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the weakest and most exposed section of the Union; and I have, and shall continue to defend it, as far as my abilities go, against all oppressive and unconstitutional acts, without regarding how it may affect my popularity and standing in other quarters. Nor, in doing this, am I in the least actuated by a feeling of hostility towards this Union, or any section of the country. I defy my most bitter enemy to point out any act of injustice or oppression towards any other portion of the Union, that I have ever countenanced, unless, indeed, resistance to injustice towards my own should be considered injustice towards other sections, which might be benefited by it. So far from hostility, I have been governed by directly the opposite motives—by a deep and an abiding attachment to the Union, and the most anxious desire to preserve it and its integrity. Our Union rests on justice—on the equal distribution of its advantages and burdens. So long as that is preserved, there is no danger to the Union ; while, on the other hand, if it be habitually and permanently disregarded, nothing can preserve it. He knows nothing of the human heart, or the working of a political system extended over so wide a country, who does not see that there must be a constant tendency on the part of the stronger portion, to monopolize all the advantages for itself, and to transfer all its burdens to the weaker. Nor is he less ignorant, who does not see that such a tendency must, in the end, prove fatal to the Government, if not steadily and successfully resisted. It has been my fortune to see and act on these principles, and in doing so, I have been governed not only by a sense of justice towards those whom I represent, and the portion of the country to which they belong, but by deep devotion to the interest of the whole Union. The Senator seems to take a different view. He would seem to regard resistance to wrong as hostility to the Union, and the support of aggression as the means of preserving it. He habitually confines his censure to those who oppose oppression, without ever rais
ing his voice against the oppressor. I am, however, glad to see that he does not entirely deny the truth of the principles on which I act. He is at last compelled to admit, that abolition is making greater progress than he anticipated, and to acknowledge that the time may come when he shall be compelled to take a stand and lead against the fanatics. We may then oppose aggression, I suppose, without losing attachment to the Union, at least on the abolition question ; but if we may do it in that case, I would ask why we may not also against the tariff and American System, and other oppressive measures to which the South has been opposed ? Why shall it be justifiable in the one, and not in the other case ?
The Senator thinks I have been too stern and uncompromising in my opposition to the fanatics, and that its effect has been to increase their number. He would take a more compromising course. He would have opened the doors of this Chamber to their admission, and reasoned the case with them, whether we had a title to our property or not. Without adding a word, I leave those interested to judge which of the two courses is the safest and best.
The Senator regards the defeat of the Constitutional Treasury Bill in the other House, as a complete overthrow, and raises the shout of victory. He greatly mistakes. It is but a skirmish at the commencement of a conflict, which is destined to last for years. The cause of the struggle is too deep, to terminate with the first onset; and so far from being discouraged by the slight defeat which some half a dozen of votes would have turned into a victory, I feel a renewed assurance of final and complete triumph, if we but stand fast. What I always dreaded, as I have said, was the first shock. I never doubted, if it could be resisted, a final and glorious triumph awaited the cause we advocated. We have now met the first shock; and, so far from being overwhelmed, we have been defeated by only a few votes. Time is now
working for us. The discussion is gone to the community. Truth and reason are on our side. Our arguments neither have been, nor can be answered ; and time and reflection only are wanting to give them their full effect. The people are roused ; and their attention is intensely directed to the subject, which will not fail to tell hereafter.
In the mean time, the difficulties on the opposite side will soon begin to present themselves. They have thus far had the easy task of being the assailants, but the very victory, of which they boast so much, throws the responsibility on them, and will compel them to move ; and let me tell the Senator, when he comes to bring forward his gigantic scheme of blending into one the General and State Governments, and uniting the two with the great capitalists of the country, in his fifty million bank, with the view of controlling the currency and industry of the country ; when, in a word, he comes to rear up his bank monarchy to govern the country with despotic sway, he will begin to find his trouble. He will find it no easy task to fix on the seat of its empire, and place the despot on his throne ; and whenever he attempts it, let me tell him, instead of a slight defeat of a few votes, as we have experienced, he will be overwhelmed with a Waterloo overthrow, from which he and his cause will never recover.
On the engrossment of the Bill to graduate the price
of the Public Lands, delivered in the Senate, January 15th, 1839.
MR. CALHOUN said: I have no desire, Mr. President, to retard, in the smallest degree, the final action of the Senate on this bill; and in order to avoid unnecessary consumption of time, I intend to state, as concisely as possible, my views of the proper policy to be pursued in reference to the public lands, lying within the limits of the new States; and my reasons for voting against the engrossment of this bill.
I shall begin by premising, that I am under strong conviction, both from observation and reflection, that we have arrived at the period when an entire revolution of our land system, as far as it is applicable to those States, is unavoidable. They have, in fact, outgrown the system. Since its first adoption, they have come into existence, have passed through a state of infancy, and are now arrived at manhood. The system which was wise and just at first, is neither wise nor just when applied to them in their changed condition.
We have heard much, Mr. President, in the present discussion, about the growth of the new States; but, if I may judge from the various measures proposed on the present occasion, we have neither realized its rapidity, nor the unavoidable changes in our land system which must follow in its train. Their wonderful growth is, indeed, one of those realities almost beyond the grasp of imagination. When I go back twenty-seven years, to the period when I first became a member of the other House, and compare what the new States then were, with what they now are, I am lost in wonder and amazement. Their growth is without example.
There is nothing like it in history. At that time, there was but a single new State (Ohio). I exclude Kentucky, Tennessee, and Maine,-all of which have been admitted since the adoption of the constitution,-and limit my remarks to those which have since sprung up on the public domain.
Ohio had then but one Representative in the other House-Jeremiah Morrow, an honest and sensible man, who was, at that time, at the head of the Committee on Public Lands, and had the confidence of the House so completely that his voice was the law on all subjects connected with them. So little interest did they, at that time, excite. There were then thirty-two Senators in all; of which Ohio had, of course, two; that is, the one-sixteenth of the whole. In the electoral college she had three votes, which made her weight about the one-fiftieth in that body—a weight scarcely felt or estimated in the political movements of the day.
Such, at that time, was the infant and feeble condition of the new States. Since then, in a period but little exceeding that allotted to a single generation, to pass over the stage of life, how wonderful the change! Instead of one, as then, there are now nine new States; and in the place of two Senators in thirty-two, we now have eighteen in fiftytwo; making, instead of one-sixteenth, more than a third of the whole : and, already, three territories, Florida, Wisconsin, and Iowa, are struggling for admission. When admitted, which must be shortly, there will then be twelve new States, with twenty-four Senators in fifty-six, which will increase their relative weight in this body to three-sevenths of the whole.
But, wonderful as has been the increase in this body, it will be still more so, after the next census, in the other. It will be taken next year, and a new apportionment of the members will be made under the constitution; when, instead of a single member,—being less than one in a hundred,