, while it di­minishes the quantity of imports ; to cripple the com­mercial strength of the country, while it is required to carry increased weight. This objection is one that should not be lightly dismissed. It is worthy of seri­ous consideration, whether commerce will prove able to sustain the whole weight of protecting itself, and of meeting all the expenses of the general government. It may, also, be a question whether there be justice or wisdom in making one interest of the country sustain the whole weight of its government. Commerce is a great and leading interest in the prosperity of a nation, and the prime agent in advancing the civilization of the world. Not for light and casual reasons should we consent to restrict, or overwhelm it with unnecessa­ry and oppressive burdens. Ho who would cripple its energies or restrict the sphere of its operations, wars against, the best interests of his country and of his race. As soon should we recommend a war on the mechanics of large towns, who in all ages have been the most generous defenders of liberty, the first to demand and the first to sacrifice themselves to obtain it. Commerce is the real agent in building up manufact­ures ; and it is only through her free, unrestricted operations, that the future prosperity of our manufact­ures can be promoted. What, in a word, would be the condition of England, with her immense manufact­uring capital, were she confined to the home market ? By her com laws, her monopolies, her restrictive policy, designed to exclude, as far as possible, foreigners from her own market, she is even reduced to the necessity of attempting, contrary to all justice and international law, to open by means of her armies and fleets foreign markets for her manufactures, in order to save herself from the conflagrations of chartism, and her miserable operatives from starvation. Can anything more forci­bly demonstrate the folly of attempting, by artificial means, to extend manufactures beyond the natural and regular demand created by commerce and home con­sumption ?
But it was not our intention to discuss at length the protective policy. We may hereafter find it necessary to consider that policy somewhat at length ; for we see very clearly, that a portion of our countrymen, unable to profit by experience, are resolved to revive it, and to fix it on the country as a permanent policy: and there can be no question, that one of the strongest motives the administration party had for urging the distribution bill through Congress, at the late extra session, was to prepare the way to create apparently a necessity for reviving this policy. We should hold ourselves utterly unworthy of attempting to discuss any political ques­tion, in the presence of our countrymen, could we for a single moment countenance a policy that we thought would be hostile to our manufacturing interests. What­ever schemes of a Utopian Republic, a la Plato, we may devise and speculate upon in our closets, or send out for the speculations of others, we claim, when we enter into practical life, to be a practical man ; a New England man, with the feelings, and traditions of those among whom we were born, and wish to live and die, taking a deep interest in, and cherishing a generous regard for, all the important branches of business in which they are engaged. Our manufactures have become a great and leading interest. A large portion of our New Eng­land capital is invested in them ; and hundreds and thousands of our population are dependent on them for wealth and worldly prosperity, and even for the very means of subsistence. We are not the man to recommend a policy that would impede their progress. But, we are confident,and it is not now for the first time, nor lightly that avc have considered the subject.  that the steady growth and permanent prosperity of our manu­factures demand the policy recommended in the speech. before us ; and we have gone into the question to the extent we have, for the purpose of drawing the atten­tion of our New England community more expressly to it; and of showing them that the objection Mr. Calhoun urges against the bill, on the ground of its tendency to operate unfavorably on commerce and the maritime de­fences of the country, is one that deserves our serious consideration; not only because we are so deeply inter­ested in commerce and navigation, but from its bearing on the protection and prosperity of our manufacturing interests.

On this ground alone, on the ground of the addi­tional burdens it will throw on commerce, and the withdrawal in part of our means ol' providing for the adequate defence of the country, where most needing defence,  that is, on the ocean,  we are willing to rest our own opposition to the distribution policy. We grant our policy would be, to make this the first com­mercial nation of the world. Its position, its vast agri­cultural resources, its yet unsuspected mineral wealth, its facilities for extended and various manufactures, its vast extent of coast, and innumerable harbors, its mighty rivers and lakes, and increasing artificial facilities of inland navigation, and internal communication ; the habits, spirit, genius, and freedom of its population, all mark it out as destined to be the first commercial nation on the globe : and that will secure it preemi­nence in agriculture, manufactures, and the mechanic arts. Industry has become the ruling interest of the world ; and the grand promoter of that interest is com­merce. Philosophy and science, literature and the line arts, all that elevate the interior man, cultivate the taste, exalt the sentiments, and embellish exterior life, necessarily follow in its train. Such is the destiny marked out by Providence for our Republic ; such the destiny which we see for it in our patriotic dreams; and the policy, that will enable it to attain this high des­tiny, we own, is the one we are ambitious to urge upon our statesmen and politicians.

But the anti-commercial bearing of the distribution scheme is not our only objection to it. The very fact of its unconstitutionality, which we established in our Journal for April last, is of itself a sufficient reason for rejecting it, were it even demonstrated to be of the highest public utility. We are not among those who can bend the constitution to their convictions of what is for the general welfare. The first and permanent good that can be obtained, or secured, to this country, is the maintenance of the constitution in its strict invi­olability ; and in administering the government accord­ing to its express provisions, rigidly construed. For without this there is, according to our manner of view­ing it, no good possible for us. Show us that your proposition is in itself never so wise, just, or useful, if it be unauthorized by the constitution, we cannot enter­tain it for a moment.

This act, interpret it any way you please, is an act for imposing an additional tax on the people, of from three to five millions, annually, for the purpose of raising that amount to distribute among the States. The simple, naked, undisguised fact is. that Congress, at its extra session, passed an act authorizing the collection of from three to five millions of dollars annually, beyond what it needs for its own purposes, merely to give away. Is there a man in the country who believes this to be constitutional? Is there a man in the country, who dares lay his hand on his heart, and say that he believes Congress has the constitutional power to collect reve­nue for distribution ? This is the simple, naked ques­tion, which no talk about land, proceeds of lands, and the like, can the least alter or affect. The public lands belong to the Union, were in part ceded to it by States claiming them,  but whose claim was never admitted by Congress,  for the express purpose of furnishing a federal revenue ; and in part were bought of France and Spain, and paid for out of the federal treasury. Their proceeds, then, are revenue, just as much revenue as the proceeds of the customs; nay, they are proceeds of the customs, for they have been bought by the customs in part; and the customs have paid more on account of them, including those ceded as well as those originally purchased, by several millions of dollars, than the government has as yet realized from their sales. There is no difference, can be no difference in principle, between distributing money de­rived from their sales, and distributing money derived from the customs. It is distributing revenue ; and all revenue is a tax on the community. The simple ques­tion, then, is, Has Congress the constitutional power to tax the people for the purpose of raising a revenue for distribution ? Of course not. Then who dares pretend that this measure is authorized by the constitution ?

This measure is also objectionable, because it is an indirect assumption, by the general government, of the State debts. There is no one, who can believe for a moment, that a strong reason for urging the passage of the bill, at the extra session, was not the relief it would most likely afford the indebted States. The credit of the States, which had made heavy loans for facilitating or sustaining their banking operations, and carrying on their various plans of internal improvement, had to some extent been shaken, and in several instances very nearly ruined. Their bonds, hoi den by the principal advocates of the distribution act, or their political asso­ciates, the Barings and Rothschilds abroad, and the bankers and stock-jobbers at home, were at a ruinous discount; and to save a loss, or rather to secure a profit to their holders, some measure of "relief" was neces­sary, that should enhance their value in the market. The proposition was put forth, in the first instance, we believe, by a foreign banking house, that these State bonds should be assumed, or their payment gurantied, by the federal government. But from this proposition, after feeling very delicately the public pulse, even our "general welfare '' politicians shrunk. Their courage was unquestionable, but they had learned that discre­tion is sometimes the better part of valor. They, apparently, judged it neither safe nor prudent to at­tempt so open and bare-faced a violation of the consti­tution. Anxious as the people were for "relief," it was somewhat doubtful whether they would be willing to accept it on such terms. Assumption could, then, in prudence, be attempted only indirectly, and in disguise. An indirect and disguised assumption offered itself in the form of the distribution of the proceeds of the pub­lic lands. This measure had for years been sought for a double purpose : by subtracting a portion of the rev­enue to create an excuse for raising the tariff on im­ports, in order to please the manufacturers; and by dis­tributing the amount among the States, as a basis of foreign loans, to conciliate the importers, and the stock brokers. It was a measure admirably adapted to the "relief" of the indebted States, or the holders of their bonds. For although indirect and partial, if acquiesced in by the people, it would soon prepare the way for open and entire assumption. That it would be acquiesced in, there could be little doubt; for the indebted States could hardly be supposed to have the magnanimity to reject the "relief" proffered them; and the unindebted States would be bribed into acquies­cence, if not active support, by the portion of plunder that would fall to their share. Every captain of a ship, or commander of an army, knows the virtue of holding out to his men the prospect of prize-money. Such was the view taken of this measure by its advocates ; and such the end it was hoped to secure by means of its adoption. Its express design was, by a disguised and partial assumption of State debts, to enhance the value m the market of Slate securities. But is there a man in the country who will pretend that this disguised, indirect, partial assumption, is not as much a violation of the constitution as would be the adoption of the bolder and more manly proposition, put forth by the foreign bankers, of their direct assumption, or guaranty of their payment, by the federal government? But we beg pardon for the question ; the advocates of the dis­tribution policy, will only smile at our simplicity, in supposing that the unconstitutionality of a measure can have any weight with them ; or in fancying that the "prize-money" they, have offered may not secure them the support of a majority of the people, in spite of the obvious unconstitutionality of their acts.

The assumption of these State debts is objectionable, whether direct and entire, or only indirect and partial, on still other grounds. As a financial measure, it is either an absurdity, or a manifest injustice. The peo­ple of the States furnish the revenue of the Union j and are presumed by the constitution to furnish it according to the ratio of their federal representation. This is the constitutional basis of taxation. Now, if the same ratio be adopted as the basis of distribution, or assumption, the amount returned to each State wLl be precisely the amount it has previously contributed, ¦ minus the cost of collection, re-distribution, and what sticks by the way. If the rule of taxation be just, or if each State has contributed its proportional share of the revenue, it is obvious, then, at a glance, that as­sumption or distribution of revenue, from the federal treasury, can add nothing to the ability of a State to pay its own debts. It is just as easy for the citizens of the State to pay the same amount of tax to the State government directly, as it is to do it through the medium of the federal government. In this view of the case, it is a great absurdity to pretend to afford the indebted States relief, by means of assumption or distribution ; because the same individuals must furnish the means of redeeming their bonds in the one case as in the other ; and by introducing the agency of the federal govern­ment they necessarily incur the expense of two agen­cies, when one only is requisite.

But if taxes are unequally levied,which is the fact,  then assumption, or distribution, can aiford relief to the indebted States only by a manifest injustice to the unindebted States. They can obtain relief only by receiving from the federal revenues an excess over their respective contributions, and tins excess must come from the other States. Is there any body to pre­tend that Congress lias a right to levy taxes on one portion of the States to pay the debts of another por­tion ? We go on the ground that distribution of the proceeds of the lands, is distribution of revenue. This we all know is the fact: for every dollar taken from the proceeds of the lands, must be supplied by an addi­tional tax to that amount; direct or indirect, on the peo­ple. It makes no difference, then, whether the money distributed is said to be the proceeds of land, or pro­ceeds of the customs. To the full extent, then, to which distribution of revenue adds to the ability of the indebted States to redeem their bonds, the unindebl-ed States arc taxed for their benefit. Where is the justice of this proceeding?

This measure is rank agrariauism. We have heard, within a few years, much of agrarianism. Even we ourselves have been accused, and falsely accused, of advocating agrarianism ; and have been held up in all the strength and originality of the Peter Parley litera­ture, in which whig leaders do so abound, to the exe­cration of our countrymen. In 1840, if whig orators and newspapers may be taken as authority, the fact that we, the solitary conductor of a periodical, which then had only a few hundred subscribers, were supposed to entertain certain agrarian notions, was a good and suf­ficient reason why Mr. Yan Buren should not be reelected. The charge against us was, in form and in substance, a sheer fabrication. We have been a sin­ner, we confess, and have said many foolish things first and last ; but, thank God, we never yet was left to en­tertain for one moment a scheme so wicked and with­al so foolish as that of agrarianism. We have always been among those, who contend that man's right to property is not a grant from the legislature, but a divine right, which the legislature must respect and protect. Even the suggestion which we threw out for the mod­ification of the law, by which that portion of property shall be reappropriated which escheats to the common­wealth through default of an owner, and which has not a single feature in common with agrarianism, in any possible form, we refused expressly to assume the re­sponsibility of urging, save as a mere theoretic specu­lation. But we charge the representatives of the whig party with solemnly enacting, in open day, unblush-ingly, in this distribution act, the very principle which they falsely accused us of advocating ; and over which they shrieked in such loud and piercing tones of horror from Maine to Georgia, and from the Atlantic to the Rocky Mountains. The solemn enactment of this principle, we are exultingly told now, has covered the whig party with glory. Was their cry against us, then merely set up for the purpose of diverting pursuit from themselves, as archest rogues have been wont to do ? There is no getting by facts. There stands the distri­bution act on the statute book of the Union; and placed there by a whig majority in Congress, and the official sanction of a whig President. There it is,  rank agrarianism, beyond the possibility of denial or cavil; and agrarianism too under its worst possible form. Shriek, ay, shriek over agrarianism, whig orators and whig editors; ye may yet shriek in good earnest. The sword is in our hands now, and it shall go hard but we .profit by your lessons to use it with effect.

We say this measure is rank agrarianism. What is the real character of the distribution act ? It is simp­ly an act for taxing the people, annually, from three to five millions of dollars, for the purpose of distributing that amount among the States. It then declares ihs property of the citizens of the several States, so far as necessary to yield an animal income of this amount, common property, and provides for its distribution. If this is not agrarianism, m principle and in form, too, we know not what is. There is, and can be, no dif­ference in principle, between the distribution of the proceeds of property, and the distribution of property itself; and none between distributing a portion of the proceeds and distributing the whole. To-day the gov­ernment may be content with the distribution of only a part, and to-morrow it may clloose to distribute the whole ; and, next day, property itself. From distribu­tion among States, there is but a step to distribution among individuals. And with the precedent before us, what security have we that this step will not be taken? We tell the whig leaders not to flatter themselves that distribution will stop where they now propose to stop. They enact agrarianism to-day for bankers, capitalists, and speculators ; let them be assured that another sort of agrarianism may be demanded to-morrow. If agra­rianism is to be the policy of the government, they will hear thundering in their ears the demand that it be for the benefit of the poor, instead of the rich; and when the poor are driven to make this demand, and authorized to make it by whig precedents, they will not be in a condition to resist it. Resistance will then lead to blows; and, in dealing blows, the fist of the wood-chopper, the black-smith, or cord-wainer, will count for as much as the fist of the lawyer, the banker, capital­ist, or swindling politician. We have heard much of Marats, Robespierres, and French Revolutions ; we tell the whig leaders, if they continue their agrarian pol­icy, there will be no dearth of Marats, Robespierres, and French Revolutions. On their own .native soil may be erected the guillotine; and they may be its first victims,theirs the first blood to whet the appe­tite of the tiger. As yet the combustible materials in our Republic are scanty, but their accumulation will be fearfully rapid under such a policy as this: and if it be persisted in even we, who are now on the stage, may live to see deeds done from which the stoutest hearts,  nay. hearts the most hardened among us, would now shrink appalled. We speak not in the tone of menace : we are too insignificant to threaten, even if we had the disposition. We are no advocates of a war of the poor upon the rich. But, if the poor find themselves per­petually defeated at the polls, and cheated of justice in the legislative hall ; if they see the government contin­ually administered for the benefit of the wealthy and influential minority; labor, and. the necessaries of life, taxed for the purpose of raising a revenue for distribu­tion among stock speculators, and foreign bankers, or to feed the hungry maw of plundering politicians, and rapacious capitalists, no power on earth will be able to prevent them from appealing to the law of force. There 13 a might in the peasant's arm, when once waked from its slumber of ages, before which the enacters of iniqui­tous laws, wiil be but as so many dead men. Beware, how you rouse the sleeping lion. The seeds of a French revolution are sown broad-cast in every land ; and the germs of a Marat, a Danton, a Saint-Just, a Robespierre, are in many a village clown. Would you guard against them,  practise Justick. The govern­ment, or the party, that practises iniquity, must look out for a day of final reckoning, of terrible retribution. Delayed it may be for a time, but not forever: come it will, for there is a just God who reigns. We speak strongly, for we feel in common with all good citizens, the wish to leave this soil, purchased by the heroic deeds of our fathers, and the heroic sufferings of our mothers, free to our children, and blessed with Avise and just government. These attacks on the rights of prop­erty, these agrarian doctrines, solemnly enacted in the legislative hjdl, and approved in the executive cabinet of the Union, we confess, fill us Avith alarm. They seem to us to speak in tones of loud and solemn warning to every republican, who loves freedom; to every patriot, Avho loves his native land ; to every father, who looks around with the just pride of a father's heart upon his children, and asks lor thorn a country and a home. Not to-day will this iniquitous policy ripen. Not to-day will its poisonous fruits produce all their efl'ects : but ripen it will, if not. nipped in the bud, and ils poisonous fruits be tasted. The flood-gate of iniquity once open­ed, corruption, sedition, tyranny, oppression national and individual degradation, crime, vice, and squalid wretchedness will rush hi and deluge the land,  inun­date every hope of the patriot, the philanthropist and the Christian. But that we know it would be in vain, we would entreat the advocates of this wicked distri­bution act, in the name of our common country, of our common ancestry, our common hopes; of all that is good, and sacred, and holy, to retrace their steps before it is too late. But, why seek to charm the deaf adder? Why appeal to the stony heart of mammon? The men who could urge forward such a measure, are past being touched by any appeals to what is noble, gener­ous, true, or just in human nature.
But we object, also, to this policy on the ground of its bearing on the manufacturing interests of the coun­try. We have already shown its bearing on the inter­ests of our commerce and navigation. We call the attention of our New England manufacturers to the effect it must have, if persisted in, on their peculiar in­terests. They are demanding protection of the govern­ment. They have no doubt supported this measure, among other reasons, because it seemed likely in the present state of the treasury, to force upon the govern­ment the necessity of raising the tariff of duties on imports. Have they reflected, that they, by support­ing this measure, are preparing the way to deprive themselves of all the benefits they hoped to derive from an increase of duties? If they will not listen to the voice of the constitution, of justice, of patriotism, of humanity, we ask them at least to listen to the voice of interest, and not consent to plunder themselves.
Free trade is unquestionably for the interest of our manufactures. The south and west are our principal domestic customers ; and these States furnish the prin­cipal portion of our exports. The staple States of the south furnish about three fourths of the whole exports of the country. In these States the west finds its mar­ket for its peculiar productions; and in them and the west we find the market for ours. Now it is obvious that the ability of the west to buy of us depends on its ability to sell to the exporting States: and the ability of the exporting States, to buy of the west an* of us, depends on their ability to sell to foreigners. A policy that tends to facilitate and increase the exports of the southern staple States is, then, unquestionably that which tends to increase the prosperity of our northern manufactures. And this policy, we all know, is free trade. But this is not the view we wish to insist upon at present.

The distribution policy is evidently designed to re­vive the credit abroad of the indebted States. It is with this view that it has been put forward, and in this view that it has been regarded as a measure of " relief." Now, our manufactures have nothing to dread equal to this reviving of the credit of the States abroad; for noth­ing can be more destructive to our manufactures than these State loans. Foreign loans, in the shape of money, or bullion, imported into the country are, perhaps, not injurious; because they bring with them the means of their own redemption ; and also because they furnish capital, which is essential to industry. They then ren­der industry more effective ; and, of course, are advan­tageous in a country where there is but little capital and great natural industrial resources. But these State loans bring in no real capital, that can serve to stimu­late the industry of the country. No money is borrowed ; merely a foreign credit is obtained and placed in the hands of a foreign banking house, or with wealthy bankers, on which bills of exchange are drawn and sold to our merchants. These bills are transmitted to Eu­rope, and their proceeds returned in goods. From 1831 to 1839 inclusive, it has been stated that States and corporations obtained credit abroad to the enormous amount of three hundred millions of dollars. We have no means at hand of verifying the accuracy of this statement. The aggregate of State indebtedness is sen-erally admitted to have been at the latter date about two hundred millions of dollars: various corporations, cities and banks, had also, it is well known, borrowed large­ly : but we should hardly think to the amount of another hundred millions. To remove all ground for cavil, we will waive all the loans, except those of the States, which may be set down, as already stated, at two hundred millions of dollars. Now, the opera­tion of these loans has been to swell the imports of the country to this amount, in nine years, above what could be sustained on the natural basis of credit; that is the exports of the country. The tables of imports and exports, during the years mentioned, after making lib­eral allowances for profits, and the interest annually accruing on foreign loans, show us an excess of imports over exports of very nearly the amount assumed. And if we look at the list of articles imported, we shall rind a large proportion of them to consist of articles coming in direct competition with the products or manufact­ures of our own country; and which never could have been imported, if these foreign credits had not been obtained. Have our manufacturers reflected on the in­fluence these heavy importations, made on the basis of State and corporation loans, have had on their inter­est ? Are they not calling upon Congress day and night to grant them protection, by excluding foreign manufactures? But what tariff can withstand the op­eration of foreign credits, obtained by States and cor­porations, in addition to those warranted by our exports, to the amount of two or three hundred millions, the short space of nine years, causing an augmentation of imports from twenty to thirty per cent?

Now, the distribution policy, so far as it has the de­sired or contemplated effect, must revive the credit of the indebted States: and this will enable them to obtain new loans for completing or undertaking public works ; and by furnishing the unindebted States large sums not needed to meet their current expenses, and pledging the public domain to raise and sustain their credit, already good, will tempt them also into vast expendi­tures for public works, demanding for their prosecution heavy foreign loans. These loans will be realized in the shape of goods. In both cases, then, the policy, if successful, will tend to swell our imports, as heretofore, some twenty or thirty per cent, beyond what the ex­ports of the country can sustain. Can our manufact­ures survive such a policy ? If so, what means this clamor for protection ? If not, why do our manufact­urers advocate it ? Why do they tell us with one breath, that even the imports sustained by the exports of the country arc more than they can compete with ; and, in the next breath, sing the praises of a policy which has heretofore, and must again if revived, aug­ment the imports beyond that amount to some one or two hundred millions, every six or seven years?

We much question, whether the mass of our business men are able to answer this question. Perhaps they will find the answer in the fact, that the some eight or ten prominent business men in this city, whom they regard as oracles, and follow as leaders, combine in themselves the several characters of manufacturers, merchants, bankers, and possibly speculators in State bonds. The policy of them is to sustain themselves as bankers. They, indeed, do not look to banking, as such, as a source of profit; but to their credit as bankers, to serve as the basis of their operations as corporators, manufacturers, importers, and speculators. What they want, then, is a government policy which shall sustain their credit as bankers; or, if you please, the credit of the banks. The credit of the banks requires a policy which tends to relieve them from the necessity of redeeming their paper. They require a favorable state of foreign ex­change, which guards against all foreign demand for specie; and large government deposites, enabling them to extend their operations, and to meet their demands at home.
High duties and State loans effect both these objects. The loans keep the exchanges favorable, so long as the States are contracting them ; and overcoming, as they do, the influence of high duties on the amount of im­ports, the two combined swell the government revenues, and increase the amount of government deposites. The banks, protected against all demands that may be made upon them, furnish immense resources to those who combine in themselves the several characters enu­merated ; and enable them to realize immense profits, ¦when the policy adopted all but ruins those who confine themselves strictly to manufacturing. These few indi­viduals, by investing credit, where others must invest real capital, are always winning, while others are losing ; for one per cent, on their nominal capital yields them a higher actual profit, than the others are receiving, when they are making a profit of some ten or twelve per cent. These last derive no advantage from the policy which enriches the others. The only possible advan­tage, they can hope for, is in the increased amount of bank accommodations they may obtain. But this hope is fallacious. The bankers are also manufacturers, im­porters, stockholders in rail-road and other corporations, and general speculators. They need all the possible accommodations of the banks for themselves ; and it will not be denied, that the amount of discounts or accommodations to others than the officers, directors, and heavy stockholders of the banks, are, and for a long time have been, exceedingly small. This is the reason why there has been such a rage to multiply the number of banks. Moreover, by means of the favora­ble state of exchange, and the large government depos­ites, the banks are able to circulate their paper to an almost unlimited extent; and this enhances prices, so that our market is all but monopolized by the foreign producer, or manufacturer. Under the operation of the policy, which it is now proposed to revive, we imported largely the very necessaries of life, notwithstanding the protection of high duties, and our vast agricultural re­sources. The rise in prices then more than neutral­izes any supposed bank facilities the manufacturer would obtain. What interest, then, have they, who arc engaged in manufacturing only, to call for a favor­able state of the exchange, and for larger government deposites ? Do they imagine, the Messrs. Lawrence, for instance, A\rcre they simply manufacturers, would demand distribution and encourage State loans? Or if they were simply merchants, that they would demand high duties ? We think better of the business capaci­ties and general sagacity of these gentlemen, than to suppose they would be guilty of such egregious folly. They would not, as some of their dupes are doing, labor day and night for their own ruin.

We cannot enlarge on this point. Rut we submit to the mass of our business men, if they have duly considered the great diversity there is between their interest, and that of the few individuals they follow. Have they considered, that the policy, which is most fa­vorable to these few, must be the very policy most injurious to those who are manufacturers and nothing else, or merchants and nothing else ? We beg them to pause, and consider even for their own sake. Why should they war against their own interest?
We have many more, and even weighty objections to this distribution act, but our limits compel us to draw our remarks to a close. In whatever light we view it, it is absurd or iniquitous. To give away five millions of dollars, annually, from the revenue, when we are obliged to resort to a public loan of twelve millions to meet our current expenses; to cut off one of the prin­cipal sources of revenue, at a time when our foreign relations are threatening, and increased expenditures are demanded to provide for the defences of the country ; to increase the tariff of duties to protect home manu­factures by diminishing imports, and pledging the whole public domain as a basis of foreign loans to be realized in the shape of increased imports ; to revive credit, and render it stable and uniform by adopting a policy for swelling bank circulation to an almost unlimited extent ; to keep the government pure by augmenting its fiscal transactions, and paving the way for a surplus revenue, to serve as the basis of banking operations ; to promote the independence and dignity of the States by making them pensioners on the federal treasury ; to enhance the dignity and worth of the federal government by con­verting it into a mere tax-collector for the benefit of a few rapacious business men, and gamblers in State stocks ; to promote the morals and happiness of the people by facilitating the means of wild speculation and general extravagance ; and the purity, and freedom of elections, by appropriating some five millions of dol­lars annually, as a corruption fund, with which to bribe directly or indirectly electors, may be wise, liberal, and patriotic statesmanship, in the estimation of whig poli­ticians, and worthy to cover their party with glory; but if the immense majority of the American people do not treat it with the indignant scorn and contempt it so richly merits, the progress of corruption must have been fearfully rapid for a few years past, and altogether more so than we had supposed. If the American peo­ple permit the authors of such a barefaced, such an ab­surd, and such an iniquitous policy, to hold a place in what is regarded reputable society: if they go fur­ther, and sustain them in this policy, they will deserve the scorn and derision of the whole world. In such a case, let them never again speak of their intelligence and virtue, their freedom and independence, their ca­pacity for self-government; but sink into the infamous slavery, for which their base hearts and craven spirits and stultified intellects fit them.

But we think we know the American people. We cannot praise them. They have suffered themselves to be most wofully deluded ; they have disappointed and grieved the hearts, and almost destroyed the faith of the friends of popular government; but they are not clean gone in iniquity ; they have not cmite lost their old spirit, their old devotion to justice and freedom. There is a spark of Seventy-Six in their hearts yet ; there is some of the old indomitable courage left, that will brave all but the fires of hell for freedom ; and, thank God, there is still ground for hope. The deep 
indignation with which the Republican party to a man has received this measure, the terrible defeat which the whig party has experienced in nearly all the States, which have held elections since its passage, revive our hopes, and show us that the people will yet be true to themselves ; that they will prove themselves worthy descendants of those who fought for independence on Bunker's Hill, at Saratoga, or Yorktown. Whiggism indeed came into power and place ; but the extra ses­sion, it was so eager to call, disclosed its character, and already is it prostrate. Alas! poor whiggism ! Thy day was short. It was written long ago, the wicked shall not live out half their days, and them hast proved the truth of inspiration. Go to thy long home. A few may be found to bear the pall, and weep over thy ashes ; but the heart of humanity bounds with joy at thy departure, and wisdom and virtue assume again their dominion in the affairs of the Republic.
We conclude, bv calling, in the name of the consti-tution, upon the Republican party in all the States, where it has the majority in the legislature, to reject the bribe proffered, to refuse, with the stern integrity now demanded of them, to become, by accepting the portion offered to them, parties to the gross infraction of the constitution, which every man of the party believes has been practised. Now is a fair opportunity for republi­cans, democrats, the late administration party, to prove the virtue which they have always professed. They have been called " spoilsmen : " let them show by their conduct, the charge was a base slander. Let them show now, that reverence for the constitution, a sense of justice, of honor, and integrity, can outweigh in their bosoms the few thousand dollars offered them. The rejection of their respective shares by the repub­lican States will defeat the measure. The whigs dare not persist in it against the protest, the stern indignant protest of a majority of the States in the Union. Nor is this all. The moral effect on the whole Union would be grand and salutary. A great party, standing on prin­ciple, and scorning the proffers of wealth to corrupt them, would be a sublime spectacle, worthy ol' the true Republican party; and needed, in these clays of degen­eracy, to revive the hopes ol' good men in the purity and permanence of popular governments. The party owe this to the constitution : they owe it to their own consistency ; they owe it to the integrity of their prin­ciples; they owe it as a stern and indignant rebuke to whig corruption and corruptionists; they owe it to their country; they owe it to the cause of popular gov­ernment ; they owe it to Christian morals, and to op­pressed humanity, sighing everywhere for deliverance. Do we count too much on them, when we say they will do it? Do we trust them too far, when we say they will scorn to accept the bribe ? Now is the crisis with them. Let them now take their stand boldly and firmly on principle, stake everything on principle: and their triumph is not only sure, but they will redeem their country, and bless the race. More we need not say. The democratic party, the true Republican party of the country, will not now be wanting in what is due to itself, and the just and glorious cause it repre­sents.