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"Resolved, That the history of the nation during the last four years has fully established the propriety and necessity of the organization and perpetuation of the republican party, and that the causes which called it into existence are permanent in their nature, and now, more than ever before, demand its peaceful and constitutional triumph."
This was said near the close of the last democratic administration, which for a time controlled all branches of the national government. With what truth it applies to the present democratic administration, which for two years following March 4, 1893, again had control of all branches of the national government.
THE LINCOLX TARIFF PLATFORM OF 1860. Now let me read the Lincoln platform on the tariff, adopted on May 17, 1860, by the second republican national convention, and I submit whether it does not express the sentiment of the great majority of the people of Illinois, and of the whole country, even better to-day than it did then. Here is what it said:
"Resolved, That while providing revenue for the support of the general government by duties on imports, sound policy requires such an adjustment of these imports as to encourage the development of the industrial interests of the whole country; and we commend that policy of national exclianges which secures to the workingmen liberal wages, to agriculture remunerative prices, to mechanics and manufacturers an adequate reward for their skill, labor and enterprise, and to the nation commercial prosperity and independence."
Better protection no republican could ask or desire; and poorer none should advocate or accept! We are faithfully wedded to the great principle of protection by every tie of party fealty and affection, and it is dearer to us now than ever before. Not only is it dearer to us as republicans, but it has more devoted supporters among the great masses of the American people, irrespective of party, than at any previous period in our national history. It is everywhere recognized and indorsed as the great, masterful, triumphant American principle—the key to our prosperity in business, the safest prop to the treasury of the United States, and the bulwark of our national independence and financial honor.
The question of the continuance or abandonment of our protective system has been one great, overshadowing, or vital question in American politics ever since Mr. Cleveland opened the contest in December, 1887, to which the lamented James G. Blaine made swift reply from across the sea, and it will continue the issue until a truly American policy, for the good of America, is firmly established and perpetuated. The fight will go on, and must go on, until the American system is everywhere recognized, until all nations come to understand and respect it as distinctly, and all Americans come to honor or love it as dearly as they do the American flag. God grant the day may.soon come when all partisan contention over it is forever at an end!
The republican party is competent to carry tliis policy into effect. Whenever there is anything to be done for this country it is to the republican party we must look to have it done. We are not contending for any particular tariff law, or laws, or for any special schedules, or rates, but for the great principle—the American protective policythe temporary overthrow of which has brought distress and ruin to every part of our beloved country.
WILL UPHOLD AMERICAN LABOR. It may be asked what the next republican tariff law will provide. I cannot tell you. I cannot tell you what the schedules and rates will be, but they will measure the difference between Arnerican and European conditions—and will moreover be fully adequate to protect ourselves from the invasion of our markets by oriental products to the injury of American labor—and will in no case be too low to protect and exalt American labor, and promote and increase American production.
I cannot better auswer this grave inquiry than by an illustration of Mr. Lincoln's. Some one asked him, “How long a man's legs ought to be." He said, “That is a very serious question, and I have given much thought to it a great many times. Some should be longer and some shorter; but I want to tell you that a man's legs ought always to be long enough to reach from his body to the ground.” And so I tell you, my inquiring free trade friend, that the legs of the next republican tariff law will be long enough to firnly support the American body politic; sustain the public treasury; lift up our national credit, and uphold the dignity and independence of American labor, and the enterprises and occupations of the American people.
No one need be in any doubt about what the republican party stands for. Its own history makes that too palpable and clear to admit of doubt. It stands for a reunited and recreated nation, based upon free and honest elections in every township, county, city, district and state in this great American union. It stands for the American fireside, and the flag of the nation. It stands for the American farm, the American factory and the prosperity of all the American people. It stands for a reciprocity that reciprocates and which does not yield up to another country a single day's labor that belongs to the American workingmen. It stands for international agreements which get as much
as they give, upon terms of mutual advantage. It stands for an exchange of our surplus home products for such foreign products as we consume, but do not produce. It stands for the reciprocity of Blaine; for the reciprocity of Harrison; for the restoration and extension of the principle embodied in the reciprocity provision of the republican tariff of 1890. It stands for a foreign policy dictated by and imbued with a spirit that is genuinely American; for a policy that will revive the national spirit which carried us proudly through the earlier years of the century. It stands for such a policy with all foreign nations as will insure both to us and them justice, impartiality, fairness, good faith, dignity and honor. It stands for the Monroe doctrine as Monroe himself proclaimed it, about which there is no division whatever among the American people. It stands now, as ever, for honest money, and a chance to earn it by honest toil. It stands for a currency of gold, silver and paper, with which to measure our exchanges that shall be as soud as the government and as untarnished as its honor.
The republican party would as soon think of lowering the flag of our country as to contemplate with patience or without protest and opposition any attempt to degrade or corrupt the medium of exchanges among our people. It can be relied upon in the future as in the past, to supply our country with the best money ever known, gold, silver, and paper, good the world over. It stands for a commercial policy that will whiten every sea with the sails of American vessels, flying the American flag, and that will protect the flag wherever it floats. It stands for a system which will give the Cnited States the balance of trade with every competing nation in the world. It is for a fiscal policy opposed to debts and deficiencies in time of peace, and favors the return of the government to a debt-paying, and opposes the continuance of a debt-making policy.
PARTY WILL HOLD TO LINCOLN'S ADVICE. And, gentlemen of the Marquette Club, let me tell you that the republican party, true to the advice and example of the immortal Lincoln, is going to make the campaign this year upon its own ground, not upon its opponent's. That is to say, the republicans of the country are not going to help the democratic leaders obscure the issue on which their party has been wrecked and the administration stranded, by taking up every new incident about which a hue and cry may be raised. On the contrary, they will not be led off by side issues, but they will everywhere courageously insist that the people in November shal! judge the administration and its party by their works and not by any new and boastful protestations by them. They will give due credit
for any sporadic outburst of patriotic fervor for our rights in foreign countries that the administration may choose to indulge in and rejoice that it is at last on the right side of a great question, which is where the republicans have always been. But the ship of state shall not be lured into shallow waters by false lights. No new-born zeal for American rights, or the national honor, from any quarter whatever, can raise an issue with the grand old republican party which for forty years has steadfastly maintained it both at home and abroad. The new convert belongs to our ranks and he is welcome, but he should remember that he cannot put patriotism at issue with the party which has been the very embodiment of patriotism from its birth to the present liour.
Gentlemen of the Marquette Club, and my fellow citizens, let us cherish the principles of our party and consecrate ourselves anew to their triumph. We have but to put our trust in the people; we have but to keep in close touch with the people; we have but to hearken to the voice of the people, as it comes to us from every quarter; we have but to paint on our banners the sentiment the people have everywhere expressed at every election during the last three years— “Patriotism, protection and prosperity," to win another most glorious and decisive republican national victory.
WASHINGTON AND LINCOLN. The greatest names in American history are Washington and Lincoln.' One is forever associated with the independence of the states anci formation of the federal union; the other with universal freedom and the preservation of that union. Washington enforced the declaration of independence as against England; Lincoln proclaimed its fulfillnent not only to a downtrodden race in America, but to all people for all time, who may seek the protection of our flag. These illustrious men achieved grander results for mankind within a single centuryfrom 1775 to 1865—than any other men ever accomplished in all the years since first the flight of time began. Washington engaged in no ordinary revolution. With him it was not who should rule, but what sliould rule. He drew his sword, not for a change of rulers upon an established throne, but to establish a new government, which should acknowledge no throne but the tribune of the people. Lincoln accepted war to save the union, the safeguard of our liberties, and re-established it on "indestructible foundations” as forever "one and indivisible.” To quote his own grand words:
“Now we are contending that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Each lived to accomplish his appointed task. Each received the unbounded gratitude of the people of his time, and each is held in great and ever increasing reverence by posterity. The fame of each will never die; it will grow with the ages, because it is based upon imperishable service to humanity-not to the people of a single generation or country, but to the whole human family, wherever scattered, forever.
The present generation knows Washington only from history, and by that alone can judge him. Lincoln we know by history also, but thousands are still living who participated in the great events in which he was leader and master. Many of his contemporaries survived him; some are here yet in almost every locality. So Lincoln is not far removed from us. Indeed, he may be said to be still known to the miljions, not surrounded by the mists of antiquity nor by a halo of idolatry that is impenetrable.
He never was inaccessible to the people. Thousands carry with them yet the words which he spoke in their hearing ; thousands remember the pressure of his hand, and I remember, as though it were but yesterday, and thousands of my comrades will recall, how, when he reviewed the Army of the Potomac, immediately after the battle of Antietam, his indescribably sad, thoughtful, far-seeing expression pierced every man's soul. Nobody could keep the people away from him, and when they came to him he would suffer no one to drive them back. So it is that an unusually large number of the American people came to know this great man, and that he is still so well remembered by them. It cannot be said that they are mistaken about him or that they misinterpreted his character and greatness.
LIVING MEN LINK HIM TO TODAY. Men are still connected with the government who served during his entire administration. There are at least two senators, and perhaps twice as many representatives, who participated in his first inauguration; men who stood side by side with him in trying duties of his administration, and have been without interruption in one branch or another of the public service ever since. The Supreme Court of the United States still has among its members one whom Lincoln appointed, and so of other branches of the federal judiciary. His faithful private secretaries are still alive and have rendered posterity a great service in their history of Lincoln and his time. They have told the story of his life and public services with such entire frankness and fidelity as to exhibit to the world "the very innercourts of his soul.”
This host of witnesses, without exception, agree as to the true nobil