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“A well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace, and for the first mo. ments of war, till the regulars may relieve them.
“The supremacy of the civil over the military authority.
"The honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith.
"Encouragement of agriculture and commerce as its handmaid.
“The diffusion of information and the arraignment of all abuses ai the bar. of public reason.
“Freedom of religion; freedom of the press; freedom of the person under the protection of habeas corpus; and trials by juries impartially selected.
“These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. Tkir wisdom of our sages and the blood of our heros have been devoted to the attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith-the text of civil instruction-the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and regain the road which leads alone to peace, liberty, and safety.”
Hamilton's Theory of Government. In marked contrast with the theory of government as above defined by the great leaders of the Democratic party is the centralization tendency of its Republican rival. That party inherits much of the objectionable doctrines which Hamilton advocated in the convention which framed the Constitution but which, fortunately, were not stamped upon that instrument.
In Madison's notes on the proceedings of the convention, he reports the substance of one of Hamilton's speeches, as follows:
“This view of the subject almost led him to despair that a republican gov. ernment could be established over so great an extent. He was sensible at the same time that it would be unwise to propose one of any other form. In his private opinion he had no scruples in declaring, supported as he was by the opinion of so many of the wise and good, that the British Government was the best in the world, and that he doubted much whether anything short of it would do in America. He hoped gentlemen of different opinions would bear with him in this, and begged them to recollect the change of opinion on this subject which had taken place, and was still going on. It was once thought that the power of Congress was amply sufficient to secure the end of their institution. The error was now seen by everyone. The members most tenacious of republicanism, he observed, were as loud as any in declaring against the vices of democracy. This progress of the public mind led him to anticipate the time when others as well as himself would join in the praise bestowed by Mr. Necker on the British Constitution-namely, that it is the only government in the world which unites public strength with individual security.”
"As to the executive, it seemed that no good one could be established on r' publican principles. Was not this giving up the merits of the question; for can
there be a good government without a good executive? The English model was the only good one on this subject. The hereditary interest of the king was so interwoven with that of the nation, and his personal emolument su great that he was placed above the danger of being corrupted from abroad; and at the same time was both sufficiently independent and sufficiently con. trolled to answer the purpose of the institution at home. One of the weas sides of republics was their being liable to foreign influence and corruption. Men of little character, acquiring great power, became easily the tools of intermeddling neighbors. Sweden was a striking instance. The French alid English had each their parties during the late revolution, which was affected by the predominant influence of the former. What is the inference from ali these observations? That we ought to go as far, in order to attain stability and permanency, as republican principles will admit. Let one branch of the legislature hold their places for life, or at least during good behavior. Let the executive also be for life.” · Towards the close of the convention Hamilton handed to Madison a plan of a constitution in accordance with his own ideas. Article VIII, section 1 contains the following:
"The governor or president of each state shall be appointed under the au. thority of the United States; and shall have a right to negative all laws about to be passed in the state of which he shall be governor or president, subject to such qualifications and regulations as the legislature of the United States shall prescribe."
The Republican party is thoroughly imbued with the spirit of this doc trine. It does not seem to be aware that the war is over. Its rapid drift toward centralization, aristocracy, and monopolies is indeed cause for alarm, and calls for an emphatic protest by the people at the coming Presidential election.
Allen's Definition. The fundamental principles of Democracy were never better staied than by that distinguished leader Ex-United States Senator William Allen, of Ohio.
“Democracy is a sentiment not to be appalled, corrupted, or compromised. It knows no baseness; it cowers to no danger; it oppresses 10 weakness. Fearless, generous, and humane, it rebukes the arrogant, cherishes honor, and sympathizes with the humble. It asks nothing but what it concedes; it concedes nothing but what it demands. Destructive only of despotism, it is the sole conservator of liberty, labor, and property. It is the sentiment of freedom, of equal rights, and equal obligations. It is tthe law of nature pervading the land. The stupid, the selfish, and the base in spirit may denounce it as a vulgar thing; but in the history of our race the Democratic principle has developed and illustrated the highest moral and intellectual attributes of our nature. It is a noble, a sublime sentiment which expands our affections, enlarges the circle of our sympathies, and elevates the soul of man, until claiming an equality with the best, it rejects as unworthy of its dignity any political immunities over the humblest of its fellows. Yes, it is an ennobling principle, and may that spirit which animated our Revolutionary
fathers, in their contest for its establishment continue to animate us, their sous, in the impending struggle for its preservation."
Bryan's Definition. In his letter of acceptance Hon. Wm. J. Bryan states concisely the funda: mental principles of the party as follows:
“The main purpose of government being to protect all citizens in the enjoy ment of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, this purpose must lead the Government, first, to avoid acts of affirmative injustice; and second, to re. strain each citizen from trespassing upon the rights of any other citizen. I democratic form of government is conducive to the highest civilization be cause it opens before each individual the greatest opportunities for development, and stimulates to the highest endeavor, by insuring to each the full enjoyment of all the rewards of toil, except such contribution as is necessary to support the government which protects him. Democracy is indifferent to pedigree-it deals with the individual rather than with his ancestors. Den:o). cracy ignores differences in wealth-neither riches nor poverty can be invoked in behalf of or against any citizen. Democracy knows no creedrecognizing the right of each individual to worship God according to the dir. tates of his own conscience; it welcomes all to a common brotherhood and guarantees equal treatment to all, no matter in which church or through what fornis they commune with their Creator.”
Seymour on State and Federal Powers. In an elaborate article in the North American Review, in 1875. Ex-Gurernor Horatio Seymour said:
“When we have secured good governments in towns and counties, most of the objects of government are gained. In the ascending scale of rank, in the descending scale of importance, is the legislature, which is or should be lim: ited to State affairs. Its greatest wisdom is shown by the smallest amount of legislation, and its strongest claims for gratitude grow out of what it does not do. Our General Government is remarkable for being the reverse of every other. Instead of being the source of authority; it only receives the rennant of power after all that concerns town, county, and State jurisdico. tions has been distributed. Its jurisdiction, although confined within narrow limits, is of great dignity, for it concerns our national honor anil provides for tlee national defense. We make this head of our system strong when in confine its action to those objects which are of general interest, and prevent its interjer:nce with subjects upon which it cannot act with intelligence. Ji our General Government had the power which is now divided between towi). county, and State jurisdiction, its attempts at their exercise would shiver in inin atoms. If it were composed of the wisest and purest men ihe worl.i ever saw, it could not understand all the varied interests of a land as wide as all Europe, and with as great a diversity of climate, soil, and social condition. The welfare of the several communities would be sacrificed to the ignorance or prejudices of those who had no direct concern in the laws they imposed upon others."
THE SILVER QUESTION.
The Republican programme, to fasten on us gold monometallism without we get foreign consent to bimetallism, not only revolutionizes our currency system. but revolutionizes our own ancient traditions wherein we have universally declined to let any other Government dictate our policy either foreign or domestic. From the organization of the Government there never was a national platform written prior to the one on which Mr. McKinley was nominated at St. Louis by any party in the United States, which either recommended or tolerated the single gold standard. There never was one written which treated of the subject at all that did not profess favor for silver coinage. The great parties vied with each other in professing favor for bimetallism, for the concurrent use of both gold and silver without discrimination against either metal. The Republican party condemned the Democratic administration in its platform of 1888 for an alleged effort to demonetize silver. Mr. McKinley was chairman of the platform committee, and not only reported the platform but was elected to Congress upon it and helped to elect Mr. Harrison President on it.
This is the platform he submitted:
6.Bimetallism. "The Republican party is in favor of the use of both gold and silver as inoney, and condemn the policy of the Democratic administration in its ef fort to demonetize silver."
What a revolution it must have taken to sweep him from this to the gold platform on which he now stands!
In 1892, in national convention, it adopted the following platform, which is given with its heading:
“Free and Sate Coinage of Gold and silver." "The American people from tradition and interest favor bimetallism, and the Republican party demands the use of both gold and silver as standard money, with such restrictions and under such provisions, to be determined by legislation, as will secure the maintenance of the parity of the two metals, so that the purchasing and debt-paying power of the dollar, whether of silver, gold, or paper, shall be at all times equal.”
How strangely these utterances contrast with the declaration of the pres. ent platform of the Republican party, that until an “international agreement with the leading commercial nations of the world can be obtained the existing gold standard must be preserved."
Never before in the history of our American Government was such a cring. ing policy advocated or such a surrender made. Always before platforms have suggested legislative restrictions, if any at all, to regulate coinage.
When we were only 3,500,000 strong, and had established our independence through eight years of blood and suffering, we adopted a Constitution. It provided for gold and silver as the Constitutional money of the country. While the hero who had led our armies to victory, and the patriots who hai conducted our councils and constructed our Constitution were in the Congress of the United States, the first coinage law was passed, in 1792. If not only provided for the use of both gold and silver, but adopted silver as the unit and fixed the relative value of gold and silver in coinage.
So anxious were our fathers to be fiscally free from England, as well as physically free, that although we spoke the same language and our greatest
commerce was, and was likely to be, with England, Jefferson and Hamilton · recommended dollars, dimes, and cents as the denomination of our currency instead of pounds, shillings, and pence. If they had expected that England would have a voice in our coinage or be consulted concerning it, it is but natural they would have retained her denominations. This bill was favored by Hamilton and Jefferson and approved by Washington. If, therefore, silver currency is a dishonest currency, they must have been either ignorant or dishonest men.
Afterwards, when the time came to change the ratio between the two metals, they made the change by reducing the number of grains in the gold dollar instead of increasing the number of grains in the silver dollar. Was this repudiation?
Under free coinage the young Republic was started on its great career. Under it we settled up the expenses of the war of the Revolution. Under it, during Jefferson's administration, we purchased Louisiana, embracing not only the present State but a great northwestern empire in addition. Under it we carried on the war with England in 1812 and paid its expenses. Under it we conducted the war with Mexico, and paid for the land we purchased from our sister Republic. A year after the battle of New Orleans England demonetized silver. She was not essential to bimetallism then-she is not now. Our country did not consult her wishes then, and they are not compelled to do so now. When she demonetized silver Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who worked together upon the Declaration of Independence, were alive. So was Madison, the Father of the Constitution. Monroe, who made the map of the world, and made the world live up to the map, was still living. And so were General Jackson and the younger Adams. Six Presidents. Search will be made in vain among their writings and speeches for a single utterance even intimating that we ought to consult England or any other nation about our fiscal policy or that we should demonetize silver be cause England had. We then numbered about 10,000,000 people. We are now 70,000,000. We were then a small factor in the commercial world. We are now the greatest factor in it, equaling any other three of the greatest