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dispensable to the existence of that the bill introduced by him the government.
The debate continued until a late hour of the evening of the 28th, when the previous question, on motion of Mr. Craig, was ordered, ayes 110, nays 44.
The bill was then ordered to a third reading, ayes 126, nays 34. A motion was then made for its final passage, and the previous question being ordered, the bill was passed, ayes 111, nays 40. The question being on its title, Mr. McDuffie rose and said, he wished to perform a solemn duty. The house was about to destroy the rights of the Stateswas about to bury the constitution he asked the poor privilege of writing its epitaph. He then offered an amendment to the title of the bill, by striking out its present title, and inserting the following in lieu thereof: "An act to subvert the sovereignty of the states of this union, to establish a consolidated government, without limitation of powers, and to make the civil subordinate to the military power."
Mr. Speight demanded the previous question, and the yeas and nays being taken, stood, yeas 150, nays 35. The title was then agreed to, Mr M'Duffie's amendment being cut off, and the house adjourned at half past one in the morning. The senate, which had been waiting for the final passage of the enforcing bill, now took up the tariff as it came from the house, with the view of passing it.
When it came into that body, on the 26th, Mr. Clay moved
should lie on the table, and the bill from the house was taken up in its stead the next day, and, having been found to be word for word like the bill already before the senate, was reported without amendment, and ordered to a third reading. The senate then proceeded to other business, and on the 1st of March, after the passage of the enforcing bill in the house, the tariff was read a third time, and the question put on its passage. This question elicited some discussion, but the subject was exhausted, and the bill was passed; ayes 29, nays 16.
The passage of this bill was regarded by all as a concession to South Carolina, and many considered it as sanctioning the ultimate triumph of the principles advanced by that state.
The supporters of the bill who were friendly to the system of protection, insisted, on the contrary, that this was the only mode of preventing an entire and immediate destruction of the manufacturing interests. That the administration had a decided majority in the next congress; and if the question was not settled now, the manufacturers would be entirely at the mercy of their enemies.
The moment for obtaining favourable terms was passing away with the session, and they thought it better to agree to such a gradual reduction of the tariff, as should give time to the manufacturers to prepare for a general duty of 20 per cent. or to
reconcile the south to a higher duty if necessary, by the experience of the beneficial effects of a protecting tariff, rather than to intrust the manufacturing interests to those who merely sought to destroy them.
This reasoning did not satisfy those who looked to the ultimate results of this compromise, and who were not willing to purchase a temporary advantage by a permanent surrender of the power of the government over this subject to a state, which demanded it upon principles, and in a tone inconsistent with the continuance of the Union.
They preferred to test, rather than to surrender the powers of the government, and they strongly reprobated the idea of abandoning the policy of the government upon the demand of a single state.
The leaders of the nullifying party, on their part, affected to regard the compromise as an unqualified triumph.
Previous to the passage of the tariff, Gov. Hamilton issued a proclamation, calling the convention to meet on the 11th of March, on which day it accordingly assembled at Columbia, the capitol of the state. The ostensible reason of this call was the mission of Mr. Leigh, but the governor also called the attention of the convention to the laws just passed by congress modifying the tariff, and for the more effectually providing for the collection of the
It was deemed expedient by
the convention to regard the tariff just passed, as a sufficient accomplishing of the objects of nullification, and an ordinance was reported, repealing the or. dinance of November, and all the acts, except the militia law, passed in pursuance thereof, by the legislature-a different body, having no connexion with the convention, except that the majority belonged to the same party. The ordinance then went on to nullify the enforcing law, but content with this empty bravado, did not enjoin on the legislature to pass laws to carry their decree into effect. An attempt was also made to declare an oath of allegiance to the state, but as the friends of the Union had resolved that they would not take such an oath, it was deemed the wisest course to refer the matter to the legislature.
In these legislative enactments the controversy ended. The final adjustment of the tariff question was merely postponed, and time was afforded to the country either to prepare for the change from a high protecting tariff, to one reduced to the wants of the revenue, or to adopt such modifications as the interests of the country shall then require.
One permanent good, however, was gained. The arm of the judiciary was strenghtened by the enforcing act, and states seeking to carry into effect their own views, at the expense of the Union, and in defiance of the constitution, cannot hence
forth prevent a judicial decision upon their acts, by inhibiting the state courts from furnishing the federal courts with a copy of their records.
The right of appeal to the courts of the United States, in
questions properly appertaining to them, is recognised and maintained, and a precedent is established for enforcing their decisions by the power of the Union.
Meeting of Congress.-President's Message.-Public Lands.Mr. Clay proposes Land Bill.-Proceedings in Senate.Proceedings in House.-Bill passes.-Retained by President. -United States Bank.-Public Deposites.-Three per cents. -Bill on France.-Proceedings in Congress.
THE second session of the 22nd congress commenced the 4th day of December, 1832.
Thirty-two members of the senate appeared in their places, and the vice president being absent, and Mr. Tazewell, the president pro tem, having resigned his seat, Mr. Lowrie called the senate to order, and they proceeded to elect a president pro tempore.
On the 5th ballot Hugh L. White of Tennessee, was declared duly elected, and he continued to act as such during the session. In the house 165 members answered to their names, and both branches of congress, being organized, information of that fact was communicated to the president, and the next day his annual message was transmitted to congress. That document will be found in the appendix, page 80.
A satisfactory account was
given of the foreign relations of the country.
The claims against Portugal had been acknowledged, the negotiations with Spain, and Naples for indemnity promised a favourable result.
Chastisement had been inflicted upon the pirates of Sumatra, for an injury committed upon our commerce.
The public finances were in the most prosperous condition, and congress was congratulated upon the near approach of the entire extinction of the national debt. As a consequence of this event the president recommended a reduction of the tariff, to the revenue standard.
He then alluded to the agency of the United States bank in postponing the redemption of the 3 per cents. to October, 1833, and suggested a doubt whether the public deposites were safe in that institution.
He also recommended a reduction of the price of the public lands, so as to prevent their becoming a source of revenue, and an amendment of the constitution so as to limit, and define the power of the general government over internal improve ment. The policy of the government in relation to the Indians was applauded, and an extension of the judiciary system to the new western states, was again recommended.
The subject next in importance to nullification which attracted the attention of congress at this session was the public land system. In the last volume of this work, an account was given of the public domain, and of the general system adopted for its management.
Conflicting opinions had prevailed, since the absolute necessity of deriving a revenue from this source had ceased, as to the propriety of persevering in this system.
A party had arisen which sought to bring the whole public domain into market at once, for the purpose of enriching a few speculators at the expense of the public. Others advocated a reduction of the price as an approximation to the same result. Some urged a donation to the states, of the public lands within their respective limits, and various schemes, all indicating an unsettled, and restless state of the public mind, were started for the purpose of prodigally dissipating the great resources at
the command of the federal government in the public domain.
A majority, however, in both branches of congress, were too strongly impressed with the wisdom of the policy hitherto pursued hastily to abandon it, and the land bill introduced by Mr. Clay at the last session, was regarded by them as a means of securing the existing policy from hasty and improper innovations, by enlisting strong and active interests in its support.
This bill proposed that 10 per cent. of the proceeds of the public lands, should be reserved in addition to the 5 per cent. now reserved for internal improvements in the new states, and that the residue should be divided among all the states in proportion to their representation, to be applied under the direction of the state governments to the purposes of education, internal improvement, or colonization.
In consequence of the opposition of the administration, this bill was postponed in the house, after receiving the sanction of the senate, and in his message, the president expressed himself in favour of reducing the price of the public lands, so as to barely reimburse the expenses of their acquisition, and surveying.
This view of the subject was with good reason deemed as intended to subvert the existing land policy, and at an early period of the session, Mr. Clay asked leave to introduce a bill similar to the one which had