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1820. James Monroe, for president
231 Only one vote in opposition. Daniel D. Tompkins, for vice president
218 The scattering votes in these statements are not given.
1824. The votes given were as follows-for Andrew Jackson, as president
99 votes. John Quincy Adams
84 William H. Crawford
41 Henry Clay
37 Of whom the three first were returned to the house, and no one of them having a majority of the whole number of votes, the selection devolved upon the house of representatives, and it terminated in the choice of Mr. Adams.
We annex a statement, to explain the manner in which this constitutional power is exercised, by which it will be seen, that the votes of a majority of the members of each state constitute the vote of the state.
5 1 1
1 1 19 10
Thus 13 states voted for Adams, 7 for Jackson, and 4 for Crawford.
John C. Calhoun was elected vice president by a great majority of the electoral colleges.
In the election of 1828, the great majority of votes, in favour of Andrew Jackson, rendered a recourse to the house of representatives unnecessary.
Of the 261 electors, 178 voted for General Jackson and 83 for Mr. Adams. John C. Calhoun obtained 171 votes for vice president, 83 were given for Richard Rush, and 7 for William Smith of South Carolina.
The consequences of an absolute secession cannot be mistaken, and they would be serious and afflicting.
The seceding state, whatever might be its relative magnitude, would speedily and distinctly feel the loss of the aid and countenance of the Union. The Union losing a proportion of the national revenue, would be entitled to demand from it a proportion of the national debt. It would be entitled to treat the inhabitants and the commerce of the separated state, as appertaining to a foreign country. In public treaties already made, whether commercial or political, it could claim no participation, while foreign powers would unwillingly calculate, and slowly transfer to it, any portion of the respect and confidence borne towards the United States.
Evils more alarming may readily be perceived. The destruction of the common band would be unavoidably attended with more serious consequences than the mere disunion of the parts.
Separation would produce jealousies and discord, which in time would ripen into mutual hostilities, and while our country · would be weakened by internal war, foreign enemies would be encouraged to invade with the flattering prospect of subduing in detail, those whom, collectively, they would dread to encounter.
Such in ancient times was the fate of Greece, broken into numerous independent republics. Rome, which pursued a contrary policy, and absorbed all her territorial acquisitions in one great body, attained irresistible power.
But it may be objected, that Rome also has fallen. It is true; and such is the history of man. Natural life and political existence alike give way at the appointed measure of time, and the birth, decay, and extinction of empires only serve to prove the tenuity and illusion of the deepest schemes of the statesman, and the most elaborate theories of the philosopher. Yet it is
always our duty to inquire into, and establish those plans and forms of civil association most conducive to present happiness and long duration: the rest we must leave to Divine Providence, which hitherto has so graciously smiled on the United States of America.
We may contemplate a dissolution of the Union in another light, more disinterested but not less dignified, and consider whether we are not only bound to ourselves but to the world in general, anxiously and faithfully to preserve it.
The first example which has been exhibited of a perfect self-government, successful beyond the warmest hopes of its authors, ought never to be withdrawn while the means of preserving it remain.
If in other countries, and particularly in Europe, a systematic subversion of the political rights of man shall gradually overpower all rational freedom, and endanger all political happiness, the failure of our example should not be held up as a discouragement to the legitimate opposition of the sufferers; if, on the other hand, an emancipated people should seek a model on which to frame their own structure; our Constitution, as permanent in its duration as it is sound and splendid in its principles, should remain to be their guide.
In every aspect therefore which this great subject presents, we feel the deepest impression of a sacred obligation to preserve the union of our country; we feel our glory, our safety, and our happiness, involved in it; we unite the interests of those who coldly calculate advantages with those who glow .with what is little short of filial affection; and we must resist the attempt of its own citizens to destroy it, with the same feelings that we should avert the dagger of the parricide.
This work cannot perhaps be better concluded than with a quotation from the valedictory address of one whose character stamps inestimable value on all that he has uttered, and whose exhortations on this subject, springing from the purest patriot
improper for state legislatures, by explanatory or declaratory acts, to remove those doubts : but, the case between laws and compacts or treaties is in this widely different; for when doubts arise respecting the sense and meaning of a treaty, they are so far from being cognizable by a state legislature, that the United States in congress assembled, have no authority to settle and determine them: for as the legislature only, which constitutionally passes a law, has power to revise and amend it, so the sovereigns only, who are parties to the treaty, have power by mutual consent and posterior articles, to correct or explain it.
“ In cases between individuals, all doubts respecting the meaning of a treaty, like all doubts respecting the meaning of a law, are in the first instance mere judicial questions, and are to be heard and decided in the courts of justice having cogni. zance of the causes in which they arise, and whose duty it is to determine them according to the rules and maxims established by the laws of nations for the interpretation of treaties. From these principles it follows of necessary consequence, that no individual state has a right by legislative acts to decide and point out the sense in which their particular citizens and courts shall understand this or that article of a treaty.
“It is evident that a contrary doctrine would not only militate against the common and established maxims and ideas relative to this subject, but would prove no less inconvenient in practice than it is irrational in theory; for in that case the same article of the same treaty might by law be made to mean one thing in New Hampshire, another thing in New York, and neither the one nor the other of them in Georgia.
“How far such legislative acts would be valid and obligatory even within the limits of the state passing them, is a question which we hope never to have occasion to discuss. Certain, however it is, that such acts cannot bind either of the contracting sovereigns, and consequently cannot be obligatory on their respective nations.